Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => Chicago Style => Topic started by: Chicago Rules!!! on October 10, 2007, 08:30:24 PM

Title: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Rules!!! on October 10, 2007, 08:30:24 PM
Here are my two pies i made today. Both are stuffed spinach. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Nathan
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Rules!!! on October 10, 2007, 08:31:08 PM
pic 2
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: loowaters on October 11, 2007, 05:45:41 AM
Great looking pies!  How big are they?  How much spinach?  Any pics of a cut slice?
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Rules!!! on October 11, 2007, 05:09:05 PM
thanks loowaters, they are both 10" pies. And theres quite a bit of spinach in them as you can see.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on October 11, 2007, 05:13:36 PM
Nathan,

How did the pizzas taste, especially in relation to a similar pizza sold by Giordano's?

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Rules!!! on October 11, 2007, 05:18:44 PM
the dough is amazing, and it taste great. i have never had giordano's so nothing to compare it to. But amazing though.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: loowaters on October 12, 2007, 06:24:22 AM
Yeah, that's a really good looking stuffed pizza and the slice looks even better than the whole pies.  What did you do for sauce?  How much cheese went into each?  How much spinach?

Loo
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Randy on October 12, 2007, 06:41:18 AM
Nathan, as good as looking pizza as I have seen anywhere.
Did you roll the dough?  Did I miss which dough recipe you used?
Great pictures for sure.

Randy
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Rules!!! on October 12, 2007, 05:49:24 PM
The sauce is 6in1, with some diced onion, fresh garlic, fresh basil. The dough is made very similar to buzz's. But i just do it by eye so not really any measurements.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: chicagonative on October 13, 2007, 10:20:39 AM
DETAILS PLEASE!!!!!

Oh my gosh does that look good. I had to go bring the laptop upstairs and show my husband, so that we could both drool together. We are in Dallas and the only way we can get good Chicago pizza is to make it ourselves. I am going out today to buy a new pan to attempt another deep dish because of those pic's!!!!!

Please post your recipe!!!!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Buffalo on October 13, 2007, 11:10:25 AM
Good Morning ChicagoRules;

Based on how your spinach pizza looks; I would definitely say that Chicago Rules.  Would you please give us some "step by step" guidelines and approximate amounts of ingredients used.  I am also not familiar with
the Buzz dough formula...Would you please either post it or direct me to where I may find it.  Very GREAT looking pie.
Thanks much... ;D
Buffalo
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Rules!!! on October 13, 2007, 12:32:04 PM
here

Here's what I did (cheese deep dish pizza)!

1.5 cups KA AP
6 Tablespoons water
9 teaspoons canola oil
.80 teaspoons yeast
.40 teaspoons Kosher salt
.40 teaspoons sugar

I proofed the yeast in warm water, added it to flour, salt, sugar, and oil. Kneaded it about 1.5 minutes (less than 2 minutes, anyway)--it came together very nicely, very quickly. Let it rise at room temperature for 8 hours. Beautiful piece of dough at this point. I punched it down, let it rest for half an hour. Then rolled it out with a rolling pin and put it immediately into the 10" pan with no further rising. Added half a pound of cheese (half Stella, half Sorrento mozzarella), sauce, and "Parmano" cheese.

Sauce (uncooked) was:

1 28-oz. can 6-in-1 tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
.75 teaspoon Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
.50 teaspoon sugar
Dried pizza spices, red pepper flakes

It was an excellent pizza, very Giordano's-like, but I made a couple of mistakes. As an experiment, I rolled the dough out very thinly, and this didn't work as well as a slightly thicker dough. Also, I think 9 tsp. is too much oil (I could could taste the oil in the crust)--7 is probably closer to what is needed.

Very, very tasty overall, though!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BDoggPizza on November 07, 2007, 01:18:01 PM
Where on the board is the latest and greatest Giordano's recipe from Buzz or whomever.  I thought there had been some updates made to this one.

Thanks!
B
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Buster514 on November 22, 2007, 10:45:47 AM
here

What is "KA AP"?  Why the .8 / .4, etc. are they converted from metric?
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: abatardi on November 22, 2007, 01:35:29 PM
KA AP = King Arthur All Purpose

The fractional teaspoons are probably the result of a scaled down recipe using baker's percents...

- aba
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: buzz on November 25, 2007, 02:32:27 PM
Actually, the fractions are scaled down from a recipe for a larger pizza!

I keep experimenting with different levels of oil--currenly I've been working with 3 TBS oil to 1 cup flour, so the oil content in this recipe would be a bit light. I like to experiment!

Nathan made a beautiful pizza!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: buzz on November 26, 2007, 11:17:05 AM
Last night I tried another Giordano's-style experiment. I remember a few years back when I was developing this recipe (trying to crack the code!) for this forum, and how frustrated I was by the recipes available at that time on the Internet--they all came out like bread with tomato sauce instead of the biscuit-like texture of authentic Chicago deep dish. Lots of failed attempts later (and with some sub rosa advice from Tom Lehman), I finally discovered that you need lots of oil and a short knead time. So now it works!

Last night I tried making a Giordano's-style using my bread machine, and it came out beautifully! The recipe is:

1.5 cups AP (I used Gold Medal)
8 TBS (.50 cup water)
3.5 TBS canola oil
1 tsp yeast
.75 tsp Kosher salt
.75 tsp. sugar

I proofed the yeast, then put all the ingredients into the bread pan and let it mix on the dough cycle for 1 minute. Then I took the bread pan out, let the machine go into the knead cycle, replaced the pan, and let it knead for 2 minutes.

I let the dough proof for about 8 hours and baked it. It tasted exactly like Giordano's--wonderful!

I think in the future I will scale the recipe up by a third to have a bit more dough to work with for my pan.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 06, 2008, 08:14:45 PM
Hi Everyone.
I'm new to the forum but have been a very big fan of Giordano's Pizza for a long time.  I've made my share of pizza's that claim to be "similar" to Giordano's and none really "cracked the code" as it were.  Some were similar, some were way off.  You can imagine how interested I was when I ran accross this website and this recipe specifically.

Well I tried the Buzz recipe but I don't believe the code has been cracked. Buzz, hats off to you for the elusive secret regarding short knead times for the biscuit like crust.  That particular aspect has always plagued my efforts. 

I followed the recipe precisely with precise measurements.  I actually followed the recipe using two techniques (First exactly as Buzz describes and second mixing the flour, yeast and oil together first). 

I'm not saying I can do better than this recipe, I'm simply offering up taste observations that I know are absolutely accurate in comparison to Giordano's crust.

Observation 1 - Not enough dough.  You need enough dough for top and bottom layer for at least a 9 or 10" pie.  The recipe has to be modified to include at least 3 cups of flour and other ingredients.  The essence of Giordano's is a top and bottom layer.

Observation 2. The crust was absolutely too oily without a doubt.  In fact, while assembling the pizza, the dough was too heavy and oily to even hug the sides of the pan and stay up.  Either the Buzz recipe of 3.5 TBS oil per 1.5 C flour is way too much oil or Buzz is really compressing the flour when digging it out from the flour bag and not quite experiencing what I did.  Either way, the ratio of oil to flour is way too high and you can taste the oil in the crust. You can even see the color of the oil in the crust. 
Recommendation: 1 TBS Oil per Cup of flour.

Observation 3. The crust is too salty. When tasting Giordano's crust, you cannot close your eyes and pick out the salt flavor in the crust as you can in this recipe. 
Recommendation: 1/2 tsp salt per 2 cups of flour.

Observation 4: Need a bit more sugar in the crust. Giordano's crust is very un-Pizza-like. With that said, the recipe needs more sugar to begin balancing that fine line between pizza crust and pastry goodness.
Recommendation: 1 Tablespoon of sugar per 2 cups of flour.

Observation 5: When tasting the crust, you can taste the yeast. In fact you can burp up the yeast flavor 20 minutes later. (sorry but I'm trying to be a little funny here). Giordano's has absolutely NO yeast flavor whatsoever. I've often wondered if I should try to make their crust with baking soda or powder. Never tried that, but I can tell you that there is no yeast flavor to be found in a Giordano's crust.
Recommendation:  Assuming that Giordano's does use yeast I would recommend that you use 1/2 tsp yeast per 2 cups of flour. Don't forget, the Giordano's crust isn't all that fluffy and chewy anyway. So there is not much of a need to fluff it up and ferment it with the taste of yeast and have the pastry like taste of the crust be spoiled.

I think that's about it.  My next try will probably use approximately the following:

3.5 to 4 Cups flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2 TBS Sugar
1 Cup water
6 TBS canola oil

As others have mentioned, you want to mix the flour, oil and yeast together to give you the flakiness.
Add the oil afterwards and knead for 2-4 minutes until you are happy with the consistency.
Don't forget to grease the pan liberally with margarine.

I'll let you know how it goes.   Thanks again to Buzz for getting this closer than so many other recipes out there on the internet.


Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 07, 2008, 10:12:12 AM
Brian200001,

It is very difficult to reverse engineer a pizza dough without having good information. I have not been able to find any nutrition information on the Giordano's pizzas, including the frozen versions, although I would imagine that the information accompanies the shipped frozen pizzas (because the government requires it). I looked at the Giordano's website, and I don't see any nutrition data there and I didn't see it at the Nutrition Data website. Have you seen any such information anywhere?

I also wouldn't be surprised if the Giordano's dough formulation has changed over time. According to the Giordano's website, there are now 47 locations, plus three more to come. When chains get that big, they invariably go to more sophisticated preparation and manufacturing processes. For example, when I look at the photos of the deep-dish pizzas shown at the Giordano's website, the crusts don't look to me like they were made by hand. To me, they look like they were formed in a commercial hot press, some models of which can be used to shape skins into deep-dish pans. From that point, the skins can be proofed, if desired (and quite common), and they can be par-baked. If I had to guess, that is what they do with the frozen versions of the pizza. Once the cheese and toppings are added, the pizzas can bake some more and then be flash frozen. Like Home Run Inn, when local companies have both pizzeria and frozen versions of the same pizza, the equipment and processes start to become more common. Have you seen any signs of this happening at the Giordano’s store level?

I notice that Giordano's touts the deep-dish pizzas at its website as being "stuffed". I have been assuming all along that "stuffed" pizza means two layers of crust--the basic one in the pan and one on top. Is this more than just a semantical distinction, or can "stuffed" mean only one crust--the one in the pan?

For your information, there is a neat dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dd_calculator.html that I helped design with member Boy Hits Car (Mike) that allows one to design different dough formulations for the deep-dish style. If you have a good scale and can weigh the flour and water you use to make your various versions (volume measurements are fine for the rest of the ingredients), it should be possible to come up with the baker’s percents for the various ingredients. To do this, we would need to have the dimensions for your deep-dish pan and also how far up the sides of your pan you press the dough and also whether there is a second, top sheet of dough (and what weight of dough is used for the top skin). If you manage to get close to what you think is a viable Giordano’s clone, then the tool can be used to tweak the ingredients to get them even closer.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 07, 2008, 12:13:25 PM
Hi Peter,
You're right, reverse engineering dough is difficult!! :)  Again, hats off to Buzz for getting a recipe closer to Giordano's than Uno's - I hate when when folks lumped the two crusts together as if they are similar Chicago Style crusts.

I can tell you that I have been obsessed with getting this crust recipe in the past. Buzz has re-invigorated my interest, so thanks to you Buzz.

As far as common processes, etc. most high level franchises do require common equipment, ovens, assembly process steps of the pizza and of course even look and feel of building. I might be stating the obvious, but one of the reasons there is such consistency between franchises (and also why most of these dough recipes are still veiled in secrecy) is because the franchisee is requred to purchase much of the product through a distribution center.

A Franchisee receiving pre-mixed-formulated, dough, cheese, etc. from a distribution center will never know the true ingredients of the product. Believe me, Giordano's pizza joints are not fort knox.  If they had part time employees mixing up their famous one of a kind dough, the recipe would be all over the internet long ago. 

I did not verify if Giordano's specifically sends the dough pre-made to the franchisee, but just look at any Subway and you will see them baking fresh bread. They certainly do not make their own dough there, but merely receive the dough and stick it in the oven. 

When places like Uno's or Giordano's sends mails their pies, I don't believe they parbake them. Rather they are usually made just the way they are in the resturaunt and flash frozen. I saw this on one of those Food network shows for uno's - not sure if its the same for all.

Regarding the term stuffed. Its always meant top and bottom layer dough (i.e. enclosed/stuffed).  Perhaps others have been misusing the term.  A non-thin crust pizza (chicago style or otherwise) is of course a pan pizza or deep dish pizza.  Its only when there is a top layer of crust does it qualify for "stuffed". 

Now as far as the Giordano's true dough recipe is concerned, most would be suprised to know how far off they really are.  I can't stress that you simply cannot make the giordano's crust simply by re-formulating the ultra-basic pizza dough ingredients (fat, flour, yeast, salt, sugar and water).  Think about it... does the dough really taste that basic?

I argue that it contains other ingredients that, once perfected soon, I'd be happy to share with everyone.  The ingredients list may surprise you.  It always makes me chuckle when I read the rationalization that they can't possibly use eggs or milk, etc. because of spoilage or complexity.  But again, you gotta remember that the franchise and distribution center partnership.

I'll be in touch.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 07, 2008, 03:36:12 PM
The ingredients list may surprise you.

Brian200001,

Have you seen an ingredient list?

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: loowaters on January 07, 2008, 04:37:24 PM
First let me say that buzz has definitely been a board leader around here making up some terrific pies and I think this is the one he's best known for.  I've never attempted his Giordano's because it's all volume measurements and I'm just not really good measuring a cup of flour.  I know, it sounds silly, but I've found that I need weight measurements to get it right and everything I do is off a baker's formula.  That being said, you've made some rather large assumptions about how far off his recipe is.
In regards to your observations:

Observation 1:  You're right, there is a top dough and you need to account for it.  It's rolled much thinner than the bottom dough.  Watch this video:

http://travel.discovery.com/beyond/player.html?playerId=203712212&categoryId=210013703&lineupId=18590644&titleId=18579105

Observation 2:  Too oily?  I know buzz hates an oily dough, he'd call it "greasy", but if you'd like to reduce the oil content try to take it down a touch rather than slashing it by 70%.  Try to reduce to 2.5 before you make a huge leap down to 1 T per C flour.  I'd bet my life that the dough content is closer to what buzz has found than what you're looking to reduce it to.

Observation 3:  Fair enough, you don't like the salt.  We've found that Malnati's (and most likely by association, the original Uno's) and Gino's East don't use any salt in their dough formulations.  Eliminate it completely if you like.

Obvservation 4:  Sugar.  Going to 1 T sugar per cup of flour is a huge leap in the sugar department and you'd probably find that to be too much.  In my Gino's East recipe, I use about 3/4T FOR AN ENTIRE 14", 778g DOUGH!

Observation 5:  Yeast.  Yeast levels can be reduced without reducing it's effects on the rise of the dough.  Sure measures need to be taken during the rise, but you can reduce the yeast to find what you think yields a nice flavor.

Try to get the nutritional info.  Just like Peter, I tried to find it online with no luck.  The ingredients list is your starting point and you'll know the order of the ingredients from greatest to least (obviously) and then with the help around here you should be able to pin this down pretty quickly as Peter is brilliant with this sort of stuff, just look at what he came up with in my Home Run Inn thread.

For the finished look of the pies, I think it's more a product of how they trim the dough.  Both the bottom and then the top dough overhang the top edge of the pan and then get trimmed.  I don't believe they show that finishing in the video referenced above but it could be just as simple as a roller of some sort over the top to cut off that excess dough.  That would produce a rather uniform crust rim.

Good luck.

Loo

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on January 07, 2008, 05:36:34 PM
Guess where I went for pizza last week?  Giordano's has around 45 locations now:  40 of them in the State of Illinois and 5 of them in Florida.  My wife and I went to one of the newest ones that just recently opened down here in the Tampa Bay area.  We had a thin crust pizza for lunch and took home a half baked stuffed pizza that we made later for dinner.  It was Giordano's pizza day, as I hadn't had one of their pizzas in many years.  I was surprised to recall that their thin crust had just about as thick a crust as the bottom crust in their stuffed pizza.  Sorry, Peter, there was no nutrient or ingredient information on the carryout box.    --BTB
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 07, 2008, 06:44:43 PM
BTB,

Thanks for the clarification on the number of Giordano's store locations. I had taken the store count from their website.

I am usually careful about anecdotal information that I see on websites on the subject of pizza but I recalled reading in several places that the Giordano's frozen pizzas were par-baked. To see if I could nail this point down, I called Giordano's this morning. The customer service rep (in the order department) I spoke with said that the frozen pizzas are par-baked but it wasn't clear whether she treated a full bake as a par-bake--meaning a bake before the final bake conducted by a purchaser. Also, from my questioning, I wasn’t sure that she was familiar enough with their processes to give me a precise answer. So, I sent Giordano's an email. This time, however, I used the expression "partially baked" rather than "par-baked". While I was at it, I asked if they could tell me the ingredients in their crusts.

I received a reply this afternoon from the Director of Marketing at Giordano's. The frozen Giordano's deep-dish pizzas are indeed partially baked, and then frozen. He was obliging enough to also give me the ingredients for their frozen pizzas:

Cheese Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose)
 
Spinach Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, olive, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Spinach.
 
Veggie Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes),  Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Onions, Green Pepper, Mushrooms.


I can’t say that I was surprised by the dough ingredients. They are broad enough to cover many Chicago-style pizza doughs, although I have no idea what “spices” might be used in Giordano's crusts. It would still be interesting to see the nutritional information to examine for clues that might shed some light on the relative amounts of ingredients. I’m fairly certain that that information accompanies their frozen pizzas.

Peter

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 07, 2008, 11:49:00 PM
Peter,
Good work with the ingredient list although I'm very suprised that it is so basic (assuming that the "spices" are also conventional).
I'm mostly suprised because of the origin of the dough recipe:

""My brother Joseph and I both own and cook for Giordano's. We were born in a small northern Italian town near Torino, where our mother was know for her exquisite dishes. Of all her repertoire, though, my family was most fond of her deep-dish, double-crusted pizza, which she made on Easter and stuffed with ricotta cheese. "

To me, this translates to the old world Italian double crusted pizza made on Easter which is typicaly called "Pizzagaina" or "Italian Holiday Pie". 

That recipe typically called for flour, salt, yeast, sugar, eggs, scalded whole milk, butter, lard and some other wonderful quality ingredients.
The dough mixes up with a good fat/flour ratio and rises same as a typical pizza dough.

If the ingredient list is legit, its certainly perplexing because everyone can attest to the uniqueness of their crust and so there certainly must be some pretty unique "spices" to account for the difference.  hmmm.. Nutmeg and Vanilla?  Definately something missing in the equation.  I'm going to have to grab a pie at lunch and do some more analysis.  UGH.. I thought I had this obsession far behind me.  haha.

Interesting side note, if the ingredients list is correct, that means no Canola oil either as per the Buzz recipe.  Gotta figure this thing out once and for all.

Brian


Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: November on January 07, 2008, 11:58:08 PM
Random Trivia Of The Day

Speaking of nutmeg; if you feed nutmeg to a hen, its eggs are supposed to taste better.

Besides the nutmeg reference, the reason this comes to mind is because of how eggs made it into the dough formula.  I'm not sure if the purpose would be for texture or flavor.  There are a lot of better (and safer) things to put in pizza dough for texture.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on January 08, 2008, 08:53:04 AM
While it is still fresh in my mind, a couple of comments.  I sensed no vanilla at all in the crust.  Nutmeg I don't know about, as I'm not even certain what nutmeg would taste like.  Also the crust was very dry.  Some of the parts on the rim or crust were already flaking off.  As many know, I am not a big Giordano's fan.  But the pizzas I had last week were very good.  With the incredible expansion and success of their business, they must have been doing something right.  And I remember going to their first and then only restaurant near 63rd and California in Chicago and the time they won high recognition from a group of cub reporters from the local newspapers about 25 or 30 years ago.

Here is another picture from last week of both the stuffed (on left) and thin crust (two pieces on right) pizzas from the Tampa Giordano's.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 08, 2008, 09:46:17 AM
Brian200001,

As I understand the regulations on nutrition labeling, a person is not required to specify detail on ingredients for which no nutrition or health claims are made. So, that means that they don't have to tell you which spices and flavorings are used if no nutrition or health claims are made for those ingredients. There are other exemptions, but I don't believe that they would apply to Giordano's.

Some companies routinely disclose everything in their products. A good example of that is shown in this post listing the ingredients used in thin crust pizzas sold by Donatos, a Midwest pizza chain: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2711.msg27747.html#msg27747 (Reply 12). As it so happens, the ingredients list includes milk and eggs. For many years, Donatos made a lot of the fact that they were using an old family dough recipe containing milk and eggs. A few years ago, the company stopped doing that in their advertising and promotional materials. When that happened, I suspected that they were no longer using eggs and milk. However, yesterday I sent an email to Donatos requesting information on their thin crust pizzas. I received a reply this morning, in the form of a Word document, that indicates that Donatos is still using milk and eggs in their thin crusts. Assuming that this is true, and that they are not disseminating outdated nutrition/ingredient information to the outside world, I think that Donatos may be the only major pizza chain of any consequence that is using milk and eggs in their pizza doughs (there are some small independents who do, however). Donatos uses central commissaries and their products have been significantly commercialized, with the use of a lot of chemical additives/preservatives/conditioners, so it is possible that they are using dry forms of milk and eggs. If that is so, it is understandable that they would not want to tout the benefits of using dry milk and dry eggs (or even pasteurized eggs) to the public. That would be a non-starter, especially in a climate where everyone is a bit suspicious of health issues (e.g., contamination) surrounding products like milk and eggs.

So, we should be grateful for the simplicity of the Giordano's deep-dish dough formulation. Someone with well calibrated tastebuds and palate might be able to tell us what types of herbs are used in the Giordano's doughs and in their sauces. It is very common for large pizza companies, and some independents as well, to have spice companies prepare spice packs that are unique to the operator. The most common flavor-contributing ingredients that I can recall as being use in pizza dough are oregano, black pepper, and garlic powder. For sauce, just about anything goes. In the video referenced earlier by loowaters, the president of Giordano's makes reference to their "secret" sauce recipe. 

As for the Giordano's dough formulation itself, we will perhaps have to have some nutrition information of the nature required by the labeling laws to be able to get a better grasp on the relative amounts of the flour, water, oil (I take it that the vegetable oil is soybean oil), salt, and yeast. So, if one of our members has access to that information, as accompanies the frozen pizzas shipped out by Giordano's, for example, that information could prove to be quite helpful.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 08, 2008, 11:07:15 AM
Hi BTB and Peter,

The pictures really are telling as to flakiness, and dryness of the crust. Usually its either/or since flakiness is usually attributed to fat.  I do recall that the amount of butter or margarine (or even butter flavored crisco) on their greased pans is sometimes significant.  I saw the guy preparing the pans using a gloved hand and simply scooping a hunk out of a big white bucket and sloppily swiping it all around the pan - leaving "swipe grooves".  Not sure how else to describe it, but definitely not thinly or evenly applied.

The reason it has to be margarine or crisco is because the color appeared to be yellow, and real butter usually tends to become a bit translucent and too soft when sitting at room temperature for a while. 

I bring this point up only because the greased pans most likely accounts for the outer flakiness.

Pete, back to your point great discussion about rules and regulations for ingredients listings.  I wonder if eggs and milk are exempt. Probably not.  I am really interested in making that traditional italian holiday pizza pie sometime this week or the weekend just to see what it comes out like.

I still wonder about the yeast aspect as well. I can swear that there is no hint or flavor of yeast in their crust. That's another item that I'm scratching my head about.

This is getting fun. I appreciate everyones enthusiasm. I'm glad I found this site and I'm glad we have Buzz's foundation.

Brian
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 08, 2008, 12:05:20 PM
Pete, back to your point great discussion about rules and regulations for ingredients listings.  I wonder if eggs and milk are exempt. Probably not.

Brian,

The rules and regulations about disclosure and the form of disclosure are very complex but I am certain that ingredients like milk and eggs must be identified, including fat, forms of fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, etc., and their amounts. There are some exceptions, for example, for very small quantities of certain ingredients/substances, unless a nutrition or health claim is made. Volunteering more than what is legally required is also permitted, but even then the regulations dictate how the volunteered information is to be provided. There are also allergy aspects to be concerned about. Milk and eggs are well known food allergens. Even if used in minuscule quantities, you would want to disclose them. It would be foolhardy not to do so, and just about everyone in the retail food industry knows this. One of the Word documents I received this morning from Donatos was a “Food Allergy and Food Sensitivity  List”, which includes milk, eggs, soy, wheat, gluten and MSG.

I suspect that you are correct about the use of margarine versus butter. Most operators use margarine for the simple reason that it is much cheaper than butter. Some may use a combination of margarine and butter, or maybe a butter-flavored shortening. I didn’t see anything in the list of Giordano ingredients that leads me to believe that Giordano’s is trying to make an artisan product. They appear to be using basic foodservice grade products. Obviously, that has worked out well enough for them not to change anything.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 08, 2008, 12:24:46 PM
Peter, point well taken.

So I guess we are back to the basics such as how much vegetable oil and yeast and what in the world those "spices" consist of.

Someone previously mentioned they don't detect vanilla. Good enough for me right now.

Nutmeg has been common in some italian holiday breads. I think this spice is still on my list of possibilities.

You mentioned pepper and oregano as common spices for dough but I can't say that I've ever seen pepper or oregano speckles in the crust before. And I must admit I have looked that closely. :0

What strikes me is odd is that the ingredient list you supplied didn't include sugar. Is sugar considered a spice or an ingredient that doesn't need to be disclosed?  (Or maybe you did list sugar and I haven't had enough coffee yet).

Is there any significant difference using quick rise yeast from the grocery store or bakers yeast? Would you happen to know if the quick rise yeast over-ferments hence causing a stronger yeast flavor in the crust that should not be there?

Whatever the list of "spices" really is, its sure to be a subtle combination to account for its uniqueness.  That's why i'm a tiny bit hesitant to rule out vanilla.  (just rambling now) :)

Brian
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 08, 2008, 03:00:37 PM
Brian,

To the best of my knowledge, the law does not require people to disclose lists of ingredients. But if they fall into a category that requires them to provide "Nutrition Data", then listing sugar and its quantity no doubt is a requirement. Sugar, and its glycemic values, are a big concern. What I posted in the way of ingredients was exactly as I received the information from Giordano's. I just copied and pasted it to be sure that I didn't make errors of transcription. So, apparently no sugar is used by Giordano's. In general, it's not at item that people try to hide from the world. They might try to hide the amount used, but not its presence or absence from a dough formulation.

