Pizzas, Squares and Circles

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by chefzack, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. chefzack

    chefzack

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    Hey everyone, these forums are so helpful!

    I'm going to be starting my own pizza shop soon. My plan is to buy an old shop and then change the name and revamp it a bit. I want to go with fresher food and I'm really excited!!

    So anyhow, here's my question; about my largest pizza,  should I make 16x16 squares, or 20 inch circles?

    I guess to truly answer this question you have to be familiar with my little town. There are two pizza shops that deliver (I'm buying one of them) and an Italian restaurant that doesn't deliver. The shop I'm buying and the other one both make squares. I'm not a fan of the squares. I haven't found a really nice way to cook them yet. I haven't found square screens. I have pans but I don't like the way they cook. You see my problem.

    So I thought about making bigger circles to compensate for not having the 16 slice square. I need opinions. I'm hoping everyone here can help me and give some experienced advice.

    Do any of you make bigger circles? 18", 20", or 22"? If so, What size dough balls should be used for an appropriate crust?

    Just want to say thanks in advance, I've been racking brain about this for a couple weeks now.
     
  2. planethoff

    planethoff

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    First of all, I would like to wish you luck and success in your new place.

    I don't know exactly where your little town is, but I feel that might make a bit of a difference.  I am from the northeast and pizza is round and thin or square and thick. (Sicilian)  My wife is from Minnesota and her pizza was thin and square.  I have grown to like the sauce and cheese topped cracker that she calls pizza, but only order it to appease her.  So, I am with you on not being a fan of the squares.

    That being said, if you say the two pizza shops serve the square version and have a regular customer base, you will be doing a huge service to your new competitor by sending a good portion of your regular clientele to them if you switch to round pies.  You may win some over and still be successful, but they are used to and come for the squares.  Don't try to fix what ain't broke.

    As far as size, just go by the size of screens you can find.  Practically any size will still sell.  Look at those places that do whole oven size pizzas.
     
  3. chefzack

    chefzack

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    Thanks for the reply! I live in this little town about an hour or so north of Pittsburgh, Pa.

    I know I should just make the damn squares and be done with it, but I have this indescribable hatred for these stupid squares. I always hated them! Even working there in high school I hated making them. I can't explain it. It just feels out of place in my vision for the pizza shop.
     
  4. planethoff

    planethoff

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    I feel ya.  Like I said, crackers with sauce and cheese.

    Maybe do both and try to sway customers to the round pies.  It is the same ingredients, just need two styles of screens and they aren't all that expensive.  Also with a good oven and a little cornmeal you can go sans screens.
     
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Circles  and squares are not the same.

    Its all about the surface area. A 16" round will fit on a 16" square platter, but a round has much less surface area, which means less ingredients, and your most expensive ingredient is cheese.

    Do yourself a favour and scale out your pizzas, a round and a square and see how much more the difference is.

    Then do the math.

    Hope this helps
     
  6. mike9

    mike9

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    It's also about output.  Round pizza is faster to make than square and easier to deal with when done.  I'm from Detroit and we made round at the store, but went out for square when in the mood.  Square pizzas there called "red top", or "upside down" pizza because the sauce was put on top of the cheese and toppings.  They are novel in that regard, but quite delicious.  Do a search for Buddy's, or Shield's pizza in Detroit it might give you some inspiration.  
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  7. panini

    panini

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    @foodpump  , makes a point. The first thing I thought reading your post was that those people used to the squares might feel cheated

    by the round. 

    How does one roll out dough and get a square shape? Is this thin or thick pie. Do you use a sheeter?

    I think the size of your large round size will be dictated by the availability of boxes.

    What's it like when you have to spin the squares for hot spots? Are you using a conveyor?

    I personally choose semolina over corn meal.

    Good luck with your venture, you'll figure it out.

    My preference is thin, round, just from growing up in NYC. I didn't say this, but I'm a crust person, so a square wouldn't be so bad.
     
  8. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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  9. mike9

    mike9

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    Dough for square pies are usually risen so stretching to the pan shape isn't usually an issue.  In Detroit style pies the dough is stretched to fit the oiled, blue steel pan and allowed to rise again then it is stored for service and put in the oven to set so it doesn't get soggy.  It's more labor intensive, but the the product is really good.  I do a hybrid at home because I'm more of a purist about product placement and sauce is on the bottom, but in the Detroit pies the cheese does float up through the sauce and gets golden especially at the crust line because they run the cheese all the way to the edges of the pan.  It's become so popular that there is a school for this type of pie now.