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Offline Papa T

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Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« on: July 29, 2020, 03:54:30 AM »
This is the recipe for the mid-1970s Pizza Hut Thin n Crispy Pizza dough. My post in the Thick Pizza topic for the short lived Pizza Hut Thick n Chewy pizza, linked below, has my background regarding my work at Pizza Hut while I was in high school and college back in the 1970s. Photos attached of the pepperoni and mushroom Thin n Crispy pizza I made yesterday.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=64490.0

This recipe works best with an ordinary, 10% protein all purpose flour. If you use a bread flour, Id highly recommend increasing the hydration by 2%, though this recipe will come out best with an ordinary all purpose flour.

This Thin n Crispy pizza from the 70s was baked in a cutter pan at 550F, in a Blodgett gas fired oven, that had a brick or stone bottom. Bake your pizza in a cutter pan, on a stone, in an oven that is preheated to 500-550F for at least an hour. It will not come out the same as back in the 70s if you place the pan on a rack. It needs that constant hit of heat that a baking stone/brick gives.

The pan sizes back then were 10, 13, and 16 inches for S, M, and L. There was three inches between sizes. For thin pizzas, the spec called for 6, 10, and 16 ounces of thin dough, and the dough sheeter was calibrated using the large 16-inch pizza sheet as a reference, giving a reference density per square inch of 0.0796. When sheeting the dough, we always pulled off a larger amount of dough from the dough bucket to sheet, so it would overlap the pan edges, and wed trim it using a very wide rolling pin. The trimmed dough would go back into the dough bucket, tossed to the side with the other scraps, so it could rise again. Generally, the unused dough was tossed at the end of the night.

Back in my day, both the Thin n Crispy and the Thick n Chewy pizzas were baked in cutter pans, at 550F. Thick pizzas baked 8-10 minutes. Thin pizza 10-12 minutes. The thick pizza required that we spray the cutter pan with Vegalene. We did not spray the cutter pan for the thin pizza, as it had a good amount of oil in the dough. Spraying wouldnt have hurt anything, but it wasnt needed, and it would have been an unnecessary cost. Do your pan as you desire.

The baking times were variable depending on how much the oven door was opened/closed, and the type of toppings used. Generally, thin pizzas were baked 9-12 minutes. Also, the more pizzas in the oven, the higher the humidity in the oven as the pies released moisture while baking, so you needed to keep an eye on them. Drying ovens bake faster than one that is more moist. Pizzas could go from properly baked to burnt in 1-2 minutes.

The original Pizza Hut Thin n Crispy was a low hydration, heavy on the yeast and oil, type of cracker dough recipe. It was rolled thin. I dont know the exact thickness, but Id estimate it was about 1/8 to 3/16 thick.

Bakers percentages below, using at 25 pound back of AP flour, which was the standard bag used back in the day, for Pizza Hut Thin n Crispy dough.

Flour 25 lbs 100%
Water 9 lbs @105F, 36%
Oil 12 ounces, 3 %
Yeast 6 ounces, 1.5%
Salt, 4 ounces, 1%

35.375 pounds, or 566 ounces.

Total weight percentages for calculating what weights you need to make a batch of dough listed below. If the batch is in pounds, multiply the pounds by 16 for the total ounces of the batch before calculating the weights of each ingredient to make the calculations easier.

Flour 0.7067 (70.67%)
Water 0.2544 (25.44%)
Oil 0.0212 (2.12%)
Yeast 0.0106 (1.06%)
Salt 0.0071 (0.71%)

Note: When I make a small batch of dough, I bump the oil up to 4% and water to 37.5%, in bakers percentages. It works better when dealing with very small quantities that are used at home. While we can calculate the scaling, but we cant change the physics. A 35 pound batch of dough rising produces more heat and moisture during fermentation, which helps the whole batch do its thing. No so much with a just enough dough for a single pie.

Square inches for various pans sizes and needed dough Thin 'n Crispy portions:
9" pan 64 sq/in requires 5 oz of dough
10" pan 79 sq/in requires 6.25 oz of dough
11" pan 95 sq/in requires 7.5 oz of dough
12" pan 113 sq/in requires 9 oz of dough
13" pan 133 sq/in requires 10.5 oz of dough
14" pan 154 sq/in requires 12.25 oz of dough
15" pan 177 sq/in requires 14 oz of dough
16" pan 201 sq/in requires 16 oz of dough

I have a 15-inch cutter pan. Thats 177 sq/in, and using the coverage factor for Thin n Crispy shown above, that I will need 14 ounces of dough. However, you need more dough than that because it has to be rolled thin, placed in the pan, and then trimmed. I have found that if I take the dough amount needed, in this case 14 ounces, and add at least 20% to the weight, it gives me enough overlap that I can cut a good edge. Adding 20% to the 14 ounces give 16.8 ounces, so I make a batch of dough for 17 ounces.

