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Author Topic: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin  (Read 1359 times)

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Offline spacelooper

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Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« on: July 30, 2019, 01:30:12 PM »
I am really wanting to venture into this type of cracker thin territory. I am wondering if the recipes on the main site for this style are decent? I have read through so many threads of this style that I am almost clueless where to start now. Some threads reference the main site recipes , some say they are outdated. Some mention updating them. I am not certain at what status those recipes are at this stage of the game. Are they a good starting point for this style or are there better? I have a 16" cutter pan, a docker and am eager to use it.. haha. I greatly appreciate any direction on this style. Thanks.

Todd

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 02:08:55 PM »
I am really wanting to venture into this type of cracker thin territory. I am wondering if the recipes on the main site for this style are decent? I have read through so many threads of this style that I am almost clueless where to start now. Some threads reference the main site recipes , some say they are outdated. Some mention updating them. I am not certain at what status those recipes are at this stage of the game. Are they a good starting point for this style or are there better? I have a 16" cutter pan, a docker and am eager to use it.. haha. I greatly appreciate any direction on this style. Thanks.

Todd
Todd,

Since the recipes you mentioned were developed many years ago, I would place more emphasis on the recipes that were developed later, often over a course of months and even years. However, the recipe for a Thin, Crisp & Crackery Pizza as given at https://www.pizzamaking.com/pizzainnstyle.php was developed by a member, DKM, who once worked for Pizza Inn. Whether he captured the Pizza Inn style perfectly I cannot say although he did know how the pizzas were made at Pizza Inn and he once said that the recipe mentioned above was the best he had used. He also noted that at Pizza Inn one-third of the dough was scrap dough that was leftover when rolled out skins were trimmed to the right size.

I, too, was interested in the DKM recipe and that recipe was the basis for my starting the thread at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5762.msg48991#msg48991. I can't say how close my pizzas came to the real thing because I had never had a Pizza Inn cracker style pizza.

The above said, I would be inclined to look at the threads for the cracker style of pizza that have the largest numbers of page reviews, on the theory that they are the most popular and most likely the best recipes, and consider them for your purposes. You can find the best candidates under the Cracker Style category at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?board=28.0

If you scan the thirteen pages under the Cracker Style category, I think that you will see that the most popular and most favored recipes are on the first page, and that they have stickys to boot. But you will also find other threads that are related to some of the stickied threads, and maybe even some hidden gems. So, you might want to scan the 13 pages to see if something compelling jumps out at you.

Peter

Offline john_k

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2019, 02:29:39 PM »
I had this exact question yesterday but did not post it.

I almost think each interested person would need to do a variety of repeated head-to-head tests and tweaks to figure out what works, but that result may not be applicable for everybody else. I have tried a few of these recipes and some of my results were fantastic and some were pretty bad. And a lot of that work was done a long time ago, really before I had any clue at all what I was doing.

So for instance, for me, after repeated trials and explorations, Garvey's no-knead thin crust (with a bit less oil) is my go-to in that style. But cracker thin is slightly different, and would need its own set of tests and tweaks and repetitions.

Todd/Spacelooper: if you want to work on that (ie. the systematic tests and trials and tweaks) I would be interested in participating also.

I have learned though that these kind of projects take a lot more time than they would seem to at first, and more than just a few pizzas would need to be made.

This could sort of be like a metanalysis of previous published studies, except that here it would involve repeating a lot of the work from the original studies, not just kind of massaging and organizing the previous results  :)

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2019, 03:14:12 PM »
Thank, for the replies. I will most likely start with DKM's recipe since that seems to be a starting place for a lot of guys and there doesn't seem to be a unanimous winner out there for tried and true Cracker thin recipes.

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2019, 03:24:50 PM »
I also notice that both Recipes on the Main Page for thin & cracker are basically the same. However, one uses AP Flour and the other High Gluten. It also looks like the High Gluten version left out 1/2 tsp of oil. Which seems to be more popular with this style? Ap flour or High Gluten?

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2019, 04:16:00 PM »
I also notice that both Recipes on the Main Page for thin & cracker are basically the same. However, one uses AP Flour and the other High Gluten. It also looks like the High Gluten version left out 1/2 tsp of oil. Which seems to be more popular with this style? Ap flour or High Gluten?
spacelooper,

My recollection is that Tom Lehmann advocates using a "strong flour" for the cracker style pizza, which I take to mean bread flour or high-gluten flour. In my case, I used a retail flour that was called Harvest King, which fell into the bread flour category. General Mills now uses that name for its professional line, as described in the specs for that flour at:

https://www.generalmillscf.com/services/productpdf.ashx?pid=53722000

At the retail level, for a GM flour, one might use the GM bread flour, such as shown at:

https://www.goldmedalflour.com/our-flour/bread-flour/

I think another good choice would be the King Arthur all-purpose or bread flour since their protein levels tend to be a bit higher than competing brands.

Peter

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2019, 04:52:14 PM »
Well, I basically ended up making one of each. I tried both recipes on the main page recipe index for "Thin & Cracker" pizza. I used Ceresota AP flour for the DKM recipe and King Arthur Sir Lancelot for the other recipe. I will gauge from that point what I need to try next. My other question is there seems to be conflicting posts about Room Temp or Cold rise. I am going to do these at Room Temp since that is what these specific recipes call for. Thanks, Pete-zza for the quick and informative replies. :)

Offline bobgraff

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2019, 08:15:50 PM »
Todd/John,

if I may offer my 2 cents.....