I was not able to find anything online about the type of yeast that Giordano's is using. Many operators in recent years have moved from using fresh yeast (aka cake yeast or compressed yeast or wet yeast) to the dryer forms. At first, the shift was to active dry yeast (ADY) and, when instant dry yeast (IDY) came onto the scene, operators increasingly moved to that form of yeast. ADY requires rehydration in water at a prescribed temperature (around 105 degrees F) and for a certain period of time (about 10 minutes), whereas IDY can simply be mixed in with the flour, thereby eliminating a major source of error in using ADY (improper water temperature). The American Institute of Baking conducted tests using the three different forms of yeast with the same dough formulation, preparation and management and could not tell from taste tests which yeast was used with what dough formulation. Some operators still cling to their old yeast choices, either because of personal preference or cost or just out of habit. Usually the best way to get a lot of yeast flavor in the finished crust is to just use a lot of yeast and short fermentation times. Some people confuse yeast flavor with the flavor-byproducts of long fermentation. However, a sensitive palate can distinguish between the two.

Do you know if the people at the Giordano's store level make their own dough on the premises, or does Giordano's deliver dough balls to the stores out of one or more commissaries? Most operators tend to go the commissary route once they get to a certain size. One of the few exceptions that comes to mind is Sbarro's. I believe they still make dough at the store level. If Giordano's is using commissaries, that suggests that they are cold fermenting the dough, or even freezing it.

I know that the Giordano's nutrition data is out there. It's just a matter of finding it. That will provide more clues than an ingredients list.

Peter

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 08, 2008, 03:22:59 PM
Peter,

"Do you know if the people at the Giordano's store level make their own dough on the premises, or does Giordano's deliver dough balls to the stores out of one or more commissaries?"

I can't speak to that. I am only guessing when I say that the dough recipe seems to be so elusive that I can't imagine that just anyone working there, past and present, wouldn't have divulged it already.  I suppose the secret "spices" could still be kept secret even if they are making the dough on site though.  Logically speaking, when you have a high profile franchise where taste and consistency are crucial from store to store, the franchisees typically have to purchase from the commissaries.  Subway owners get their dough and even meats individually wrapped.  Of course McDonalds owners certainly aren't allowed to buy patties on sale elsewhere, etc.  So I don't know, whats your take?  Or is it your opinion or gut thinking that its a pretty basic dough and there may not be any real magic to it?

On the topic of yeast again, Buzz' recipe suggests a very long rise time - 8 hours or so.  Could that have been the reason for the yeast flavored aspect to the crust?

I've made the recipe (many of the clones actually) and when allowing a long rise time typically results in a yeast flavor.  I can't say I can tell the difference between too much yeast in a recipe or over fermantation.  Furthermore, with the presence of sugar in the Buzz recipe, more fermantaton is sure to occur.  I've had luck eliminating this by scaling back on the yeast or not allowing for a 5-8 hour rise time.  Other than that, not sure how to approach that taste aspect if the buzz recipe is accurate in its amount of yeast.

I appreciate your insight and thoughts on the topic,   Brian
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 08, 2008, 05:05:53 PM
Brian,

The reason I asked you about using the commissaries as the origin of the dough balls used in the Giordano's stores is because knowing the answer to that question will tell us a lot about how the dough is made and maybe even something about the dough formulation itself. For example, if the dough balls are made in one or more commissaries and delivered to the stores on some regular basis, that will usually mean that the dough balls are cold fermented. And the formulation will reflect the time between the manufacture of the dough balls and the delivery to individual stores. This system rules out the possibility of using an ambient (room temperature) fermentation. No one that I am aware of makes fresh dough balls at one location and delivers them to another location the same day. That might occur for a couple of stores owned by one person where the dough balls are made at one of the two locations, but not for a chain the size of Giordano's.

If the dough balls are made at the store level, then they can be either cold fermented dough balls or room temperature fermented dough balls. In the latter instance, the dough formulation would have to be adapted to the room temperature fermentation scenario, as by using much less yeast. Otherwise, the dough can overferment over a period of several hours at room temperature. In buzz's case, I estimate that he uses 1.5% ADY. That is equivalent to what one might ordinarily use to make a few-hours dough (made and used within about 3 hours) except that in buzz's case he is also using a lot of oil, which may allow him to push the room temperature fermentation period out to 8 hours. Using buzz's method could conceivably work in a commercial setting (Neapolitan pizza makers regularly make and use the dough the same day), but it also means that any unused dough balls would either have to be discarded at the end of the day (because they won't make it to the next day) or used in whole or in part in the next dough batch for use in making pizzas the next day. That alone could affect the flavor profile of the next day's crusts, and could produce inconsistent results from one day to the next if not properly managed. Managing cold fermented dough and inventory is simply easier for most operators than working with same-day dough. Of course, buzz can give a hoot about what Giordano's does in its stores except to the extent that he would like to be served good pizzas when he visits such stores. What really matter to him is how can he make a Giordano's clone at home in his own oven. In buzz's case, the 8 hours of room temperature fermentation and 1.5% ADY should yield both yeast flavors (because of the amount of yeast used) and flavors from a long room temperature fermentation. If you didn't detect yeast flavors in Giordano's crusts, that could have been because the dough balls were cold fermented (and using low levels of yeast) and were used fairly promptly, like the same or next day.

As you might suspect, supplying dough balls to the Giordano's stores from commissaries keeps most of the trade secrets from the employees in the stores. Using dough premixes in the stores pretty much does the same thing. It is only when every step of the dough making process is in the hands of the store employees that the risk of disclosure of trade secrets increases. Even then, it is possible to keep some of the trade secret information out of the hands of the employees, as by using pre-prepared spice/herb mixes for sauces and dough, as you noted. It all depends on how far you want to go to keep information from the employees, and how far you want to go to impress upon the employees the need to protect proprietary information and the price to be paid for failing to do so (like getting fired).

My best guess is that we may ultimately discover that the dough formulation used by Giordano's is pretty straightforward and that their methods of dough preparation and dough management are also pretty straightforward. The wrinkles may be the types of herbs and spices used in the dough and in the sauce. Knowing how Giordano's makes the dough, taken together with the nutrition data for their products, is likely to be the most direct path to deciphering the Giordano's code.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 12, 2008, 11:42:59 AM
Hi Pete.
I wanted to revisit one of your previous posts where you listed out the Giordano's ingredients for their crust.  For the Spinich pizza crust you have listed "olive" in there. I guess I over looked this at first.  Can this be right?  I would assume the crust fot all of their pies are identical.

you wrote:

Cheese Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose)
 
Spinach Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, olive, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Spinach.
 
Veggie Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes),  Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Onions, Green Pepper, Mushrooms.

Brian
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 12, 2008, 12:27:00 PM
Brian,

You have a good eye. I missed the "olive" altogether. I was paying most attention to the cheese pizza because it is easier to analyze that pizza than the ones with a lot more stuff in them.

If I had to guess, I would say that the inclusion of "olive" is a mistake. Even if olive oil was meant, it wouldn't seem to make any sense to have a special dough just for the spinach deep-dish pie. It's possible, but it strikes me as illogical from a business standpoint. Maybe I can follow up with Giordano's on that point.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 13, 2008, 09:18:26 PM
Hi guys - great thread.  I'm a noob here, but would like to help advance or at least catch up to the state of the art in terms of reverse engineering Giordano's Stuffed Pizzas.  Admitedly, my credibility starts out very low though, because my first attempt to even make a Stuffed Spinach (and extras) pie was pretty messed up.  Last week I cobbled together the info from about three different "recipes" found on this thread, a Pizza cookbook (by James McNair I believe) and from the Recipes section of this web-site and gave it a go.  But if I had read a bit more closely before starting, I would have realized that the dough formulation for a 10" pan (Buzz's formula used for the beautiful pies at the start of this threads pics) would not cut it for my 12" pan.  I knew 1.5 cups of flour seemed low.  So, after getting the spinach all cooked up and the onions, mushrooms and sausage all ready to go, I had to bail out on having an upper crust and just made it into a deep dish pie.  It was ok, no casualties here.  But I think I put the tomatoe sauce on too early and also seem to have put way too much parmesan on top, then cooked it for a long time to make sure the sausage got cooked.  In the process I burnt the crud out of the 5 oz. of Parmesan I put on top.  The top of the pie was more of a scorched brown than a nice rich red like I was hoping for.  

But I'll try again.  I just found the 6-in-1 brand tomatoes in a local store, and some better sausage too.  I bought two of the 14"" Chicago Metal Works pie pans, so will make sure I scale up whatever recipe I settle on so it looks more like a real pie.  That Travel Channel video of Giordano's kitchen and their pie assembly operation sure helps.  I see I definitely want to have a surplus of dough so both layers can drape over the top like that to be pinched together then the excess dough rolled off.

With my clear lack of credentials layed out up-front, I am wondering about the topic of that crust.  It has been a long time since I've had one of these fab Giordano's pies from Chicago.  But people here have said the crust is somewhat pastry-like, and the pictures sure look that way too.  I let my dough rise 8 hours before I rolled it out and tried to fit it to my pan.  But it came out kind of bready, I thought.  The crust I remember from years ago was a little chewier in the center and flakier on the outside, I think. The formulation I used was sort of like the recipe the thread author suggested, with some sight adjustments after reading the debate about sugar, yeast and salt levels.  In other words, I have no idea what I did.  

Before I go back to the drawing board and figure out the right amounts needed to make two 14" pies, I asked my wife how she makes flakier pie crusts (she can bake pretty well).  Her answer was clear - butter.  When pressed, she also said shortening works too.  People used to use lard for pastry, right?  There must be something about fat in solid form that beats the healthier liquid vegetable oils for that.  But butter for sure.  She said it's important how you fold in the butter - she makes pie dough with a food processer and folds in the butter so it still has some discrete blobs in the dough that then spreads locally during cooking.  

What I am wondering is if the ingredient list given to Pete by Giordano's, could the vegetable oil be vegetable shortening?  The wikipedia description of Crisco called it vegetable oil, so could they be using something like that?  That's certainly not a fancy ingredient, but could it explain the flakiness?  I hope I'm not blaspheming, because it sounds sort of gross to me - I mean just look at all the side uses of Crisco btw, yikes!  In addition to its baking uses, it can be used to make shovel blades waterproof, remove ink from clothes, and oh yeah, as a personal lubricant:

Web-browse to here to see what I'm talking about:    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisco  

And btw, I've heard that the way some of these companies are now trying to pass off these garbage hydrogenated oils as having "0 grams of trans-fats" is basically specmanship - they pick a "serving size" for the nutritional disclosure such that the amount of trans-fats in that sample size rounds down to 0 grams rather than rounds up to 1 gram.  It's not truly zero though.  So basically, you still have to watch out for anything hydrogenated in ingrediant lists and avoid it like the plague if you like your heart to work.

OK, sorry to ramble about that.  My other question has to do with when to put the tomatoe sauce (and Parmesan) on top of the pie.  One or more recipes I found suggest baking the pie for a while to brown the upper crust before adding the tomatoe sauce.  Sounds right to me.  Is that what you guys do?  I wasn't sure from the video if Giordano's bakes the pies at all before adding the sauce.  Seems like it would be harder to mass produce in their restaurants.  OK - thanks for any replies folks,

Jim    

BTB,

Thanks for the clarification on the number of Giordano's store locations. I had taken the store count from their website.

I am usually careful about anecdotal information that I see on websites on the subject of pizza but I recalled reading in several places that the Giordano's frozen pizzas were par-baked. To see if I could nail this point down, I called Giordano's this morning. The customer service rep (in the order department) I spoke with said that the frozen pizzas are par-baked but it wasn't clear whether she treated a full bake as a par-bake--meaning a bake before the final bake conducted by a purchaser. Also, from my questioning, I wasn’t sure that she was familiar enough with their processes to give me a precise answer. So, I sent Giordano's an email. This time, however, I used the expression "partially baked" rather than "par-baked". While I was at it, I asked if they could tell me the ingredients in their crusts.

I received a reply this afternoon from the Director of Marketing at Giordano's. The frozen Giordano's deep-dish pizzas are indeed partially baked, and then frozen. He was obliging enough to also give me the ingredients for their frozen pizzas:

Cheese Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose)
 
Spinach Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, olive, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Spinach.
 
Veggie Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes),  Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Onions, Green Pepper, Mushrooms.


I can’t say that I was surprised by the dough ingredients. They are broad enough to cover many Chicago-style pizza doughs, although I have no idea what “spices” might be used in Giordano's crusts. It would still be interesting to see the nutritional information to examine for clues that might shed some light on the relative amounts of ingredients. I’m fairly certain that that information accompanies their frozen pizzas.

Peter


Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on January 14, 2008, 08:49:51 AM
Hey Jim,  just a couple of thoughts while you're awaiting some response from others.  Suggest you learn how to use the dough calculation tools real well.  They are very easy once you learn how and incredibly helpful to track what you're doing so you can improve on the next pizza you make.  You can adjust the size of the pizza and thereafter get the amount of each ingredient needed for each size.  After getting the formulation from the tool (its summarized on the bottom), I print it out and date it with any special comments or thoughts about it and keep it in the file for referring to the next time that I make that style pizza.

Regarding butter or shortening, I've made some great pizzas without any at all.  I've recently experimented with just a slight (I call it a "dab") of softened butter and I like those, but I don't think I'd like it with a lot of butter.  I've also tried some with a lot of Crisco and while they were pretty good, I like those with oil better.  My take from recently having a Giordano's pizza is that they did not contain butter, margarine, shortening, or at least not in any significant way that I could tell.

I know that Giordano's does not baked their stuffed pies first without tomato sauce, at least not at their restaurants.  They baked it from the onset with the sauce on (some of their customers, including me, have complained sometimes when they don't put enough on and the top becomes all dried up).  You may want to experiment with that on a smaller size pizza.  I assume you cooked the pizza at home on the bottom rack at around 450 degree F, which I think is the best, but you may want to experiment with that in your oven going 25 degrees either way, up or down.  The stuffed pizzas, especially a 14" large size, takes from 30 to 45 minutes.  Pizzas baked on a higher rack too often get that scorched look that you described, but if it is occurring on the bottom rack, Buzz' good suggestion was to put a sheet of aluminum foil loosely on the top for the first 15 or 20 minutes of baking.

I will let others talk about and hopefully give you some suggestions about the formulation for the crust, which is about the most important thing.  Good luck and have fun learning how to do it better.
--BTB

Ed--Also don't over-mix or over-knead the dough.  I think that is very important to avoid the "bready" dough that often results from kneading it too long.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 14, 2008, 09:44:14 AM
Jim,

Offhand, I don’t know if the law allows someone to specify a solid fat like margarine or shortening without breaking it down into the oil used and whether it is hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated. Usually, the latter method is used. To give you an example, you may want to take a look at the ingredients list for the deep-dish pizzas made at Edwardo’s, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,294.msg2247.html#msg2247. As you will note in that post, Steve, who entered the post, there was speculation that the owner of Edwardo’s, who had previously worked for Giordano’s, was using the same dough recipe at Edwardo’s. That recipe calls for solid fat, not oil. I did a fair amount of searching on this point yesterday, and I was not able to find anything that confirms what Steve said about the recipe. If we are able to find the Nutrition Data for the Giordano’s pizzas, that might shed some light on the oil/fat makeup of the crust. I know that the information exists because the government would not allow Giordano’s to sell their frozen pizzas without it.

Another interesting thing about the Edwardo’s ingredients list is the way that “spices” is characterized. Although that term is used in relation to the sauce, and not the crust, it apparently can include salt, garlic, basil, oregano, black pepper, and soybean oil. Maybe the law will allow one to use the term “spices” in such an oddball way if the specific ingredients are listed. I personally would not consider salt and soybean oil to be spices.

FYI, the dough calculating tool that BTB referred to that applies to deep-dish dough formulations is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dd_calculator.html.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 14, 2008, 12:17:19 PM
Hi all,
I too am very interested in the vegetable oil versus vegetable shortenting (i.e. crisco) conversation going on.  Although my 2 cents would be that mixing the flour, salt, yeast and oil together (before the water), would make this just about a mute point.  Mixing as such creates similar characteristics of making pastery or pie crust - tiny grains of fat which would lend themselves to flakiness.  (This topic has been discussed on the boards as well).

I also wanted to check in with some of my investigative research regarding the Giordano's crust. I keep revisiting the statements made by Giordano's and Nancy's founders on their respective websites. Both pizza crusts are described as originating from a mothers or grandmothers old world italian recipe for easter pie, holiday pie or holiday cake with ricotta cheese and a whole host of other meats and cheeses stuffed like a pie - similar to today's Giordano's stuffed pizza.  (Please read the nancy's pizza and giordano's sites regarding their statements).

I've scoured the internet and have taken a look at dozens of these old world recipes to come up with a few very compelling ingredients to try and incorporate into our test pizza's.
Here is the process I used to qualify my findings:

1. There has to be "some" ingredients carried forward to the Giordano's Pizza from these original holiday easter pies to make the pizza unique in flavor and hold true to their statments that the crust originates from these italian holiday easter cakes and pies.

2. I threw out all ingredients in the holiday easter pies which we know are not listed in the giordano's crust (milk, eggs, baking powder, etc. to name a few)

3. I've kept all possible ingredients from the easter holiday pies that can be categorized as "SPICES". - Since the list of ingredients in the Giordano's crust simply says: "SPICES" without disclosing the individual spices, we must at least consider the unique holiday easter pie ingredients as possible missing items.

4. Keep in mind that just because an ingredient doesn't taste prevelant, doesn't mean its not there. Many "spices" blend together to create a single signature flavor. (What does KFC have -- like 8 secret spices or something?)

Ok.. with that said, the following additional spices I will try to add one at a time are:

* Vanilla
* Millifori - (Orange-Flower essence as a substitute (or orange rind as a last result substitute)).
* Sugar - (if this can be considered a "Spice" since Petes Giordano's ingredient list does not list sugar explicitly).

Additional notes:
A few easter holiday pies also stated lemon OR orange. Some stated lemon AND orange rind. Since its not uncommon to include a bit of lemon in the sauce, lemon rind could be included in the sauce.

A small amount of holiday easter pies also include cinnamon. I personally wouldn't think I've ever tasted any hint of cinnamon in the pizza, but again, it could be a miniscule amount to shape the overall taste of the pizza when biting into it.

Lastly, my intention is to simply list these ingredients from some research I've done. Hopefully it doesn't just add confusion or worse, make us more uncertain about the track we are on. I just wanted to do some good old fashioned investigative work and draw some logical conclusions.  Afterall, the ingredient called "Spices" exist in their crust and in their sauce. They obviously have something they want to keep close to their vest and keep their pizza unique.  All of this is just my opinion of course. 

As for me personally, the next time I try the recipe, I will add a touch of orange rind and a touch of vanilla. I'll start with that. (I already add a teaspoon of lemon juice in my sauce to cut the tomato acids).  I have no idea where to purchase this Millifori or orange flower-essence so I don't know what these taste like in relation to orange rind.  Bottom line is, that was the re-occurring ingredient in all the easter holiday pies and cakes.

Brian


Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 14, 2008, 12:33:33 PM
Brian,

Like you, I suspect that there may be a connection between the Giordano's deep-dish pizzas and the Easter Pie, for the reasons you mentioned and despite the long passage of time. And, like you, I did a fair amount of searching for Easter Pie recipes over the weekend, both of the sweet variety and the savory variety. I also saw cinnamon but another spice that made an impression was nutmeg. It showed up more for sweet pies but I did see it a few times for savory pies. Nutmeg has a subtle but noticeable flavor, and can be used in many dishes in small amounts. As with cinnamon, it is also readily available. When I tried searches combining nutmeg or cinnamon with Giordano's, I did not find anything. In fact, I am surprised by how little is published about Giordano's and available on the Internet. About all you will find is reviews of their pizzas.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 14, 2008, 01:49:47 PM
Over the weekend I sent another email to Giordano's, asking whether there possibly was an error in the spinach deep-dish pizza information that was previously emailed to me. This morning I received a reply that "olive oil" was intended, not olives in some form. Curiously, that suggests that there is more than one dough formulation. To me, that doesn't make good business sense, given the powerful flavors of spinach and sauce, etc. that can mask the flavors of the crust.

I have twice asked for the nutrition data on the Giordano's pies, and twice my requests have been ignored. I'm trying hard not to read too much into that. People don't always reread their emails before completing their replies. I see that happen a lot with posts on this forum.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 14, 2008, 02:20:50 PM
Pete,
I actually sent an email over the weekend asking about the spices.
I figure what the heck - haha.

By the way, regarding my previous post - have you ever heard of such a spice/herb as that millifori or orange flower-essence as supposedly an cornerstone spice/herb used in the holiday easter pies?  Have you seen that in your research as well?

I know its not quite practical for them to use an exotic herb or spice. But then again, they're Giordano's and certainly buying in bulk would lower the cost. As I said, I don't have a clue as to its rarity or popularity. Perhaps its as common as oregano in italy - i'm quite ignorant to it so I just don't know.

I have read posts online regarding the usage of this spice and some suggested that orange rind was not nearly as good of a flavor. After all, we're not looking for an orange flavored crust either.  doh!

Brian

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 14, 2008, 02:52:10 PM
By the way, regarding my previous post - have you ever heard of such a spice/herb as that millifori or orange flower-essence as supposedly an cornerstone spice/herb used in the holiday easter pies?  Have you seen that in your research as well?

Brian,

No, I did not spot the millifori or other like ingredient in my searches. It may have been there but since I was looking for something more prosaic, I may have missed it entirely. Also, on matters like these, I tend to put on a business hat and think about what makes sense from a business standpoint, especially for a company that is growing and expanding into other areas, like Florida, and where common business practices are imposed upon all of the locations. That's why I wonder whether it makes sense to have multiple doughs. Multiple size dough balls are often a necessity, because of different pizza sizes, but multiple formulations usually can be avoided. As you may know, many Chicago-area pizzerias use the same dough for their deep-dish as for their thin crust pizzas. Having too many different doughs just complicates matters. 

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 15, 2008, 12:27:08 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for all the replies.  Well I really like this idea about printing off a copy of a dough calculation tool when I am doing my pie experiments.  But there sure seems to be some set-up work required to get the knack of using baker's percentages.  If it helps make things repeatable, I do see the benefit.  I also like the fact that it helps with scaling, and it also looks like a handy way to make a journal with dates and notes as one makes the pie journey.  But I am anxious about getting a correct starting point.  I don't want my next two pies (I have two new 14" pans now) to be kind of bad like my 1st attempt was.  If that happens, my wife may make me abandon my new hobby as fast as I started it!  Right now I am filling in this form, and am already stuck on what numbers to use for % hydration and also thickness factor.  Then if I look below, I in fact realize I have no idea what to put in those blanks.  Perhaps this tool is for more advanced pizza makers than this noob right now?

I'll look at the post in the "click here" link that describes how to use it before I ask too many questions about it.  But I'm getting analysis paralysis already just looking at it.At first blush, it seems like one would need to have a decent food scale to actually figure out the weights and percentage weights of a given recipe, have a decent recipe to start with, then weigh the actual amounts in your starting recipe so you can plug the values into the tool  (ie, know the weight of quantities like X Tablespoons of Olive Oil, 1/2 cup of water, etc, and this would all be in order to start making well documented adjustments in the recipe as one moves on to later generations of pies.  

Oh heck, I have no clue.  Are there any examples already filled out for a 14" Stuffed Spinach Pizza?  My immediate desire is to make two 14" pies.  I was happy with the Spinach filling last time, but for two larger pies, would probably need to make about three times as much as I did (need about 9 bunches of fresh Spinach, before cleaning and wilting it, etc. on the cooktop.  I probably need to make about 4 times as much dough as I made last time, since that recipe was for one pie in a 10" pan.  I made the dough using a sort of hybrid of the two formulations quoted in this thread and attributed to Buzz:

"Buzz #1":

1.5 cups KA AP
6 Tablespoons water
9 teaspoons canola oil
.80 teaspoons yeast
.40 teaspoons Kosher salt
.40 teaspoons sugar

"Buzz #2":

1.5 cups AP (I used Gold Medal)
8 TBS (.50 cup water)
3.5 TBS canola oil
1 tsp yeast
.75 tsp Kosher salt
.75 tsp. sugar

For my filling, I think I used the Stuffed Spinach recipe on this site (and it was GOOD!), plus added some sausage:  
(web browse to here):  pizzamaking.com/stuffed.php

I could start with something like that only first multiply it up.  I'd rather have a surplus of dough when I go to build these things than a deficit.  If there are more tips on how to use the dough calculation too using either one of these recipes as a starting point, I think I'd love to hear them too.  Other than that, thanks all.  I'll let you know what happens next!  (and if it's a decent pie, will try to post some pics).

Aside from that, thanks also for the answer about the tomato sauce (and also about maybe using a little butter).  Yep, I see from the video that the sauce went on right after they threw on the upper crust and poked the steam vent holes in it.  Also for the reminder to use the bottom rack in the oven.  I have seen that suggestion almost as much as I have seen the 6-in-1 brand tomatoes recommended, so I'll do it.  

ok - g'night ch'all,
Jim      

Hey Jim,  just a couple of thoughts while you're awaiting some response from others.  Suggest you learn how to use the dough calculation tools real well.  They are very easy once you learn how and incredibly helpful to track what you're doing so you can improve on the next pizza you make.  You can adjust the size of the pizza and thereafter get the amount of each ingredient needed for each size.  After getting the formulation from the tool (its summarized on the bottom), I print it out and date it with any special comments or thoughts about it and keep it in the file for referring to the next time that I make that style pizza.

Regarding butter or shortening, I've made some great pizzas without any at all.  I've recently experimented with just a slight (I call it a "dab") of softened butter and I like those, but I don't think I'd like it with a lot of butter.  I've also tried some with a lot of Crisco and while they were pretty good, I like those with oil better.  My take from recently having a Giordano's pizza is that they did not contain butter, margarine, shortening, or at least not in any significant way that I could tell.

I know that Giordano's does not baked their stuffed pies first without tomato sauce, at least not at their restaurants.  They baked it from the onset with the sauce on (some of their customers, including me, have complained sometimes when they don't put enough on and the top becomes all dried up).  You may want to experiment with that on a smaller size pizza.  I assume you cooked the pizza at home on the bottom rack at around 450 degree F, which I think is the best, but you may want to experiment with that in your oven going 25 degrees either way, up or down.  The stuffed pizzas, especially a 14" large size, takes from 30 to 45 minutes.  Pizzas baked on a higher rack too often get that scorched look that you described, but if it is occurring on the bottom rack, Buzz' good suggestion was to put a sheet of aluminum foil loosely on the top for the first 15 or 20 minutes of baking.