Using the total weight percentages above for my 15-in pan, the calculation is:

Flour (ordinary AP is best) 12.01 ounces
Water @105F 4.32 ounces (I go to 4.5 ounces since this is a small batch)
Oil (I use olive or canola) 0.36 ounce (about 2 tsp, but I use 1 tbs for small batch)
Yeast 0.18 ounce (about 2 tsp. I use SAF Red IDY)
Salt 0.12 ounces (about tsp). Use table salt. Kosher or sea salt will under salt your dough. If using a flaky salt, you may want to double it.

I put all the ingredients in a stand mixer bowl, and use the paddle, not the dough hook, to mix. I mix for 2-3 minutes, on speed 1 or 2, and then stop, cover the bowl, and let the dough autolyse for about 10-15 minutes. This was not done at The Hut, but works better for small batch dough when home mixing. After the autolyse stage, I begin mixing again using the paddle attachment until the dough looks like very course meal.

Once mixing is done, I use my hands to form a ball, similar to how one would make a snowball, and put It in a bowl with cling wrap tightly sealed on top, so it can rise. Any container with a tight lid will work. Its not going to rise much, but will some, and will get softer. Whether cling wrap or a lidded bowl is used, you want to trap the moisture and keep it in the bowl.

While the original PH SOP said the dough batch had to rise at least 4 hours, this very small batch will take longer. Figure on 8-10 hours. I can go longer if needed without harm. It takes about 24 hours before this dough will start to whiff of excess fermentation.

This is a room temperature rise dough, so put it in a warm part of your kitchen and let it run. You do not need to oil the bowl as this is not a sticky or tacky dough. If you oil the bowl, you will find it gives you some issues later when it comes time to roll it out.

This dough is not sticky, or even tacky. It feels like poorly made play-dough, or a typical pie crust dough. Just give it time. It wont rise that much, but it will become somewhat softer and more cohesive, which is what we want, because this is going to be rolled super thin. I shoot for about 3/16 of an inch thickness. I would go thinner if I had a sheeter, but dont, because when it gets thinner than that with manual rolling, it can be easier to tear when placing. It is what it is. Were doing this at home. If you do happen to tear it or put a hole in it, repair it with some of the scrap from trimming the pan. We did that too, back in the day. It happens, and this dough is somewhat like working with modeling clay, so small repairs are fast and easy using the scrap.

After Ive let the dough rise for a long bit, I take it out of the bowl, and form it into a somewhat circular patty with my hands and press it down on a hard clean surface with my hands to start adding some diameter to it. Once I get below an inch or so in thickness, I just start manually rolling it with a rolling pin, up and back, and side to side. You dont need to flour or oil the surface because of the low hydration and good shot of oil used in the dough. Ive never had a problem with it sticking to the surface, and I roll it pretty hard.

Once the rolled dough is about 1.5 inches wider than your pan diameter, gently pick it up, place in the pan, tucking it into the seem where the pan bottom and the rim meet, and ensure it overlaps the edge. It can be stretched a small amount if needed. Once everything is tucked and covered, use a rolling pin or beer bottle or something to roll the edge of the pan to cut off the excess dough.

If the dough is made properly, you dont need to oil the cutter pan. At 3 or 4% oil and low hydration, this dough doesnt stick. However, you wont hurt anything of you want to apply thin food release treatment to the pan before placing the rolled dough.

Once the dough is in the pan and cut, you can top as you please.

Regarding the cheese: I use a blend of 70% mozzarella and 30% Monterey Jack, shredded from a block. For this pizza, I used 10 ounces, so it was 7 ounces of mozzarella and 3 ounces of Jack. I don't like the mouthfeel of pre-shredded cheeses as they use cellulose or a starch powder to keep it from sticking in the bag. I'm not a fan of how that melts.

Regarding the sauce: The Thin n Crispy sauce back in the day was pretty thin. We would ladle it in the center of the dough and tilt the pan side to side, front to back, until the sauce covered the bottom of the pan. Thats how thin you need the sauce if you want the best effort at hitting the mark. I use very highly crush tomatoes. They are not very chunky.

For my 15-inch Thin n Crispy, I need about 7.5 ounces of sauce, so I use about 5 ounces of very crushed tomatoes, and about 2.5 ounces of water. If its too thick, add a teaspoon or two of water. If too thin, same thing for adding more crushed. You can take a couple tablespoons worth of the mix, and put it on a small plate and see how it spreads when you tilt the plate. It need to be thinner than ketchup. Think of how a cheap salsa runs. Thats what youre looking for with this sauce.