I spent a good two years trying to figure out how to make a good cracker crust pizza and I feel like I have succeeded.  I use a variation of Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza recipe.  If I could point to one turning point in my journey, it's this post from Ted Choll.  His advice about rise times was a game changer for me.  Per his suggestion, my process evolved to:

  • Mix Up dough
  • Bulk ferment at room temp for 4-6 hours
  • Divide into individual dough balls, place in ziplock bags, then cold ferment in the fridge for 2 days
  • On bake day, take dough balls out of the fridge to warm up at room temp for 2-4 hours prior to rolling out

I've also made Nick57's cracker recipe and highly recommend that recipe as well!

Best of luck!  Practice makes perfect!
Bob

"I learn each day what I need to know to do tomorrow’s work." - Arnold Toynbee

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2019, 09:19:12 PM »
Good post Bob.... :chef:
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Offline spacelooper

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2019, 09:34:36 PM »
Bob, Thanks a ton for the info. I will definitely try these recipes.

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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2019, 09:44:58 PM »
This is buffet pizza.... And as usual to buffets, not very good representation of good cracker style...IMHO. :pizza:
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline john_k

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2019, 11:01:30 PM »
Thanks bobgraff; that is EXTREMELY helpful.  :chef:

Chicago Bob: What do you mean by "buffet pizza"? BTW I will finally make it to Vito and Nick's tomorrow for lunch; very much looking forward to that.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2019, 11:13:57 PM »
Thanks bobgraff; that is EXTREMELY helpful.  :chef:

Chicago Bob: What do you mean by "buffet pizza"? BTW I will finally make it to Vito and Nick's tomorrow for lunch; very much looking forward to that.
my local pizza inn features a lunch and dinner buffet... It includes pasta dishes and desert pizzas.... The couple of times I've partaken.... It's rare to see someone come in for a pick up order..... Folks are there for the buffet... To pizza inn credit, they will bake any combo pie for you if it's not on the buffet.... Course you have to wait... But their"cracker" crust is sub par.

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2019, 07:16:07 AM »
Yeah, I haven't been to Village Inn or Pizza Inn since the 80's. I always enjoyed the Village Inn buffet... as I did the Shakey's buffet. These have a nostalgia angle for me and mine that makes them a worthwhile quest. I am sure both Shakey's and Pizza Inn are pretty sub par especially compared to what they used to be. The "Cutter Pan" cracker is a style we always enjoyed back in the day and one I would like to be able to make well... in my quest to make better pizza. Although I like some pizzas better than others it really does fall into the "even when it's bad it's good" category for me.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2019, 01:03:15 PM »
Couple of years ago I had a Shakys on my way back from Texas to north Carolina... Pizza was pretty good, lunch time and the place was empty. 🤔
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

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Offline spacelooper

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2019, 05:42:06 PM »
bobgraff, looks like you let your dough ferment less than Ted, is this correct? He is doing 3 days before putting in the freezer and then taking out of freezer the night before. Are you doing the freezer steps? or putting the skins into the fridge after they are rolled out day of?

Offline tedcholl

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2019, 01:59:38 PM »
Thanks Bob for the nice compliment!   I've been helped so much by so many on this site that I was glad to help.

To add some clarification on some points - and I continue to make 3 pizzas in this style every Saturday for my extended family as we all lived in Columbus, Ohio area and ate this type of pizza but we all now live in San Antonio where I have been unable to find this style.

I continue to bulk ferment at room temp for 4-6 hours.   I then divide the dough (I make a 4, 14" pizzas batch of dough each time)  into 4 balls and put them in ziploc bags and put in the refrigerator.   This really improves the flavor of the dough.   1 day is minimum and 2 or 3 days is best, I almost always do 3 days.   After 3 days the dough starts to degrade so that is why I freeze it.  Freezing it doesn't do anything except preserve it.   Making the pizza after 3 days without freezing makes for a slightly fresher tasting pizza dough but I oftentimes can't make the dough exactly 3 days before using it.  I remove the frozen dough and put into the fridge 8-12 hours before I plan to make the pizza.  When ready to roll out the dough I pull it out of the fridge and roll out immediately.  I no longer let it warm up for the 2-4 hours which I think is better as the dough starts to rise again.

Happy to answer any other questions you may have.

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2019, 07:40:21 PM »
Ted, are you and Bob still using the Crisco Sticks? I think the recipe I saw referenced was this:

I use KABF
45% water
1.5% ADY
1.0 % Salt
1.0% Sugar
6.0% Shortening (Crisco Flakes) 

Thanks,
Todd

Offline bobgraff

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2019, 08:28:59 PM »
Ted, are you and Bob still using the Crisco Sticks? I think the recipe I saw referenced was this:

I use KABF
45% water
1.5% ADY
1.0 % Salt
1.0% Sugar
6.0% Shortening (Crisco Flakes) 

Thanks,
Todd

My preference is either Crisco or sunflower oil - whichever I have on hand.
Bob

"I learn each day what I need to know to do tomorrow’s work." - Arnold Toynbee

Offline tedcholl

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Re: Village Inn / Pizza Inn Thin
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2019, 11:43:20 AM »
Yes, still using the Crisco sticks which seem to be better than than Crisco in a can for some reason.   I recently reduced the % down to 2% which has resulted in a slightly crispier crust.

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