I will let others talk about and hopefully give you some suggestions about the formulation for the crust, which is about the most important thing.  Good luck and have fun learning how to do it better.
--BTB

Ed--Also don't over-mix or over-knead the dough.  I think that is very important to avoid the "bready" dough that often results from kneading it too long.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: pkasten on January 15, 2008, 07:14:13 AM
Before I go back to the drawing board and figure out the right amounts needed to make two 14" pies, I asked my wife how she makes flakier pie crusts (she can bake pretty well).  Her answer was clear - butter.  When pressed, she also said shortening works too.  People used to use lard for pastry, right?  There must be something about fat in solid form that beats the healthier liquid vegetable oils for that.  But butter for sure.  She said it's important how you fold in the butter - she makes pie dough with a food processer and folds in the butter so it still has some discrete blobs in the dough that then spreads locally during cooking.  

Yeah.. butter.  Shortening does work too, but all that partially hydrogenated junk isn't that good for you.  Personally, I've cut foods made from that kind of stuff out of my diet so completely that I don't really worry about having something like that a few times a year.  Lard, while we all know it's unhealthy, is certainly better for you than something created by a chemical process in a factory, richer in flavor, and simply performs better in a crust than its synthetic substitutes. 

I've posted previously on this topic (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4377.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4377.0.html)), which I thought crust-wise was a better example of what Giordano's represents than the stuff they sell. 

I enjoy their pizza, but like any chain that wants to make a buck selling pizza, they have to keep their prices down, and they do so by introducing stuff like "vegetable oil" in whatever form they're using it to their dough.  I'd be willing to bet that when it started out as a family-run, single-shop business, they used higher quality ingredients.  As they grew, they looked at ways to gradually change their product (to make more money) that the customer would not perceive... gradually scaling back on more expensive ingredients in favor of modern, cheap substitutes.

I decided that while my crust was pretty already pretty rich in that case, cutting out the vegetable oil entirely, in favor of butter, shortening/lard, while keeping the olive oil the same, will produce the ultimate flaky crust... far better than anything Giordano's can afford to sell you without jacking the prices quite a bit.

What is really important in a flaky crust is saturated vs. unsaturated fat.  Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats are not.  To create those flakes, you have to cut the flour into the fat, just as your wife said, to the point where most of the blobs are about pea sized.  To keep the fat from breaking down too fast or melting with the friction of the mixing process, it is best to use cold fat (if butter, diced and almost frozen would be best) and cold water.  I like to measure out my water first, then throw it in the freezer for a while, as I weigh out the other ingredients and get things going.   

I suppose that my main message is that you can use the information gleaned from this forum, along with a fair amount of experimentation, to make a pizza that captures all of the things you love about a particular pizzeria's product in something that is much better in the end.

Paul
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 15, 2008, 08:08:53 AM
Jim,

I would be happy to help you out with the use of the deep-dish tool but unfortunately I will be out of town for about a week.

You are correct that you need baker's percents to use the deep-dish tool, along with either a desired dough weight or a thickness factor. There are several deep-dish dough recipes on the forum that are in baker's percent format and also have an indicated thickness factor (most tend to be in the 0.12-0.135 range). Unfortunately, buzz's recipes are not in that format. buzz uses only volume measurements and they would have to be converted to baker's percent format to use in the deep-dish tool. Because different people measure out flour by volume in different ways, the major obstacle in doing a conversion is to determine how much the flour measured out by volume weighs. This can vary from one person to another depending on the method used to measure out the flour by volume. To do a proper conversion, one would have to try the recipe, maybe even several times, and weigh the flour, water and oil each time (the rest of the ingredients can be kept in volume measurements), and from all the tests pick the values that worked the best. I once tried doing such a conversion with buzz's recipes (and reported on my results in the Chicago section, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1585.msg14462.html#msg14462) but I wasn't able to make enough pies to produce results that I thought were close enough to buzz's results. Part of the exercise in this thread is to go through a similar analysis with the Giordano's dough but using information received from Giordano's plus our own collateral research. We think we know the ingredients but we don't know the percents of ingredients used. If we are able to get in the ballpark, we might be able to get reasonably close by making a bunch of test pies.

As noted above, there are several deep-dish dough recipes on the forum that are recited in baker's percent format, along with thickness factor values. Loowaters has some excellent recipes (one of his early efforts is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4070.0.html, but later modified) and foodblogger has one for the Gino's East clone (see http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2620.msg22678.html#msg22678 and also a version by loowaters at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5047.msg42756.html#msg42756). DKM also has a few, including one in the recipe section of the forum (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dkm_chicago.php). And there are others scattered throughout the Chicago style section of the forum. Wherever possible, I have tried to convert deep-dish dough recipes to baker's percent format as I came upon them while assisting other members so that the recipes could be used with the deep-dish tool. Maybe some of those members can cite their favorite recipes in the baker's percent format for you to try. You might also do a forum search for "stuffed" pizzas. There are only a few, I believe.

You are correct that a scale is an important companion to the deep-dish tool. But its value is mainly in weighing the the flour and water (and the oil if used in large amount). Volume measurements can be used for the remaining ingredients.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: goosen1 on January 15, 2008, 12:55:04 PM
Jim,

I was wondering what type of pan that you are using for your pizza? You said in your last post that you are using a 14" pan. Are your sides of your pan straight or sloped? As for which recipe are you going to go with?? I was tinkering with the recipe Buzz #2, In one of buzz's, He had said that he wanted to increase the dough by about 1/3 so it can fit his pan. I was guessing that he might have a 14" pan.

Goose
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 15, 2008, 04:05:57 PM
Thanks for the excellent reply, Pete!  The pies on the pages you linked indeed look fantastic.  And the assistance with the baker's percentages is also much appreciated.  It was clear right away that a tool like that would be very useful to use for experimentation and then for repeatability of results.  But I knew I wasn't at the starting point yet without more info.  I see the value in starting out properly, else my initial efforts will probably be wasted, even if edible.  So I'll look through all this info more carefully, and probably just tide over my hunger pangs some other way for a while.  This "Perfection in Pizza Pursuit" is clearly a hobby, no a CALLING!  Patience is advised, right?

Thanks again for the great starting point.  What a cool forum I found here!  I already turned on a buddy of mine to these pages, and while a great cook, he's more a NY-style afficianado.  Maybe I can convert him to the home town pies!  Geez, look at me, I'm already obsessed with this.  That's typical...

thx,
Jim
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 15, 2008, 05:03:47 PM
Hey Goose,

Well my first pie was made using my wife's fancy all-metal 12" Kitchenaid straight-sided Frying Pan.  It is pretty deep, maybe 3" or even 3 1/2", so I only pulled the dough about halfway up the sides on the pan.  It stuck to the sides some, but I was able to get it out of the pan largely intact.  That part of the experiment worked ok.  I ran out of dough though, so had to forgoe the upper crust and it was no longer going to be the stuffed Pizza I set out to make.  No biggy.  I coated the bottom and sides with some butter and then smeared on some EV Olive Oil to boot.  Worked ok.  She later advised first applying some some PAM before the other fats.  Said it works even better come cleaning-up-time.     

But before I did that, I went out shopping for pans and couldn't find any at JCPenny's nor Macy's online, my two best guesses where to get a pan around here in a hurry.  When that didn't work, I Googled "Deep Dish Pans" and found these 14.5" Chicago Metallic pans at Amazon.  They just got delivered, after my first pie was made.  They are said to be made of steel and have a super-dooper lifetime non-stick surface.  These pans have sloping sides (which does not quite remind me of what I remember about Gino's East). I haven'e used them yet.  I hope they're decent ones - they sure cost enough!

Browse to here to see 'em (I can't paste in the whole link with the www stuff, etc, as I am still a dangerous newbie loose on the forum  ;-) :

http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Professional-Deep-Pizza/dp/B0000VLGYI/?tag=pizzamaking-20 (http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Professional-Deep-Pizza/dp/B0000VLGYI/?tag=pizzamaking-20)

As for which recipe I'm gonna fool with next, I think I'm going to review more closely the info Pete just posted and see if I can start properly using the dough tool and baker's percentages and everything.  I may have to buy a decent food scale somewhere though.  I'm not expecting instant perfection, but instead expect to have to work at this a while to be able to get some really good pies as well as decent pie-making skills.  I believe my patience will be rewarded, I mean just look at the pics of these pies folks here are making.  The links Pete just posted have some nice ones, and I also found another good looking pie on a thread here named:  "Topic: Possibly my prettiest...with pics!".  That person (loowaters?) seems to have perfected the pie style at a famous Chi place I'd never been to called Malnati's.  Killer looking pies in that thread!

Back to the topic of pans and dough amounts in Buzz #1 or #2 recipes I pasted in:   1+1/2 cups of flour sure seems to make a small dough ball.  I have four eaters here, so I'd definitely like a bigger pie.  Shoot, I'll admit it - I'd want a bigger pie even if my wife and kids left me!  Maybe even bigger in that case (I'd probably be depressed and want some comfort food).  I did realize that I can't fit two 14" pans on my lowest rack of the oven at the same time.  Maybe that's why so many seem to use 10" pans.  But after buying two 14" ers, I lucked out and realized that I have double ovens.  I'm back in the two-at-a-time pie business!

Sorry to ramble on.  Wow, I have this incredible urge to go to the kitchen and make something with my new toys(and tomatoes)!

good luck,
Jim

Jim,

I was wondering what type of pan that you are using for your pizza? You said in your last post that you are using a 14" pan. Are your sides of your pan straight or sloped? As for which recipe are you going to go with?? I was tinkering with the recipe Buzz #2, In one of buzz's, He had said that he wanted to increase the dough by about 1/3 so it can fit his pan. I was guessing that he might have a 14" pan.

Goose
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 15, 2008, 06:48:21 PM
Wow, those pics also look fantastic.  Now I don't know where to start again.  Nice pie though, and good info on achieving flakey crusts using solid fats.  thanks!

Jim

Yeah.. butter.  Shortening does work too, but all that partially hydrogenated junk isn't that good for you.  Personally, I've cut foods made from that kind of stuff out of my diet so completely that I don't really worry about having something like that a few times a year.  Lard, while we all know it's unhealthy, is certainly better for you than something created by a chemical process in a factory, richer in flavor, and simply performs better in a crust than its synthetic substitutes. 

I've posted previously on this topic (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4377.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4377.0.html)), which I thought crust-wise was a better example of what Giordano's represents than the stuff they sell. 

I enjoy their pizza, but like any chain that wants to make a buck selling pizza, they have to keep their prices down, and they do so by introducing stuff like "vegetable oil" in whatever form they're using it to their dough.  I'd be willing to bet that when it started out as a family-run, single-shop business, they used higher quality ingredients.  As they grew, they looked at ways to gradually change their product (to make more money) that the customer would not perceive... gradually scaling back on more expensive ingredients in favor of modern, cheap substitutes.

I decided that while my crust was pretty already pretty rich in that case, cutting out the vegetable oil entirely, in favor of butter, shortening/lard, while keeping the olive oil the same, will produce the ultimate flaky crust... far better than anything Giordano's can afford to sell you without jacking the prices quite a bit.

What is really important in a flaky crust is saturated vs. unsaturated fat.  Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats are not.  To create those flakes, you have to cut the flour into the fat, just as your wife said, to the point where most of the blobs are about pea sized.  To keep the fat from breaking down too fast or melting with the friction of the mixing process, it is best to use cold fat (if butter, diced and almost frozen would be best) and cold water.  I like to measure out my water first, then throw it in the freezer for a while, as I weigh out the other ingredients and get things going.   

I suppose that my main message is that you can use the information gleaned from this forum, along with a fair amount of experimentation, to make a pizza that captures all of the things you love about a particular pizzeria's product in something that is much better in the end.

Paul
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: goosen1 on January 15, 2008, 08:01:34 PM
Jim,

Thanks for the reply! You'll be snagged in the line with the pizza making like all of us here. You will find just about every kind of pizza in the abyss of posts in this forum. Myself, I'm into the Chicago style pizzas. Even that I have just moved out of the Chicago land area, It is hard to find a pizza place that I enjoy. Thanks to this forum, I get to enjoy the taste that I grew up with. So good luck on your creations and we all hope to see your accomplishments.
 
Goose
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on January 16, 2008, 10:51:48 AM
Za guy, good to hear that you are developing your skills at pizzamaking.  It will be contagious, believe me.  Keep going and you'll be a Master Chef at Pizzamaking at your home in no time.  I've just been at it for about a year now, and while I'm not at the level of Pete-zza, DKM, Loowaters, Buzz or many, many others, I'm getting a lot of raves and accolades about my deep dish and thin crust pizzas from friends, relatives and neighbors.  And I've surprised myself many times and said (to myself) . . . boy, that was really good pizza!  And I've tried pizzas all over, from coast to coast.
 
Some thoughts and comments:  Spend a little time going over those great dough calculation tools.  You will find them incredibly helpful.  Given as I have a hard time remembering what I did the last time that I made a particular type of pizza, I've found it useful to print out a particular formulation that I've used, date it and write comments on the sheet about pluses and minuses and things to add, subtract, revise, modify or try next time.  It would be nice if there were a course of sorts on the use of the pizza dough calculating tools as I know it can look a little frightening at first.  It really is super simple, though.  I can work out a pizza formulation to try out in under 2 or 3 minutes, or even quicker.  It's just practice.
 
For some, I understand that they have a little difficulty just finding the dough calculation tools on the website.  When you first get onto the Pizzamaking.com site, don't first click on the "Enter Pizza Forum" button, because you may have a hard time getting back into them.  Go to the left side of that first screen and note the many other buttons and click on "Dough Tools."  I was not that bright in the beginning and couldn't understand what others were talking about as I couldn't find the tools at first.  Maybe others have a better suggestion on getting to the tools, especially after you've entered the forums first.
 
Regarding pans:  I know that 14" deep dish is commonly mentioned as the pan of choice and that you have 2 now, but my largest deep dish is a 12".  I also have a 10" and two 9" deep dish pans.  When I once had a 14" size pan, I found too often that my "customers" each wanted something different on their pizzas (which is very difficult to identify after baking), so I found it more useful to make a variety of pizzas using smaller sized pans.  (It also gave me the opportunity to experiment with doing something slightly different with the dough formulations of each pizza to learn what was best.)  But if everyone in your family likes the same ingredients on the pizza, the larger size 14" makes more sense.  I cannot see the usefulness of a size larger than 14", but I know others do.  My 9" pans get the most use of all.

My pans are all straight-sided deep dish pans as that is what I'm use to and prefer, but in the end, the tapered or sloped ones may be just as good.  But because I am an old-time, deep dish pizza enthusiast, I guess the straight-sided type is just a stubborn tradition for me.  Darker coated ones are best.  Shiny ones are not good.  Chicago Metallic, Professional pans are usually available at most Bed Bath & Beyond (along with the commonly available 20% off coupon) or their sister competitor, Linens & Things (they honor anyones coupons).  I have several of them and they are excellent.  Pizzatools.com is excellent also.  You can usually order today and get it a week or so later (just by regular delivery).  And others recommendations are great also.

Regarding use of scale, which is very useful to the whole effort,  I bought my Salter electronic scale (model 1038) at Linens & Things (using the 20% off BB&B coupon) and it has been great.  Just the right size for the average pizzamaking project.  You'll learn quickly how to use the "tare" feature to zero out or take the weight of the container or bowl you're using out of the calculation.  There are literally hundreds of types.  Just avoid those that measure weights in "eights" rather than "tenths", and avoid the many that only measure to the nearest "two-tenths," rather that just one-tenth.  Those never made any sense to me, but it's hard just looking at the box to determine which scale does what.  Others, I'm sure, can also have some other great suggestions for you on scales.
 
My last thought is on use of a digital camera.  Everyone knows a picture is "worth a thousand words."  And the digital camera revolution has made it easier and cheap to take and share pictures with others over the internet.  And the Pizzamaking.com website is just about the easiest of all websites to share and put pictures into your posting.  It is so helpful and much more meaningful to the reader or viewer to see what you're doing or reporting on when you're able to view a picture or photo of what you are referring to and to actually see your pizzamaking results.  Just a goal for the future, I guess.  In the meantime, don't let that discourage you from reporting on your trials, tribulations and successes.                                                     --BTB
 
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: sourdough girl on January 16, 2008, 02:30:59 PM
BTB and Za Guy,
If you are in the forums and want to get to the tools, just click on "Pizza Making" at the upper left hand corner of every page.  It will take you directly to the homepage and the links you want.

~sd
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 16, 2008, 10:45:21 PM
BTB,

Thanks for the words of encouragement.  And also the good info on the food scale.  The dough tools seem like a great idea for a bunch of reasons, and I'm going to try to figure out how to work with them.  In the meantime though, I decided I'm going to take Buzz's last Giordano's recipe tweak, using volume measurements and give it a go.  Otherwise the sausage and shrooms I bought the other day will go bad! 

In my first pie attempt, I used bulk breakfast sausage.  Oops!  Live and learn.  Then I realized I didn't even have a pan, then I realized the recipe was for a 10" (wifey's frying pan was 12"), so ran out of dough.  Then I buried a bunch of sausage but overloaded the top with parmesan, and had to choose "pink sausage" or "scorched parmesan" with my final cooking time   :-[

But as I have been reading this amazing forum, I now have some good 14'" dark Chicago Mettalic pans, a bunch of cans of "6-in-1" crushed tomatoes, and today's find was the KA AP Flour at Trader Joe's (another thread in this site mentioned they started carrying it, which saves me from internet ordering and those nasty shipping charges (which would double the price of the flour (which just can't be right)).

In summary, tommorow is pizza night!   :pizza:

Wish me better luck this time!    :chef:

thanks again,

'za guy (from Chi)
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mmarston on January 16, 2008, 10:52:17 PM
Regarding the Easter pie, "Pastiera" is one type made by my mother in law from Naples that requires orange water. It's delicious but not remotely like pizza.

Michael
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 17, 2008, 12:03:31 AM
where can one purchase orange water or orange flower-esswncw?
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Bryan S on January 17, 2008, 12:35:31 AM
where can one purchase orange water or orange flower-esswncw?
Here you go. http://www.amazon.com/Blessac-Orange-Flower-Water/dp/B0002YG0W6/?tag=pizzamaking-20 (http://www.amazon.com/Blessac-Orange-Flower-Water/dp/B0002YG0W6/?tag=pizzamaking-20)
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mmarston on January 17, 2008, 08:50:10 AM
From King Arthur also

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/detail.jsp?select=C78&byCategory=C1004&id=1227
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Brian200001 on January 17, 2008, 10:38:19 AM
Excellent Thank You.

I'm still convinced that the missing carry-over "spices" from the traditional holiday easter pie/cake are either orange or lemon essence and some vanilla.  Of course these flavors do not jump out, but its probably a combination of these in small quantities. 

The weekend is coming and that's my pizza experimentation time.  I'll post pics.
I can't get buy the orange water in time, so I'll make do and add some freshly grated orange peel zest.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Rules!!! on January 17, 2008, 10:30:21 PM
Wow i cant believe my thread has skyrocketed into being very popular. I just made those pizza's with a lot of passion, and it paid off, you can tell by looking at the pictures.

thanks everyone
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: buzz on January 18, 2008, 10:30:37 AM
I talked with a guy who used to own a Giordano's franchise. He said that (in his day--I seem to remember that he said that now the dough is made in PA) the dough is made at a commissary in Chicago, where it sits out in the open (hence the long rise), and is literally oozing with oil. You can't get a flaky, pie-like crust without lots of fat! He also said that Escalaon (6-in-1) makes the sauce for Giordano's, and that Stella makes a speical blend of cheese for them as well (cleary, there is whole milk mozzarella in the mix--many pizzerias use a part-skim/whole milk mix).

The pans are greased (not very liberally) with butter, and the crust they use is the same for all their pizzas--deep dish and thin crust.

I have wondered about the spice issue in the dough before--in my estimation, they put red pepper flakes in the dough mix.

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 18, 2008, 03:33:29 PM
You started a great thread.  I guess your Pizza passion is contagious! 

So, from me after last night's Pizza night - I have some pics and some observations from a Stuffed Pie newbie.  I figure that there's learning to be gained for mistakes as well as the sucesses I've read about here.  Don't get me wrong, while my Pizza #2 wasn't without a problem or two, it was pretty darn good!  And I learned yet more how to improve it next time. 

I suppose as a preface to the pics, I should mention that my pizza was sort of my own invention, something I just wanted to do, not exactly what they serve at Gino's or Giordano's.  Before trying to make my own lately, I had been ordering mail order deep dish pies from Gino's for a while.  I'd buy two types - the sausage and cheese pie and the spinach pie.  While I liked them pretty well, I had two issues.  The crust was 100% cornmeal it seemed, sort of like a preformed bowl.  Too thick, too hard, not good, we all felt.  Not what I remember from Gino's East when we'd go there in 1970's (yes, it's been a while since I moved!).  Besides the mail order crust, I also really wanted to know what would happen if I "merged"  the pies into a spinach/sausage combo.  They didn't offer it by mail order, thus my efforts last night at a double-decker, stuffed spinach (below) and sausage pizza up above.  I was partially inspired by loowaters' pie pictures, where he floats the sausage on top of the crust to crisp it up.  But I messed up and buried the sausage becuse the 6-in-1 sauce looked so great I put on more after the sausage layer was loaded.  That was one of probably four mistakes I made.  It made my sausage and tomato sauce layer up top a bit soupy (but still good).

My other mistakes were:

1)  I like spinach, so put on a TON of filling (used DKM's recipe for that).  I used 5 bunches of fresh spinach in the filling.  Thus I think I should have increased the bake time by 10 minutes.  I cooked it for 15 minutes w/o sauce on the bottom rack at 450 in order to make sure the top layer didn't come out doughy, then another 28 minutes with the sausage/sauce layer.  It wasn't enough and the cheese didn't get hot and melty enough.  I suppose if I knew what internal temp to shoot for I could have probed it with a thermometer;

2)  For the sauce, I accidentally read TBSP in one of Buzz's notes when he wrote TSP.  So, I put double the amount of sugar in the sauce, and it was a bit sweet for my tastes.  I got thrown off by the capital letters.  That one sure won't happen again;

3)  I tried to pull the crust up to the rim of the pan all along the rim once I pinched the top layer of dough on, but didn't do a good enough job on that.  The result was a couple of low spots where the copious sauce ran over the crust.  That caused a soggy spot as well as some brown burnt tasting areas (you can see a couple of dark streaks on the side crust, a problem area).  It was an isolated problem, and not a huge deal, especially when I figured out to bake some leftover pie for breakfast.  Adding some more baketime on the leftovers makse the pie taste WAY better than it did for dinner last night.  Also, Buzz's crust formulation REALLY kicked in when I did this.  It was crunchy, crispy, flakey, everythingy this time!  Just great!  I guess I'll just treat this pie as a partially baked mail order pie.  Rebaking it for 15' worked great!

Naturally, my next pies will have some changes:

First of all, I wonder if these 6-in-1's even need ANY sugar for the sauce.  I may just skip the sugar altogether in the sauce next time.  They are the sweetest reddest tomatoe product I have ever seen.  Cool stuff! 

Secondly, I will not bury the sausage with sauce again.  I want that part crispy (I did brown them before adding to the pizza, just to dump any grease (it was pretty lean good quality stuff and there really wasn't any.  I'll definitely buy the same sausage next time (form Lunardi's Market in LG, CA);

Lastly, I am buying two 10" pans.  I get it now.  Turns out my kids just ate the upper deck off the pie and left the stuffed part bare of sauce and sausage, so I had to eat their leftovers.  I was stuffed ever more than the pizza!  Next time I'll make them a pepperoni, sausage, bell pepper and onion combo in one pan, and maybe my double decker over-stuffed spinach pie for wifey and me in the other pan.

OK, I'll try to post some pics now.  Let's see if that part works.  Rats, I tried, and it doesn't work.  I took some good pics too.  But the max file size I can attach is 512KB, and my camera must have two or three megapixels, so the .jpg photo files I saved are way too big.  Any tips on how I can upload my pics?
 
Jim

Wow i cant believe my thread has skyrocketed into being very popular. I just made those pizza's with a lot of passion, and it paid off, you can tell by looking at the pictures.

thanks everyone

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 18, 2008, 04:36:31 PM
Here's all my pics (hopefully!).  Follow the link below  I resampled them with a handy photo viewer program I have to get them down to manageable resolutions (1k x 768 pixels): 

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=gallery;sa=myimages;u=7157

And one more comment.  I was interested in the crust flakiness topic.  Someone named pksten (or close to that) seemed to do a lot of work experimenting in that regard - just see his over-the-top Christmas pie.  It has over 1k calories per slice!  That would kill me, but I get his concept.  Anyway, there seems to be some disagreement about whether to add oil into the dry dough ingredients before the water.  I decided to add 1 tsp EVOO into the dry stuff before adding the water and 5 tsp Canola Oil to mix the dough.  I figured maybe that would create some semi-dense local oil blobs that could add some flakiness.  Not sure if it did or didn't, but I do know I liked the crust a lot.  I also oiled the heck out of the mixing bowl before I let it rise.  I also oiled the pan real well before baking.  The dough was not lacking for oil, that's for sure!

Jim
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on January 18, 2008, 05:59:20 PM
Jim, great job.  I'm not into the spinach like you (and Popeye), but those pictures looked really good.  If I didn't know better, one might think you got that pizza from a specialty restaurant that clones Chicago style pizza out on the west coast.  Love those dark spots, though.  Don't be so quick to do it without them.  Super job on the pizzas and the pictures.  I like your balance of color in the photos with the green leaf and the red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon no less).  Believe me, it will just get better and better as you experience and learn more (as well as a waist line increase!).

When I can locate the thread or message on how to add pictures in the message, I'll forward it onto you.  Or others may chime in on that.  But your way of getting the pictures onto the site was just as good.  You need to have a photo program and use the size reduction feature to put pictures into the posting.  I use Microsoft's Image Maker and just click on "resize image."  And then you have to "save as" and do other things, but I now can do it all in seconds.  A basic program like it is often included with computer packages, so check your often unused or unknown list of computer programs.  It may be there already.  I'm now also getting to learn how to use Photoshop Elements 6, which I understand is one of the premier photo programs. 

Regarding the 6 in 1 sauce:  it is definitely the best.  I haven't found anything close to it.  Yes, it is wonderfully sweet as is, but my family liked the earlier experiment I made with putting a dash of honey in.  I was reluctant, but now I like it so much that I always add it.  But that reflects individual tastes.  Also, I always drain the 6 in 1 sauce when used on a deep dish pizza (but not on a thin crust where a thinner sauce is usually preferred).  Some cans of it are thick enough, but most need the straining.  When you get a watery pizza, you'll know that the sauce should have been strained. 

Also, I love whole milk fresh mozzarella cheese, but I've come to be cautious of its use on pizzas.  I've come to prefer part-skim cheese for my pizza making, sometimes with a mixture of whole or fresh.  But too often, the use of whole milk mozzarella, especially the great ones made from local Italian deli's, contribute also to a much-too-much watery pizza.  That only comes with trial and error, but be careful on overuse of whole milk cheese.

