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Offline Papa T

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Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« on: July 26, 2020, 08:48:53 PM »
This post is about how to make the old Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy pizza dough, and how to make the pizza. Some photos are included.

I came upon this website when I was searching for some guidelines for various types of pizza, and noticed older posts inquiring about Pizza Hut Thick Ďn Chewy. I decided that one day soon, Iíd post my method, so here it is.

This recipe and baking method is about as close as one can get without a time machine to return to the mid 1970s. Only older folks will ever know what a Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy was like, because it was introduced in mid 1975, and went away in mid 1980 when Pizza Hut pan pizza was introduced.

Folks, all we can do with legacy food items that no longer exist is to replicate what we remember. Blueprints and schematics are usually not left behind for food historians. However, if one can nail the big parts of the old recipe, the most important parts of a recipe, then it will land close to what it was.

The big parts of the Thick Ďn Chewy pizza are the dough, and the baking method. It's the mouthfeel that those two things created that we experienced on the first bite. The types of toppings, lay of the cheese, amount of sauce, could all vary at the customerís whim, but the dough recipe and baking method did not. Thatís where the food memory comes from. Pizzas have thousands of combinations, but they all come down to a foundation of the crust, the baking method, and in some cases, perhaps the sauce. Those two or three things make up and embody our personal preferences of what makes a good pizza. Iíve never heard anyone rave about how great a pizza was because of how the onions were sliced.

My Pizza Hut background is that I worked for Pizza Hut while a senior in high school, and while in college, for a total of about 18 months, off and on, in two different cities, in seven different Pizza Huts, between early 1976 and mid 1980. Whew! There was one PH in my home town, but there were six where I went to college, and I worked shifts in all of them as needed when not scheduled at my main store.

All seven PHs that I worked had the same equipment and recipes. I made thousands of Thick 'n Chewy dough patties during my time there, and baked thousands of pizzas. At all of the PHs I worked, each had two Blodgett gas fired pizza ovens. Some were natural gas, and some were LP gas, fed from tanks outside. Each oven had a stone or brick type bottom. If you were the opening day shift cook, you went to work about 4 hours before store opening to prep, make dough, set up the make table, and most importantly, fire up those two ovens so the brick/stone floor in them would get hot. The ovens were set to 550F. Yes, 550F.

Everything was baked at 550F. Thin pizza, thick pizza, Cavatini, spaghetti, the toasted subs. Everything that needed heat, went into that 550F oven. I donít know where the 425-450F oven temp for PH ovens back in the 70s came from, and Iíve seen it posted in a several places, but all the ovens I used during the Thick Ďn Chewy years were gas fired Blodgett ovens, with a stone/brick bottom, and they were set to 550F.

Both the Thick 'n Chewy and Thin Ďn Crispy pizzas were baked in the same cutter pans. The sizes were 10, 13, and 16 inches, a 3-inch difference between each step up or down. We used channel lock pliers to remove the pans from the ovens.
For the Thick 'n Chewy dough opening on the pan, we sprayed the pan with Vegalene food release spray, perhaps the greatest food release spray ever invented, and still available today, though it is a bit pricy. I generally donít use consumer food release sprays, as they tend to leave a tacky residue on the baking pans, especially at high temps. Since Iím cheap, I make my own food release product, and you can too. Instructions follow to make your own, and youíll never have another crust, cake, or bread, stick on any baking surface. Itís easy and fast to make, dirt cheap, and I believe works better than Vegalene.

The Thin 'n Crispy dough baking pans were not sprayed with Vegalene, only the pans for Thick Ďn Chewy. The thin dough had a large amount of oil in it, and low hydration. Oiling the pan wasn't needed for the thin crust. Both types of pizzas baked in 7-10 minutes based on size, how much the oven door had been opened and closed, and the topping load on the pie. At the 550F temperature, they could go from fully baked to burnt in about a minute, so they had to be watched constantly. There were no timers, alarms, or conveyor belts to move pizza through the oven on time.

Both the Thick 'n Chewy and Thin 'n Crispy doughs used the same bags of flour to make dough. This leads me to believe that it was an all purpose flour, because a high protein bread flour doesnít usually make a good cracker style crust.

The sauces for each type of pizza were different. The thick pizza had two #10 cans of a puree type tomato product, and one #10 can of a thinner tomato product, likely finely crushed tomatoes. It was more like pulverized tomatoes. The particle size was extremely small. The thick sauce had it's own seasoning pack and two packs were used per 3 can batch, but the ingredients were unknown. It tasted primarily of salt, oregano, garlic, onion, basil, and black pepper. The basil, if it was in the seasoning pack, was more likely a more finely ground type and not the typical dried basil flakes we can by at the grocery store. Basil flakes were not visible in the seasoning pack, and if basil flakes had been used, it would have turned black in the pizza sauce when baked, hence my thinking that basil powder was used. Large black specks of herb in the sauce would not have looked good.

The thin pizza had a more watery, thinner sauce resembling watered down crushed tomatoes, with a more acidic and less sweet hit than the puree. Thin sauce also came in a #10 can, and used its own special seasoning pack that was different from the thick. I don't know what was in the thin sauce seasoning pack, but smelled with some hint of celery, so perhaps some celery seed powder was used, in addition to common pizza sauce seasonings.

