Chicago Thin From Bar Pie Chassis - January 2022
For the better part of 2021, I have been making (exclusively) Bar Pies at home to the exclusion of just about any other type of pizza. I've made the occasional Detroit-style, but for the most part, it has been 12" round Bar Pies for 10+ months. However, Bar Pies have a specific provenance - that of the east coast. New Jersey. Massachusetts. Those places make "Bar Pie". What do we make in Chicago? Something called Tavern pizza. Or Tavern-style pizza. Or, just Chicago Thin Crust.
Bar Pie isn't too far from Chicago Thin, but it is a bit different. So, I've decided that 2022 is going to be my Chicago Thin/Bar Pie hybrid year. My maiden voyage down this path was this past weekend when I took a Chicago Thin recipe that I found on YouTube, modified it to be a little bit *more* like my base Bar Pie formulation in some ways, dropped the hydration down a bit and then, finally did a couple of downsizing from a 14" formulation to a 12"-based chassis.
Let's start with the last one: 14" to 12". Going back to my high school math days, I did a quick calculation to try to downsize the pie. My brain immediately went to 12/14 = 85%. That means that I *could* take each of the ingredients and downsize them by .85.
Option 1: Downsize everything by .85.
But, then, I realized, what we're *really* talking about is surface area. Not a simple 14 --> 12 calculation. So, option 1 is out.
But, instead something like: area of 14" --> area of 12".
Now...we know: A=π⋅r2.
So, that 14" pizza = 3.14 x 72 = 153.9 square inches.
And the 12" pizza = 3.14 x 62 = 113.1 square inches.
113.1/153.9 = 73.4%
Leads me to option 2: Downsize everything by 73.4%. Seems viable.
When I take that 73.4% factor, I come up with a total dough ball weight of 223 grams.
That's where I started to scratch my head. Why? Because my Bar Pie recipe calls for a 175 gram dough ball. This would be a 50g large ball. And, it seemed like I was headed towards a doughy recipe if I went with this 223 gram ball.
Back to the drawing board.
What if I reverse engineer the formulation downgrade percentage by trying to get *close* to that 175g ball total? I played around with some numbers and ended up settling on 64.5% downsizing. Leading me to a 190g total ball weight. Seemed like a good place to experiment.
85% downsize = 252g ball
73.4% downsize = 223g ball
64.5% downsize = 190g ball
To dial things in a little bit more, I ended up opting for a 4th choice - in between the 73 and 64.5. That's at 68%. 202g.
After panning all of them, giving them a bake and then trying each of them, where am I headed? Towards the smallest one: 64.5% downsize (with some modifications) to the base recipe. That's the pre-bake pie topped with cup and char pepperoni in the very top of this post.
Below, in the table is what I'm starting with for experimentation in 2022. This is the first time I've really been using cornmeal, so that's a place where I'm going to continue to play with to get that cracker-crust I'm looking for in my pans.