In the Buzz formulation, I suggest you reduce the amount of oil somewhat next time, and especially try Buzz' reserving the half cup or so of flour and adding it about a half hour later.  That little twist seems to do a lot, I think.  My first use of his formulation was a little too oily, so I reduced it a little and it seemed to work better in order to firm up the dough on the sides of the deep dish pan.  Otherwise, it just slides down too much.  Also, just try with one pizza to pre-bake the dough by itself in the pan for 4 or 5 minutes.  That technique really was well received by my tasters during the holidays on one pizza I did.  I suggest that you do not oil the heck out of the mixing bowl before allowing it to rise, nor oil the pan too much.  You'll likely get too much "slipping and sliding."  I'm split between sometimes doing my deep dish with regular (not EV) olive oil in the pan (on the bottom only, never the sides) versus margarine, shortening or butter.  Most of the time I've used Crisco and am usually very satisfied with that.

Looking forward to hearing about your future pizza adventures.         --BTB
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 18, 2008, 07:56:54 PM
Hi BTB,

Thanks for the kind words.  I just read the topic about posting pics, so next time I'll be able to attach them to my posts.  Great! 

And I like the idea of usiing a litle honey instead of sugar in the sauce.  I am going to try that next time. 

Also thanks for the comments on whole milk Mozz.  I accidentally bought some of that, so had to use it.  I put regular part-skim Mozz on the bottom dough, and the whole milk Mozz just under the upper crust.  Maybe that extra moisture is why in spite of baking it w/o sauce for 15', the upper crust layer still seemed sort of doughy.  Great tip.  I will avoid whole milk Mozz for now on.  That is one aspect of my Pizza #2 that I liked less than Pizza #1- especially if it added to the moisture.

Thanks also for the tip on the oil and flour, and maybe why I had the slippin and sliding.  I did have some extra flour I rubbed onto the dough ball before rolling it out, but maybe not enough.

OK, thanks again.  I have a ton of leftover pizza to bake some more.  So, gotta run!

Jim 
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: buzz on January 19, 2008, 11:15:15 AM
The ratio of 3 TBS (not tsp) oil/1 cup flour seems to work best for a Giordano's style, although you certainly can reduce it a little if you'd like. I would pre-cook the spinach to get rid of a lot of water that spinach contains. You can easily overdo the sauce--a bit less is better.

As for baking, what works best for me is a 20-minute bake on the lowest rack with the top covered in foil, followed by a20-minute onnthe middle rack with the foil off. Watch it, though--your oven may differ so you could have a shorter time in the final baking period.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 19, 2008, 05:38:12 PM
Hi Chicago Rules,

I have a new question for you.  After all the pizza I have been eating, I am looking for a way to sort of lighten up on the Italian Sausage component.  And I saw an old pizza you made with a beef/sausage filling that seems to have potential.  I like meat on the pie, but don't the filling to be quite as rich.  So when I saw the pie of yours, I wondered how you made your filling and how did you like it?  And where did you get the idea of combining what looks like lean ground beef with saussage for pizza filling?

Thanks,
Za guy (from Chi!)

PS:  I will try to attach your pic below to remind you of the pie I am talking about.  Wish me luck with that! 

Wow i cant believe my thread has skyrocketed into being very popular. I just made those pizza's with a lot of passion, and it paid off, you can tell by looking at the pictures.

thanks everyone

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 19, 2008, 06:01:05 PM
Thanks for the tips, Buzz.  I just realized today that I messed up your crust recipe again!  I had too many sheets of papers out when I was cooking (printouts from this forum), and when I went to double your latest formula for my 14" pan, I didn't double the oil amounts after all!  I must be dyslexic now.  So, I am STILL waiting to eat a properly made pizza.  Oh well, it wasn't bad eating for such a mistake.

I agree that I OD'ed on the 6-in-1 sauce.  I got overexcited when I saw the color of that stuff.  Amazing product.  I may strain it a little next time, just to compare results.  I did blanch the onions mushrooms as in Devin's recipe, so that got rid of a lot of moisture.  And I also strained the spinach after cooking it.  I think maybe it was the whole-milk Mozz and also the OD with the sauce that made mine a bit soupy.  But I will try try again.  i ordered some 9" pans to make two pies at a time for variety's sake.

thx again for the tip,
Za guy

The ratio of 3 TBS (not tsp) oil/1 cup flour seems to work best for a Giordano's style, although you certainly can reduce it a little if you'd like. I would pre-cook the spinach to get rid of a lot of water that spinach contains. You can easily overdo the sauce--a bit less is better.

As for baking, what works best for me is a 20-minute bake on the lowest rack with the top covered in foil, followed by a20-minute onnthe middle rack with the foil off. Watch it, though--your oven may differ so you could have a shorter time in the final baking period.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Randy on January 19, 2008, 06:52:10 PM
Hi Chicago Rules,

I have a new question for you.  After all the pizza I have been eating, I am looking for a way to sort of lighten up on the Italian Sausage component.

Thanks,
Za guy (from Chi!)


One thing we do to reduce the fat at least some is use pork, breakfast sausage like Jimmy Dean and fry and drain it before putting it on your pizza.

Randy
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: widespreadpizza on January 19, 2008, 08:16:42 PM
I apologize in advance,  but cannot hold back after the mention of jimmy dean.  please follow this link     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4RNb3tt0LM            turn your speakers up and press play. 
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: goosen1 on January 19, 2008, 09:43:30 PM
I apologize in advance,  but cannot hold back after the mention of jimmy dean.  please follow this link     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4RNb3tt0LM            turn your speakers up and press play. 

That guy gets mad at the end... Potty mouth...

Goose
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: buzz on January 20, 2008, 09:47:50 AM
I've put too much sauce on in the past--it does ruin it!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Anis on January 20, 2008, 11:07:07 AM
Ooooohhh that pizza really looks good! :)
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: goosen1 on January 20, 2008, 07:32:15 PM
I've put too much sauce on in the past--it does ruin it!
Your not kidding Buzz.. I found out the only way to add more sauce to a stuffed pizza is to strain the tomatoes straight out of the can for around 6 hours... If you are an extra sauce lover, You would need to put a little inside in between the layers also the top layer..

Goose
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: DaveH on January 20, 2008, 07:46:44 PM
My solution is to use turkey pepperoni and sausage. Can't really tell and the fat/calories are reduced.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 21, 2008, 12:51:06 AM
Hi all,

About the sauce - what about this idea:  Strain the 6-in-1's for a while, but retain the purged liquid.  Then take the excess liquid and simmer on the stove and reduce it until the water cooks out.  Then take that, what is it, "homemade puree" and fold it back in with the 6-in-1's before applying to the pie.  It just seems wasteful to let any of that delicious 6-in-1 stuff get away.  You can tell I like sauce!  And I love the 6-in-1's! 

I actually did that with the canned tomatoes (Centos) I crushed for test pie #1.  It seemed to work, and it was easy to tell when it was completely reduced.  the volume of the "puree" was probably half what it was before it was reduced.  Can you think of anything wrong with doing that?  Seems like it does get rid of a bunch of the water.

Jim

Your not kidding Buzz.. I found out the only way to add more sauce to a stuffed pizza is to strain the tomatoes straight out of the can for around 6 hours... If you are an extra sauce lover, You would need to put a little inside in between the layers also the top layer..

Goose
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 21, 2008, 12:53:38 AM
That poor guy.  He just needs some of my pizza.  It would maintain the weight of three 200+ pounders easily! 

Za guy

I apologize in advance,  but cannot hold back after the mention of jimmy dean.  please follow this link     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4RNb3tt0LM            turn your speakers up and press play. 
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on January 21, 2008, 10:10:47 AM
Here's what I've done for my pizza sauce for the last couple of months and it's been well received by my pizza tasters.  I use 6 in 1 sauce but only drain for only an hour or so, but often push down the liquid through a strainer with simply a spoon.  A 6 hour drain seems a little too much, Goosen, but if that works for you, that's great.  Jim, I've seen that technique of reducing and using the reduced strained or purged liquid on Alton Brown's Good Eats show the other night regarding making tomato sauce.  Strange show, tho.  He didn't seem to spend much time on the sauce itself . . . a lot of time spent on knife sharpening for some reason, which I thought was peculiar for a show on tomato sauce.  And I didn't particularly like the results of his sauce making.  He is usually very good, but I didn't give that show high marks.  My wife uses the strained liquid for other purposes, so I'm not particularly moved to use the strained liquid for any pizza sauce purpose. 

To my strained 6 in 1 sauce, I add Penzey's pizza seasoning, minced roasted garlic (you get that in those little glass jars in the grocery store produce sections), a little sea salt, white pepper, ginger, onion powder (sometimes minced onions instead), and a dash of honey (from a squeezable container).  So far that has been the best for me, but I'm always open to learning about others' concoctions.  Penzey's pizza seasoning, BTW, lists salt, cracked and ground fennel seed, Turkish oregano leaf and powder, sugar, garlic, Telicherry black pepper, sweet basil, onion, crushed red pepper, and cayenne red pepper as ingredients in their mix.  And for some of my thin crust pizzas, I add fennel seeds or anise seeds (in small amounts cause it can be overwhelmingly powerful) and a little regular olive oil.   The amounts of each depends upon the number and size, as well as type, of pizzas.  One should be very cautious about "over-doing" any one item.

I like good Italian pork sausage on my pizzas and have "no comment" to offer about use of Jimmy Dean's breakfast sausage or turkey sausage.  If one likes it, they like it.           :-X
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on January 21, 2008, 06:33:37 PM
I just realized how dumb my question was about retaining that liquid.  To make some pizza bread, I just strained some leftover sauce and all that comes out is just water.  It's different from the puree that the whole Centos I used previously were canned in.  The water can just be discarded, no biggy.

Jim

Jim, I've seen that technique of reducing and using the reduced strained or purged liquid on Alton Brown's Good Eats show the other night regarding making tomato sauce.           
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: sourdough girl on January 21, 2008, 07:25:58 PM
Za guy,
I don't think your question was dumb... but are you talking about draining pizza sauce in your last post?  Seems to me that it would still be the clear liquid, which, to me does not taste like water... it is a nice tomato "essence" for lack of a better word.  But, I'm confused as to whether you are talking about tossing the purged clear liquid or the actual puree in which tomatoes are sometimes canned.

I never toss the purged liquid, I either add it to my bottle of V8 in the fridge or, as my pasta is cooking for dinner, I warm it and then put the cooked pasta into the warm "essence" then stir and let the pasta soak off the heat.  It picks up a nice tomato flavor... then I add my sauce.   :chef:     Gives it more depth of flavor... and not just for a tomato-based pasta dish.  I've done the same for a white sauce, with excellent results!

~sd
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: goosen1 on January 21, 2008, 08:41:52 PM
You know.. The thought about straining the crushed tomatoes from the last few posts is an idea.... What do you have to think about if I drained the 28oz can for a hour or two, take the remaining liquid and reduce it at least by half and mix it back in with the tomatoes like Za guy said.. Do you think it would intensify the flavor too much for the pizza? Or do you think it's not worth experimenting with?

Goose
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mmarston on January 21, 2008, 09:05:03 PM
If you freeze sauce you'll find additional water content when it's defrosted. This will require more straining and what you get is pretty much just water at this point.
I believe this is a result of the cells breaking down when the tomatoes are frozen.

Michael
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: worldtravelers on January 26, 2008, 12:28:47 PM
My solution is to use turkey pepperoni and sausage. Can't really tell and the fat/calories are reduced.

I can tolerate turkey sausage links with breakfast, but I have yet to find a turkey pepperoni that can come close to a good pepperoni. 
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: DaveH on January 26, 2008, 08:40:31 PM
My turkey sausage recipe is posted under toppings. I enjoy making my own. I normally use Hormel turkey pepperoni. No one has complained yet.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on February 11, 2008, 03:21:22 PM
When my emails to Giordano’s on the nutritional information went unanswered, I picked up the phone and started calling. I finally reached someone in the marketing department who emailed me some pdf documents with the nutritional information for three of Giordano’s most popular deep-dish pizzas. I have copied and pasted the information below. I am not sure how helpful the information will be in divining the ingredients and amounts used, but at least we now have that information however we choose to use it. The email I received says that the three pizzas are the only ones that have been submitted for analysis.

SMALL CHEESE STUFFED PIZZA ANALYSIS
Moisture 44.2%
Protein (N X 6.25) 12.6%
Fat 12.4%
Ash 1.97%
Saturated Fat 7.2%
Carbohydrates 28.8%
Total Calories 277/100g
Calories from Fat 112/100g
Cholesterol 22mg/100g
Dietary Fiber 2.2%
Sugar 4.7%
Sodium 480mg/100g
Calcium 274mg/100g
Iron 0.68mg/100g
Vitamin A 320 IU/100g
Vitamin B 1.9mg/ 100g

SMALL CHEESE STUFFED PIZZA NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Serving Size: 7 oz. (198g)
Servings Per Contained: 6
AMOUNT PER SERVING
CALORIES 550
CALORIES FROM FAT 220
__________________________________________________________________
% DAILY VALUES*
TOTAL FAT 25g 38%
SATURATED FAT 14g 70%
CHOLESTEROL 44mg 15%
SODIUM 950mg 40%
TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES 57g 19%
DIETARY FIBER 4g 16%
SUGAR 9g
PROTEIN 25g
_________________________________________________________________
VITAMIN A: 12%
VITAMIN C: 6%
CALCIUM: 54%
IRON: 7%

SMALL SPINACH STUFFED PIZZA ANALYSIS
Moisture 48.3%
Protein (N X 6.25) 11.9%
Fat 10.7%
Ash 1.91%
Saturated Fat 6.0%
Carbohydrates 27.2%
Total Calories 253/100g
Calories from Fat 96/100g
Cholesterol 21mg/100g
Dietary Fiber 2.9%
Sugar 3.9%
Sodium 460mg/100g
Calcium 240mg/100g
Iron 0.96mg/100g
Vitamin A 450 IU/100g
Vitamin B 3.1mg/ 100g

SMALL SPINACH STUFED PIZZA NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Serving Size: 7 oz. (198g)
Servings Per Contained: 6
AMOUNT PER SERVING
CALORIES 500
CALORIES FROM FAT 190
__________________________________________________________________
% DAILY VALUES*
TOTAL FAT 21g 32%
SATURATED FAT 12g 60%
CHOLESTEROL 42mg 14%
SODIUM 910mg 38%
TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES 54g 18%
DIETARY FIBER 6g 24%
SUGAR 8g
PROTEIN 24g
_________________________________________________________________
VITAMIN A: 17%
VITAMIN C: 10%
CALCIUM: 47%
IRON: 10%

SMALL VEGETERIAN STUFFED PIZZA ANALYSIS
Moisture 50.7%
Protein (N X 6.25) 10.4%
Fat 9.4%
Ash 1.55%
Saturated Fat 5.2%
Carbohydrates 27.9%
Total Calories 238/100g
Calories from Fat 85/100g
Cholesterol 20mg/100g
Dietary Fiber 2.8%
Sugar 4.2%
Sodium 390mg/100g
Calcium 186mg/100g
Iron 0.79mg/100g
Vitamin A 380 IU/100g
Vitamin B 2.6mg/ 100g

SMALL VEGETARIAN STUFED PIZZA NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Serving Size: 7 oz. (198g)
Servings Per Contained: 6
AMOUNT PER SERVING
CALORIES 470
CALORIES FROM FAT 170
__________________________________________________________________
% DAILY VALUES*
TOTAL FAT 19g 29%
SATURATED FAT 10g 50%
CHOLESTEROL 40mg 13%
SODIUM 770mg 32%
TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES 55g 18%
DIETARY FIBER 6g 24%
SUGAR 8g
PROTEIN 21g
_________________________________________________________________
VITAMIN A: 15%
VITAMIN C: 8%
CALCIUM: 37%
IRON: 9%

To keep all of the Giordano's pizza information in one place, I have copied and pasted the information from one of the earlier replies (Reply 23) in this thread:

Cheese Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose)
 
Spinach Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, olive, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Spinach.
 
Veggie Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes),  Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Onions, Green Pepper, Mushrooms.

Also, according to buzz in Reply 61 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg52447.html#msg52447), Giordano's apparently uses a Stella mozzarella cheese blend (shredded) and an Escalon-based sauce. Unless the Giordano's ingredients list is out of date, or they are using a tomato blend, I am skeptical of the use of Escalon tomatoes alone because, to the best of my knowledge, Escalon does not add calcium chloride to their tomatoes. The cheese is indeed shredded, as can be seen, as well as the steps for preparing the Giordano's pies, in the Travel Channel video featuring Giordano's at http://www.travelchannel.com/Video_&_Photos/Video_Detail?playerId=1388782660&categoryId=138164828&lineupId=1387552927. Some years ago, the president of Giordano's indicated that they bought their cheeses from Stella Foods, as noted in this article: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4208/is_19950214/ai_n10185145.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on February 12, 2008, 03:22:24 PM
I hate to say it, but the Giordano's pizza making video seems to be gone from their site!  This was the link earlier in this thread, and it's gone now:

http://travel.discovery.com/beyond/player.html?playerId=203712212&categoryId=210013703&lineupId=18590644&titleId=18579105

I just went back to view it because I made my next two test pies on Sunday, and wanted to see them lay out the dough in the pan again.  I had trouble again with the dough sliding down the side a bit and stuff leaked out and burned again on the outside of the crust.  Maybe I need to cut back on the water (or is it the oil?) so the dough is not so slippery.  Maybe I oiled the pans too much.  I bet that's it.

I made two ten inch pies, and some aspects worked very well.  The straight-sided pans were fine, because I saw how Giordano's flip the pies out using a pan holder and a spatula nearby to "catch" the side of the pie that lifts out.  No crash landing on the floor, so that part worked great.  The sauce was much nicer too this time.  I briefly strained the 6in1 tomatoes and got over a cup of liquid from each one.  I reduced that until it was gloppy and turned it back into the sauce.  I also deleted any Oregano from the sauce in favor of only using fresh Basil.  And I deleted sugar in favor of 1 1/2 tsp of honey.  It was very nice, not sugary sweet, but a warm and natural kind of sweetness, and with none of the bitterness that comes from Oregano.  I decided Oregano is better in Mexican food, like Red or Green Chile sauce.  Salt and minced Garlic were the only other things in the sauce, it was great.  Not sure if it tastes anything like Giordano's though, as I have to admit I forget the flavor there!  Oh yeah, and I scaled up the latest Buzz dough formulation in this thread by 1/3 so it would work in my 10" pans.

BTW, what is the trick for rolling out dough?  So far, I seem to prefer just plopping the dough ball in the pan and pushing it out to the sides (and then up the sides) by hand.  But since I also oil the pan pretty well so as not to have the pie stick (and end up with a bunch of glop on the floor when I try to flip it out), the dough gets even slippier than if I rolled it out and draped it over the pan.  But when I roll it out, it's never very round and it also stops spreading, so then I try to stretch it by sort of hanging it by hand and rotating it.  But then I get some thin spots that then turn into holes.  I guess you can sort of patch it together in the pan and it works out once it bakes.  But it's kind of frustrating.  Any tips?

za guy
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on February 12, 2008, 04:29:25 PM
Jim,

The reason I posted the link to the Giodano's video in my last post was because the earlier link no longer worked. The one I posted yesterday worked, but not today. I think the best way to find the Giordano's video is to go to this link, http://www.travelchannel.com/ch.Video_%26_Photos.artTravelIdeasFmt?vgnextfmt=artTravelIdeasFmt?videoRef=702ab1f0e73efeece45c5811af3039862b38660e, and click on "Chicago" in the "destination" pull-down menu at the bottom of the page. You should then see a list of videos. If you scroll down to the bottom of the list, you should find the Giordano's video--at least for today. When you see the video again, you will see that the dough is a sheeted dough, as buzz has noted, and that the pan into which the skin is deposited is coated with a semi-soft fat, which may be a softened margarine or butter or possibly a blend. You may have to pause the video to see the fat in the pan.

Did you record how much sauce, either by weight or by volume, you used for your 10" pies? Also, if you have the label for the 6-in-1s, would you mind telling me how much sugar there is in a serving size and what that serving size is? I don't have any 6-in-1s on hand to look for myself. In looking at the Giordano's nutrition data, I see a lot of sugar. It seems to be more than what is naturally present in tomatoes like the 6-in-1s, yet if the sugar was buried in the "spices" somewhere, it would still seem to be used in small quantities. There is no sugar in the mozzarella cheeses, the Parmesan cheese, the oil or other fat used in the dough, or the fat used to grease the pan, and there is only a small amount of natural sugar present in the flour. A total of fifty four grams of total sugar in the Giordano's nutrition data (9 grams times 6 servings) translates into about 4 1/2 tablespoons of table sugar. Maybe they are using another form of sugar somewhere. Or possibly their nutrition data is flawed.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Za guy on February 14, 2008, 03:34:54 PM
Hi Pete,

That did the trick.  That's the only way to see the beloved Giordano's video now, and it works just fine.  It's clear to me that I need more dough to start with.  Foodblogger has a great Youtube video showing his deep-dish techniques, and I saw from there how he gets the dough ball into a rounder starting blob than I have done prior to either rolling it or spreading it.  So I will do that as well as scale up my dough recipe a tad more.  Then to get it to drape over the pan and to enable me to pinch the upper crust together way up high like in the video, I need to have surplus of dough.  Why not, as it seems to be the least expensive ingredient anyway?  I scaled up 1/3 and used 2 cups of flour for the dough ball for a 10" pan, but I still didn't feel like I could roll it out enough to look anything like how they did it in the video.

I intended to use one full 28 oz can of 6-in1 ground tomatoes per pie.  But I also didn't want a "sauce pie" like I made last time, so eyeballing it, I left about 1/4 of a can of strained sauce in the can for each pie.  Since there was already about 3/4 cup of water removed, that was probably about 1/3 of the sauce that was left out.  That would mean I reserved about 7/8 of a cup of the strained sauce for later use, and used only about 1 7/8 cup per 10" pie.  I like sauce though, and since so much moisture was removed, I think I could have used more or maybe all of it and it would have been fine.  I didn't want the sauce to overrun the crust and leak so much again though, so I sort of skimped when applying it this time.  The time before, I think I used slighly over two cans of unstrained sauce on one 14" pie, and I drowned it.  I was very liberal in reinterpreting all the recipes I read here, and at least have learned a lot about how to do the sauce by now!

OK, here's what the 6-in1 can says about sugars:


Nutrition Facts:

Serving size:  1/2 cup (110g);
Servings per container:  about 7;
Calories:  30  Calories from fat:  0!  (A good reason to splurge when applying the sauce, imo);
etc
etc
etc;
Total Carbohydrate:  6g;
Dietary Fiber:  2g;
Sugars:  4g;
Protein 2g

Ingredients:  Vine-ripened Fresh Unpeeled Ground Tomatoes, Extra Heavy Tomato Puree and Salt

I'm not gonna try to do the math right now, so let me know how much sugar you think Giordan's is adding to their sauce.  Since 6-in-1's only have about 28g per 28oz can, they must be adding quite a bit to get 9g per serving.  Or maybe the flour is metabolized into sugar, and they are accounting for it that way.  I have no clue whether the nutrition data works that way though.  Is their sauce really sweet tasting?  I only added about 2 tsp of honey per 28 oz can, and it was very tasty.  Maybe restaurants pile on lots of calories with added sugars and such to get the killer taste, but cooking at home I am typically uncomfortable cooking that way.

Good luck figuring this stuff out!

Jim


Jim,

The reason I posted the link to the Giodano's video in my last post was because the earlier link no longer worked. The one I posted yesterday worked, but not today. I think the best way to find the Giordano's video is to go to this link, http://www.travelchannel.com/ch.Video_%26_Photos.artTravelIdeasFmt?vgnextfmt=artTravelIdeasFmt?videoRef=702ab1f0e73efeece45c5811af3039862b38660e, and click on "Chicago" in the "destination" pull-down menu at the bottom of the page. You should then see a list of videos. If you scroll down to the bottom of the list, you should find the Giordano's video--at least for today. When you see the video again, you will see that the dough is a sheeted dough, as buzz has noted, and that the pan into which the skin is deposited is coated with a semi-soft fat, which may be a softened margarine or butter or possibly a blend. You may have to pause the video to see the fat in the pan.

Did you record how much sauce, either by weight or by volume, you used for your 10" pies? Also, if you have the label for the 6-in-1s, would you mind telling me how much sugar there is in a serving size and what that serving size is? I don't have any 6-in-1s on hand to look for myself. In looking at the Giordano's nutrition data, I see a lot of sugar. It seems to be more than what is naturally present in tomatoes like the 6-in-1s, yet if the sugar was buried in the "spices" somewhere, it would still seem to be used in small quantities. There is no sugar in the mozzarella cheeses, the Parmesan cheese, the oil or other fat used in the dough, or the fat used to grease the pan, and there is only a small amount of natural sugar present in the flour. A total of fifty four grams of total sugar in the Giordano's nutrition data (9 grams times 6 servings) translates into about 4 1/2 tablespoons of table sugar. Maybe they are using another form of sugar somewhere. Or possibly their nutrition data is flawed.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on February 14, 2008, 04:46:24 PM
I'm not gonna try to do the math right now, so let me know how much sugar you think Giordano's is adding to their sauce.  Since 6-in-1's only have about 28g per 28oz can, they must be adding quite a bit to get 9g per serving.  Or maybe the flour is metabolized into sugar, and they are accounting for it that way.  I have no clue whether the nutrition data works that way though.  Is their sauce really sweet tasting?  I only added about 2 tsp of honey per 28 oz can, and it was very tasty.  Maybe restaurants pile on lots of calories with added sugars and such to get the killer taste, but cooking at home I am typically uncomfortable cooking that way.

Jim,

Thank you for the 6-in-1 data. After I posted, I found an old label for the Stanislaus Tomato Magic, which is the Stanislaus counterpart to the 6-in-1s. The label lists more sugar per can (48 grams) than a can of 6-in-1s. I don't think that Giordano's is using the Tomato Magic because the Giordano's ingredients list for the sauce does not list citric acid, which is present in the Tomato Magic but not in the 6-in-1s. As noted in my last post, I am not even certain that Giordano's is using the 6-in-1s, as buzz contends. The Giordano's ingredients list for the sauce lists calcium chloride. That is an ingredient that is used to keep the tomato cell walls from breaking down and producing mushy tomatoes. It is used most commonly with whole canned tomatoes, and apparently allows canners to use fewer tomatoes per can. 

