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Author Topic: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza  (Read 22538 times)

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Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #440 on: April 20, 2019, 02:37:58 AM »
I tried to make a ridge as best I could, and it got better with each pizza, but PR's ridge is much thinner than mine and almost looks like a flap. Mine just comes out like a regular crust.  Next time I will make the ridge narrower for a very thin flappy cornicione.  I think I need to just make a thin strip around the edge of the disc. 

I did burn the 16" pizza and you can see how dry the crumb was.  I was amazed at how well the Great Lakes cheese browned on top, while my ratios in the first two pizzas were a bit off sauce and cheese-wise. With the third pizza, I decided to go back to 16Ē size and used my 10oz sauce / 6.5oz cheese ratio. 10Ē pizza is something I need to work on ratio wise. More pics of the 16Ē pizza # 3 and the PR ridge I'm trying to get.

In the last pic of PR, how does the dough mold cause PR's ridge to not puff out or rise much at all?  It's such a thin flat strip with the dough molds I've seen.  Is it just from the mold pushing gases inward to the center or inward perimeter of the dough, instead of outward to the cornicone?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 03:17:21 AM by Pod4477 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #441 on: April 20, 2019, 07:19:00 PM »
Pod4477,

I think you have it right on the black specks and also on the rim size.

When I conducted my experiments using ADY dry and adding it late in the dough making process, and when I used low water temperatures, a modest hydration value, and tin storage containers, I was simply applying principles of science, biochemistry and physics to achieve fermentation periods that were multiples of what one would normally use. What I was initially looking to achieve was about six days of cold fermentation, but as I added experiments that period grew to two weeks or more. I was not striving for black specks in the dough. They just happened. What gave the finished crusts their great flavor were the steps mentioned above. If the black specks contributed to the crust flavor I did not notice it.

With respect to the rim size issue, from what I have seen the dough used in a dough mold is pressed starting with the rim. That forces the dough from the circumference of the skin toward the center. Of course, the weight of dough for the given pizza size has to be chosen such that you don't end with a giant blob of dough in the center. In such a case, the giant blob is likely to fight back and resist being pushed to the center of the skin. So the dough weight value is critical.

I should also mention that I liked the looks of the pizzas you showed recently. If you had reported that they were actual PR pizzas I would have believed you. At the same time, I am well aware of how difficult it is to exactly replicate a commercial pizza in a typical home setting. So you shouldn't view what you end up with as a failure if that lofty goal is not achieved to your expectations.

Press on--literally ;D.

Peter

Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #442 on: April 21, 2019, 02:03:42 AM »
Pod4477,

I think you have it right on the black specks and also on the rim size.

When I conducted my experiments using ADY dry and adding it late in the dough making process, and when I used low water temperatures, a modest hydration value, and tin storage containers, I was simply applying principles of science, biochemistry and physics to achieve fermentation periods that were multiples of what one would normally use. What I was initially looking to achieve was about six days of cold fermentation, but as I added experiments that period grew to two weeks or more. I was not striving for black specks in the dough. They just happened. What gave the finished crusts their great flavor were the steps mentioned above. If the black specks contributed to the crust flavor I did not notice it.

With respect to the rim size issue, from what I have seen the dough used in a dough mold is pressed starting with the rim. That forces the dough from the circumference of the skin toward the center. Of course, the weight of dough for the given pizza size has to be chosen such that you don't end with a giant blob of dough in the center. In such a case, the giant blob is likely to fight back and resist being pushed to the center of the skin. So the dough weight value is critical.

I should also mention that I liked the looks of the pizzas you showed recently. If you had reported that they were actual PR pizzas I would have believed you. At the same time, I am well aware of how difficult it is to exactly replicate a commercial pizza in a typical home setting. So you shouldn't view what you end up with as a failure if that lofty goal is not achieved to your expectations.

Press on--literally ;D.

Peter

Thank you!  Happy to know my thinking has been right :). Two weeks fermentation is amazing and it still baffles me how you and PR achieve that many black specks.  Taste is the true factor though as you said.
Hmm so that must be why PR doughs puff up towards the center a smidge bit.  They are usually super flat around the circumference.  I'd love to buy a dough mold.  Does anyone know of any currently for sale?