The Thin n Crispy sauce back in the 70s had a different seasoning flavor than the Thick Chewy sauce, or even the pan pizza sauce that came after. The thin sauce came in its own can, and had its own seasoning pack. In the seasoning pack, I could taste and detect the scent of celery. It wasnt a lot, but it was there. So, once I get my sauce viscosity right for this 15-inch pizza, I season like this:

1 tsp celery salt
tsp dried oregano
tsp each of garlic powder onion powder, ground basil (if you can find it), and black pepper.

Note: Dried basil flakes can be used, but they will turn very dark or black when baked. They wont taste burnt, but they will change color. Your call to use or not if using flakes instead of ground basil. I dont know how accurate this sauce seasoning is, but to me, it lands pretty close to what they had back in the 70s.

Do not add any extra salt to the sauce, at least not yet. Let the sauce sit for a bit and then give it a taste test. If it needs salt, add some to your preference, but I dont find the need to add more because Im using celery salt. You may want more salt, so go for it. To me, this seasoning combo with the thin, watery, fine particulate content crushed tomatoes, lands pretty close to what was used on the 70s era Thin n Crispy pizza.

If you want to get as authentic and on point as possible, dont forget to use the Fairy Dust at the end. Every pizza got it as the last step before going into the oven. It was equal parts of dried oregano and the same powdered cheese in the shakers at the dining room tables. You know the stuff. Spaghetti cheese. We had a larger version of the shaker kitchen with the same size holes on top as the ones in the dining room. SOP called for 5, 10, or 15 shakes for S, M, or L pizza. No lie.

Baking instruction:

Preheat oven to 500-550F, as high as your oven will go up to 550F, for at least one hour, with a rack on the bottom, and a stone, brick or tile large enough to handle the pan size. It needs to be screaming hot like the Blodgette gas ovens were like when I worked at PH during the mid to late 1970s.

Once the oven is hot, youve placed your dough, and topped it, bake for 10-12 minutes. I rotate my pan half way around after about 5 minutes to help with even browning and baking. Depending on how hot you can get your oven, and how the pizza was topped, start peeking at it around the 8-9 minute mark. For my oven, which will only hit 525F, I know to check at the 10 minute mark. Generally, unless I have more than one veggie on the pie, I know its time to pull it between the 11-13 minutes. PH SOP stated that when the pizza was pulled, to let it stage in the pan for at least 30 seconds before cutting. I suggest at least a couple minutes. The pizza will look better when cut if you let cool a bit.

Photos are attached of my pepperoni and mushroom clone of Pizza Huts 1970s era Thin n Crispy pizza that I made yesterday. If you make this, share your photos. If you had PH Think n Crispy back in the 1970s, which was different back than then the T&C of today, let us know how your version landed.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 05:54:41 AM by Papa T »

Offline sodface

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 06:42:08 AM »
Man, it's only 6:30 AM and I want to eat that.  Great write up, great looking pizza!
Carl

Offline HansB

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 07:31:40 AM »
Man, it's only 6:30 AM and I want to eat that.  Great write up, great looking pizza!

^^^
Hans

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 08:59:00 AM »
Papa T,

That is a five star ★★★★★ post. Thanks for the major effort you put into it.

Peter

Offline HansB

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 09:44:42 AM »
Well thank you, you got my attention! I never had the T&C of the 70's but up until I started making my own I occasionally would get the current T&C.

Although I just had pizza yesterday, I have to have it again today! Other than using a food processor, I followed it to the letter.

Hans

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Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 02:12:02 PM »
It is a great post. Only had PH once in my life and doubt it was this one. I'm thinking 80's more likely.

Offline jvp123

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 02:36:33 PM »
Thanks so much for posting this ... I'm going to try this! 
Jeff

Offline HansB

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 06:03:24 PM »
Very good formula, nice cracker crust. Fermented for 7 hours @ 78

It really had to hold back from doing a party cut!

Hans

Offline sodface

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 06:06:29 PM »
Very good formula, nice cracker crust. Fermented for 7 hours @ 78

It really had to hold back from doing a party cut!

Where's the fairy dust?!  Looks good, this is on my to-do list for this weekend!
Carl

Offline HansB

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 06:07:42 PM »
Where's the fairy dust?!  Looks good, this is on my to-do list for this weekend!