In my number crunching, I assumed that about 1 1/2 cups of sauce (basically crushed tomatoes with puree) would be sufficient for a 10" deep-dish pizza. Since that wouldn't come anywhere close to bridging the sugar gap in the Giordano's nutrition information, and since the Giordano's ingredients list does not specify any sugar, after I posted yesterday I decided to research the labeling requirements specified by the FDA. One of the things that I learned is that the term "spices" does not include sugar. So, there should be no sugar buried in "spices". Also, if sugar is added to a product, unless it falls below a very small threshhold it has to be specified. Giordano's does not specify any sugar in its ingredients list. However, I found that "sugar" can include lactose, which is a milk sugar present in mozzarella cheese, at about 0.8 ounces per serving. I estimate that a Giordano's 10" cheese deep-dish pizza uses around 13 ounces of mozzarella cheese (a combination of part-skim low-moisture and whole-milk low-moisture). There is still a sugar gap, but much smaller. No doubt there are sugars of caramelization, and that may be the factor that closes the gap even further. There is also a small amount of natural sugars in flour, but only a few grams for an amount of flour that might be used in a typical Giordano's 10" dough. If nothing else, I am learning things I never knew before.

At some point, I may have to do some weighing of sauce to see how much is needed to make a typical 10" Giordano's deep-dish cheese pizza. I'd be surprised if Giordano's is straining their canned tomatoes. One way to get around that is to add tomato paste, which may not have to be identified as such in their ingredients list. However, all of the canned tomato pastes I have looked at in the supermarket do not show any calcium clhloride as an ingredient. That leads me to believe that Giordano's is using a combination of an Escalon product and a tomato product using calcium clhloride.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on March 12, 2008, 08:12:35 AM
According to a recent post by member stymie at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6324.msg54790.html#msg54790 (Reply 7), Escalon is the supplier of the tomatoes used by Giordano's. However, that doesn't explain the source of the citric acid, which Escalon does not use, in the sauce ingredients list provided by Giordano's. Maybe Giordano's is combining the Escalon tomatoes with another tomato that has citric acid. Another possibility, I suppose, is that the Giordano's ingredients list is not up to date.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: stymie on March 12, 2008, 08:31:13 AM
Pete,

There is also the possibality that Escalon is sending them the Bontá Crushed Tomatoes  (http://www.escalon.net/bonta.aspx?b=3) or maybe a blend of products such as 6 in 1 and Bontá. If I remember right, on the back of the Bontá label the only difference from 6 in 1 is it shows citric acid as an ingredient.

John
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on March 12, 2008, 08:55:47 AM
John,

I misspoke in my last post. I meant to say calcium chloride rather than citric acid. To recapitulate, the ingredients for the Giordano's sauce are as follows:

Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride)

It could be that the Escalon tomatoes are combined with other tomatoes that have the calcium chloride, which is very commonly used with canned tomatoes. I am surprised that the Bonta tomatoes contain citric acid. I don't have a Bonta label but, not long ago, I asked for and received the nutrition data for some of the Bonta and Bella Rosa puree products and did not see any reference to either citric acid or calcium chloride, although it is possible that they are not required to list same in the nutrition data. I had also read an article where an Escalon spokesman was pretty clear about their products not having citric acid in them. Maybe things changed since that article. If you, or any other member, has a Bonta label, I'd be curious to know what ingredients are listed on the label.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on March 12, 2008, 09:03:53 AM
Following up on my last post, I found this at the Escalon website:

Citric Acid – Escalon produces a complete line of tomato products without the addition of citric acid. Citric acid is an acidifying agent used by manufacturers to lower the pH of incoming tomatoes, which allows them to run their lines faster. However, it can impart a noticeably bitter taste on the finished product and is never added to any of the Escalon-branded items.

As noted above, if Giordano's ingredients list is to be believed, they may well be combining one of the Escalon puree products with another tomato product with the calcium chloride. From this excerpt from the Escalon website, it does not appear that their plum tomatoes include calcium chloride either:

Whole Peeled Pear Tomatoes in Juice with Fresh Basil
Every can of Cristoforo Colombo Whole Peeled Pear Tomatoes in Juice with Fresh Basil bursts with freshness and authentic Italian flavor – we pack our plum tomatoes in their own juice and add a touch of salt and fresh basil – we do NOT add citric acid or calcium chloride.


Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on March 12, 2008, 10:26:56 AM
I am a big 6-in-1 fan and order it regularly.  It's so easy to do so and arrives by UPS in a week or so.  I've tried other good brands (Red Pack, etc.) from some great Italian Deli's that I get some great sausage from, but my pizza eaters all tell me " . . . you didn't use 6-in-1, did you?"  They, too, love 6-in-1 and don't like subsitutes. 

When we tried the Giordano's thin and stuffed pizzas a short while ago (reported on above), I remember that it had some fairly good sauce, but we definitely said to each other, " . . . not as good as 6 in 1, though."  My taste buds tell me it was not the famous Escalon 6-in-1 product.  Just an opinion, though.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: stymie on March 13, 2008, 09:29:45 PM
Peter,

Looks like I misspoke also. I thought a friend of mine had a can of the Bontá at his shop that I had seen the citric acid as an ingredient on. I stopped by tonight and seen it was a can of Primo Gusto from GFS. Here's the kicker on that though. He tells me (and he put a call into his Escalon rep to make sure) that the guy from Escalon gave him that as a sample and said that they package it for GFS. He left the rep a message, so when he gets an answer I can let you know.

John
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Witt on March 20, 2008, 06:32:26 PM
I started to read through this thread and realized that I wasn't going to be directions on the 'how to' of a 14 inch.  Can anyone provide me the details....or if not, the most recent/updated recipe for the Giordano's stuffed pizza..as I've eaten it years ago..but haven't made one yet.  A dummys guide (one post) would be greatly appreciated if possible..(I have 6n1 sauce and the other basics, but the dough would surely be more complicated with the roof, etc)

Thanks.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BDoggPizza on April 24, 2008, 12:18:58 PM
Wow i cant believe my thread has skyrocketed into being very popular. I just made those pizza's with a lot of passion, and it paid off, you can tell by looking at the pictures.

thanks everyone


Does this recipe include the dough for the "top crust"?
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: ggtennis on April 28, 2008, 08:23:41 AM
Hi all!

I'm a newbie here.  Been reading the threads and want to thank all posters for the useful information.  This is a great resource!  I too would love to see a "Giordanos For Dummies" post with the latest recipe.  And I would like it to be as basic as possible.

I would also like to know more about the thin layer of top crust as shown in the travel channel video.  I don't see much discussion on this.  Do the dough recipes account for this?  Seems that more may be needed.  Also how thin is this layer compared to the bottom crust?

Just as a point of reference it would be nice to know how much cheese is typically used for a basic cheese pizza.

Thanks so much!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: goosen1 on April 28, 2008, 08:46:47 AM
Hi all!

I'm a newbie here.  Been reading the threads and want to thank all posters for the useful information.  This is a great resource!  I too would love to see a "Giordanos For Dummies" post with the latest recipe.  And I would like it to be as basic as possible.

I would also like to know more about the thin layer of top crust as shown in the travel channel video.  I don't see much discussion on this.  Do the dough recipes account for this?  Seems that more may be needed.  Also how thin is this layer compared to the bottom crust?

Just as a point of reference it would be nice to know how much cheese is typically used for a basic cheese pizza.

Thanks so much!
Here is a recipe and directions from another post in this forum for Giordano's stuffed crust. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1478.msg14542.html#msg14542 

Goose
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on April 28, 2008, 12:25:07 PM
Just as a point of reference it would be nice to know how much cheese is typically used for a basic cheese pizza.

ggtennis,

As noted in an earlier post in this thread, I estimate that around 13 ounces of mozzarella cheese is used for a 10" Giordano's stuffed pizza. I arrived at that number by working back from the cholesterol numbers provided to me by Giordano's. Cholesterol can only exist in animal-based fats, in this case mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. There might also be some additional cholesterol if butter is used to grease the pan, either alone or as part of a margarine/butter blend. From what we know, it appears that Giordano's is using a shredded Stella part-skim, low-moisture/whole-milk, low-moisture mozzarella blend, and a small amount of grated Parmesan cheese. Assuming a 50/50 blend of mozzarella cheeses, which is a standard industry blend, and also assuming that a 10" Giordano's stuffed cheese pizza uses a couple of teaspoons of grated Parmessan cheese, based on typical nutrition data for such cheeses I estimate that around 13 ounces of mozzarella cheese is used. The actual amount may be more or less (we don't have Stella-specific data and we don't know for sure the split between the two cheeses in the blend), but I think 13 ounces of a mozzarella blend is a good place to start. I might add that the whole-milk cheese has higher cholesterol levels than the part-skim, so the actual blend will affect the calculations of the amount of cheese used.

If an accurate number (weight) can be obtained for the sauce used in a typical 10" Giordano's stuffed cheese pizza, it may then be possible to work back from the total weight of such a pizza to determine an approximate weight for just the crust part (actually, two crusts) of the pizza. That number would be for a baked crust, not an unbaked one. However, based on a test that I ran not too long ago, I calculated a weight loss of around 5% for the baked pizza.

Peter

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: ggtennis on May 05, 2008, 08:26:03 AM
First, thanks again to all who have shared their experiences here.  I have learned quite a bit.  Last night, my 3rd effort at Giordanno's Style pizza was a smashing success.  It may not be an exact duplicate of the original, but my family was delighted with the results.  The recipe I am sharing here represents bits and pieces of advice I have read in various threads on the topics.  In an effort to provide a recipe for the newbies looking for a starting point I thought I would share.  Sorry, no pictures as my family already thinks I'm looney for getting as involved as I am already.  Maybe I'll sneak a shot of a future pie.  The last one was a beauty and it tasted fantastic.  Better than I ever imagined.

So, without further adieu, the GGTennis version...

(Measurements are enough for a 10" pan)

Dough:

3 ½  cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, unbleached
1 ¾  tsp Red Star active dry yeast
1 cup water + 1½  Tbsp water
1 ¾  tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt
½ cup canola oil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 
Sauce:

1 28oz can Escalon 6 in 1 All-Purpose Ground Tomatoes
1 tbsp honey
Garlic powder – light sprinkle
Basil flakes – several shakes
Italian seasoning – to taste
Crushed red pepper – dash
Sea Salt – two twists

Cheese:
10 - 12 oz
I use a combination of shredded mozzarella skim and whole mozzarella at a 4:1 ratio (higher on shredded)

Preparing the Dough

Proof the yeast.  This is accomplished by using hot water from the spigot (1 cup plus 1 ½ tbsp) and adding 1 tsp sugar then yeast.  Stir and let sit for 10 minutes.  You should see the yeast fizzing and setting up on top to know it is activated.

While yeast is activating, combine dry ingredients into a bowl. (Note:  1 tsp. sugar has already been used, only ¾ tsp is used in dry ingredients)

When yeast is ready add oil to dry mixture followed by yeast.

Combine together using spoon. Once combined it is time to knead.  Knead by hand for NO MORE than 2 minutes.  Set a timer and do not knead beyond two minutes.  (Note:  dough should have an oily feel, but oil should not be dripping.  If too dry add a bit while kneading)

Weigh the dough ball.  Break off 1/3.

Place both balls in plastic zip lock bags and refrigerate for 20 – 36 hours.  I usually try 24.


Pizza Day Preparations:

Remove dough balls from refrigerator.  Place in large mixing bowl.  Let sit covered with towel over bowl at room temperature for at least 3 hours. 

Get fine strainer and drain 6 in 1 Tomatoes for at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven with pizza stone on bottom rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 450 degrees.

Putting it Together:

Prepare sauce by combining 6 in 1 tomatoes with spices.  Stir together with spoon and set aside.

Measure/weigh cheese and set aside.

Coat pan (10” cast iron skillet) with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and set aside.

Sprinkle light amount of flour on counter.
Take large dough ball and shape into circle by hand. 
Roll dough with rolling pin.
Drape dough sheet into oiled cast iron pan.  Fit to sides.  Excess dough can hang over sides of pan for now.

Put cheese directly on dough in a level layer. Add optional ingredients such as sausage/pepperoni etc., now.  NOTE:  I like extra sauce on my pizza and I put a few spoonfuls directly on the cheese layer, but this is optional.

Take small dough ball, place on counter and roll.  Make sure dough is VERY thin.  Place thin dough layer on top of cheese and toppings.  Press dough down to make room for sauce.  Allow excess to hang over edge of pan.  Coat dough with light layer of extra virgin olive oil. Make 6 - 9 holes in top dough sheet to allow sauce to drizzle to ingredients below.

Using a rolling pin, roll along the outside edge of the pan, pressing the two doughs together.  Take pizza cutter or knife and cut off excess dough along top line of pan.

Apply the sauce directly to the top crust and be careful not to spill on sides.  (Note:  I use almost all of the sauce, but I enjoy extra sauce on my pizza.  Use as much as you like.  The extra can be used later.)

Place cast iron pan on top of pizza stone and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
At 15 minutes turn the pan 180 degrees and bake another 15 minutes.
Watch dough.  If golden brown, the pizza is probably done, if not, you may need to cook longer.  Cooking times will vary, but 32 minutes is about right for me using a gas oven in a cast iron skillet on top of a pizza stone.

Remove from oven.  Slice and ENJOY!
Title: Spice in Giordano Dough
Post by: film_score on December 02, 2008, 09:46:35 PM
So, people have been wondering what spice could be in the Giordano's dough as they listed it:

Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices)

Since I didn't taste any spice when I tasted the crust at Giordano's, I would bet that the spice is turmeric, which is frequently used to give things a yellow color and doesn't have much flavor.  I'm sure it's just added for color purposes...

If it was oregano or even red pepper, you would see flecks of it in the crust but you can't see anything.  I guess it could possibly be garlic or onion powder or something as well but I don't think any of that is in there...
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: ElevenBravo on December 20, 2008, 10:14:47 PM
First, thanks again to all who have shared their experiences here.  I have learned quite a bit.  Last night, my 3rd effort at Giordanno's Style pizza was a smashing success.  It may not be an exact duplicate of the original, but my family was delighted with the results.  The recipe I am sharing here represents bits and pieces of advice I have read in various threads on the topics.  In an effort to provide a recipe for the newbies looking for a starting point I thought I would share.  Sorry, no pictures as my family already thinks I'm looney for getting as involved as I am already.  Maybe I'll sneak a shot of a future pie.  The last one was a beauty and it tasted fantastic.  Better than I ever imagined.

So, without further adieu, the GGTennis version...

Hi All - I just followed GGTENNIS' version and here are my results - delicious! Thanks original poster and all contribs to this thread - Chicago Rules!!!, loowaters, Pete-zaa.

~ ElevenBravo
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: ElevenBravo on December 20, 2008, 10:15:53 PM
Hi All - I just followed GGTENNIS' version and here are my results - delicious! Thanks original poster and all contribs to this thread - Chicago Rules!!!, loowaters, Pete-zaa.

~ ElevenBravo
More photos:
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: ElevenBravo on December 20, 2008, 10:16:52 PM
More photos:
Final photos:
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: marcie on January 31, 2009, 02:50:35 PM
I am sad...where is Brian?  He last posted on this topic a year ago.  Did any of you finally hit on the right mix of ingredients?  I have made countless pizzas as a mom, and my kids have always cherished my pizzas until they tasted Giordano's.  So I am dying to get a taste-alike copycat recipe for that type of pizza, just to regain my standing as the "best pizza chef" with my kids, who are now adults.
Thanks,
Marcie


Hi all,
I too am very interested in the vegetable oil versus vegetable shortenting (i.e. crisco) conversation going on.  Although my 2 cents would be that mixing the flour, salt, yeast and oil together (before the water), would make this just about a mute point.  Mixing as such creates similar characteristics of making pastery or pie crust - tiny grains of fat which would lend themselves to flakiness.  (This topic has been discussed on the boards as well).

I also wanted to check in with some of my investigative research regarding the Giordano's crust. I keep revisiting the statements made by Giordano's and Nancy's founders on their respective websites. Both pizza crusts are described as originating from a mothers or grandmothers old world italian recipe for easter pie, holiday pie or holiday cake with ricotta cheese and a whole host of other meats and cheeses stuffed like a pie - similar to today's Giordano's stuffed pizza.  (Please read the nancy's pizza and giordano's sites regarding their statements).

I've scoured the internet and have taken a look at dozens of these old world recipes to come up with a few very compelling ingredients to try and incorporate into our test pizza's.
Here is the process I used to qualify my findings:

1. There has to be "some" ingredients carried forward to the Giordano's Pizza from these original holiday easter pies to make the pizza unique in flavor and hold true to their statments that the crust originates from these italian holiday easter cakes and pies.

2. I threw out all ingredients in the holiday easter pies which we know are not listed in the giordano's crust (milk, eggs, baking powder, etc. to name a few)

3. I've kept all possible ingredients from the easter holiday pies that can be categorized as "SPICES". - Since the list of ingredients in the Giordano's crust simply says: "SPICES" without disclosing the individual spices, we must at least consider the unique holiday easter pie ingredients as possible missing items.

4. Keep in mind that just because an ingredient doesn't taste prevelant, doesn't mean its not there. Many "spices" blend together to create a single signature flavor. (What does KFC have -- like 8 secret spices or something?)

Ok.. with that said, the following additional spices I will try to add one at a time are:

* Vanilla
* Millifori - (Orange-Flower essence as a substitute (or orange rind as a last result substitute)).
* Sugar - (if this can be considered a "Spice" since Petes Giordano's ingredient list does not list sugar explicitly).

Additional notes:
A few easter holiday pies also stated lemon OR orange. Some stated lemon AND orange rind. Since its not uncommon to include a bit of lemon in the sauce, lemon rind could be included in the sauce.

A small amount of holiday easter pies also include cinnamon. I personally wouldn't think I've ever tasted any hint of cinnamon in the pizza, but again, it could be a miniscule amount to shape the overall taste of the pizza when biting into it.

Lastly, my intention is to simply list these ingredients from some research I've done. Hopefully it doesn't just add confusion or worse, make us more uncertain about the track we are on. I just wanted to do some good old fashioned investigative work and draw some logical conclusions.  Afterall, the ingredient called "Spices" exist in their crust and in their sauce. They obviously have something they want to keep close to their vest and keep their pizza unique.  All of this is just my opinion of course. 

As for me personally, the next time I try the recipe, I will add a touch of orange rind and a touch of vanilla. I'll start with that. (I already add a teaspoon of lemon juice in my sauce to cut the tomato acids).  I have no idea where to purchase this Millifori or orange flower-essence so I don't know what these taste like in relation to orange rind.  Bottom line is, that was the re-occurring ingredient in all the easter holiday pies and cakes.

Brian



Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: JJ on January 31, 2009, 05:14:03 PM
The dough has just salt & sugar for spices. It's a fairly simple recipe.  ;)
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 31, 2009, 06:48:39 PM
The dough has just salt & sugar for spices. It's a fairly simple recipe.  ;)

JJ,

If you look at the ingredients lists in Reply 23 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg51855.html#msg51855 and also in Reply 85 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg53610.html#msg53610, you will see that the dough does not contain any sugar and that salt is listed independently of spices. That information came directly from Giordano's itself. The FDA has very strict rules on how ingredients are specified and would not allow sugar and salt to be considered spices.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: JJ on February 01, 2009, 02:57:16 PM
Pete,
The dough does have salt and sugar in it! Do you think they are going to tell what's in it? My brother in law was a manager back in the 70's and has a very good memory.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on February 01, 2009, 04:00:24 PM
JJ,

I assumed that what Giordano's sent to me is what they would represent to the government by way of nutrition disclosure. It's also possible that as Giordano's has grown over the years it has made changes to its dough formulation since the 1970s. I honestly don't see any reason why Giordano's would try to conceal that it uses sugar in its dough. Just using "spices" hides a multitude of things. As I noted previously, it is possible that the ingredients lists of its frozen pizzas will provide some insights into the Giordano's dough formulation. However, no one has stepped forward to date that I can see to tell us what the packaging of the frozen Giordano pizzas reveals about Giordano's doughs.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: JJ on February 01, 2009, 07:23:34 PM
Pete,
Sounds good to me. I have a Giordano's less than a mile from my house. Don't eat there much,we usually get deep dish from a place called Obbie's. The taste is similar to Giordano's, however it's thicker and the sauce is more tastier. They have been open since 1977.
Giordano's has been open since 1974. My brother in law has the original recipe for deep dish and thin crust. The dough is the same for both,the sauce is different.

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on February 27, 2009, 02:10:17 PM
Recently, in the course of assisting member buenokid in developing a dough system for a Giordano's type stuffed pizza, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8029.msg69107.html#msg69107, I suggested that he use a top skin than is thinner than the dough used in the deep-dish pan itself. To confirm whether I had properly instructed him on this point, I revisited the Giordano's Stuffed Crust video that I originally viewed at the travelchannel.com website (the video itself is referenced earlier in this thread but can be found in the video section of the travelchannel website under Destination:Chicago). In reviewing the video again, I was reminded that a sheeter/roller was used to sheet out the dough skins to be used to make a Giordano's stuffed pizza. I could not tell from the video itself whether the top skin was thinner than the dough used in the deep-dish pan itself but I thought that the sheeter/roller looked like a sheeter/roller product sold by Anets, a manufacturer of sheeter/rollers out of Northbrook, IL. That prompted me to call Anets and to speak with a salesperson to see if the Giordano's sheeter/roller was indeed an Anets product and, if so, to get some additional information on Giordano's use of the product. I was also curious to know if a dough with a large amount of oil could be passed through the machine.

I ended up speaking with a very helpful salesman who confirmed that Giordano's does use Anets products, specifically, a double pass, side operated sheeter/roller designated MDR6. From looking at the current MDR6 product at the Anets website, I believe that the machine I saw in the video is an older version of the MDR6. Apparently MDR6 machines are workhorses and have been in service for several years and, if properly maintained, almost never break down. I was told that there are models of Anets sheeters/rollers that have been in use since 1927. From my discussion, I learned that the top skins for Giordano's stuffed pizzas are, indeed, thinner (I was told much thinner) than the dough skins placed in the pans themselves. The main skin is prepared by running a flattened and floured dough ball through the machine in two passes, with the skin being turned 90 degress before the second pass (this is to get a properly round skin). The top skin is made the same way but using a smaller dough ball. The machine can make skins that are paper thin all the way up to 3/4", and up to 18" in diameter. When I asked whether a dough with a very high oil content, as much as 20% and maybe even more, could be run through the machine without gumming it up or causing the rollers to slip, I was told that so long as the machine is cleaned daily, as recommended (basically keeping the metal or synthetic rollers clean), and that flattened dough balls are dusted in flour before running them through the machine, the machine will sheet the dough very reliably. The salesman emphasized that at a place like Giordano's there is flour all over the place, on tables and other work areas and even a flour tray on the machine itself. That may account for why the skins shown in the video do not have an oily exterior and can be tossed, as shown in the video.

I was also curious to know if Giordano's makes the dough balls at the store level, which might provide some clues as to the Giordano's dough formulation itself, but the salesman did not know for sure. He thought that some of the Giordano stores make their own dough. He did mention, however, that dough balls kept in a cooler should not be run cold through the machines, which can result in tears in the skins. They should first be warmed up for about a half hour or more.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on February 28, 2009, 01:23:57 PM
I found an article today at seriouseats about the Giordano's stuffed pizza, at http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2008/06/giordanos-stuffed-pizza-classic-chicago-illinois.html, in which the author of the article indicated that shortening was used in the Giordano's dough. But, in a followup correction, the writer posted as follows:

Correction to the article: I met with Leo Spizzirri today, who's the GM and Executive Chef at Giordano's. I learned a lot of good pizza info, but wanted to correct one thing here: There is no shortening in Giordano's crust. There is no butter in the dough, but a good amount of butter goes in the pan before the dough is added.

A couple of other good nuggets: they use different sauces for the stuffed and thin crust, with the stuffed version being much chunkier; the cheese is whole milk mozzarella; and the dough is prepared 3-4 days in advance of cooking.


The above leads me to believe that the sauce may be made from two types of tomato products, one of which is perhaps an Escalon product and the other of which may be a somewhat chunky tomato that accounts for the calcium chloride.

But the most important new piece of information, if correct, is that the dough is prepared 3-4 days in advance of using. That would clearly suggest cold fermentation and, I believe, a small amount of yeast.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: ElevenBravo on March 02, 2009, 12:34:20 AM
Correction to the article: I met with Leo Spizzirri today, who's the GM and Executive Chef at Giordano's. I learned a lot of good pizza info, but wanted to correct one thing here: There is no shortening in Giordano's crust. There is no butter in the dough, but a good amount of butter goes in the pan before the dough is added.

A couple of other good nuggets: they use different sauces for the stuffed and thin crust, with the stuffed version being much chunkier; the cheese is whole milk mozzarella; and the dough is prepared 3-4 days in advance of cooking.


The above leads me to believe that the sauce may be made from two types of tomato products, one of which is perhaps an Escalon product and the other of which may be a somewhat chunky tomato that accounts for the calcium chloride.

But the most important new piece of information, if correct, is that the dough is prepared 3-4 days in advance of using. That would clearly suggest cold fermentation and, I believe, a small amount of yeast.

Peter

Thanks for the great research and info, Peter. I've been working on this pizza for a few weeks now and have made a 2 part video here:

Part 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3zTErpHgys
Part 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AanojgbDATI

This video is the culmination of what I've gleaned from this forum and I give Special Credit to http://www.pizzamaking.com at the end of Part 2.

~ ElevenBravo
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on March 02, 2009, 01:09:47 PM
ElevenBravo,

Thank you very much for posting the two links to your videos. They were very professionally done and I enjoyed watching them very much.

As you may already have gathered, my approach to reverse engineering the Giordano's crust has been to try to determine the types and brands of ingredients and the amounts used for one of the Giordano's stuffed pizzas. In my case, I decided to use the 10" stuffed cheese pizza as my working model because it contains the fewest components (crust, sauce and cheese) and, thus, is the simplest and easiest one to use for my purposes. I know that a baked Giordano's 10" stuffed cheese pizza weighs 42 ounces, so if I were able to determine the types of cheeses and tomatoes that go into such a pizza, and their respective quantities, that would allow me to determine how much dough is used in the pizza. I would have to adjust the weights of ingredients to compensate for the fact that an unbaked pizza weighs more than an unbaked one, but that is something that I believe can be adjusted fairly easily. Knowing the amount of dough used for the pizza, along with the pan size (10") and pan depth (2"), and the fact that the dough skin in the pan uses up all of the 2" pan depth, would allow me to play around with the deep-dish dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dd_calculator.html to determine the thickness factor for the dough.

Where I have encountered some difficulty is in getting nutrition information for the Stella mozzarella cheeses that Giordano's is said to be using. I have read that Giordano's is using either a shredded blend of low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese and low-moisture whole milk mozzarella cheese (as noted in the information sent to me some time ago by Giordano's) or only shredded low-moisture whole milk mozzarella cheese. It is possible that the cheeses are a proprietary blend developed exclusively for Giordano's.

