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Author Topic: 1970s Pizza Hut Thick and Chewy Recipe  (Read 471 times)

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Offline I_Heart_Pizza

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1970s Pizza Hut Thick and Chewy Recipe
« on: August 21, 2018, 02:20:32 PM »
I'm posting this recipe for anyone who wants to give it a try as I think I've gotten as close to the original as I can, giving consideration to the fact that it's a small batch and also the equipment (or lack thereof) that I have to work with.  I developed this using a combination of memory (ingredients and process) and the help I got from pizzamaking.com in the form of reading many, many posts from members here whose pizza making skill and knowledge is just awesome.  Also, without the Lehmann Dough Calculator and its ability to scale a recipe and output exact ingredient amounts using baker's percents, I would never have been able to track and tweak changes from try to try.  Thanks to Boy Hits Car for creating it and to Steve and to Pete-zza and anyone else who contributed in any way.

Anyone who doesn't want to read all this can skip below for the recipes for both dough and sauce.  I know it's long winded, but I've been at this for a few months now!

A little background:  I worked for PH from about 1975 to 1980.  At that time all dough was made fresh in the store and all vegetables were cut fresh each day.  The cheese and pepperoni came frozen.  The sauce for the two pizza offerings, Thin and Crispy and Thick and Chewy was made from canned tomato products, each a different mix and each seasoned with its own measured spice packet that was called a 'Goodie Bag'.  T&C sauce (recipe follows) was 2- #10 cans puree and 1- #10 can of crushed tomatoes.  Water was weighed and at 105F and dumped into the mixer bowl.  Yeast (don't know the type), sugar, salt and vegetable oil were added and mixed together using a sauce whip and then the high-gluten flour was added.  The dough was mixed in the Hobart planetary mixer (time/ speed unknown) and dumped out onto a clean work surface where the dough was cut using a sharp knife into the three size balls we used at the time.  Each ball was then formed by hand until a round, smooth and slightly domed patty was formed.  Several would be placed in an oiled plastic tub with proper spacing to allow for the dough rising, lightly oiled on top and put in the walk-in to proof.  I don't remember the minimum time for proofing, but I'm fairly certain the target was 24+ hours and that today's batch was for tomorrow's business.  If the dough was made correctly, it would rise by about 2/3 during the proof.

When it was time to bake the pie, one of three sizes of aluminum cutter pans were lightly sprayed with Vegalene.  The dough was placed in the center and pressed down and slightly outward using both hands, while turning the pan until the skin was of uniform thickness and out to the pan edge.  It was sometimes necessary to allow the dough to rest for a minute or so, as it had a tendency to pull back toward the middle.  It was then sauced using the bottom of the sauce ladle to distribute it evenly and to within about a half inch of the edge, dressed and baked.  Two types of ovens were in use during my time with PH.  The older stores had a side by side pair of gas fired ovens that had some type of stone material as the deck.  Newer stores had electric ovens with stacked decks.  Not sure what the deck material was for these.  Both ovens were normally set to 400F and when up to temp would bake a large, single topping pizza in a little over 7 minutes.  Bubbling was not a major problem but did sometimes happen.

Sauce recipe: (I used Dei Fratelli brand)
2- parts quality canned tomato puree
1- part quality crushed tomatoes

Spices to taste-
Basil
Oregano
Granulated garlic
Onion powder
Salt
Black pepper
A tiny bit of sugar

Mix well and refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the spices to marry.   I used 8oz of this to sauce a 16" round.

For the dough, I initially used KA high-gluten but due to price and availability switched to GFS Bouncer after the KA ran out.  This was made using the Bouncer.  I also decided after a few tries to add additional gluten.  It made a noticeable positive difference for me in the chewiness and pull.  I used Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten.  I don't have equipment here for mixing dough, so that was done by hand.  Dough proofing was done in a deep, circular, glass casserole dish.  To speed cooling of the dough, I refrigerated the dish prior to mixing and placing the dough ball in it.  All measurements done in ounces using a digital scale for best accuracy and consistency batch to batch.