I used the invisible fairy dust!  ;)
Hans

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Offline Papa T

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2020, 01:07:18 AM »
Very good formula, nice cracker crust. Fermented for 7 hours @ 78

It really had to hold back from doing a party cut!
That is a fantastic looking pizza. Food processors are great for making a single pie batch of most any cracker or NY thin style of pizza dough. It will typically come together in 2 minutes or less.

Offline texmex

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2020, 09:50:49 AM »
Is it sacrilege to bake a PH thin on an Appian Way pan?   :-D
I only have this vintage 12 inch cutter pan to work with. 
Trying to figure out how to make this formula work for this pan (not actually trying, but I hope to decipher it soon)


*edited to add formulation for 2 crusts in 12 inch pan...
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 12:54:31 PM by texmex »
Reesa

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 10:12:33 AM »
Very good write-up, Papa T.   8)

I remember those old thin-n-crispy and thick-n-chewy days (back when PH was actually good). Thanks for sharing!  :)

-ME
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Offline HansB

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 12:52:00 PM »
Trying to figure out how to make this formula work for this pan (not actually trying, but I hope to decipher it soon)

It's just a pan. You shouldn't need to decifer anything...
Hans

Offline texmex

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2020, 12:56:03 PM »
It's just a pan. You shouldn't need to decifer anything...
But it isn't a 15 inch pan....so I deciphered for 12 inch pan.
added to previous post as you were commenting

Reesa

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Offline HansB

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2020, 01:06:53 PM »
Mine above is 12", I used 325g and had very little scrap.

100% Flour 225g
37.5% H2O 85g
4% Oil       9g
1.5% IDY.   3.375g
1% Salt      2.25g
Hans

Offline texmex

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2020, 01:27:20 PM »
Mine above is 12", I used 325g and had very little scrap.

100% Flour 225g
37.5% H2O 85g
4% Oil       9g
1.5% IDY.   3.375g
1% Salt      2.25g


Sounds good, but doesn't that throw off the thickness factor? The dough weights list 9 0z for a 12 inch pan. (255.1475 grams).  I just made the Garvey thin formula, and had too much dough for my 12 inch pan, but didn't trim anything. The pie was delicious, but not quite as thin as intended, since he also uses a 15" pan formula.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 01:33:06 PM by texmex »
Reesa

Offline HansB

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2020, 01:33:26 PM »
I rolled out to 3/16" and tossed the scrap. I should have weighed the scraps. You can use 177g/100% flour but you'd have to be good at rolling out a perfect circle. I'm not that good!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 01:37:36 PM by HansB »
Hans

Offline Papa T

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2020, 06:54:29 PM »
Is it sacrilege to bake a PH thin on an Appian Way pan?   :-D
I only have this vintage 12 inch cutter pan to work with. 
Trying to figure out how to make this formula work for this pan (not actually trying, but I hope to decipher it soon)


*edited to add formulation for 2 crusts in 12 inch pan...
A 12" pan needs 9 ounces of dough, but you need to roll it large and thin so it overlaps the edges to then be trimmed. I'd make a 12 ounce batch for one 12" pie, double it for two. Flour is cheap.

For a 24 ounce batch, giving two 12 ounce slugs to roll out really thin:

Flour, 16.96 ounces/481 grams, 100%
Water 6.36 ounces/180 grams using 37.5% for small batch. At 36%, use 6.11 oz/173 grams if desired.
Oil 0.68 ounce/19 grams, using 4% for small batch. At 3%, use 0.51 ounce/15 grams, if desired.
Yeast 0.25 ounce, 7 grams
Salt 0.17 ounce, 5 grams

Offline Papa T

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Re: Pizza Hut 1970s Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Recipe
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2020, 07:00:44 PM »

Sounds good, but doesn't that throw off the thickness factor? The dough weights list 9 0z for a 12 inch pan. (255.1475 grams).  I just made the Garvey thin formula, and had too much dough for my 12 inch pan, but didn't trim anything. The pie was delicious, but not quite as thin as intended, since he also uses a 15" pan formula.
No, it doesn't throw it off the thickness factor. You're thinking of the methodology for making traditional dough balls. You're not making a typical pizza dough ball for a baking pan. If you roll it very thin (1/8 to 3/16 inch thin), you'll be in the right area for dough weight when you trim it to the pan size.

You're basically making a pie crust dough that you're going to roll big and thin, to put in the pan so it goes past the edges, and then trim off the excess. Just like one would do for making an apple pie.

The amount of dough, as long as it's larger than what is needed, will work. We tore off huge slugs off of the 35 lb batch of dough that was stored in a lined trash can, to run through a dough sheeter. We threw the scraps back in the bucket toward the side to rise again.

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