Unfortunately, the Stella cheese website does not show any mozzarella cheeses in its product line, and the Sam's in my area does not carry the Stella mozzarella cheeses to enable me to look at the nutrition information on the labels for such cheeses. I know that Stella is owned by Saputo, which carries several brands of mozzarella cheese, so maybe there is some corporate reorganization and rebranding going on. I have looked at several of the Saputo mozzarella cheese brands and have noted some wide variations in the nutrition information for such cheeses, which suggests that I need Stella-specific information on the two Stella shredded mozzarella cheeses. I feel that having reliable information for the Stella mozzarella cheeses, if indeed they are still being used by Giordano's, would help me better determine how much oil (vegetable oil according to the Giordano's information) is used in the Giordano's dough particularly since I believe that Giordano's may be using considerably less than what our members have been using based on my analysis to date. In light of the recent information on the 3-4 day fermentation window for the Giordano's dough, I also now believe that much less yeast is used than what our members have been using.

It would also help to know what the ingredients are that are listed on the packaging for one of the Giordano's frozen stuffed pizzas, if only to confirm the information previously sent to me by Giordano's.

BTW, for a frame of reference for the 10" stuffed spinach pizza you made and showed in the videos, the weight (baked) for a 10" stuffed spinach pizza from Giordano's is also 42 ounces. To keep the weight of the 10" stuffed spinach pizza the same as the 10" cheese pizza, the information I received from Giordano's suggests that the way this is done is to use less cheese. If you weigh one of your 10" stuffed pizzas some time, both before baking and after baking (allowing the baked pizza to first cool down for a while), that should give you an idea as to how your pizza measures up weight-wise against a like Giordano's stuffed pizza. I realize that you may not be benchmarking against a Giordano's pizza but it might be interesting nonetheless to see how the two pizzas compare.

As a final comment, I would like to offer a small suggestion and that is to rehydrate the ADY separately from the salt, even though the salt is first dissolved in the water before adding the yeast. Another member recently combined the salt and yeast (and, I believe, sugar) in the water but it was not clear whether the problems he experienced were solely because of such combination. However, the advice generally dispensed by Tom Lehmann on the matter can be seen at a recent PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=44454#44454. It's possible that in your case you used enough yeast (about 1.6% by my calculation) that some loss of leavening power may not have mattered that much.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on March 02, 2009, 01:54:54 PM
For those who are interested, I took the information provided by ElevenBravo from his videos and, using the deep-dish dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dd_calculator.html, came up with the following baker's percent version:

Flour (100%):
Water (41.1765%):
ADY (1.56862%):
Salt (2.02665%):
Corn Oil (16.6554%):
Total (161.42717%):
963.91 g  |  34 oz | 2.13 lbs
396.9 g  |  14 oz | 0.88 lbs
15.12 g | 0.53 oz | 0.03 lbs | 4 tsp | 1.33 tbsp
19.54 g | 0.69 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.5 tsp | 1.17 tbsp
160.54 g | 5.66 oz | 0.35 lbs | 11.89 tbsp | 0.74 cups
1556.01 g | 54.89 oz | 3.43 lbs | TF = N/A

For a single dough piece for making only one 10" stuffed pizza (rather than three), the above dough formulation becomes:

Flour (100%):
Water (41.1765%):
ADY (1.56862%):
Salt (2.02665%):
Corn Oil (16.6554%):
Total (161.42717%):
321.3 g  |  11.33 oz | 0.71 lbs
132.3 g  |  4.67 oz | 0.29 lbs
5.04 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.33 tsp | 0.44 tbsp
6.51 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.17 tsp | 0.39 tbsp
53.51 g | 1.89 oz | 0.12 lbs | 11.89 tsp | 3.96 tbsp
518.67 g | 18.3 oz | 1.14 lbs | TF = N/A
Note: One-third of dough is for top skin

Peter

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: ElevenBravo on March 02, 2009, 04:40:34 PM
ElevenBravo,

Thank you very much for posting the two links to your videos. They were very professionally done and I enjoyed watching them very much.

...<snip>...

I realize that you may not be benchmarking against a Giordano's pizza but it might be interesting nonetheless to see how the two pizzas compare.

As a final comment, I would like to offer a small suggestion and that is to rehydrate the ADY separately from the salt, even though the salt is first dissolved in the water before adding the yeast.

...<snip>...

Peter

Wow, thanks for the positive feedback Peter! That means a lot to me as I look up to you as the "Mack-Daddy Pizza Man of All-Time". I learned a lot from staging and filming those shots. Subsequent videos (and there will be more) will go smoother, take less time to edit and will ultimately be more polished that this first one.

Re: Benchmarking against Giordano's... Although I'm not specifically on a life-mission to perfect a Giordano's clone, I will take some pre/post baking weights next time and see how they compare to the 42 oz weight for the 10" you mention. Also, based on the research here, it's pretty clear that Giordano's does not use sharp provolone or scamorza, but i thought the three formaggio blend in my version would be tasty (and it was).  Even if I stop right now and stay strict to this recipe from now on, I am assured to produce a delicious tasting pie - every single time. That has everything to do with what I've learned here at this forum.

Re: Hydrate the ADY separately from the salt... I will do this next time. So far, (fingers crossed) I have had zero issues with leavening and my dough consistently rises to the occasion, so to speak. ;)

BTW - I regrettably didn't mention it in the video, however the dough I used during the video had been fermenting in the fridge for 5 days prior. I can personally attest that it makes a huge difference and cannot be overstated how important that fermentation time is to get a "mature" flavor and texture for the finished product. The smell of that dough when rolling it out was simply outstanding.

Finally, a huge thank you for converting my measurements using the DD calculator. That will be very handy for anyone that wants to up/down convert the batch size.

Cheers!

~ ElevenBravo
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on April 13, 2009, 01:16:07 PM
I had some great Giordano's pizza recently and reported on it in the Pizzeria and Restaurant Review section below.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8361.msg72200.html#msg72200 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8361.msg72200.html#msg72200)  Pizza was great as this picture perfect slice shows.     -BTB
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on April 13, 2009, 01:38:38 PM
BTB,

From your viewing station were you able to see the dough closely enough to be able to tell whether it contained a lot of oil or not? And did you see equipment on the premises to make the dough? Also, did you see the dough being sheeted?

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on April 13, 2009, 07:24:40 PM
Peter, the dough did not seem like it had a lot of oil in it, compared to Malnati's, Gino's East, et al.  My rough guess would be that the percentage of oil was anywhere from 8 to 12%.  From my view, it had a curious amount of yellow specks of sorts in the dough skin which was uniformly flattened in many respects.  Can't imagine what the yellow portions of the dough skin were.  There was a sheeter -- as this picture I think shows -- used to sheet the dough skin, which seemed to do the job with ease.  But all in all, the pizza was far superior to that I had in the past at Giordano's and they might make a big fan of me yet.    --BTB
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on April 13, 2009, 08:08:52 PM
BTB,

As you know, I have spent a fair amount of time analyzing the nutrition data that was given to me some time ago by Giordano's. After nineteen pages of notes, calculations and photocopies, I have developed a healthy skepticism about the accuracy of such data, along with a suspicion of my own skills in analyzing such data, but I could not conclude that a lot of oil was used in the dough--and certainly not the 20+% figures that many of our members have been using to make Giordano's clone doughs. My last oil calculation was just under 13%. I have held back making a test pizza based on that value pending getting more information about the cheeses (Stella?) used by Giordano's. I was also hoping that some member who has ordered frozen pizzas from Giordano's might step forward and disclose any ingredients list of other information from packaging for such pizzas.

I, too, noted the yellow spots in the dough from the photos you posted. I even used the 400% zoom feature of my PC to examine them more carefully. The only time I have experienced that type of spotting is when I have left a dough uncovered such that a crust formed on the dough. When opening up such a dough ball, the crusty part separates and becomes interspersed with the normal parts of the dough, leading to a mottled overall appearance. Another possibility is that the spots are formed when an oily dough is sheeted with a lot of bench flour. I couldn't tell from the photos, but are the yellow "blobs" in the tray dough? If so, did you see any dough making equipment on the premises? With a sheeter, you don't really need to use dough balls, especially if there is a scale to weigh a piece of dough before it goes through the sheeter. Unless Giordano's has a lot of units in Florida, it would seem logical to make the dough on premises rather than at a commissary, although the dough production could easily be contracted out to a third party.

The sheeter does indeed look like an Anets sheeter such as I researched not too long ago.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: loowaters on April 14, 2009, 06:44:11 AM
Peter, as usual, you are spot on with the lower oil content of this dough, at least as it compares to a Malnati's or Uno's clone.  I've been tinkering with this over the last couple months because we really don't have a baker's percentage on this but I haven't gone as low as 13% just yet. 

I might as well throw it out here, right now.  This is the formulation I used on my last attempt with success.

AP Flour   100%
Water       52
Veg Oil      12
Olive Oil      3
Salt           1
ADY         .75

TF = .180 (1/3 of total dough amount is used for top dough layer equalling .12 bottom layer and .06 top layer.  Also, dough is rolled out to overhang the top edge of the pan for both top and bottom, before trimming, reducing actual TF even further.)

Section into top and bottom dough balls and give at least an 18 hr. fridge rise, but 24 hrs. is preferable.

I assemble this in the same fashion that we've seen in some videos.  First filling the bottom "shell" with cheese and "toppings" then covering with top layer and tucking it in down in the corners and finally venting before topping with sauce. 

I don't have any pics but next time I try this I'll do a few and get them up.

Loo
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on April 14, 2009, 08:18:36 AM
Peter, yes, the yellow "blobs" seemed to have been in the tray dough, too.  Don't recall seeing much bench flour as they sheeted the dough skin.  There was a much larger section of the kitchen to my left as I was taking the pictures, but since it was an "in-between" time (between lunch and dinner), there was no activity going on there at the time.  I think that was in part the dough making area, but am not 100% certain.  They serve alot of pastas and other meals also.  Now you're giving me an excuse to go back and have another stuffed pizza for the sake of food science.                                                                         --BTB                         :P
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Mad_Ernie on April 14, 2009, 09:13:11 AM
BTB:

I'm not zooming in so I can't tell, but could those yellow blobs be butter?   ???
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on April 14, 2009, 10:52:31 AM
ME, I'm not certain. The cooked dough or crust was very "flaky," so one would wonder if there wasn't something like butter, margarine, oleo, or something else with it.  In any event, it was very tasty and delicious.  I will have to sacrifice and . . . go back for more!   --BTB
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on April 14, 2009, 10:56:49 AM
Loo,

I broke down the total amount of oil into 5% olive oil and 95% vegetable oil, based on information that buzz provided. Also, if the Giordano's ingredients list is to be believed, there is more yeast by percent than salt. The yeast issue is why I have been asking about how and where the dough is prepared at Giordano's.

BTB,

What ME and I are referring to is the blobs of something on the tray in the foreground of the the photo you posted in Reply 120. From the sliceny report referenced earlier in this thread, it appears that butter is used in the pans. However, buzz mentioned in one of his posts that the workers scoop butter or margarine out of a tub of some sort. That would seem to make more sense than putting it on trays where it can melt faster at room temperature.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: loowaters on April 14, 2009, 04:02:03 PM
BTB,

That pic of the un-cut, un-sauced pie shows, from my experience, what dried "crusting" looks like after proofing of a dough ball just like Peter posted earlier. 

Peter,

I don't really know where I came up with any info that placed more salt than yeast in the formulation but an increase in yeast to 1% wouldn't be a huge increase to draw them to even percentages.  Is it possible they exist at equal proportions in their formulation or did you see info that indicated definitely MORE yeast than salt? 

Also, to adjust the oils from buzz's info:

AP Flour       100%
Water           52
Veg Oil       14.25
Olive Oil         .75
Salt               1
ADY               1

In kneading this, (actually, not this, the formulation in reply 122) I did go against the convetional wisdom around here and went with a slightly longer knead because it looked on video that this dough had some stretchiness (extensiblity) to it by watching guys toss the top layer and stretch it down in the corners without tearing.  That to me indicated some decent gluten formation.  I kneaded this in the KA for 4 minutes (not a long time but longer) with the C hook after fully combining with the paddle attachment.

Loo
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on April 14, 2009, 05:24:57 PM
Loo,

I do not believe that it is possible to isolate a quantity of yeast from nutrition data. In my case, I tried to determine how much salt is used in the different parts of the pizza, by looking at sodium levels, and then assigning a baker's percent value to the yeast that exceeds the baker's percent for salt. Unfortunately, there is salt in just about everything--the cheeses (mozzarella and Parmesan), the sauce, the crust, and possibly the butter used to grease the pan. And the amount of sodium is in direct proportion to the amounts of the ingredients used. There are limitations as to how much salt can be used in these ingredients so you usually won't get sodium numbers that are grossly excessive. My analysis suggested around 1.25% salt in the dough. So, I just assigned a slightly higher value to the ADY. I am still trying to triangulate the quantities of cheese, sauce and cheese to fine-tune the numbers. The weights of the cheeses, sauce and crust, plus a percent to compensate for losses during baking, have to add up to the weight of the baked pizza given in the Giordano's nutrition data.

Like you, I have been suspicious of the short knead times for the Giordano's dough. I can't imagine that a commercial operation making a few hundred dough balls a day, or an equivalent bulk dough, would be able to use a short knead time with minimal gluten development. That doesn't mean that there can't be a fair amount of oil in the dough, but my analysis just didn't indicate a large quantity, at least not in the 20+% range. I would find higher oil levels more plausible in a bulk dough made on-site and divided/scaled for passage through the sheeter with a lot of bench flour. You might also recall from our Home Run Inn research how HRI had problems with their proofing equipment because of the high oil content for their doughs that apparently was gumming up their proofer. So, we can't absolutely rule out very high oil levels with the Giordano's dough. But I still have my doubts. I also believe that the Giordano's crust may be thinner than what others have been using on the forum. This would conceal a longer knead time because the crust would not come across as bready.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Wazatron on April 18, 2009, 04:10:03 PM
Hi all - I'm working on my first Giordano's style pizza, which is resting right now and will be baked off tonight.

However, I've just realized... I can't find anywhere posted posted in this thread an appropriate oven tempurature and estimated cooking time.

All the posts just say.. "I did this and this and this.... and then it was great!"  :-D

I am actually gonig to be baking an 8" pie tonight, in a dark-anodized slope-sided pan (from pizzatools.com). Any recommendations at this rather last minute?

Thanks in advance!

ps - I'm also scouring other threads on this one, but it seems the answer could be different for different "styles" of deep dish. Is it appropriate for Giordanos to pre-bake sasuage, or just toss it in uncooked? One big disc or rip off chunks?

Thanks all!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on April 18, 2009, 05:58:30 PM
Just a quick reply.  I suggest you bake at 450 degrees F for around 20  to 30 minutes, but judge the pizza by the color of the crust to see if it's done as 8" is an unusual size.  Sausage cooked in a pizza at that temperature for over 10 minutes will be thoroughly cooked and IMO is better than using cooked sausage.  Giordano's puts a lot of chunks of uncooked sausage in their pizzas.        --BTB
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Wazatron on April 18, 2009, 10:42:50 PM
Thanks BTB - turned out great, and I'll post my results here in a new thread soon!  :chef:
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on April 24, 2009, 03:00:57 PM
I decided recently to take a stab at making a Giordano's stuffed pizza clone based on the information I had gathered and analyzed on that style. At first I was hesitant about posting my results since I was more interested at this point in time in getting the "form, fit and function" right rather than trying to perfect the clone. I wanted to get the total pizza weight correct, both unbaked and baked, and to get the proper relationship of the amounts of dough/crust, cheeses, sauce and, in my case, pepperoni. I was also using a brand new 10" x 2" deep aluminum cake pan to bake the pizza. I had buttered it well before assembling the pizza but I expected that I would not get the best final crust coloration for the parts of the crust in direct contact with the pan. That accounts for the light coloration shown in the photos below.

I also tried to make the dough as I imagined it would be made in a commercial Giordano's operation. I am not yet prepared to disclose the dough formulation I used (although I will do so once I feel that I have a credible clone), but the dough was prepared in my KitchenAid stand mixer and subjected to three days of cold fermentation. I used Gold Medal all-purpose flour that I had supplemented with some vital wheat gluten to approximate the protein content of the Ceresota/Hecker's flour that is popular in the Chicago area and used for deep-dish doughs in that area. The first photo below shows the dough as it went into the refrigerator. The two poppy seeds shown in that photo were for me to monitor the expansion of the dough while it was in the refrigerator--by monitoring the increase in spacing between the two poppy seeds. As it turned out, the dough increased in volume by about 55% after the first day, by 100% after the second day (a doubling), and by almost 300% after the third day (a quadrupling). I stopped at three days since that appeared to be consistent with what I had read about the window of usability of the Giordano's dough. The dough handled exceptionally well at every stage. It was very easy to roll out (using a rolling pin) and virtually no bench flour was needed. I could control the diameter of the skins with ease and I could stretch them without fear of anything going wrong. The dough skins looked as I saw them in the Giordano's video at travelchannel.com (as previously referenced in this thread). Assembling the pizza was a breeze. The dough skins looked and felt as I had perceived them in the Giordano's video. The dough behaved so well that there was no need to rush to complete the assembly of the pizza. I used a thinner top skin than I used for the main skin that went into the pan.

Once the pizza was dressed, I baked it on a pizza stone that had been positioned in the middle oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at 450 degrees F. The total bake time was about 25 minutes. Part way through the bake, I covered the top of the pizza with a sheet of aluminum foil because the crust seemed to be browning too fast. When I did a follow-up check, I removed the aluminum foil but forgot to put it back on the pizza. That accounts for the slight overbaking of the exposed crust. The cheese I used was a roughly 50/50 blend of shredded whole milk low-moisture mozzarella cheese and low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese. I also sprinkled some Parmesan cheese over the unbaked pizza. The sauce was a blend of 6-in-1 ground tomatoes, RedPack whole tomatoes in puree (I used a stick blender to pulverize the whole tomatoes), some garlic powder, black pepper, pulverized basil and oregano leaves, and some sugar.

The remaining photos below show the finished pizza. I have never had a Giordano's pizza before so I have no idea what I created. The crust was a mixture of crispy parts, slightly bready parts and biscuit-like parts. The flavor was good and the overall pizza tasted fine. What would help me at this point is to get a better understanding of the finished crust characteristics. It does me no good to get that part wrong if my objective is to simulate the Giordano's style. I also noticed that my pizza seemed not to have the same height in the middle as the Giordano's photos that I have seen. I used about 12 1/2 ounces of cheese and almost 8 1/2 ounces of sauce. That was for a 10" pizza. That would suggest that I may need more cheese and/or sauce. The unbaked pizza in my case weighed about 37 1/2 ounces. The finished pizza weighed about 35 1/2 ounces. The difference represented a loss during baking of a bit over 5%.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on April 24, 2009, 03:05:28 PM
And some other photos...

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: JConk007 on April 24, 2009, 09:25:31 PM
Peter,
Great go at this amazing pie/pizza looks GREAT!
I also have never had the giordanos but your looks like what I am looking for high outside crust lotsa cheese.........
Keep em comng nice work!!
John
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on May 01, 2009, 07:18:36 PM
The photos below show my most recent effort at making a Giordano’s clone stuffed pizza. This time I used a dark sloping-sided pan (9” top diam. x 8.25” bottom diam. x 2” deep), with the amount of dough (using a modified dough formulation) adjusted for that size and shape of pan. The dough was allowed to ferment in the refrigerator for about 3 days and 4 hours. This was in line with the 3-4 days that Giordano’s purportedly uses for their dough.

The pizza was loaded with cheese (a blend of low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella cheese and low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, with grated Parmesan cheese on the top of the unbaked pizza), multiple fillings (pepperoni, sausage, onions, peppers and garlic), and sauce (the same sauce as I used in my last effort). As the photos show, the innards of the pizza pretty much filled up the entire pan. The cheeses weighed almost 13 ounces, the fillings weighed about 6.8 ounces, and the sauce weighed almost 10 ounces. The total weight of the unbaked pizza was almost 46 ounces. To be sure that the pizza baked thoroughly, I baked it on a pizza stone that had been placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at around 450 degrees F. That arrangement allowed the pizza to bake slowly enough for the crust to develop a nice color. I am sure that the darker pan also helped with the crust coloration. Using the stone at the lowest oven rack position also helped keep the top of the pizza from baking too quickly and overbrowning the exposed top crust. The total bake time was around 30 minutes. The finished pizza weighed almost 44.5 ounces. The loss during baking was thus a bit over 3%.

The pizza turned out very well, and was very tasty, with a uniform crust in terms of texture and mouth feel. It was an improvement over my last Giordano’s clone pizza. However, from the expansion of the dough over the roughly three-day period, and from the way the dough handled when used to make the two skins (the main skin and the top skin), I concluded that further modification of my starting Giordano’s dough clone formulation is necessary. My goal is to have the dough behave as I have seen it in the Giordano’s video at travelchannel.com. None of this is to take away from the success of the pizza. But my goal is, and has always been, to emulate a real Giordano’s pizza, not to just make a good pizza.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on May 01, 2009, 07:24:22 PM
And a couple other photos, including a photo of a slice...

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: JConk007 on May 01, 2009, 09:35:53 PM
Love it! Need It! Wanna Try It!
Peter could you explain your (undisclosed) dough handling process and different weight /thickness if any between the top and bottom skins? hand toss? any Pre baking? or pre cooking of ingredients? Comments on the sloped pan? Does giordanos use straight sided?
What percentages were you using this time around? Were you happier with the height this time around with the increase in cheese and sauce?
Looks SO tasty, and a tad filling too!

John
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on May 02, 2009, 11:51:29 AM
Peter could you explain your (undisclosed) dough handling process and different weight /thickness if any between the top and bottom skins? hand toss? any Pre baking? or pre cooking of ingredients? Comments on the sloped pan? Does giordanos use straight sided?
What percentages were you using this time around? Were you happier with the height this time around with the increase in cheese and sauce?

John,

I am still regurgitating the data from the last pizza so I haven't yet determined what the next dough formulation should look like. I thought that the dough for the first Giordano's clone handled more like the real thing (based on the Giordano's video) but the crust for the last pizza was better in my opinion even though the dough was too extensible after 3+ days of cold fermentation. I believe the answer is a dough formulation that falls somewhere between the two. Unfortunately, it will take some time to re-do all of the numbers, simply because of the need to do a lot of re-calculations and have them fit within the data I collected through all of my analytical work. However, I can answer the other questions you posed.

Giordano's uses straight-sided pans that appear to be 2" deep. I used the pan I described simply because it is is the closest pan I have that is dark and does not produce an excessive amount of pizza for me to eat. I have a beautiful 2" deep, dark anodized straight-sided deep-dish pan from pizzatools.com/Lloyd's, but it would produce far more pizza than I can comfortably eat, even with leftovers. The first pizza I made used a 9" x 2" pan but it was light colored and not yet seasoned enough to produce the desired crust coloration, even with ample greasing of the pan with butter, without removing the pizza from the pan toward the end of the bake to achieve that desired degree of crust coloration. That is still an option because I found that I could remove the baked pizza from the pan without any difficulty or with the crust splitting during such removal. I found this true of both the straight-sided and sloping-sided pans I used.   

To prepare the dough for the two Giordano's clone pizzas I described, I first determined how much dough I would need for the particular pan based on the data I got from my analytical work. I found that in both cases I did not have to carve out a piece of the bulk dough to use for the top skin. The bulk dough in both cases was very malleable, much like putty, and I was able to carve out the piece of dough for the top skin after the bulk dough was taken out of the refrigerator. That was good news since that avoided having to use two storage containers, one for the dough for the top skin and one for the dough for the main skin. To determine how much dough to use for the top skin, which was much thinner than the main skin, I determined what diameter of the top skin I would need to cover the top of the pizza and the sides of the pan up to and slightly beyond the top rim of the pan where it would be joined with the main skin. In my case, that diameter was about 10.5", or a radius of 5.25". Purely as an estimate, I decided to use a thickness factor for the top skin of 0.05. I then performed the following simple calculation of the amount of dough that I would need for the top skin:

Top skin weight = Pi (3.14159) x 5.25 x 5.25 x 0.05 = 4.33 oz./122.74 g.

I simply carved out a piece of dough of that weight from the bulk dough ball and set it aside. That was it. The rest of the dough, with enough to drape over the top of the rim of the pan by about an inch, was used for the main skin. When I ultimately joined the two skins after adding the cheeses and fillings, there was some excess dough that I simply trimmed off with a sharp knife, just as is shown in the Giordano's video. Both the main skin and the top skin were rolled out using a rolling pin, which simulated the Anets sheeters/rollers that Giordano's uses in its restaurants.

I did not pre-bake either the main skin or the top skin (without sauce) but I did partially cook the vegetables in olive oil. I also partially cooked the sausage to the pink stage, mainly to be able to reduce the fat content, and I nuked the pepperoni slices in the microwave for the same reason. These are just personal preferences and an effort on my part to reduce fat in my diet, even at the expense of the loss of some flavor. In the past, I have even replaced animal fat with olive oil so as to retain at least some fat mouth feel and flavor.

Next time, I think I will go back to a plain or pepperoni pizza just to see how the crust bakes up with about an inch of exposed crust between the top of the pizza and the rim of the pan. Loading up the pizza as I did the last time, avoided that test. But I plan to increase both the amount of cheese and sauce to get the desired overall weight of the pizza based on the Giordano's nutrition data.

Peter



Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: JConk007 on May 02, 2009, 01:48:08 PM
Thanks for the details Peter, That helps me to understand how to calculate the top skin, its just like any other based on size with a .05 thickness factor,  .1 ish for the bottom skin? I have 2 -9"  x 1.5  and a 12" x2"  is the smalllest I have with a 2" side. Do you think 1.5 inches is appropriate for the hieght or must go 2" with the crust? Thanks again
john
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on May 02, 2009, 02:32:28 PM
John,

It is somewhat difficult to calculate the thickness factor for the main skin by itself because there is an excess of dough for both skins that gets trimmed off at the point where they come together at the rim of the pan. I took a lot of measurements at a lot of different points while I was assembling the last pizza so I will have to examine my notes to see if there is a way to calculate the thickness factor for just the main skin. In practice, that value may not mean all that much because you wouldn't want to make just the exact amount of dough. You want some extra dough in the main skin to hang over the side of the pan and you may want at least a bit of extra dough for the top skin just to be on the safe side. When I used the deep-dish dough calculating tool, I entered a value for the depth of the dough in the pan that was 2.5" even though that was more than the depth of the pan itself (2"). The 2.5" value gave me the extra dough to hang over the side of the pan. I thought that that was a neat little trick.

To be true to the Giordano's style, you would want to use a pan with a depth of 2". However, there is no reason why you can't use a pan with a depth of 1.5". You will just have to decide how deep you want the pizza to be in the middle with all of the cheeses and fillings. That will determine the amount of exposed crust at the sides of the pizza. If you look at the Giordano's video, you will see examples of pies where the top skins are higher up on the pizza, most likely because of a lot of fillings, and where the top skins are low on the pies, most likely because of few or no fillings. The two pies I made conformed to both of those scenarios.