Dough recipe 21oz dough ball:

Flour - 100% - Bouncer high-gluten 12.47oz + 2- 2/3 tsp vital wheat gluten
Water 7.98oz 105F  64%
ADY 0.05oz  .375%
Salt 0.22oz  1.75% (Regular/Fine Sea Salt)
Oil 0.25oz   2% (Canola or olive oil)
Sugar 0.25oz  2%

Bowl residue compensation  1%

**********************************
Weigh out all ingredients except for water.  Coat proofing container bottom and sides with oil.

Add flour + vital wheat gluten to a large mixing bowl and mix together.  Weigh out water @ 105F and mix in the yeast and sugar.  Stir to dissolve.  Add the water to the mixing bowl and begin mixing the dough by hand.  Mix for 2 minutes until all flour has been hydrated, then add in the oil.  Knead by hand for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, dictated by the stickiness of the dough which should lessen as time progresses.  Shape the dough ball by turning the dough in both hands, rotating constantly and slightly turning the outside edge under as you go to smooth and shape the dough.  Avoid excess turning under as this will create a thin spot in the center.  The goal is to make a smooth and uniform dough patty of about 8" in diameter (for 21oz ball).  Place the patty in the cooled and oiled proofing container, lightly oil the top of the dough and place uncovered in the coldest part of your refrigerator.  Leave the cover off for 1 to 2 hours, then cover for remainder of proof.  I've found that this prevents condensation from forming in the container.  The oil prevents drying.  Proof for 24 hours minimum.  (haven't tested anything longer than that)

******************
Dressing/ baking:

I use an authentic 70s era PH 16" aluminum cutter pan (found on eBay) to bake the pizza on the bottom rack of a conventional electric oven.  I like a light bake on this type and 25 minutes at 425F in my oven comes out just right for me.  Spray your pan lightly with a bit of vegetable spray.  Place the dough directly from the refrigerator onto the center of the pan.  It takes a bit of practice, but you need to press down on the dough and slightly outward with both hands while rotating the pan as you go.  Avoid excess stretching outward as most of the pressure should be directed downward to keep the thickness even.  You should end up with a bit more dough at the outside of the pan.  If it wants to pull back, let it rest a minute.  When ready to sauce, it should pretty much stay out to the edge all the way around.  I sauce the 16" pizza with 8oz of the prepared sauce and top with my favorite toppings of the day.  One thing to note is that this pizza with the light bake I like doesn't do well with a lot of water producing vegetable like onions, so I go lightly with these.  Otherwise the center of your pizza will likely get mushy.  The other thing I do similar to how PH made their pizzas back in the day is to add 'Fairy Dust'.  The OPs manual stated that it adds a "certain mystique" to the pizza.  I think the original was a mix of oregano and Parmesan cheese.  I dust mine with a bit of garlic powder, oregano, basil and Parmesan.
I like ALL types of pizza!  "The worst pizza I ever had was wonderful."

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1970s Pizza Hut Thick and Chewy Recipe
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 03:34:18 PM »
Scott,

You did a very nice job with your post. Thank you for all of the detail.

I have a couple of comments about the way that the dough was handled at PH.

First, one of the things that you did not talk about in your post is how the large balls from the tubs were divided into smaller balls. It is not necessary for purposes of the recipe you cited, which is for a single dough ball, but I wondered how the large balls were processed. I assume that you just divided the dough into pieces and weighed them.

Second, as for the ADY, the recommended way of handling that form of yeast is to take a portion of the total formula water that is about 5-6 times the weight of the ADY, preheat that portion of water to around 105 degrees F, and let the yeast prehydrate in that water for about ten minutes. The mixture can than be added to the rest of the formula water. In general, you want the temperature of the remaining water to be at a value that will yield a finished dough temperature of around 75-80 degrees F. If all of the water is 105 degrees F, as you noted, it is very likely that the finished dough temperature will be above the aforementioned range. Do you recall how the water temperature matter was handled at PH? It is also likely that PH used IDY instead of ADY. It would be technically possible to use ADY dry (not prehydrated) but that would have meant using a lot more ADY. In my opinion, that would not be a good way to do it for a commercial operation where you want consistent and uniform results time after time as much as possible. Do you recall if PH prehydrated the yeast before further processing?