The Thick 'n Chewy standard dough batch recipe listed below is spot on as I remember it. In realty when making small batches at home, following standard percentages for salt, yeast, and oil when making a particular style of pizza dough won't ever serve you wrong. Since Thick Ďn Chewy is supposed to be a cold slow rise bread dough, keeping yeast around .5% works, as does oil at 1% and salt at 2%. For basic bread doughs, it's all about the flour to water ratio, and the baking method.

The thick dough recipe used 25 lb bags of flour, and 16 lb of water weighed on a spring scale, for a 64% dough hydration. The thin dough used 25 lbs flour and 9 lbs water for 36% hydration, which is typical for a cracker crust. The thin also had a lot of oil and yeast in it. A lot. I recall about 4 ounces of yeast (1%), and 16 ounces of oil (4%). It was also sheet roller thin, like 3/16 of an inch, and we calibrated the sheeter each morning, and once again before the dinner rush started. Weíd roll a large thin sheet, pan it, trim it, fold it into quarters, and weigh it for spec. If it was off, tweak the roller, and try again. The dough weights for S, M, L Thin Ďn Crispy for those interested (using 10, 13, and 16 inch pans, btw), were 6, 10, and 16 ounces the best I can recall. That may be of interest for those trying to nail that recipe.

The flour came in 25 pound bags. The water and yeast were added to the bowl first and mixed for combining, but not for proving. We used so much yeast that it was always fresh and didnít sit around long enough to get old. Once the yeast and water were stirred, then the whole 25 pound bag of flour and all other ingredients were added, and the mixer run to do it's thing. I don't remember the speed or time, but was likely in the 8-10 minute range for the thick, and 5-8 minute range for the thin. After making dough enough times, you knew when it looked and felt right, and stopped the machine. Dough batch readiness is a time variable depending on temperature and humidity. After making it a few times, you knew what it was supposed to look and feel like when ready.

The Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy dough full batch recipe is immediately below. Scaled amounts for individual dough patties further below, and still further down in this write up, the total weight percentages for making a batch of dough in any size you desire.

Original Pizza Hut Standard Thick Ďn Chewy Full Batch of Dough, with Bakerís Percentages:
25 lbs AP flour 100%
16 lbs water 64% hydration @105F
4 oz oil 1%
2 oz yeast 0.5%
8 oz salt 2%

Please understand, most of the cooks at Pizza Hut back when I worked there were very young adults, 18-21 year olds. Kids. Not chefs, bakers, or rocket scientists. We were not the most attention to detail oriented people to be making dough and having it always come out perfect. Being off a little was normal, and isnít going to kill the recipe.

Flour came pre-measured in bags, and the water buckets were weighed on a spring scale (that wasnít always zeroed out), so the water measurement was close but not always spot on. Sometime not all the flour made it into the bowl. Dumping a 25 pound bag of flour could be a struggle for some. A few ounces would at times end up on the floor. Same possible inaccuracies for the oil, yeast, and salt. Scoop what looks accurate, pour into the bowl, turn on the mixer, then go dump the trash they didnít last night, cut up some onions and green peppers, and once again check the ovens to make sure they are getting hot. There was a lot of work for the opening kid-cook each day to be completed by store opening. Perfection rarely happened, and it makes me shake my head when I see people get all upset over things needing to be accurate to tenths or hundredths of an ounce, or to the gram. Itís not that critical.

Calculating dough ball weights needed for different size pans:

Take the square inches of the pan [calculated using pi*R(2)] and multiply that number by 0.105, to determine the coverage factor for this dough recipe. The 0.105 means that there is 0.105 ounces of dough per square inch of pizza pan. My calculations for various pan sizes are below to save you some calculating time. Yes, when using the 10" pan the amount of dough is calculated to be a bit more than what we cut as I recall, so use it how you desire, and use 7 or 8 ounces for a 10" pan. A smaller amount of dough is easier to get away with when using a small pan, and likely helped control costs on high volume, so go for that if desired.

The total coverage factor of .105 is derived for keeping it consistent across pan sizes, and based on the 16" pan with 201 sq/in of surface, using 21 ounces of thick dough as the reference. Since the dough sheeter calibration for the Thin Ďn Crispy was based on a large size shell, I used the large pan as the reference for figuring the coverage factor for the Thick Ďn Chewy dough for various size pans.

Note that today's S, M, and L pizzas are 9/10, 12, and 14 inches, but that wasnít how it was back in the day. When I was working there, the pan sizes were 10, 13, and 16 inches. There was a down shift in pizza pan sizes for M and L across the pizza industry that started in the late 80s and early 90s, as a way to keep labor and ingredient cost under control for decent profit margins, without having to raise prices a lot. All big companies do it. Itís all about profit margins while keeping the price about the same. So, they charge about the same, but make the product smaller, or use ingredients of lesser quality, or both. This is also why the amount of ingredients on pizzas seems more sparse now that back in the day. Using less means more margin.