Thank you! That is quite an accomplishment for me and I was pleased to not be able to tell which crust was mine and which was PR in a taste test two weeks ago.  It has been quite difficult and especially since PR North End oven has no flames and is basically a regular gas oven but with an extra 100 degrees F.  I have designed a rough sketch of an oven I want to build, to be able to make 22" pizzas.  I suspect I'll be doing 16"-18" more though.  I may have to scale down the cooking area a bit, but the base stand should be what I'm going to build.  I need to decide on oven design, as my main goal is to make a hybrid PR type oven that replicates the oil PR coal fire of the 20s.  I'm really going for a coal fired oven size, but using lump charcoal. 

I want only the heat of the lump fire, but without the flames.  Maybe I can put firebricks in between the fire and pizza while cooking, but may not have to.  I've found not using flames to be the best way to replicate North End PR's 10-12 minute or so cooks.  To me PR is like if you cooked in a WFO, but with the heat stable around 600-660F, and no flames, so I guess more like a coal fired oven.  It's basically a NY gas oven pie, but with a hint of the coal fired heat.  There's a crackle in the cornicone, but the flour stays caked on from no flames ever touching the pies.  They seemed to keep some of the heat appeal of their coal fired oven when they switched to gas.  I wonder how their gas heat is able to stay around 600+F and why more gas ovens don't cook around those temps, as they seem perfect.  The biggest challenge is cooking around 660F with no flame.  It keeps the dough from charring and getting bitter.

Haha I will press on  :-D perfect pun. :chef:

The yellow is the opening without a door designed yet.  The black door is a possible fire door for the charcoal.  There are three plans I have so far, with varying height and widths.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 02:53:03 PM by Pod4477 »

Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #443 on: April 25, 2019, 01:59:25 AM »
So the 72x72" slab is done!  Looking at different ovens, I guess my closest comparison for a PR style oven is a Scott style oven.  But I did notice PR in the North End has a foot or less door opening, with a door opening into the oven.  There appears to be a flat ceiling too.  I think if I do an arched ceiling it will be a minimal arch, or I may make it a flat ceiling.  I need to remember that it will never full replicate PR's age or gas oven characteristics, but I do think a Scott style oven is a lot closer to PR's oven, or coal fired ovens.  I don't want a 6 hour heat up time, but I think at 48x48 is close to Andrew's coal fired oven on here, and he said his was about 1.5 hour heat up.  I'm definitely not trying to cook Neapolitan pizzas, and I want a bake temp of around 600-660F. 

I'm waiting on flour to make more pizzas this week.  There's only one Shaws near me that sells Pillsbury Bread Flour, and they've been out of it.  Hopefully they will be in tomorrow to make a few to test out this week!

Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #444 on: April 27, 2019, 11:34:59 AM »
So it turns out Walmart sells Pillsbury Bread flour...BUT, they use enzymes now too, instead of malted barley flour.  I don't think this is a major concern though as the long ferment seems to be the major factor in PR dough.  The North End locations don't even get much browning. 

Which leads me to my idea of building a Scott style oven instead of a coal fired oven.  Looking at PR's oven, it was coal at one time, but now gas, and I noticed the ceiling looks flat.  The pizzas seem to come out with all the caked on flour still intact, which shows that of course no flames touch the pizza and it's a very dry oven. It really reminds me of a bread oven, compared to a pizza oven.  I have a feeling the best way to replicate PR is to make a bread oven and cook without any live flames.  It may be tough to keep temps around 600-700F though, which is obviously a big factor in PR pizzas.  600-700F dry heat without any flames.

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #445 on: April 27, 2019, 11:37:22 AM »
Gas is a very wet heat.  CH4 + 202 --> CO2 + 2H2O
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Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #446 on: April 27, 2019, 12:11:34 PM »
Gas is a very wet heat.  CH4 + 202 --> CO2 + 2H2O

Good point, so I wonder how they do it then. I've never seen it personally, but Pizza Shark talked about how dry the oven was, and a few other sites have mentioned it.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #447 on: April 27, 2019, 12:40:18 PM »
So it turns out Walmart sells Pillsbury Bread flour...BUT, they use enzymes now too, instead of malted barley flour.  I don't think this is a major concern though as the long ferment seems to be the major factor in PR dough.  The North End locations don't even get much browning. 
Pod4477,

