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Author Topic: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza  (Read 1328 times)

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Offline Rainier42

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Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« on: February 27, 2022, 08:09:48 AM »
Was a big fan of Star Tavern pizza in the early 70s when I was attending Seton Hall U in South Orange, NJ.  Recently went back with my wife this year and enjoyed their pizza more than ever.  Decided then and there that I needed to try and replicate at home as best I could.

Went through a number of iterations at home and all were failures for one reason or other.  However, am happy to report I was successful with last evening's bake.  Crust was thin, crispy, had burnt edges, and had great tang and flavor.  My wife thought it was as good or better than the Star we had.

Simone family eating chant:  Mangia mangia mangia, can mangia no more then mangia some more!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2022, 08:24:11 AM »
Looks great. Recipe?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline Rainier42

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2022, 09:13:50 AM »
Looks great. Recipe?

TXCraig1 ... yes.  There's a few aspects to this one.  Firstly, Star Tavern pizza is noted for their thin and crispy crust with a tangy and a bit salty sauce.  Second, they start out their bake using a modified baking pan and finish the bake by removing pizza from its pan and directly on the oven's stone.  Baking temp i believe is around 550 degrees.  So with this info, I tried a few  bar stall dough recipes I found here on pizzamaking and others I cam across on the internet.  For a pan I started out with a 16" round aluminum deep dish pan I came across at a local shop.

The first few I baked came out terrible ... either the dough was difficult to work with and wouldn't flatten out or I could not easily remove the partially baked pizza from the pan (is why Star has partially removed from their pans).

With this last attempt I decided I didn't need to try and replicate Star's dough recipe.  Rather I needed a good dough recipe that would easily flatten and crisp up.  Dough recipe I used is:

KA High Gluten Flour - 100%  (BF or AP might have worked as well)
Water - 58%
IDY - .3%
Salt - 2% (fine sea salt)
LDM - 1%
Light OO - 2%

Made dough balls for two 12" pies.

After making my dough I let it rest/bulk ferment for 3 hours at RT and then through it in refrigerator.  Next day I reshaped into two balls ... had planned to do just a 48 hour CF but life stepped in and had to CF for 72 hours before I could use.  The day of, I removed dough from cold storage 2 hours prior to bake.

Regarding the pan I used.  A big issue I had with my earlier bakes was removing the partial bake from the pan.  This time I used a well-greased and old 16" aluminum pizza serving tray I had and was no longer using.  Worked beautifully, was able to easily slide my partial bake off tray and onto hot stone to finish up.

Sauce ... For my base sauce I always start with Scalfani Jersey Fresh Crushed and add additional seasonings ( pepper flakes, garlic, a little OO, and oregano).

Cheese ... once pizza is sauced I freshly grate a generous amount of Parmesan cheese, main cheese is a blend of semi-dry Mozzarella and Provolone, and my finishing cheese when pie is removed from oven is generous amount of freshly grated Pecorino Romano.
Simone family eating chant:  Mangia mangia mangia, can mangia no more then mangia some more!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2022, 09:19:47 AM »
Thank you. I've played around with Star Tavern-like pizza for years and have yet to make a crust that I loved.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline waltertore

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2022, 12:12:25 PM »
Looks great!  I grew up in South Orange. My mother worked at Seton Hall and Star and Reservoir were our go to pizzas.  Small world :)  There is a star tavern thread on the forum somewhere.
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Offline Rainier42

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2022, 01:21:43 PM »
Looks great!  I grew up in South Orange. My mother worked at Seton Hall and Star and Reservoir were our go to pizzas.  Small world :)  There is a star tavern thread on the forum somewhere.

Walter ... yes and we chatted about it.  I've read the thread, was good and got me started.  We probably were at Star at the same time.
Simone family eating chant:  Mangia mangia mangia, can mangia no more then mangia some more!

Offline Rainier42

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2022, 01:24:53 PM »
Thank you. I've played around with Star Tavern-like pizza for years and have yet to make a crust that I loved.

Yes, wasn't sure how this crust would turn out but it was really good.  I think the trick is with the double bake ... first in a greased pan and second on the stone.  My pan time was 8-10 minutes and my stone time was around 5.  This is much longer than my typical NY Style bakes and am sure contributes to the crisp crust.
Simone family eating chant:  Mangia mangia mangia, can mangia no more then mangia some more!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2022, 01:39:11 PM »
That's quite a bit longer than I've baked them in the past. I'll try a longer bake.

Here are some of mine: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=37557.msg375416#msg375416
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline waltertore

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2022, 03:49:34 PM »
Walter ... yes and we chatted about it.  I've read the thread, was good and got me started.  We probably were at Star at the same time.

Now I remember :)  My mother was father Moorley's secretary and also worked with PJ Carlisimo during his coaching tenure when they got cheated out of the national championship. 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2022, 08:33:21 PM by waltertore »
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Offline Rainier42

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2022, 08:15:52 PM »
That's quite a bit longer than I've baked them in the past. I'll try a longer bake.

Here are some of mine: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=37557.msg375416#msg375416

Craig ... those look great.  Your dough %s are just a little different from mine.  What didn't you like about yours?

I like your pans.  Norma offered me a pan that I'll take the sides off of and make similar to yours.
Simone family eating chant:  Mangia mangia mangia, can mangia no more then mangia some more!

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Offline HansB

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2022, 08:42:36 PM »
Instagram @hans_michigan.

"The most important element of pizza is the dough. Pizza is bread after all. Bread with toppings." -Brian Spangler

"Ultimately, pizza is a variety of condiments on top of bread. If I wanted to evolve, I figured out that I had to understand bread and first make the best bread I possibly could. Only then could my pizza evolve as well." Dan Richer

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2022, 08:50:04 PM »
The ones I made in my Blackstone oven when I had them came out pretty good. Other than that, I just never got the texture and crispness that I really wanted. Close, but not quite there.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Rainier42

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2022, 06:43:12 AM »
Simone family eating chant:  Mangia mangia mangia, can mangia no more then mangia some more!

Offline Rainier42

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Re: Replicating a Star Tavern Pizza
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2022, 06:46:12 AM »
The ones I made in my Blackstone oven when I had them came out pretty good. Other than that, I just never got the texture and crispness that I really wanted. Close, but not quite there.

I used my home oven.  My stone is on the lowest wrack and oven is set to 550.  Stone is heated for a full hour.  Pan I used was placed on the stone as was the pie after I removed it from the pan.  Had to be careful the bottom of my pie didn't burn when on the stone so I checked it often.
Simone family eating chant:  Mangia mangia mangia, can mangia no more then mangia some more!

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