I recall the dough patty sized for small (10"), medium (13") and large (16") as being 7, 14, and 21 ounces, respectively. I know some are saying the that the S, M, L pans were 9/10, 12/14, and 16, but it was 10, 13, and 16 back when I worked there. If you can locate on an image search of the late 60s Pizza Hut menus, where you actually see pan sizes in inches instead of S, M, L, you will see 10, 13, and 16 inch pizzas on the menu. They were the Thin Ďn Crispy pizzas, which was the original Pizza Hut pizza. Thick Ďn Chewy came about in the 1975, used the same pans as the thin, but had a short market life span once the ďfriedĒ pan pizza was introduced to the masses in 1980.

Thick Ďn Chewy dough patty sizes for different pan sizes:
9" pan 64 sq/in requires 7 oz of dough
10" pan 79 sq/in requires 8 oz of dough
11" pan 95 sq/in requires 10 oz of dough
12" pan 113 sq/in requires 12 oz of dough
13" pan 133 sq/in requires 14 oz of dough
14" pan 154 sq/in requires 16 oz of dough
15" pan 177 sq/in requires 19 oz of dough
16" pan 201 sq/in requires 21 oz of dough
Note: I calculated the dough weights using the 0.105 coverage factor multiplied by the square inches, then rounded up/down to the closest whole ounce. Itís not that critical.

If you desire to make a large batch of dough, just take the batch weight of what you want to make, and if it's in pounds, multiply by 16 first to convert to ounces, then multiply that number of ounces by the percentages (shown in decimal) below, to know the needed measurement for the ingredients to make a batch.

Total Percentages for making batches:
Flour 59.7% (0.597)
Water 38.2% (0.382) @105F
Salt 1.2% (0.012) this is for standard table salt. Using a flaky salt will under-salt the dough.
Oil 0.6% (0.006)
Yeast 0.3% (0.003)

Note: These percentages do not take into account bowl residue. For small batches of dough, I find it doesn't matter, as my bowl residue is scant. If you have worries, just make your batch a slight bit bigger, and cut it to size by weighing it after it has been kneaded.

Since I have a 15 inch cutter pan, I make a 19 ounce dough patty using the decimal factors in the Total Percentages above, to get the measurements below. I use a digital scale for the big weights, and measuring spoons for the small weights:

AP flour 11.343 ounces - I use King Arthur AP
Water 7.258 ounces - @105F
Salt 0.228 ounce, about a well rounded tsp - Use standard table salt
Oil 0.114 ounce, about ĺ tsp - Any vegetable oil of preference. I use canola.
Yeast 0.057 ounce, about Ĺ tsp - Use IDY or ADY. It doesnít matter. I use SAF IDY Red.
Total: 19 ounces, 64% hydration

If you wanted to make a 7 pound batch of dough and cut dough balls, multiply the 7 pounds by 16, which results in 112 ounces. Then multiply 112 by the Total Percentages in decimal, listed above to get the proper ratios. After kneading, cut and weigh your dough patties as needed.

I use a home stand mixer. I add all the dry ingredients to the bowl and use a wire whisk to blend it a for a few seconds. Then I put on the mixer paddle attachment (not the dough hook yet), add the oil and water, and put it on speed #1. It will get thick real fast, and the paddle will struggle. Generally in 20-40 seconds. As soon as the paddle starts to struggle a bit, I stop the mixer, scrape the bowl with a silicone spatula, run the paddle again for 15-30 seconds, until it really starts to struggle. Then I stop it and swap out the paddle for the dough hook, scrape down the bowl a bit if needed, then mix on speed 3 for about 2 minutes. I say about, because once everything looks combined and there is not any loose flour or bits, whether in 1 minute or 3, I stop the mixer, raise the hook, and put a large dinner plate or stock pot lid on top of the bowl, and let it set for 10-15 minutes to autolyse.

Autolyse is the best thing I ever learned for home baking any kind of bread dough. Let it sit a bit once things are just combined to let the flour absorb the water better. If a bread recipe uses a lot of oil, let it sit longer, as oil inhibits water absorption. We make smaller batches at home using less than professional machines than in a commercial setting, and letting the mix autolyse in a home kitchen makes a noticeable and improved difference in the bread texture.

I know the autolyse step wasn't done when making a batch at The Hut, but the mixer also had a dough hook and bowl the size of a small car, was slower, had better torque, and was more methodical than a home stand mixer could ever think of being. If you havenít, try letting your dough autolyse, whether for pizzas or loaves, and you will notice a textural difference for the better after baking with autolyse method. Try it, you'll like it.

After the autolyse stage, I reattach the dough hook, and knead on speed 3 for 4-5 minutes. If it passes the window pane test, then I determine the doughís tacky feel. When I made Thick Ďn Chewy dough at The Hut, it didnít have much, if any, tack when finished. So, when Iím kneading at home, even if the window pane test passes, I knead further in one minute increments until the dough feels smooth, without any notable tacky feeling. Once that happens, I stop kneading, form a gentle dough patty by cupping it with my hands, and then place in a covered oiled bowl for rising. Typically, that would be in the fridge for 24 hours. Typically.