You are correct that the Pillsbury Best bread flour contains an enzyme now instead of malted barley flour (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pillsbury-Best-Bread-Flour-5-Pound/10308169). But I am sure that the enzyme is a fungal amylase, which many millers are gravitating toward, including General Mills. The Pillsbury retail flours used to be sourced by Smucker's but they sold out to a private equity firm called Brynwood Partners. Brynwood has given the Pillsbury name top billing:

https://www.brynwoodpartners.com/portfolio

I am not sure if the Pillsbury Best bread flour is bleached so you might check on that when you are able to purchase a bag to see if bleaching is indicated.

Peter

Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #448 on: April 27, 2019, 12:45:54 PM »
Pod4477,

You are correct that the Pillsbury Best bread flour contains an enzyme now instead of malted barley flour (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pillsbury-Best-Bread-Flour-5-Pound/10308169). But I am sure that the enzyme is a fungal amylase, which many millers are gravitating toward, including General Mills. The Pillsbury retail flours used to be sourced by Smucker's but they sold out to a private equity firm called Brynwood Partners. Brynwood has given the Pillsbury name top billing:

https://www.brynwoodpartners.com/portfolio

I am not sure if the Pillsbury Best bread flour is bleached so you might check on that when you are able to purchase a bag to see if bleaching is indicated.

Peter

Thank you.  I was wondering about this.  It does seem inevitable for all manufacturers to use fungal amylase.  I didn't know that about Brynwood Partners!  I was trying to figure out if it was bleached or not.  It doesn't say on the package, and the ingredients just list wheat flour, so I have a feeling it may be unbleached.  But it does seem very white when baked and not yellow like Gold Medal Bread Flour was.

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #449 on: April 27, 2019, 03:15:23 PM »
Good point, so I wonder how they do it then. I've never seen it personally, but Pizza Shark talked about how dry the oven was, and a few other sites have mentioned it.

Coal/charcoal and electricity are the only two dry heats.
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Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #450 on: April 28, 2019, 12:14:04 PM »
Coal/charcoal and electricity are the only two dry heats.

So interesting then, as what I suspected in the back of my head to just be the 600-700F temps being the reason for awesome bakes.  My guess is also that if Braintree's oven was 600-700F and used a ton of flour, it would come out similar.

Offline PizzAmateur

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #451 on: April 28, 2019, 12:23:13 PM »
So interesting then, as what I suspected in the back of my head to just be the 600-700F temps being the reason for awesome bakes.  My guess is also that if Braintree's oven was 600-700F and used a ton of flour, it would come out similar.

Could it be that the majority of the moisture from the gas flame is actually going out the vent/flue due to the high temperature?

I wonder?  I know my last smoker was gas and it made wonderful smoked pulled pork, but the temperature was kept at about 225įF.

So the moisture definitely had a chance to hang around... but at the high temps...?

I wonder when you get to the 600-700įF range if the moisture from the gas flame is really a significant factor in baking a pizza?

Just wondering and jabbering out loud.   :angel: >:D
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 12:26:28 PM by PizzAmateur »

Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #452 on: April 28, 2019, 09:44:21 PM »
Could it be that the majority of the moisture from the gas flame is actually going out the vent/flue due to the high temperature?

I wonder?  I know my last smoker was gas and it made wonderful smoked pulled pork, but the temperature was kept at about 225įF.

So the moisture definitely had a chance to hang around... but at the high temps...?

I wonder when you get to the 600-700įF range if the moisture from the gas flame is really a significant factor in baking a pizza?

Just wondering and jabbering out loud.   :angel: >:D

That might be true!  I'm not sure myself but I was suspecting some reason for Pizza Shark to say dry oven unless it's not a dry oven/. Maybe he was referring to the old coal setup, but it sounded like he meant 1990s era.

Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #453 on: May 06, 2019, 12:45:31 PM »
Update:  The constant rain of 2 weeks has sort of ended and I haven't used my Ooni in that time.  I'm planning on making 60% effective versions of the NYD dough and Peter's KA dough this week.  I have been quite happy with the flavor of the Tomato Magic and Great Lakes Mozzarella, and feel that it is the closest to PR that I have ever come.  Another key flavor is definitely heating the slices up once they are cut, to give it the taste of ordering slices.  No wonder why the whole pizzas there always tastes more on the average side, compared to the slices.  The oils that drip off and cook onto the bottom of the pizza really add to it.  I also need to focus on making a thinner ridge next time or just making the flat style crusts of Braintree.  Does anyone know of a dough mold for sale?  I can't find the mold on Allied Metal's website and when I called them they said they don't sell one and can't custom make it for me.  I also wonder if I could just make one out of wood. It seems like all you would need is a circular ridge around the edge of the circle and a raised rim.  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9410.0 has some awesome pictures.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 01:18:26 PM by Pod4477 »

Offline Grease Wheel

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #454 on: May 10, 2019, 12:23:23 AM »
When I met my wife (Ď79) she was living above a sandwich and slice shop which was a 7 minute walk from Pizzeria Regina. I havenít eaten at PR since the late Ď80s when we moved out of state. She ate there while in Boston on business in 2013. (Iíve forgotten if she noticed a change over time. Iíll ask her tomorrow and edit in her assessment here. She said it was good then and good now, lol.) I came across these pics of the restaurant and her pizza. I hope itís appropriate to post them here.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 04:48:37 PM by Grease Wheel »
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Offline TOSHIO

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #455 on: May 10, 2019, 10:44:04 AM »
While students at MIT during the late 70's, we would plan our trips to PR with a car equipped with a driver and wingman. The plan was to pre-order the pizza for pickup, double park and send the wingman in past the long line (and angry stares) outside, get the added oil applied at the counter as we picked it up and ran back to Cambridge to eat. Usually it was a large cheese and a large sausage.

I have fond memories of that white and red string they used!

The Harvard Square location they opened in the early '80s was NOT near as good (nor did it have the sense of adventure).

Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #456 on: May 11, 2019, 01:00:17 AM »
When I met my wife (Ď79) she was living above a sandwich and slice shop which was a 7 minute walk from Pizzeria Regina. I havenít eaten at PR since the late Ď80s when we moved out of state. She ate there while in Boston on business in 2013. (Iíve forgotten if she noticed a change over time. Iíll ask her tomorrow and edit in her assessment here.) I came across these pics of the restaurant and her pizza. I hope itís appropriate to post them here.

While students at MIT during the late 70's, we would plan our trips to PR with a car equipped with a driver and wingman. The plan was to pre-order the pizza for pickup, double park and send the wingman in past the long line (and angry stares) outside, get the added oil applied at the counter as we picked it up and ran back to Cambridge to eat. Usually it was a large cheese and a large sausage.

I have fond memories of that white and red string they used!

The Harvard Square location they opened in the early '80s was NOT near as good (nor did it have the sense of adventure).

Awesome posts guys!  I loved reading them and the pictures remind me of being there.  The two workers still both work there I believe, or at least the man was there last month.  Must have been awesome to live so close to PR!  Thank you for posting the pics! 

Now what was the string used for again?  Was it for the pizza boxes?  I still feel the North End location is the best, but I haven't been to the Harvard Square location.  That's a good plan, having a wingman to help with the parking issue.  So many times I see people park in front and it always causes a traffic jam.  Haha the stares are something I get all the time; it's funny.  People are always surprised that pickup and slice orders can go right in, but even I didn't know the first time.  Also don't block the doors while waiting in line :P. I enjoy looking into the different windows while waiting in line for 20 min.  Sometimes I wait for my own table, but I let them know I'm going to order 1-2 pies just for myself.

Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #457 on: September 22, 2019, 11:56:09 PM »
My oven is almost done, and my 3rd pizza came out very close to PR in appearance and taste.  The sauce and cheese are almost identical now.  The bottom of the pizza came out slightly black like you'd get in some NY joints, and much closer to PR than the Ooni did.  With the new oven, I can fit 22" pizzas and the whole process is so much easier than the Ooni. I love the Ooni though, especially since it has a 45 min preheat, but it was a bit small and I usually burnt the crust because of this. 