What I found interesting about the Giordano's stuffed pizza is that the top skin is so thin that with all of the cheeses and sauce and crust melding together when consumed you can't even tell the top skin is there. You really have to look carefully to find the top skin. Most people could care less and just eat the pizza. Maybe the true value of the top skin, apart from its appeal as a marketing tool (its connection to stuffed Italian Easter pies and the like), is just keeping the sauce all in one place and not having it seep into the rest of the pizza. There are slits that are formed in the top skin but I didn't detect any significant seepage via those slits.

I forgot to mention in my last post that for the last dough I made I added the oils directly to the flour and combined with a fork before adding the water. I have not read anything about how the doughs are made at Giordano's, but I would imagine that one viable option is to use a pre-mix that already contains the oils (there is a lot of food technology out there to do this). That mix could also contain the yeast, flour and salt. Such a mix would make life a lot easier for the people who have to make the dough since all they would have to do is add water at the right temperature. I used rehydrated ADY for both of my Giordano's clone doughs but I believe that it may be possible to use it dry in a pre-mix if the dough is to be given a long fermentation time. I have tested this idea before and it does work. Maybe I will try that with the next iteration of the Giordano's clone dough. Another possibility is to just use IDY. Maybe Giordano's is already using IDY.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on May 02, 2009, 03:17:33 PM
John,

After my last post, I went back to my notes and saw that I had written down how much scrap dough I ended up with for the last pizza. I then took the total dough weight and subtracted the value of the weight of the top skin and the weight of the scrap dough to come up with a figure that perhaps fairly accurately represents the amount of dough I used to make the main skin. I then used the deep-dish dough calculating tool with the original baker's percents and pan data (but no bowl residue compensation) and, by playing around with the thickness factor box, was able to come up with a thickness factor value that yielded the correct amount of dough. That thickness factor was 0.116532. Whether that is high or low I have no idea but ultimately it would be helpful to have a workable thickness factor value since it would allow one to calculate an amount of dough to use for the main skin for any given size and shape of pan and, by using the depth of dough feature of the calculating tool as previously discussed, add an amount of extra dough so that the rolled out main skin overlaps the side of the pan. The top skin can be calculated separately, as before, using its own thickness factor, and its weight added to the weight of the main skin. The total weight can then be used in the deep-dish dough calculating tool to come up with the amounts of ingredients for the entire dough (main skin and top skin).

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: JConk007 on May 03, 2009, 08:30:03 AM
Peter,
Yes thanks, thats why I was asking about the thickness factor I can calculate top and bottom weight and add together for the calculator just as you mention. So I'll use .11 and .06 and thats takes care of the weight but rest of the calculator remains a mystery  ??? I do like the looks of the second formulation, but I willl be patient. If you read the other post on the Florida Giordanos the member mentioned the crust was bland and tasteless, but BTB loved his visit? I also agree that the top crust goes a bit unnoticed (unless you look for it) based on the the texture and the quantity of cheese and ingredients
I am liking the new   Peteordanos style  :D
John
oh I have never had a real Giordanos either ! but my local makes a 16 stuffed that is awsome!! I'll get a shot of it
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on May 03, 2009, 09:23:30 AM
So I'll use .11 and .06 and thats takes care of the weight

John,

As noted earlier, the set of values I last used were roughly 0.117 (main skin) and 0.05 (top skin). Like you, I have never had a Giordano's pizza, so I don't know whether my numbers are accurate. If you'd like, I can give you the baker's percents I last used but I will be changing them the next time I try another Giordano's clone.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: toekneemac on May 09, 2009, 10:32:28 PM
Any tips on rolling the dough?  I try to roll it and it likes to contract on me.  Hard to handle.  My recipe is:

2c flour
1/2 tea yeast
1/2 tea salt
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp oil

Combined and I let rise for 2 hours, refrigerated overnight, and brought to room temp.

Any tips?  Gladly appreciated.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on May 09, 2009, 10:50:55 PM
toekneemac,

Based on the limited information you provided, I don't see any reason why you had problems rolling out the dough. The hydration and oil quantity seem to be sufficient to allow you to roll out the dough without excessive elasticity. Maybe you can explain more fully what you mean by "Hard to handle." It's possible that you need a longer fermentation time. The dough used by Giordano's is cold fermented 3-4 days.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: toekneemac on May 09, 2009, 11:10:25 PM
toekneemac,

Based on the limited information you provided, I don't see any reason why you had problems rolling out the dough. The hydration and oil quantity seem to be sufficient to allow you to roll out the dough without excessive elasticity. Maybe you can explain more fully what you mean by "Hard to handle." It's possible that you need a longer fermentation time. The dough used by Giordano's is cold fermented 3-4 days.

Peter

Great information about the 3-4 days fermentation.  Thanks.  Actually, I tried to roll it out again, with 1/8" bands on my rolling pin.  Seemed to work ok.  I think I was trying to roll more of the dough than it was capable of! lol
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on June 21, 2009, 03:31:46 AM
my 1st attempt! not the prettiest.  i used loos recipe, and did 20% semolina.  the crust tasted great.  i should have used the 1 inch pan as i orignally calculated for. as a result both skins were stretched a bit too much.  and one side fell after it hit the oven.  sauce was 6-1 which i drained for 1/2 hr and then i blended, for i prefer more of a puree.  i needed more sauce. I used whole milk shredded mozz and sweet italian sausage.   25 min on middle rack on the stone that was preheated for an hour at 450 seemed perfect.  looks aside it was delicious.  friends stopped by and this was their 1st stuffed.  they enjoyed.  i have 3 more dough balls....we'll see if i cant get it out of the pan next time.  it wasnt sticking but man, i dont have that move down yet!! thanks for all the recipes and advice!!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on June 25, 2009, 12:28:05 AM
well i used the smaller pan, on my 2nd try and it was much better....although i slit the top skin in various spots it obviously wasnt enough.   tasted really good though! sweet italian sausage, whole milk mozz, semolina 20% in the dough, dough aged 3 days in fridge.  6-1 crushed tomatoes!!  and i got it out of the pan!  the 6-1 sauce i added no salt this time, as well as drained less.  but the flavor was fantastic! 6-1 RULES!!!  again thanks or all the help!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on June 25, 2009, 01:42:56 AM
i think i need to move the rack down 1 increment i think with this new pan. i put foil on the top for the last 5 min. b/c the top was browning much faster.   on the whole it needed a little more time in the oven. the crust has some white spots!!   
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: lilbuddypizza on June 25, 2009, 08:56:27 PM
Geez, dude---looks awfully good to me..........yum. ;D 8)
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on July 02, 2009, 10:44:39 PM
thanks man!! this recipe is just fabulous.  it was equivalent or better than the the frozen girdanos i had shipped.  i dont think they ship sausage....so to me it was better!  thanks again gang for the great recipes!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: haybot on September 09, 2009, 02:00:02 PM
I just ate my first self baked stuffed crust and it was great. Well, almost. I put too much salt in sauce because i probably didn't mix it enough before tasting but anyway the pizza tasted great. Unfortunately i can't tell how close it was to Giordanos because the one and only time i've been there is over a year ago but i'll test it on my sister when she gets back from chicago.

Anyway i followed the recipe from IlliniPizza from the thread right here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1478.0.html .

I measuret the ingredients in cups and weighted them to have a more precise recipe for the next time. I only added more water because the dough wouldn't pick up more flour.

Recipe for the dough:
400g AP Flour
160g Water
24g Olive Oil
8g Salt
8g Sugar
5g Dry Yeast

I mixed all the dry ingredients with the oil, then added the water and roughly hand kneaded it for 3 minutes until all the flour was absorbed. I cut of 1/3 for the top crust and let it rest for 1 1/2 hours at room temperatur and then moved it in the fridge for 4 hours and then removed it and baked it after 1 1/2 hours.

I used a generic spring form to bake it in and preheated my stone to 230°C for 45 minutes.
For the toppings i went with what giordanos calls tropical delight. I wasn't sure about the bacon and because i like it a little crispy i threw it into a hot pan before using it on the pizza. For the cheese i used grated mozzarella.

The sauce was, as stated before, too salty. I used two 14oz cans of tomatoes and drained them quite a while, blended in 2 cloves of garlic and a little dried oregano, a little sugar and too much salt.

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on September 09, 2009, 11:55:30 PM
holy cow! i must admite im not a fan of the pineapple, but good for you! great looking pie!  WOW!!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on September 09, 2009, 11:57:10 PM
im a bad typer too..obviously....admit.  admit im not a fan of the pineapple! Sorry. again really nice looking crust and crust layers in general!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Aldo on October 25, 2009, 02:27:48 AM
I want to chime in.

First, I need to say that while the aim here seems to be to emulate a "Giordano's stuffed pizza" (a dubious undertaking as I doubt its chain of stores faithfully makes anything consistent with what is served at, say, the Hyde Park store -- though I recall its dough was good), I offer thoughts cooking these pizzas for 20 plus years, just for me.  That said....

On the dough: I NEVER let mine rise.

On the sauce: I agree, stuffed calls for more watery than thin, but I do reduce mine.  I disagree that not cooking it is the thing to do.  I'm saying thin it a bit, but not to the consistency of sauce for think crust (though mine works well in both).

Last: I'm gratified to see that it looks like no one has copied what I do for sauce, as it has taken me literally decades of trial and error to get it.  It's a personal thing, and it has taken decades to perfect, so it's secret, but many over the years have remarked that it's the best they ever had.  Clue: sauce is good by itself, though it shines most when on pizza.  It is a piece of a great pizza, not stand-alone.  And despite all this talk of dry --use fresh herbs.  Canned tomatoes (the right kind,at least) is fine, but the taste difference between dry and fresh herbs is remarkable. Trust me.

Thanks!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on October 25, 2009, 08:23:48 AM
I doubt its chain of stores faithfully makes anything consistent with what is served at, say, the Hyde Park store . . .
I've been eating Giordano's pizza from way back when they first started in their little restaurant on California Ave. on the SW side of Chicago.  They've grown alot and in my experience are one of the few chains that makes a consistent tasting pizza among all their many stores and restaurants, from Illinois to Florida.

Quote
On the dough: I NEVER let mine rise.
Giordano's let's their's rise.  But if you prefer it otherwise, that's fine.

Quote
On the sauce . . . stuffed calls for more watery than thin . . .
Giordano's sauce is definitely not a thin watery sauce.  While not as chunky as say a Lou Malnati's pizza, it definitely has a nice chunky and crushed tomato consistency, which is the way I like it (and I always order "extra" tomato sauce).

Quote
Last: I'm gratified to see that it looks like no one has copied what I do for sauce, as it has taken me literally decades of trial and error to get it.  It's a personal thing, and it has taken decades to perfect, so it's secret . . .
One of the great things about this website is that we SHARE our successes and failures, recipes and information with others to enable each other to make the best pizzas ever.  I hope you intend to do likewise.

Here's some pictures of Giordano's stuffed pizza with it's more chunky and crushed tomato sauce consumed at their Tampa, FL restaurant earlier this year.   --BTB
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Matthew on October 25, 2009, 09:36:16 AM

One of the great things about this website is that we SHARE our successes and failures, recipes and information with others to enable each other to make the best pizzas ever.  I hope you intend to do likewise.



I couldn't agree more.  Because of the great people on this forum sharing their successes, failures, recipes, formulas, etc,  my pizzas went from mediocre at best to a product that I am extremely proud of.  The first photo is from a pie I made less than a year ago & the following pie is typical of my current pizza.  Thanks to you all & let's keep sharing our knowledge! :pizza:
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: loowaters on October 25, 2009, 03:17:15 PM
Aldo, and I can't believe that I'm actually responding to this, you are a troll. 

I make better pizza than you and I'm not going to tell you how I do it.  Now fight!

You've said what you wanted to say, NOW GO AWAY!  We help each other in this forum and even when differing viewpoints create heated discussions/arguments, knowledge is shared.  You've brought nothing!  One post like that in a forum like this one should have you banned.

Loo
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on October 25, 2009, 05:52:19 PM
I want to chime in.

First, I need to say that while the aim here seems to be to emulate a "Giordano's stuffed pizza" (a dubious undertaking as I doubt its chain of stores faithfully makes anything consistent with what is served at, say, the Hyde Park store -- though I recall its dough was good), I offer thoughts cooking these pizzas for 20 plus years, just for me.  That said....

On the dough: I NEVER let mine rise.

On the sauce: I agree, stuffed calls for more watery than thin, but I do reduce mine.  I disagree that not cooking it is the thing to do.  I'm saying thin it a bit, but not to the consistency of sauce for think crust (though mine works well in both).

Last: I'm gratified to see that it looks like no one has copied what I do for sauce, as it has taken me literally decades of trial and error to get it.  It's a personal thing, and it has taken decades to perfect, so it's secret, but many over the years have remarked that it's the best they ever had.  Clue: sauce is good by itself, though it shines most when on pizza.  It is a piece of a great pizza, not stand-alone.  And despite all this talk of dry --use fresh herbs.  Canned tomatoes (the right kind,at least) is fine, but the taste difference between dry and fresh herbs is remarkable. Trust me.

Thanks!

Heee!!  youre funny!  but for your own info, around here there's really no ego issues as you are displaying.  besides if its really so good, you really dont need to tell anyone about it, people should be speaking for you. not to mention, becuase of your zen like state in pizza making you should really be a more nurturing force,  but hey feel free to post some pics of your pies!!   be careful tho, the folks around here will probably be able to see how you do it, and what you use.  there are some of the best pizza makers here, as well as some real geniuses, and theyre real observant!  and picky!  lets see that super sauce thats sooo unique!!  thanks for the laugh!!!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Aldo on November 03, 2009, 01:34:10 AM
Jeez -- you people are a tough crowd!  No, you can't get rid of me with names, and I've shared what I will.  I do apologize, but here's a picture of a piece of pizza I baked.  Keep up the good work, you guys, you're right to fight "trolls" -- I saw a guy post something like "hlep, I need to get a grea recipe, I'm opening a pizza place in a week" or something like that.  No, that's "troll."  I do very much appreciate your candor.  You are clearly a crowd I respect, and hopfully in time I'll earn yours.  Mangia!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on November 05, 2009, 01:51:55 AM
here's last fridays attempt!  my pan is the worst, its like 14 inch with a 2 inch lip.   so i made a big big pie.  with a high back crust!  used like 15% smolina,  was delicious. i have a long way to go, but it was very good.  leftovers were equally awesome.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on November 05, 2009, 01:55:29 AM
one more...still too saucy for some, but i likka the sauce!

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Aldo on November 06, 2009, 01:08:00 AM
Hey, Mr. Mojo 1, I notice you're using an aluminum pan.  If you're interested in the steel deal, there's a store in Chicago called Krasny & Co. where I picked up my pans.  I've used both and prefer steel.  I don't know if you've tried steel, but I find that a half hour at 450 for a 14 inch stuffed yields a good, light to golden brown crust.  They're not as tall an edge as the ones you're using, but maybe you prefer yours.  Well, if you're interested, you can Google "Krasney & Co." and there's a Yelp link and other entries with their contact info.  Tell 'em you want steel stuffed pizza pans, and I bet they'll ship.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on November 06, 2009, 06:44:02 AM
Good looking pizza, Mr. Mojo.  I sense it could have been cooked a tad more, but maybe that's the shiny pan.  At 450 degrees F and on a lower shelf, I would think about 45 minutes time would be right, but you'll need to watch it carefully.  For such a large stuffed, maybe even lower the temperature to 425 or 435.  My 9" deep dish pizza normally takes almost a half hour at 450 to 475.  I always order the stuffed pizza with extra sauce on top, too, so I'd like the amount of sauce you put on.

Bed, Bath & Beyond stores, which I think are everywhere, has some great darker 9" and 14" pans (think they're good Chicago Metallic) that you can easily run out and get.  The shiny pan you used does not help with coloring, but it still looked very good.  My favorite, however, is getting nonperforated pans with PSTK from Pizzatools.com. 
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on November 06, 2009, 11:44:58 AM
Excellent advice guys!!  thank you very much. i do want a new pan, that aluminum pan is really crappy!  yeah, i have to put foil on top part way through becuase the crust is browning on top too fast, compared to the rest.  i totally agree it could have used some more time!! and i should lower the rack more.....good points!! thanks gang. I will look into those pan recommendations and i plan on making a purchase.  i will let you knwo what i get.  thanks again!!!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: buenokid on November 08, 2009, 11:16:11 PM
I made pizza this past weekend as well.  I made the dough a couple hours before.  I've been wondering what SPECIFIC advantages I get by doing a cold fermentation with ADY or IDY.

My recipe is a modified one that came from buzz I believe.  I made it bigger and have made small adjustments for my personal tastes.

One problem I continually run into is having enough dough to work with.  I suppose this can be easily fixed by adding more flour, haha?  I have used about 13% oil but recently have been experimenting to see how I like more oil in the dough.

Some pictures of what I made. 

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: mrmojo1 on November 11, 2009, 01:05:54 PM
Looks yummy!!  nice golden color on the crust!  cheese and sauce look delicious!!  great job!!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Mad_Ernie on November 11, 2009, 01:14:08 PM
I echo mrmojo1's comments.  Nice pics! :)
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: buenokid on November 13, 2009, 04:53:50 PM
This was kind of lost in my post perhaps but...

What is the benefit of a cold fermentation over a few hours of rise time?

How much of a difference does this aspect make?

- Blaine
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: loowaters on November 13, 2009, 09:13:24 PM
This was kind of lost in my post perhaps but...

What is the benefit of a cold fermentation over a few hours of rise time?

How much of a difference does this aspect make?

- Blaine

With the richness of the dough (use of oil), not too much.  However, you may want to adjust your yeast amounts depending on how you will proof it. 

Loo
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Oklahawg on January 18, 2010, 08:47:53 PM
Loved this thread so much (google is your friend) that I had to register and post.

Thanks for the insights. Thought I'd toss an item or two out there for discussion:

1. Salt and Sugar have to be listed as separate ingredients because they impact nutrition. Things like garlic powder or onion powder do not, so they can be listed as generic "spices". I add a bit of garlic powder to my doughs to help mask the yeast flavor and add some depth.
2. Lots of attention to weight ratios. I am wondering about type of flour. Couldn't a variety of flours create a variety of tastes? Seems logical. Semonlina? Unbleached? Etc. Maybe that's covered early, and everyone is dedicated to KA AP, or similar.
3. The crusts from Giordano's have a richer hue than some of the clone attempts. Indicates its cooked differently, or has different ingredients. My gut instinct tells me that Giordano's has a better oven, where the temperatures are more consistent and capable of hotter temps. I've seen recipes calling for 500 degrees for 50 minutes for clone pizzas.
4. The richer hue could be a coating of butter or "not extra virgin" olive oil that is spread on the pan before cooking. Would a pan coating have to be included in the recipe? Probably not, even if it would add calories, etc., if used as an ingredient. The only caveat there is "food allergies" and what would have to be listed by Giordanos.
5. I think pan thickness/alloy contributes to the hue/texture of the dough. Might be totally wrong. What about pre-heating the pan? Or, keeping it cool so the dough doesn't begin baking until the entire pizza cooks?

Thoughts from the vets?

Thanks for the words here. I am also impressed by how friendly and cordial everyone is. Looks like a nice place to explore for other pizza interests.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: dicepackage on January 19, 2010, 12:58:21 AM
Since this pizza is supposed to be cooked on the middle rack using a pizza stone I was wondering if there would be any effect caused by having another pizza cooking on the bottom rack.  I am planning on cooking two thin crust pies on the bottom rack and a Giordano's clone on the middle rack.  Should the thin crust pizzas effect the way the Giordano's one cooks since it is on a stone?  I really don't care how the NY pies come out but it is important that the Giordano's turns out well.  I am also wondering if anyone could shed any light on the effects of a second stone on the bottom rack.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on January 19, 2010, 08:39:44 AM
Loved this thread so much (google is your friend) that I had to register and post.

Thanks for the insights. Thought I'd toss an item or two out there for discussion:

1. Salt and Sugar have to be listed as separate ingredients because they impact nutrition. Things like garlic powder or onion powder do not, so they can be listed as generic "spices". I add a bit of garlic powder to my doughs to help mask the yeast flavor and add some depth.
2. Lots of attention to weight ratios. I am wondering about type of flour. Couldn't a variety of flours create a variety of tastes? Seems logical. Semonlina? Unbleached? Etc. Maybe that's covered early, and everyone is dedicated to KA AP, or similar.
3. The crusts from Giordano's have a richer hue than some of the clone attempts. Indicates its cooked differently, or has different ingredients. My gut instinct tells me that Giordano's has a better oven, where the temperatures are more consistent and capable of hotter temps. I've seen recipes calling for 500 degrees for 50 minutes for clone pizzas.
4. The richer hue could be a coating of butter or "not extra virgin" olive oil that is spread on the pan before cooking. Would a pan coating have to be included in the recipe? Probably not, even if it would add calories, etc., if used as an ingredient. The only caveat there is "food allergies" and what would have to be listed by Giordanos.
5. I think pan thickness/alloy contributes to the hue/texture of the dough. Might be totally wrong. What about pre-heating the pan? Or, keeping it cool so the dough doesn't begin baking until the entire pizza cooks?

Thoughts from the vets?

Thanks for the words here. I am also impressed by how friendly and cordial everyone is. Looks like a nice place to explore for other pizza interests.

Oklahawg, welcome to the site. Any Oklahoma connection?  You'll find many good tips, thoughts and advice here.  Salt also impacts taste for me.  I used to make dough without it, but found that the crusts were much more tastier with salt in it.  I like the idea of adding a little garlic or onion powder into the crust ingredients. Semolina, corn, rice and other flours have been added in some recipes and is reported on in other postings.  We all have our different favorites for white flour.  Mine is KA for AP and GM's Better for Bread for various uses.  But there are many other good ones out there and discussed in many posts.

Regarding Giordano's methods, I think you can learn a lot from my pictures and comments in the report on them in the Pizzeria and Restaurant review section at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8361.msg72200.html#msg72200 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8361.msg72200.html#msg72200) .  You can see their oven, pans, etc.  For instance, they spread unsalted butter in the pan before putting the dough in.  And they told me that their ovens were around 450 degrees F.  Good luck and please share your successes and thoughts with us.

Dicepackage, many bake multiple pizzas in different ways.  When I have a deep dish and a thin crust to make for friends and family at one setting, I first put in the deep dish first on the bottom rack, Then 10 to 20 minutes later, depending on size of the deep dish pizza, I move it to the lower middle rack and put the thin crust (on a cutter pan) on the bottom or next to the bottom rack level.  I don't use a pizza stone anymore, but many do.  You'll have to go through some trial and error to see what's best for you.  Hopefully others will have some thoughts for you on the pizza stone question.
                                                                           --BTB
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Rules!!! on February 11, 2011, 01:31:37 AM
Bump,

Just saying hey to all my fellow pizza nuts. Keep on rockin out those wicked awesome pizza's.

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: seperdicho on February 14, 2011, 01:36:42 PM
Hi-I JUST got back form Chicago late last night and had my first Giordano's stuffed crust pizza.
First thing I did this morning was get online to find a recipe.  I fell on this thread.  Please somebody, give me the most recent version that I can make at home soon. (or tell me where I can get it) THanks.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Boston BBQ-za on April 18, 2011, 08:28:05 PM
Reporting back on my latest deep dish:
I've read through pieces of this thread several times and have attempted the deep dish, each time, not taking stellar notes to be able to duplicate it so well if needed. This time was my 4th attempt and generally speaking, I (along with our guests) were pretty happy with the results.  I have a 15.5 inner diameter (17'' outer diameter) pstk pan.  I used the recipe in reply 11 and multiplied it by a factor of 3 given the size of my pan (no science behind the factor except the previous time I multiplied by 2.6 and it wasn't enough dough). I know technically you can't just multiple to scale up (especially with regard to yeast amounts), but I didn't have the time
First, the recipe:
19.2oz KA AP flour
1.2tsp salt, 1.2 tsp sugar, 1.9 tsp IDY (note I took the 2.5tsp of ADY and converted to IDY)
Mixed dry ingredients then added:
27tsp canola oil (crisco) (converted to 128g)
266g water
Mixed for 2 minutes (dough came together very easy). Actually, for the last 20 sec or so, I think the dough was mixed enough and I wonder if I could've just stopped there to get more of a 'buiscuty' texture
Let rise for 6 hrs at room temp then punched down.
30 min later, transferred dough to sheet to roll out by hand. After about 20 min when dough was a good size, I transferred it to my pan that was very lightly oil with regular olive oil. 
Once I got the dough to fit the pan, I added low moisture part skim motz, about 5 links of crumbled just barely cooked sausage, sauce (carton of Pomi chopped tomatoes with 1/2 tsp dry basil, 2T red wine vinegar, 2 cloves crushed garlic and pepper).  And topped with pepperoni (boiled for 4 min then blanched).
Cooked pizza for 27 min at 450 deg. on 2nd to bottom shelf on unglazed quarry tiles.
sprinkled some parm cheese on top. very light layer.
Results and comments:
- Good browning and crisp crust. If anything, maybe I would've pulled it a minute earlier
-crust was not as greasy as other posts suggested.  Note that I made this before using regular olive oil and this was much less greasy tasting.  I'm guessing the canola vs the olive oil made a big difference
- I read that people put raw sausage in the pie and it will cook through in the time it takes to cook the pizza.  I didn't do this because 1. we had guests and I didn't want to risk raw sausage in the pizza.  2.  i wanted to cook out some of the fat.  I'm glad I did this, but would be interested in reading more/trying raw sausage at some point. 
- crust was good, but I would've preferred a little more salt  to come through.  Will up salt to 1.5tsp next time. I usually use mortons kosher salt, but this time used mortons regular table salt
- I wouldn't add oil to the sides of the pan as it makes it very tough for the dough to stick up on the sides of the pan.
-this is the first time I've used Pomi tomatoes for a sauce and I would use them again.  everyone liked the consistency (and I like the fact that I didn't have to crush or do anything with them prior to using). I tried to keep the sauce simple since its a fairly rich pie and I didn't wan't much complexity in a sauce. I used all the sauce made. 

I've included a few picts below.  In general, I was pretty happy with this and would do it again. Of course, if people have any tweaks or suggestions for me to consider, I'm open to incorporating into the next round.  Perhaps I'd try the malnati's next, but the thought of reading through the entire thread to figure out what I'm going to do is daunting!!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on April 19, 2011, 08:11:56 AM
The pizza looked absolutely delicious, Boston B, but from the pictures I couldn't see a layer of dough on top of the ingredients as stuffed pizza like Giordano's style is supposed to have.  Maybe its just hard to tell from the photos.  But your procedure description doesn't mention that 2nd dough skin layer either.  Was this intended to be a "stuffed" pizza in the Giordano's style?  All the ingredients are apparent on top of the sauce in you photos.  Usually only the sauce is apparent on the top of a stuffed pizza like Giordano's.