I do make cold slow rise Thick Ďn Chewy dough on occasion, but I usually want pizza now, so I make what we used to call a ďhot batch,Ē or as some would say, and ďemergency batch.Ē To me, there isnít enough difference between the cold rise dough and the hot rise dough, that itís worth the prolonged wait. The fact that I can make Thick Ďn Chewy dough, have it be ready to use in less than an hour, means I can basically have pizza now if desired. If someone didnít know which was dough prep method was used, I doubt they could tell the difference when eating either. I literally can go from gathering the ingredients to having a hot and fresh, Pizza Hut 15Ē Thick Ďn Chewy pizza in less in than 90 minutes, start to finish. It also makes for a great thing to do with a late night friend that leaves them amazed that such things can actually be done at home in short order, and taste so good.

The 24 hour cold rise dough isnít made to increase flavor, itís made for large scale commercial operations so that they can have a lot of pre-made fresh dough balls ready for use, that will last 24-48 hours. They could be used beyond that of course, but they would begin to take on a bit of a fermented taste, and that wasnít a thing for PH pizza, thin or thick. If you could smell the ferment, it was time to toss the dough, thin or thick. Many at home enjoy the extra flavor of fermentation, and you can run out to 5 or more days if desired.

So generally, I go straight for making a hot batch. The photos here are a Thick Ďn Chewy pizza hot batch dough that I made yesterday for this post. Pizza when I want it, and I donít need to plan for it a day in advance. It took me longer to write this post then to make the pizza.

My 15 inch pizza will feed two very hungry people, or three typical humans. The 15 inch Thick Ďn Chewy pizza here has 7.5 ounces of sauce, 10 ounces of freshly shredded mozzarella and Monterey Jack in a 70/30 blend, about 30 slices of pepperoni, and about 6 ounces of browned Italian sausage. I know that some of the sausage looks burnt, but itís not. The dark parts of the sausage are caramelized crispy bits of deliciousness on the most exposed parts of the sausage due to the intense oven heat. Think of crispy Italian sausage bacon bits. Yummy.

I only make two changes for my hot batch from the original recipe, and it works well consistently. I use 120F water instead of 105F, and I use 4 times the amount of yeast. So, I use 2 tsp of yeast instead of Ĺ tsp for the 19 ounce size dough ball I normally make. For me, it will rise to double in 30-60 minutes, depending on the room temperature. I confirm the rise with the poke test. When it has doubled and doesnít spring back from poking, itís ready to use, and itís yummy.

Note that I also start my oven preheating the moment I gather the ingredients to make dough so itís hot and ready to go when Iím ready to bake. Getting the oven stone hot is paramount. The disadvantage to making a hot batch dough, is that itís a use it or lose it thing. You can slow it down a bit if you leave it covered and put it in the fridge, but itís not really going to be usable much beyond 4-6 hours in the fridge.

Regarding various thingsÖ.

First off, Fairy Dust. Itís real. Use it if you want to get as close to authentic as possible. It was easy to make, consisting of equal parts of dried oregano, and the same granulated cheese stuff they used in the shakers on the dinning room table. It was the last thing added to all pizzas made at The Hut. So, mix up a batch of equal parts ďspaghettiĒ cheese and dried oregano, put in a large hole shaker, and dust away. The PH SOP actually said how much to use for S, M, and L pizzas. In number of shakes. No lie. It was 5, 10, or 15 shakes for S, M, L pizzas. PH is very serious about their fairy dust.

The mozzarella cheese used back in my PH days, was low moisture part skim, and came frozen in 25 pound boxes. It had a really small dice or shred, and we used plastic red cups in three sized to portion it for S, M, and L pizzas. I've never seen mozzarella diced like that in a consumer market. I use a low moisture, part skim cheese that I like, as all are not made equally, and grate it fresh off the block. I avoid using pre-shredded cheeses for any kind for cooking or baking. They all contain either cellulose or starch powder so they don't clump in the bag, and Iím not fond of that texture on my melted cheese.

I'm also not a fan of low moisture full fat mozzarella. There are not a lot of choices for that in the consumer market, and the ones that I have tried didn't make me a fan. Since full fat low moisture mozzarella isn't easily found in most grocery stores, what I do to boost the flavor and cheese stretch, is to use a blend of low moisture part skim mozzarella and Monterey Jack. I shred blocks of each to make a mix of 70/30 mozzarella/Jack. That small addition Jack really kicks it up for flavor and stretch.

For the Thick Ďn Chewy sauce, it will be fine to use what ever pizza sauce you like. Iíd suggest that you use a thicker rather than a thinner sauce. As all old PH cooks know, the thick pizza was not a fan of wet ingredients. I usually make the traditional Thick Ďn Chewy sauce, using the 2/1 ratio of puree to crushed. I use 5 ounces of a quality tomato puree, and 2.5 ounces of a quality, fine crush tomatoes, for a total of 7.5 ounces of sauce. About the perfect amount for a 15 inch pizza. I add to that mix, Ĺ tsp of dried oregano, Ĺ tsp of Diamond Crystal kosher salt (if using table salt, use ľ tsp of salt), then ľ tsp each of onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix well. It will taste better if you can let it sit for a couple hours, but itís not that critical. Sitting on the counter while the dough is being made and rising is fine, as is making a day before and keeping in the fridge. If the taste of your puree and crushed isnít sweet enough, and sometimes itís just not, then add one tsp of granulated sugar to that mix. Add more if making larger/smaller batches. A little sugar goes a long way, so donít overdo it.