So I tried some crust from PR the other day.  I sampled the inside of the crust, and I did taste a wonderful fermentation taste followed by a subtle sourdough-like flavor.  Now the taste wasn't throughout all the inside of the crust, but only in parts of it.  Most parts tasted just like regular Italian bread, but occasionally you get that flavor.  I'll have to do the same test with my dough to make sure I have that too.  The flavor is tough to explain, it could be the same as a mild sourdough, but it's not really sourdough tasting until you get to the aftertaste/secondary flavor.  I say mild sourdough because it is never as strong as a regular sourdough loaf. 

When I tasted it, I broke it down into a primary flavor and secondary flavor.  The primary flavor was most likely the same as I got on that New Year's Day revelation dough.  It's a very pleasent buttery flavor, and does seem to differ from the mild sourdough taste that follows in the secondary flavor.  The secondary flavor must be from the same fermentation of the primary flavor.  I assume these flavors are just from long fermentation of commercial IDY, ADY, cake yeast, or other types of yeast.  I theorize this is why people have stated that the dough had a sourdough starter in it.  The ingredients list I was given, just had yeast listed, so we know there is probably no starter or biga used.  I prefer it to sourdough bread, because of the buttery flavor and more mild sourdough secondary flavor.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 12:08:07 AM by Pod4477 »

Offline Pod4477

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #458 on: October 28, 2019, 09:04:48 PM »
So interesting developments in my PR quest.  I met someone in the PR lore, and while I can't give the name, this person gave me some insight.  Most of the info I already knew thanks to all of you, and it confirmed much of what we already knew.  Now since I already had the recipe ingredients, I asked about the yeast and was told it was block or cake yeast.  I was also told it wasn't cold fermented in a fridge, but instead left out for a day or two (I believe they told me).  I have a feeling this could have been an old method as we know that they CF for 3-7 days, and I don't think the flavor would be there unless they used a biga.  For reference, when I went to Pizza Fest back in July, I talked to an Italian shop owner, who confirmed they use a biga.  The biga crust tasted VERY similar to PR and honestly PR tasted very similar to the Neapolitan pizza with the biga.  The cheese and sauce were very similar, even with the Neapolitan having San Marzano tomatoes.  Those two are still the best crusts I've ever had, while the NJ pizza was amazing as well, but didn't have the crust. 

Fast forward to now, and while doing more testing of the inside of PR dough from Braintree, the wonderful buttery and biga/sourdough-like flavors shined.  It's easy to get tricked by the Grape-Nuts flavor of the Braintree PR's crust, but the inside of the crust tasted complex without being overly sour.  So now I know that the flavor I need is in the dough for sure, and not any browning of the crust or anything external.

So I will now go back to testing in the home oven next week, and comparing those pizzas to Braintree's pizzas.  I'm gong to try cake yeast, along with beer yeasts, IDY, and ADY.  After fermenting my last doughs for 14 days, I did see dead yeast, but not as much as Peter saw in his.  I remember the dead yeast being prevalent in Braintree's doughs.  Another big thing is keeping the dough hydrated, as my doughs's crust has been cracking when I stretch them.  Pizza Shark had noted that the dough should be hydrated a lot, and I wonder if the North End location started using the excessive flour (so much that it gets caked on) to make the dough easier to stretch into skins during the high demand shifts, due to the wet dough.  Or it could be that they just like having them stacked up and ready to stretch, and to do this they know they need a lot of flour.  Either way I know that when I make 50% hydration dough my crusts always crack when stretching, but when I make 70% they never do. 

Also the thickness of the crust helps.  It might be that I just have made my crust too thin out of ascetics, and I've found that the thicker crusts taste more like bread, which allows for more airy fluffy crusts that don't dry out.  During testing, it took a big chunk of the inside of the crust to taste the sourdough-like flavor, so I believe having that mass is key.

What do you guys think?  I have a feeling it's the type of yeast being used, along with the Cold Ferment, or maybe it's just the Cold Ferment.  I think the taste of biga was very close and do you guys think a biga crust would taste similar to a 3-9 day CF crust?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 09:12:42 PM by Pod4477 »

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Re: Recreating the Pizzeria Regina Pizza
« Reply #459 on: October 28, 2019, 11:28:13 PM »
Leave room for the notion that you may come up with something repeatable and a little more practical that you like better than PR.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 07:58:04 AM by foreplease »
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