Finally, after reading your post I remembered that members in the past posted about the PH Thick and Chewy crust and pizza and several raved about it, but were often frustrated because they didn't know how to reproduce that style and PH had discontinued it so there was not a lot of good information on it. What you might want to consider is using the Advanced search feature at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=search, enter the words Pizza Hut Thick Chewy in the search box, and click on Show results as messages. Several of the hits relate to the PH Thick and Chewy style, as you will see in several of the topic headings. You can click on those headings to get the complete threads.

And your pizza looks great.

Peter

Offline RetroRayGun

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Re: 1970s Pizza Hut Thick and Chewy Recipe
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2018, 03:41:04 PM »
Hi Scott,

A great & concise write-up working from memory, thanks for the insider details. That pizza does look thick and chewey!

1.) How was the flavor for you overall?

2.) How did the bottom of the crust come out in your opinion?

Thanks again,
Chris
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 03:43:06 PM by RetroRayGun »
“He who controls the SAUCE controls the universe.”
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Offline I_Heart_Pizza

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Re: 1970s Pizza Hut Thick and Chewy Recipe
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2018, 04:41:00 PM »
Peter,

The entire dough batch was turned out of the mixing bowl onto the make table where we cut chunks off with a sharp knife and weighed each on a spring type scale according to the size pizza, adding more or subtracting as needed.  Each chunk was then formed and oiled and placed in the tub with spacing appropriate to its size, so each proofed individually and was ready for the size pizza we needed to make when an order came in.  Each tub was labeled small/ med/ lg and with the time and date.  Thick was never left at room temperature for more time than absolutely necessary for handling and each skin was pressed out cold from the walk-in.

Conversely, Thin and Crispy dough came out of the mixer rather dry and crumbly in appearance and never refrigerated.  It was taken from the mixer and placed in a plastic bag inside a plastic trash can only used for that purpose.  The top of the bag was folded over and the entire mass left to proof at room temperature.  The flour used for Thin was probably AP.  It was not the same as for the Thick and certainly not high-gluten.

I wish I could remember what kind of yeast we used at PH, but the procedure was the same regardless of dough type.  The entire portion of water was weighed in a single container at 105F and poured into the mixer.  Immediately, the remaining ingredients were added including oil and mixed by hand until dissolved.  Then the flour was added and the mixer started.  No proofing of the yeast was specified and I'm quite sure I was doing it by the OPs manual instructions as I worked for them first as cook and later assistant and also as manager for the better part of 4 years at many different stores and everyone was using the same process at that time.  It is odd though now to think of it, since we used water at 105F and did not proof the yeast, but it never occurred to me then that yeast came in different forms.  That ignorance carried over to my first batches making this recipe in that I bought ADY and when I used the dough calculator, didn't change the default over from IDY...

I've actually gotten interested in reading about exercising more control over the dough temperature by the method you mentioned.  I initially thought that it was odd to want the temperature low, but as I read more I'm beginning to grow interested in the flavors that might develop by using the IDY and keeping the dough temperature down and extending the proofing for an additional day or even more.  I've bought IDY and will be trying that very soon!

Thanks too, for the search tips.  I'm going to use them for sure.

Scott



I like ALL types of pizza!  "The worst pizza I ever had was wonderful."

Offline I_Heart_Pizza

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Re: 1970s Pizza Hut Thick and Chewy Recipe
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2018, 04:57:22 PM »
Hi Scott,

A great & concise write-up working from memory, thanks for the insider details. That pizza does look thick and chewey!

1.) How was the flavor for you overall?

2.) How did the bottom of the crust come out in your opinion?