For the sauce, there have been times when Iíve used store brand marinara or pizza sauce when I donít feel like making Thick Ďn Chewy sauce, and itís been fine. If the sauce tastes good, it will be good. Customers at The Hut would order pizza light sauce, heavy sauce, no sauce, ask for thin sauce instead of thick sauce, and I had a regular customer that had ulcers who would ask that we put on the thick sauce, let it set a few minutes, then scrap it off, leaving only a remnant for flavor. The sauce you use is your preference, but I do recommend it be on the thicker side, especially if using vegetable toppings.

When I use veggies, I hand press them between changes of paper towels several times, to remove as much moisture as possible. If I have the time after pressing, I will put the veggies on fresh paper towels, on a sheet pan cooling rack, and put it in the fridge for several hours to continue reducing moisture. The center of a thick pizza will be better if you donít overload it with wet stuff.

Regarding the ADY vs IDY debate, it doesn't matter. Really. At least not in the minuscule amount we use in home baking. IDY is more modern and likely wasnít used back in my PH days, but in small amounts like we use, I have found they can be used interchangeably. IDY has more surviving yeast than ADY due to how it's manufactured, and IDY has a smaller particle structure, so generally, if desired, you can use about 20% less IDY vs ADY when making small batch doughs, but I just don't bother. Not at these minuscule amounts for home baking. Iíve never had an issue using ADY and IDY interchangeably when baking anything.

I know there are many experts on here. For this post, I'm simply showing what I do and how it works for me. This recipe lands the old Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy pizza as I remember it when I was 18. If youíre not age 50 or older, then youíve never had Pizza Hut Thick Ďn Chewy pizza. It only existed for a short time from late 1975 to 1980. It is not Pan pizza. Not in any way. Iím not looking to get into any debates about Thick Ďn Chewy or pizza making methods. This is just what works for me to make Pizza Hut Thick Ďn Chewy pizza. You are welcomed to try it. Do what you prefer and desire. Iím just a semi-retired guy who cooks and bakes a lot, and I still make music and videos on occasion when I feel like it and itís someone I want to work with.

Everyone that Iíve made this Thick Ďn Chewy pizza for that had it in the distant past, has said it was like they remembered. Some that hadnít eaten it before said it was the best pizza they ever had. Your mileage may vary. Everything in this post is about recreating, as close as possible in a home kitchen environment, the style and texture of the short lived Pizza Hut's Thick 'n Chewy pizza. The way that I have written works for me.

How to bake this thing once the dough Is happy:

Preheat your oven, with a stone on the bottom rack, for at least one hour, to 500-550 degrees. What ever your oven will allow up to 550F. I crank mine up all the way, and the internal oven thermometer hits 525F. Close enough.

Take your pizza pan and spray it with Vegalene or your favorite food release spray. I have found that most consumer oil sprays are not up to the job. I personally am not a fan of cooking sprays for baking. Because of the propellants they use, they can leave a gummy residue on my baking pans, especially when used at high temperatures. Vegalene didnít do this.

Since Iím a cheap guy, instead of buying Vegalene, which is on the pricy side, I make my own food release oil. Itís cheap, fast and easy to make, and is a very old recipe. Itís historically called Goop. Yes, Goop. Simply use equal parts of any ordinary AP flour, neutral vegetable oil, and shortening (Crisco is what I use). Put those in a container that has enough room to mix those things vigorously, and take a whisk to it. Whip it and whip it good. It only takes 2-3 minutes of whisking to crack that whip and make a smooth viscous liquid that looks like a confectioners glaze. You can keep it in the fridge if desired but I leave mine on the counter. I donít know the shelf life, but itís a long time, and I generally make it in ĺ cup batches (a ľ cup of each ingredient), so I go through it every 2-4 weeks. I simply take a pastry brush, dip it in the Goop, and lightly paint it on any baking surface. It doesnít take much. If you can see it streak the surface, thatís enough in that area. You donít need total coverage like paint. Stuff that you bake just wonít stick to the pan. Iíve never had anything stick when using the Goop. Itís a seriously good, cheap, and effective home food release prep.

When I open the Thick Ďn Chewy dough, I put it the smooth, top side of the dough ball, down on the pan, and then spread out from the middle using my flat fingers and palms. I find that putting the smooth top side down on the pan reduces the chance of getting a thin spot while spreading the dough. If you are using the cold rise dough, you will need to spread a bit, let it sit a minute or two, spread again, let it sit, spread again, and repeat as necessary, so the cold dough can relax and warm a bit between each spread. At the Hut, weíd often take out a tray with various sizes of thick dough so they could warm up and spread easier during a rush. The cold dough need a bit of time to warm up and relax. You could also take out your cold dough and let it sit on the counter for an hour or so to warm up a bit. It wonít rise much. Making a hot batch solves that issue. Make it, rise it, use it, bake it, eat it. All in less than 90 minutes.