All the classic stuffed Chicago deep dish pizzerias use uncooked quality sausage, but I realize some are reluctant but generally because of inexperience with it.  Note the picture of a stuffed pizza from Giordano's website below.  Just the sauce is seen on top and not all the "toppings" and other added ingredients which are under the sauce and under the 2nd dough skin layer.  Maybe you didn't intend to make a Giordano's style pizza.

                                                                                           --BTB
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Pete-zza on April 19, 2011, 10:04:54 AM
BTB,

If you go back to Reply 11 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg48130.html#msg48130, which recites the recipe that Boston BBQ-za used, you will note that it is one of buzz's early dough recipes, which he deemed to make a Giordano's-like pizza. I don't believe that you were on the forum at the time but there was some discussion and differences of opinion on whether all Giordano's stores used the second (top) layer. See, for example, buzz's post at Reply 39 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1478.msg28129/topicseen.html#msg28129.

Peter
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on April 19, 2011, 11:08:48 AM
No, Peter, I can't recall I've seen all those old postings and am incredibly surprised that there was ever a doubt or question in regard the second dough layer.  It is "stuffed" pizza because . . . . it is "stuffed" between two layers of dough, both top and bottom.  And in this particular thread, at least lately, it seems most or all had presumed such, but you never know I guess.  Buzz is a good guy, but must have had one of those "senior moments" back then (I have many, too).  But Buzz likes their thin crust more so than their stuffed pizza and I just wonder if he wasn't talking about that back then. 

As I and others have shown in other postings, here's a photo that I took at Giordano's a year or two ago showing the second (top) layer of dough as they put it on before the tomato sauce (notice the holes that are made in the top crust to allow for heat/steam to exhaust).  This is the same as the "stuffed" pizza made at their very first restaurant on California Ave. in Chicago that I first visited "umpteen" years ago.  Great pizza and I'm "hankering" for some more.

But to set the record straight, ALL the classic "stuffed" deep dish pizzerias that came out of Chicago (i.e., Giordano's, Edwardo's, Nancy's, Bacino's, and many others whose name I can't recall at the moment) had two layers of dough skin into or between which all the cheese and other "toppings" were put -- with the tomato sauce placed on top of the second dough layer.  "There ain't no 2 ways about it."  Some of this was slightly varied, of course, depending on different kinds of pizza pies that were ordered.

Now regular kind of deep dish pizza is . . . a different story.  Giordano's did not and does not make such style pizza.

                                                                                                  --BTB        :D
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Boston BBQ-za on April 21, 2011, 07:24:48 PM
I guess I could've my comments elsewhere, but since I got the recipe from earlier on in this thread, I figured it was appropriate to put here. Your correct, I didn't do a 2nd layer of dough, which is consistent with the recipe. I guess the debate can go on how to classify this, but for the record, I never used the term 'stuffed', just deep dish.  What I know is that it was a good pie and I'd do it again.  Just one man's opinion
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: BTB on July 07, 2011, 09:18:31 AM
A recent article for those who are fans of the stuffed Giordano's style of deep dish pizza.

Chicago Essential: Giordano's


http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/07/chicago-essential-giordanos.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feedmeaslice+%28Slice%29
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Tofe1984 on August 31, 2011, 02:21:42 PM
Hi folks,
I justed wanted to say thanks too you all for your discussion on how to make a giordanos pie.
I finally took a foray into pizza making and tried a couple pies with loowaters dough recipe posted earlier in this thread

For 1 10 inch pie I used...

> Flour (100%):         404.74 g  |  14.28 oz | 0.89 lbs
> Water (52%):         210.47 g  |  7.42 oz | 0.46 lbs
> ADY (.75%):             3.04 g | 0.11 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.8 tsp | 0.27 tbsp
> Salt (1%):                4.05 g | 0.14 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.73 tsp | 0.24 tbsp
> Olive Oil (3%):        12.14 g | 0.43 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.7 tsp | 0.9 tbsp
> Canola Oil (12%):   48.57 g | 1.71 oz | 0.11 lbs | 10.69 tsp | 3.56 tbsp
> Total (168.75%):   683.01 g | 24.09 oz | 1.51 lbs | TF = 0.1768

anyhow, I prepared the dough in my kitchenaid mixer with the paddle attachment mixing at low speed starting with warm water, then yeast, then salt, then oils, and then slowly added the flour (KA-AP).  Once the dough was combined i switched to the hook attachment and kneaded for ~2minutes and set the dough in a bowl to ferment in the fridge for ~30 hours.  Before assembling the pie I brushed the pizza ban with melted butter.  I used about 2/3 of the dough for the bottom skin and 1/3 for the top, the filling was aout 8oz whole milk mozzerella, 10 oz skim mozzerella, 10 oz sweet italian sausage.  I wanted a somewhat chunky sauce for the pie so i strained 2 cans of peeled diced tomatoes, and crushed by fork and mixed in italian herbs and a couple cloves of crushed garlic and topped with some parmasean.  I cooked the pie on a pizza stone in a 450F preheated oven.  It came out delicious.


One question I have is whether folks typically use vegetable oil or shortening in their doughs...The dough I made using the shortening definately had a bit more stretchiness too it (although I may have not controlled the mixing/gluten formation adequately between the dough with oil vs the one with shortening).

Thanks, and I look forward to learning more about pizza from the forum.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: lilbuddypizza on September 09, 2011, 10:22:51 PM
No, Peter, I can't recall I've seen all those old postings and am incredibly surprised that there was ever a doubt or question in regard the second dough layer.  It is "stuffed" pizza because . . . . it is "stuffed" between two layers of dough, both top and bottom.  And in this particular thread, at least lately, it seems most or all had presumed such, but you never know I guess.  Buzz is a good guy, but must have had one of those "senior moments" back then (I have many, too).  But Buzz likes their thin crust more so than their stuffed pizza and I just wonder if he wasn't talking about that back then. 

As I and others have shown in other postings, here's a photo that I took at Giordano's a year or two ago showing the second (top) layer of dough as they put it on before the tomato sauce (notice the holes that are made in the top crust to allow for heat/steam to exhaust).  This is the same as the "stuffed" pizza made at their very first restaurant on California Ave. in Chicago that I first visited "umpteen" years ago.  Great pizza and I'm "hankering" for some more.

But to set the record straight, ALL the classic "stuffed" deep dish pizzerias that came out of Chicago (i.e., Giordano's, Edwardo's, Nancy's, Bacino's, and many others whose name I can't recall at the moment) had two layers of dough skin into or between which all the cheese and other "toppings" were put -- with the tomato sauce placed on top of the second dough layer.  "There ain't no 2 ways about it."  Some of this was slightly varied, of course, depending on different kinds of pizza pies that were ordered.

Now regular kind of deep dish pizza is . . . a different story.  Giordano's did not and does not make such style pizza.

                                                                                                  --BTB        :D


Oddly enough, it's the practice of the second/top layer and under cooking that has me making home made stuffed by omitting the sauce until the last 10 minutes. Undercooked dough gives me the shpilkes.
In Chicago, three places overcome the second layer problem(that TOO many think is cheese!)---Beggar's. Durbin's , and Pizza Castle.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: DTJunkie on November 01, 2011, 01:04:16 AM
A recent article for those who are fans of the stuffed Giordano's style of deep dish pizza.

Chicago Essential: Giordano's


http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/07/chicago-essential-giordanos.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feedmeaslice+%28Slice%29

Hmm, I read the article and it left me with more questions. The writer describes the Giordanos stuffed pizza as having whole milk mozzerella, high gluten flour, and some kind of shortening in the crust. I am doubtful of the whole milk mozz and the high gluten flour. But is there a chance that Giordanos uses shortening or lard in its dough? Giordanos does not seem to have the high fat, crackeryness that regular deep dish has, so I wonder if the fat content is a lot lower or a different kind of fat is used?
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Garvey on February 08, 2012, 11:03:53 AM
I synthesized many recipes here to get a formulation that seemed right to me (will have to post the recipe later--either tonight or tomorrow), but I wanted to show some pix of how it came out.  Thanks to all the good info in this thread and elsewhere! 

Some pix:

(1) The dough was a five-day cold ferment. Was beautiful to work with. 
(2) The spinach started out as a 1 lb bag, which I wilted gently to remove some water. Added sauteed onions and garlic, along with some freshly shredded whole milk mozz. 
(3) The top crust is on and vented. I baked it like this for the first 20 minutes before ladling on the tomato sauce and finishing it in the oven.
(4) The finished pizza, cooling.
(5) Inside shot.
(6) Another inside shot. It turned out great. I would probably make this again.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: home made on February 12, 2012, 11:59:56 AM
I just love seeing everyone's pizza making in action. Here is one I did last night. It is not my first deep dish stuffed pizza but it is my first time using the cast iron skillet. I use buzz's crust recipe. I also cooked it most of the way before topping with sauce. Hope the pictures work.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: dmcavanagh on February 12, 2012, 12:05:12 PM
Great looking pie, you're making me hungry. I haven't done a Chicago style in a while, that may have to be corrected. :-\
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: dmcavanagh on February 12, 2012, 12:08:40 PM
Garvey

Are you the same "Garvey" from Serious Eats. the name looks familiar?
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Garvey on February 12, 2012, 04:04:40 PM
DMC--yep, one in the same.   There are a few of us in both places, it seems.  Cheers!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: JConk007 on February 12, 2012, 05:12:52 PM
GREAT JOB!!
I was just in Orlando last week and made every effort to grab a Giordanios stuffed pie every time I called the wait was 1 Plus hours just for to go  !!
Next time for sure
John
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: decanters on March 14, 2012, 04:15:04 AM
I synthesized many recipes here to get a formulation that seemed right to me (will have to post the recipe later--either tonight or tomorrow), but I wanted to show some pix of how it came out.  Thanks to all the good info in this thread and elsewhere! 

Some pix:

(1) The dough was a five-day cold ferment. Was beautiful to work with. 
(2) The spinach started out as a 1 lb bag, which I wilted gently to remove some water. Added sauteed onions and garlic, along with some freshly shredded whole milk mozz. 
(3) The top crust is on and vented. I baked it like this for the first 20 minutes before ladling on the tomato sauce and finishing it in the oven.
(4) The finished pizza, cooling.
(5) Inside shot.
(6) Another inside shot. It turned out great. I would probably make this again.


Garvey,

Great looking pizza!  Could you post a detailed recipe that you used please?
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Garvey on March 15, 2012, 09:53:26 PM
Decanters:

It's several pages, handwritten, but I will try to type it up soon.  Do you need the whole procedure or just the dough formulation?

Wondering if I should start a new thread or just make this punishingly long thread even longer...

Garvey
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: decanters on March 16, 2012, 04:33:38 AM
Garvey,

The whole procedure would be great (and much appreciated!).  I'd reckon you can make a new thread you like!  It might allow us to discuss your recipe better  :)
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: boydcrowder on July 07, 2012, 08:31:40 PM
I have actually never eaten at the Chicago Gios but my borther used to work at one in IL, and the ones in Orlando just don't seem to do it justice. The crust is basically cardboard, they used canned veggies, the sausage tastes like it is cooked frozen and the both the sausage and pep are way over spiced.  The only safe toppings are onion, mushroom, and ground beef.  Lots of cheesy goodness though.  The thin are actually better.  I remember back in the day they used to claim they were always tweaking their recipe, but it is so corporate now. 
If you are in IL and want a great stuffed, try a place called Vita Bella with a couple locations out near Bolingbrook.  They fresh cook their ingredients (or they used to anyway).  It is what Gios probably used to be before it went corporate.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Bob on July 09, 2012, 06:36:23 PM

If you are in IL and want a great stuffed, try a place called Vita Bella with a couple locations out near Bolingbrook.  They fresh cook their ingredients (or they used to anyway).  It is what Gios probably used to be before it went corporate.
Haven't been back in ages but Nancy's used to be a good stop too. I think they teamed up with Al's Beefs , so you can now get both grooves on at the same time....oh the humanity!
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: pythonic on July 22, 2012, 06:51:57 PM
Vita Bella is ok but i'd give them about a 7/10.  They just lack some flavor in the crust and sauce dept.  Giordanos is a 10 all the way.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Garvey on September 10, 2012, 02:19:57 PM
As promised long ago, here is the formulation I used for my Giordano's as pictured above (a few posts prior to this one) (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg171143.html#msg171143).  It is a cross between VCB's deep dish recipe, Loowaters' Giordano's, & Elevenbravo's Giordano's.

DOUGH
-For one 9" stuffed pizza:
Flour (100%):
Water (cool, not warm) (50%):
IDY (1.3%):
Salt (2%):
Corn Oil (17%):
Total (170.3%):
Single Inner Ball (bottom crust):
Single Outer Ball (top crust):
190 g  |  6.71 oz | 0.42 lbs
95 g  |  3.36 oz | 0.21 lbs
2.5 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.82 tsp | 0.27 tbsp
4 g | 0.13 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.68 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
32 g | 1.14 oz | 0.07 lbs | 7.19 tsp | 2.4 tbsp
324 g | 11.43 oz | 0.71 lbs | TF = N/A
216 g | 7.62 oz | 0.48 lbs
108 g | 3.81 oz | 0.24 lbs

- Stir together ingredients to combine and knead slowly for 90 seconds, max.
- Put in fridge for 3-5 day cold ferment.  Punch down as needed (e.g., once after 24 hrs)
- Put pizza stone on bottom rack and preheat to 450o for one hour.
- Prep the filling, sauce, etc.

DAY OF BAKING
- Take dough out of fridge 2-3 hrs before using.
- If dough hasn't been divided already, divide into two parts: (A) two-thirds of weight and (B) one-third of weight.  The heavier ball will be the bottom crust, and the lighter, the top.

FILLING
- 16 oz bag of fresh, washed spinach leaves - salt and then wilt in hot pan and then drain/squeeze dry
- thinly sliced onion and garlic  - salt and then saute briefly salt in hot pan to release some liquid

CHEESE
- 8 oz sliced mozz
- 4 oz shredded cheese blend

SAUCE
- Crushed tomatoes, strained in mesh strainer
- Gently stir in basil

ASSEMBLY
- Grease bottom, not sides, of pan with shortening
- Roll out bigger dough ball and then press into pan and all the way up the sides.
- Gently press mozz slices into dough and up sides. Overlap slices.
- Put wilted spinach and onions and garlic on top of cheese.  Spread out evenly.
- Sprinkle in the shredded cheese.
- Roll out the small dough ball and put on top of pizza.  Pinch top and side edges together to seal.
- Poke a few holes or cut a few slits in top skin to vent the pizza.
- Do not put on the sauce at this time.  It will come later.

BAKING
- Put the unsauced pizza into the oven, onto the stone, for 20 minutes.
- Gently heat sauce in a small saucepan so that it is just about at a simmer, but do not actually simmer it.
- Pull pizza from oven and get ready to work quickly as you: (A) ladle on the hot sauce and spread it around and (B) sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Put pizza back in oven, turn down oven to 400o, and bake for another 18-22 minutes until done
- Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

ENJOY!




Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: pizzoid on September 10, 2012, 10:24:48 PM
I was in Chicago last weekend. Had Stuffed pies from the downtown Giordanos location on East Lake.

Disgusting.

No flavor to the crust, cheap cheese, sauce was acidic with low flavor. Sausage was pretty wimpy as well.

I never have to go back again. The Giordanos I remember from 20 years ago doesn't exist. Heck, I could make a better pie without even looking at a recipe (and I have).
Far better was a nice pie at Bella Bacinos on upper Wacker a few blocks away.

- Al
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: CindyCRNA on July 16, 2013, 05:41:32 PM
Hi, this is my first post (well, ok, second if you include the intro!) and wondered what you thought about this crust. It has butter and is touted a "pastry" type so I thought I would throw it out: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/09/22/white-sicilian-pizza-with-flaky-pastry-style-crust/ (http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/09/22/white-sicilian-pizza-with-flaky-pastry-style-crust/)
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: pythonic on July 16, 2013, 07:07:59 PM
Hi, this is my first post (well, ok, second if you include the intro!) and wondered what you thought about this crust. It has butter and is touted a "pastry" type so I thought I would throw it out: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/09/22/white-sicilian-pizza-with-flaky-pastry-style-crust/ (http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/09/22/white-sicilian-pizza-with-flaky-pastry-style-crust/)

Hi Cindy,

I actually tried this pie out about a year ago and it was different but good.  I may have to revisit this.

Nate

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Jdurg on August 27, 2013, 10:15:40 PM
The first, and sadly ONLY, true Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza I ever had was during a business trip out to Chicago a few years ago.  I was DEAD tired after having just arrived a few hours earlier from a previous meeting in London, England, but knew that this would likely be the only night I'd get a chance to try out a Chicago Pizza as the next two days were filled with meetings.  So, dead tired, I asked the concierge at the hotel (can't remember the name of the hotel, but it was in the heart of the city) about the closest place for a true Chicago Pizza.  I was hoping that a Lou Malnati's was nearby as I had spent countless number of dollars on their frozen pizzas shipped to me.  (Living in CT, I can get every type of pizza out there except Chicago Deep-Dish.  What the pizzerias around here purport as "Deep-Dish" is actually just a pan pizza with an incredibly thick crust and NOT true Chicago Pizza.  So the only way I could get any type of real Deep-Dish was to order the pizza online and have it shipped to me.  It's just that doing so is VERY expensive and leaves me with a lot of shipping material to get rid of.  I desperately wanted a local place to make this pizza, but none do).

The concierge said that the only good place I could go within walking distance was Giordano's.  So I prepped myself for the long walk and made the trek out there.  I remember quite a line to get in, and having my order taken at the door while waiting to be seated.  I went and got the standard cheese stuffed pizza and was in heaven.  Reading through the forums here, I can't wait to try this again.

A few weeks back, I used a recipe from America's Test Kitchen for a Lou Malnati's type dough, and while it came out INCREDIBLE, it was a bit of work with all the laminating with butter and whatnot.  So trying a more "simple" recipe is definitely good.  I have a ball of dough for use in the 9" Malnati's metal pan, I had bought from them a while back, that is rising in the fridge.  Made it this afternoon and will use it tomorrow.  Got plenty of great parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and italian sausage that I'll use on this.  (Can't recall the brands right now).  Also have two 12" x 2" deep dish, straight walled steel pans that I got from AMCO on their way to me tomorrow.  Going to have fun seasoning them and using them frequently.  :D
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Bob on August 27, 2013, 10:23:54 PM
Hi, this is my first post (well, ok, second if you include the intro!) and wondered what you thought about this crust. It has butter and is touted a "pastry" type so I thought I would throw it out: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/09/22/white-sicilian-pizza-with-flaky-pastry-style-crust/ (http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/09/22/white-sicilian-pizza-with-flaky-pastry-style-crust/)
For all the cold butter they use in that crust it is not very layered looking. Almost appears to be wanting to turn into a big gum pie...needs more heat maybe.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Jdurg on August 28, 2013, 04:49:53 PM
So today I got a chance to test out the dough I had going overnight.  The recipe I used was the following:

Stop & Shop Brand All Purpose Unbleached Flour:  250.3 g
Warm Water:  152.2 g
Corn Oil: 54.1 g
Active Dry Yeast:  1.9 g
Fine Salt:  1.4 g
Sugar:  1 g

I mixed the water, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil in the mixing bowl and let it activate.  Once I saw it was bubbling, I went and added about half a cup of flour and mixed it until it was like a pancake batter.  Once mixed, I added the rest of the flour and mixed it by hand until it was just coming together.  At this point, I put my hands in there and kneaded it for only a few moments (probably about 90 seconds or so) until it wound up forming a cohesive ball.  At this point, I put it into an oiled bowl, covered it in plastic wrap, and let it ferment in the refrigerator overnight. 

Today, I went and pulled out the dough from the fridge, punched it down and let it come to room temperature while the oven and pizza stone heated up to 425 degrees for an hour.  When the dough was at room temp, I rolled it out on a VERY lightly floured countertop with a rolling pin.  It rolled out BEAUTIFULLY and almost seemed more like pastry dough or pasta than it did pizza dough.  I used about 2/3rds of the dough for the base.  The recipe I got from a website online (realdeepdish.net) was designed for a 12" pan.  My 12" pans I ordered online hadn't arrived yet, so I used the 9" Lou Malnati's pan I had, therefore it gave me enough dough for the top.  I buttered up the Malnati's pan to ensure the dough wouldn't stick, and laid out the circular dough sheet I had into the pan with the ends drooping over the edges of the pan.  I then went and pressed the dough down firmly to the pan.  Inside there I added slices of Sorrento Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese, a layer of Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage, and another layer of cheese slices.  I then rolled out the rest of the dough and laid it on top of the pizza pressing the edges together and trimming off excess.  Opened up some holes in the top layer, then ladled on the sauce to cover.

The sauce was made from a 28 ounce can of drained, whole San Marzano tomatoes that did not have citric acid or other preservatives in there, a teaspoon of a salt, two medium cloves of minced garlic, about five large leaves of fresh basil finely chopped, a teaspoon of onion power, a few drops of concentrated balsamic vinegar, a tablespoon of olive oil, and a bit of black pepper.  I then mushed up the tomatoes and let the sauce rest and meld for about twenty minutes.  I didn't measure how much sauce I put on there, but it was just enough to cover the top and there is still about a cup of sauce left in the bowl.

The pizza went into the oven on the hot pizza stone and baked for 35 minutes.  The result when it came out is the image below.  It was INCREDIBLY flakey and buttery, and the entire thing was cooked awesomely.  (If that's even a word).

My apologies for this experiment not being as scientific as most posts on here, but it was the first time I cooked a stuffed pizza like this and I am incredibly proud of how it came out.  My roommate gave it a try and said "Thanks Justin.  Now that you can cook pizza like this my girlfriend will dump me because I'm going to wind up fat as a whale.  Are there more slices left?"   :-D

I think it means I did good.  :p

Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Hacy on November 19, 2013, 09:00:23 PM
Wolfgang, can I ask what is 6 in 1 tomatoes, grew up in Chicago, LOVE all of all the PIZZAS, always thought STEWED TOMATOES were used in the DEEP DISH PIZZAS, that is what they taste like, I'm baffeled.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Garvey on November 22, 2013, 10:24:15 PM
Hacy:

6in1 is a brand name of a tomato product that is used in many, many Chicago  deep dish joints.  See http://www.escalon.net/products/6in1-tomato-sauce.aspx (http://www.escalon.net/products/6in1-tomato-sauce.aspx)

Definitely not stewed.  Deep dish and stuffed pizza have a sauce that is fairly "bright."

Cheers,
Garvey
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: Chicago Rules!!! on September 22, 2015, 08:08:58 PM
Been awhile since I've been on here. How are everybody's pies making out?
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: pythonic on September 22, 2015, 08:14:47 PM
Welcome back.  Check out pizzagarage's laminated stuffed crust thread for the latest Giordano's crust.
Title: Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
Post by: buzz on February 29, 2016, 05:02:07 PM
Hi Everyone.
I'm new to the forum but have been a very big fan of Giordano's Pizza for a long time.  I've made my share of pizza's that claim to be "similar" to Giordano's and none really "cracked the code" as it were.  Some were similar, some were way off.  You can imagine how interested I was when I ran accross this website and this recipe specifically.

Well I tried the Buzz recipe but I don't believe the code has been cracked. Buzz, hats off to you for the elusive secret regarding short knead times for the biscuit like crust.  That particular aspect has always plagued my efforts. 

I followed the recipe precisely with precise measurements.  I actually followed the recipe using two techniques (First exactly as Buzz describes and second mixing the flour, yeast and oil together first). 

I'm not saying I can do better than this recipe, I'm simply offering up taste observations that I know are absolutely accurate in comparison to Giordano's crust.

Observation 1 - Not enough dough.  You need enough dough for top and bottom layer for at least a 9 or 10" pie.  The recipe has to be modified to include at least 3 cups of flour and other ingredients.  The essence of Giordano's is a top and bottom layer.

Observation 2. The crust was absolutely too oily without a doubt.  In fact, while assembling the pizza, the dough was too heavy and oily to even hug the sides of the pan and stay up.  Either the Buzz recipe of 3.5 TBS oil per 1.5 C flour is way too much oil or Buzz is really compressing the flour when digging it out from the flour bag and not quite experiencing what I did.  Either way, the ratio of oil to flour is way too high and you can taste the oil in the crust. You can even see the color of the oil in the crust. 
Recommendation: 1 TBS Oil per Cup of flour.

Observation 3. The crust is too salty. When tasting Giordano's crust, you cannot close your eyes and pick out the salt flavor in the crust as you can in this recipe. 
Recommendation: 1/2 tsp salt per 2 cups of flour.

Observation 4: Need a bit more sugar in the crust. Giordano's crust is very un-Pizza-like. With that said, the recipe needs more sugar to begin balancing that fine line between pizza crust and pastry goodness.
Recommendation: 1 Tablespoon of sugar per 2 cups of flour.

Observation 5: When tasting the crust, you can taste the yeast. In fact you can burp up the yeast flavor 20 minutes later. (sorry but I'm trying to be a little funny here). Giordano's has absolutely NO yeast flavor whatsoever. I've often wondered if I should try to make their crust with baking soda or powder. Never tried that, but I can tell you that there is no yeast flavor to be found in a Giordano's crust.
Recommendation:  Assuming that Giordano's does use yeast I would recommend that you use 1/2 tsp yeast per 2 cups of flour. Don't forget, the Giordano's crust isn't all that fluffy and chewy anyway. So there is not much of a need to fluff it up and ferment it with the taste of yeast and have the pastry like taste of the crust be spoiled.

I think that's about it.  My next try will probably use approximately the following:

3.5 to 4 Cups flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2 TBS Sugar
1 Cup water
6 TBS canola oil

As others have mentioned, you want to mix the flour, oil and yeast together to give you the flakiness.
Add the oil afterwards and knead for 2-4 minutes until you are happy with the consistency.
Don't forget to grease the pan liberally with margarine.

I'll let you know how it goes.   Thanks again to Buzz for getting this closer than so many other recipes out there on the internet.



Hi, all--

I haven't been posting for quite a while because I've been staying away from pizza!!!!! But I happened to stumble onto this, so I thought I'd reply. As for the saltiness--the use of Kosher salt is specified, which is not as salty as table salt, so if you use that much table salt, then yes, it would be too salty (you'd need @ 25% less). As for the top dough layer--I've stated elsewhere that I don't use it because to me it adds nothing.

I just decided to make a deep dish experiment, so instead of my usual 3 Tablespoons oil to one cup flour ratio, I substituted half cold Crisco (fully hydrogenated)--mixed 1 minute, kneaded 1.5 minutes (all in the bread machine). The result, I thought, was not only a very malleable dough, but a very good crust. When I get the time I'll try some more experiments!