Thanks again,
Chris

Hi Chris,

I really like the flavor of the pizza, it's kind of buttery without being greasy and the crust has a thin, crispy layer that gives way with a nice crunch when you bite it.  Underneath, it's got a nice chew and bread-like pull.  It's been a big hit with all my tasters so far.

The bottom actually turned out better than I thought it would, since I don't yet have a stone large enough for it.  It browned up nicely and has a hint of a fried texture, but not like a pan pizza.  I'd love to be able to toss this into a real pizza oven to see how it would turn out with a proper bake.

Thanks for your post!  -Scott
I like ALL types of pizza!  "The worst pizza I ever had was wonderful."

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1970s Pizza Hut Thick and Chewy Recipe
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2018, 05:58:46 PM »
Peter,

I wish I could remember what kind of yeast we used at PH, but the procedure was the same regardless of dough type.  The entire portion of water was weighed in a single container at 105F and poured into the mixer.  Immediately, the remaining ingredients were added including oil and mixed by hand until dissolved.  Then the flour was added and the mixer started.  No proofing of the yeast was specified and I'm quite sure I was doing it by the OPs manual instructions as I worked for them first as cook and later assistant and also as manager for the better part of 4 years at many different stores and everyone was using the same process at that time.  It is odd though now to think of it, since we used water at 105F and did not proof the yeast, but it never occurred to me then that yeast came in different forms.  That ignorance carried over to my first batches making this recipe in that I bought ADY and when I used the dough calculator, didn't change the default over from IDY...

I've actually gotten interested in reading about exercising more control over the dough temperature by the method you mentioned.  I initially thought that it was odd to want the temperature low, but as I read more I'm beginning to grow interested in the flavors that might develop by using the IDY and keeping the dough temperature down and extending the proofing for an additional day or even more.  I've bought IDY and will be trying that very soon!
Scott,

I suppose it is possible that PH used ADY, along with warm water, on the assumption that the warm water would prehydrate the ADY, but the amount of ADY used would have had to be appropriate for use with the 105 degrees F water temperature and yield a finished dough that would not overferment during the intended fermentation window. Had PH used IDY, it could have used a smaller amount than normal, even with the higher water temperature, to achieve the same end results. For many years, PH produced pdf documents that listed the ingredients used to make their various doughs but they were much later than the 1970s. But even those documents did not specify the type of yeast used. Maybe I can do some searching to see what kind of yeast products PH used at different times, possibly in posts by former PH employees.

Peter

Offline I_Heart_Pizza

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Re: 1970s Pizza Hut Thick and Chewy Recipe
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2018, 05:55:45 PM »
I made this recipe again and baked it last night after a 24 hour cold proof.  The ingredients remain the same as above, but I took Pete-zaa's suggestion in regard to dissolving the yeast (ADY) in a small volume of the water at 105F and proofing for 10 minutes before combining with the remaining water at 60F and adding to the flour and mixing.  The final dough temp after the mixing was done was 82F.

My observations were that after the 24 hour cold proof, the dough had not risen anywhere near the amount that it had when I was using the entire volume of water at 105F.  In fact, it had risen very little if at all.  The dough ball was dense but opened nicely on the 16" cutter pan.  It had noticeably more elasticity and initially wanted to spring back from the edge of the pan, so I let it rest and warm for about five minutes and after that it stayed in place.  There was very little gas in the dough that I could observe.  The finished pizza browned nicely and had the same great flavor as the previous effort.  The crust was more dense and less airy as I expected given the minimal rise.

I will try this again and allow a 48 hour cold proof to give the yeast a chance to do its work!
I like ALL types of pizza!  "The worst pizza I ever had was wonderful."

Offline Thx151

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Re: 1970s Pizza Hut Thick and Chewy Recipe
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2018, 04:13:12 PM »
Worked at Pizza Hut 11 years as asst manager and don’t remember ever using crush tomatoes in the sauce...used paste and purée...

Still make it the Pizza Hut way today😁
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 06:15:45 PM by Pete-zza »

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