The hot batch dough spreads much easier, and I usually can stretch it to nearly a full size 15 inch pan from the start, but I usually let it set a couple minutes, and stretch it out a bit more so itís nearly crawling up the side of the pan bevel. It will shrink a small bit when baking, so I stretch it good. For either type, cold or warm rise, once fully stretched, you can let it set in the pan, un-topped for about 10 Ė 15 minutes if you want to get a bit more puff in the crust, but itís not necessary. With the high hydration, this dough will spring rather well in that 500F oven when the pan is placed directly on that preheated 500F stone. If you let it set un-topped in the pan for 10-15 minutes, you will get slightly bigger air pockets in the dough, especially in the cornice.

Use s preheated oven of 500-550F, with a stone on the bottom rack, and put your pan on it when time to bake! The old Blodgette ovens were set at 550F and had a stone or brick type bottom. If you want to get the old type PH Thick Ďn Chewy results in your dough spring, you need to bake it as close to the same way as possible.

The pizza will cook in about 8 minutes, depending on your max oven temp. I have no idea what a convention fan would do to cooking times and if you have one, using it or not is up to you. If me, Iíd turn it off. The Blodgette oven didnít have a fan.

At around the 4 minute mark of baking, turn your pizza 180 degrees. Bake another 3 minutes, and see how itís going. In my oven, the 8 minute mark is my get ready to pull time. Depending on the toppings used, I may let go up to another 90 seconds. You just need to eyeball it, and check the bottom. If the bottom or cornice are getting too brown too fast, pull it. It will continue to bake in the pan for several minutes from residual internal heat, so donít remove it from the pan. I let it set in the pan for at least 5 minutes to gather itself, and when not impatient, perhaps 10 minutes. The PH SOP back in the day said the pulled pizzas were to stage at least 30 seconds before cutting. That never happened during the rush, but weíd often let them set for a couple minutes when time would allow before removing from the pans. It made for a better looking pizza if allowed to cool a bit before cutting. It will still be plenty hot. Thatís the thermal beauty of cheese.

If you make this recipe, post your pics. If youíve make this and have eaten PH Thick Ďn Chewy in your younger years, post how it came out for you.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 06:11:16 PM »
Papa T,

Like your other post on Pizza Hut's pizzas, this is a good one. Thank you for taking the time to do such a thorough job.

Peter

Offline texmex

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 05:22:17 AM »
Thanks for these memories, and the recipes.
I used to love the Pizza Hut thin n crispy, but everyone else loved the thick and chewy and I was outvoted every time if we had family pizza night. My brothers always outvoted me from watching tv programs to the very occasional fast food choices.
I would have to get my rare fill of thin and crispy by going to the buffet on an evening hanging out with my girlfriends. I always ate more than my fair share of cavatini too. The look of that sausage is exactly what I remember, and I could see it in my head before I scrolled down to look at the photos. Spot on! 
Also, thanks for your pan release recipe! I donít like to use those spray on products, so this will be a very helpful addition to my pantry.
Reesa

Offline MadMatt

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 11:33:37 AM »
Maybe I'm misreading but how can it be thick with 16 oz of dough for 14"? I played around with the dough calculator and thats like  a little over 0.01 thickness factor . ???

Offline Papa T

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 01:31:07 PM »
Maybe I'm misreading but how can it be thick with 16 oz of dough for 14"? I played around with the dough calculator and thats like  a little over 0.01 thickness factor . ???
It's not like a Sicilian or Grandma style pizza. There is a board on this site for those. That's seems to be what you are wanting to compare this to.

The thickness factor is .105 ounces of dough per square inch of pizza pan surface. I have no idea where you get .01 from using the dough calculator. If you take the 154 sq/in surface area of a pizza pan and divide 16 by that, you get approx .105 ounces of dough per sq/in, not .01.

This is a yeast dough, so it rises, and then springs when it hits the heat of the oven. The pictures in my post are accurate and authentic. As can be seen, it's not cracker style nor Sicilian style. It lands in between those regarding it's thickness. The crust is light and fluffy, similar to a homemade white bread dough. Perhaps instead of using a dough calculator, you should try actually making it to see how it comes out. I'm thinking if the directions are followed, it will come out like the pictures I posted.

This pizza is "thick and chewy" compared to Pizza Hut's original pizza, the Thin 'n Crispy, which was a cracker crust style pizza. This pizza at PH only existed for about 5 years, from 1975 to 1980. It's a clone of that for those old enough to have experienced it. I don't claim it to be a "Thick" bread pizza. You are the one stating that. I claim it's a knock off of Pizza Hut Think 'n Chewy from back in the day, and that it is spot on in meeting that expectation.

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Offline MadMatt

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2020, 10:51:22 AM »
It's not like a Sicilian or Grandma style pizza. There is a board on this site for those. That's seems to be what you are wanting to compare this to.

The thickness factor is .105 ounces of dough per square inch of pizza pan surface. I have no idea where you get .01 from using the dough calculator. If you take the 154 sq/in surface area of a pizza pan and divide 16 by that, you get approx .105 ounces of dough per sq/in, not .01.

This is a yeast dough, so it rises, and then springs when it hits the heat of the oven. The pictures in my post are accurate and authentic. As can be seen, it's not cracker style nor Sicilian style. It lands in between those regarding it's thickness. The crust is light and fluffy, similar to a homemade white bread dough. Perhaps instead of using a dough calculator, you should try actually making it to see how it comes out. I'm thinking if the directions are followed, it will come out like the pictures I posted.

This pizza is "thick and chewy" compared to Pizza Hut's original pizza, the Thin 'n Crispy, which was a cracker crust style pizza. This pizza at PH only existed for about 5 years, from 1975 to 1980. It's a clone of that for those old enough to have experienced it. I don't claim it to be a "Thick" bread pizza. You are the one stating that. I claim it's a knock off of Pizza Hut Think 'n Chewy from back in the day, and that it is spot on in meeting that expectation.


Hi I'm sorry I never meant to cause any offence  after you have spent so long with this recipe.


 I meant to put 0.1  not 0.01 as I've made   14" pizza with 16oz dough balls before and it was  little over 0.1thickness factor     


 
 
 

Offline Papa T

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2020, 05:24:06 AM »
I made a 10 inch size of this recipe this past Monday. It too landed well. Pepperoni, seasoned ground beef, and diced onion.

Offline FiredPizzaGuy

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2020, 06:59:05 PM »
Everybody here trying to recreate recipes from the '70's rock!

At the end of 1974 through early 1975 I first managed a PH in north Dayton, OH, then one in Englewood, OH. Last I saw, the Dayton store was a check cashing store, but may have been leveled due to damage from the series of tornado's that hit that area in May 2019. The Englewood store is now a cigarette store...... :-\

Thick 'n Chewy.  Funny thing was, when it was introduced, my Dayton store was one of the first for the area to market the new style.  Absolutely no employee, myself included, like it. But, 3 meals a day of Thin & Crispy probably had us biased! And when I took over the Englewood store, no employee like it, either.  Bottom line was the sauce was too sweet. For ourselves, we liked the crust but made ours with the Thin & Crispy sauce. It was a bit watery, but most of us liked pizza cooked well done, so that worked.

But, Thick 'n Chewy was a seller.  A couple comments from what I've seen in this thread.  We didn't mix 2 different sauces.  It was a single sauce can.  And a single single seasoning packet plus yeast.

I left the Dayton store because of absolute headbanging with the area manager.  Among other issues, he was notorious for publishing a 2for1 coupon in the Friday paper WITHOUT telling any store manager under his purview. It killed our planned ingredient stocks.  (Another negative was he drove what could have been a gr8 new corvette, but was all orange with a 12in Kelley green stripe down the center, ugh). My point is, we had to make same-day "hot" batches of Thick 'n Chewy dough. Much hotter water, and not refrigerated as we needed the dough the same night. In fact, I recall once I made a batch, dumped it on the stainless steel prep table, got distracted, came back after 30 or 40 minutes, and it was devouring the table! Knocked it back down and used it. And never once had a comment about any difference in taste or texture. And we did this more than once. Purist, we weren't!!

Memories....... 8)

Offline FiredPizzaGuy

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2020, 11:33:58 PM »
Okay, single malt mistake.......I mangled two thoughts in one sentence.  The yeast comment was intended to mean we only used flour, yeast, and water for the dough.    ::)

Offline pizzalover2000

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2020, 03:55:30 PM »
I worked at the Hut back for a bit while I was in college.  I enjoyed reading all these posts but would like to add a few things.  The pans we used for Thick & Chewy and Thin & Crispy were 10" for small, 13" for medium, and 15" for medium.  I have some pans I bought off ebay for pan pizzas and they are 12" and 14".  For years I wondered if I was going crazy because I was sure the medium when I worked there was 13" and the large was 15".  Then I found a copy of an old menu from the 70's that lists the pan sizes as 10", 13", and 15", just the way I remembered.  The image of the menu I found was on ebay so it might still be there if you look.  (I saved a copy that I have on my computer somewhere, just so I can go back and gape at the prices from that era, LOL)

As for making the Thick & chewy dough, the recipe we used where I worked used 25 pounds of flour,  12.5 pounds of water, 8 oz of salt, and 5 oz of yeast.  I'll get to the oil in  the next paragraph.

The instructions we were given was to pour the 12.5 pounds of 110 degree water into the mixer.  Then we put in the yeast and mixed it, and allowed it to sit for about 5 minutes.  (They just told us to let it sit while we did something else for a few minutes).  Next we added the salt, and then we poured enough cooking oil in to cover the top of the liquid mixture (In the big mixer about 3/4 of a cup full).  After that we added the 25 pound sack of flour. 

The instructions were to mix it on speed setting 2 for exactly 6 minutes.  The recipe yielded exactly 40 pounds of dough.

After that, we removed the dough from the mixer and placed it on a prep table.  Using a scale to measure the weight of each piece, we cut off, weighed, and formed each one into a flattened ball, and then placed them into fiberglass containers that we had oiled on the bottom and sides that we called cambros.  These containers had an insert shelf that we put in after the bottom was filled, and after filling that up there was a tight fitting lid.  The container was placed into a walk in cooler.  Our instructions were to allow the dough rise for 2 hours minimum before using it.   We were allowed to use dough the second day after it was made, but not a third.

The weights for the dough were

11 oz for the 10" (small) pan,
16 oz. for the 13" pan (medium), and
21 oz for the 15" pan (large).

When things got real busy we sometimes had to make an unexpected batch of dough, and more than once the manager had us use dough immediately after making it without waiting the two hours, and it was OK but didn't rise as much and it had kind of a weird texture.

I've seen other people talk about making the sauce by mixing two different cans of tomato products together, but when we did it we just mixed a packet of seasoning into a single can of sauce, and it was always supposed to sit in the cooler for at least a full day before we used it.

When we made the pizzas we spread the dough out quite a bit and flattened it while holding it in our hands.  Then we dropped it into a lightly oiled pan and used our hands to spread the dough out to the edges while creating a slightly raised area around the outside edge.  This sounds like a lot of work but with a bit of experience we could get the pan, oil it (very little, just enough to make the pan a bit slippery), grab the dough, and make it into a raw pizza in a matter of seconds.  We never did hand tossing back then.

We used the same sauce for the thick & chewy pizzas that we used for the spaghetti and other dishes, except that I think we used a thinner sauce for the thin & crispy pizzas.  We had three different ladles, one for the small, one for the medium, and one for the large.  For the cheese we had 3 different size cups, again, one for each size pizza.   If we were making a Supreme pizza or adding extra cheese we used the same cup and filled it again maybe a third or so full.  I think the ladles were 3 fluid ounces for the small, 6 for the medium, and 9 for the large, if memory serves correctly, although the large might have been 8 ounces.   I think the cheese on regular pizzas was something like 2.5 ounces for the small, 6 ozs. for the medium, and 8 ounces for the large.

We cooked the pizzas in a double oven as described in the original post.  I don't know the exact temperature but I'm pretty sure it was over 600 degrees, much hotter than a home oven, and the pizzas cooked in under 10 minutes.  We had a special pair of pliers to pull them out and we would lift up the pizza to check the bottom.  It was done when the bottom was just starting to get golden brown.

Unfortunately, I didn't do much baking before I worked there and I did not know there were different kinds of flour and yeast and I have no idea what we used.  I can say that IMHO it comes out better (much chewier) with bread flour but I made it for years with regular all purpose flour and it was still good.  These days I make my own bread and we go through a couple of loaves per week so every now and then I buy a 50 pound sack of bread and pizza crust flour ($18) from GFS (Gordon Foods restaurant supply store).  I also buy their 1 pound packages of instant yeast (about $4).  The original recipe might have used active yeast because I usually use a reduced amount of the instant to get best results.   (A note on the bulk yeast:  I keep a small quantity in a baggie in the fridge for regular use.  The life can be maximized by squeezing the excess air out before sealing the bag.  The rest of the yeast I store in a freezer zip loc bag in the freezer, again with all the excess air squeezed out.  It will keep for years in the freezer if kept completely dry and all the air is squeezed out)

I don't own stock in Gordon foods, but I also like to buy their big blocks of mozzarella and provolone and mix the cheese 2 parts mozzarella to 1 part provolone.  I shred it up and put a pound of the mixture into Zip Loc bags, compress it and squeeze out all the air, and then store it in the freezer until needed.  I make 12 inch pizzas and use 8 ounces of cheese for each (I love the cheese part!) so I put 16 ounces in each bag.  One batch of cheese (about 15 pounds) will usually last me about 4-5 months.  It keeps just fine in the freezer as long as you squeeze all the air out of the bags.  GFS also has pretty good pepperoni, but I had to stop using it because my digestive system doesn't like hot spices, including pepper.  For ham I buy a low fat processed ham and thin slice it myself, deli style, and put the little piles of super thin slices all over the top.  For the pizza sauce I use some stuff made locally that I really like but I don't have the recipe for it.  I sometimes add a little mild Italian sausage that I cook up myself, usually the Bob Evans brand.

To top off my pizzas I use my own version of "fairy dust".  I sprinkle a bit of Italian seasoning lightly over the top and the added a generous amount of Parmesan on top of that.  Sometimes for a variation I melt garlic butter around the outer edge of the crust and sprinkle a bit more Parmesan cheese on, or sometimes Asiago. 

Hopefully this helps out someone else.

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Offline sodface

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2020, 07:42:04 PM »
I tried my best, but all I could come up with was proof of the 10" and 13".  All the other menus I found just listed small, med, and large without reference to size in inches.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 07:48:59 PM by sodface »
Carl

Offline gloopdegurp

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2020, 07:27:11 PM »
I found a (the?) menu on Ebay that lists the 15" size and has pictures of a slice for each style,

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1974-PIZZA-HUT-Restaurant-MENU-Midland-Michigan/303669985946?hash=item46b424429a:g:xJMAAOSwLY1esyt6

They look good!

Offline sodface

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2020, 08:44:13 PM »
I found a (the?) menu on Ebay that lists the 15" size and has pictures of a slice for each style,

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1974-PIZZA-HUT-Restaurant-MENU-Midland-Michigan/303669985946?hash=item46b424429a:g:xJMAAOSwLY1esyt6

They look good!

Bingo!  Nice find.  Adding these here for posterity, hopefully this isn't derailing this thread too much.

Carl

Offline pizzalover2000

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Re: Pizza Hut Thick 'n Chewy Recipe Post
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2020, 10:59:29 PM »
You can right click on the photos for items on eBay and save them to your hard drive for posterity.  The list of ingredients they had available back then is interesting, as well as the photos.

I have some stuff to add to my previous post from 8/31.







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