As co-founder and president of Mici Italian, a fast-casual franchise, Jeff Miceli’s want to simplify complicated household recipes led to the creation of a singular pizza press.
- “I used to be decided to discover a instrument that might support with the shaping of the dough and simplify the method so anybody within the kitchen might do it,” Miceli explains.
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By Jeff Miceli, co-founder and president of Mici Italian
When my siblings, Michael and Kim, and I based our pizza and pasta restaurant, Mici Italian, we wished to carry our father’s scrumptious household recipes right into a fast-casual setting. Our dad was an incredible Italian cook dinner, and we wished to serve his unbelievable alfredo, marinara, meatballs and extra with pizza, which we had already been doing for a couple of years with a delivery-style enterprise.
The problem at first was determining mix the love and care that comes with every of those recipes with a quick-service setting. One of the tough and time-consuming components of the prep course of within the kitchen was getting recent dough into the right pizza form. We refused to sacrifice high quality, however this made issues arduous as a result of we had been utilizing a stone deck to make sure the dough was crunchy on the skin whereas nonetheless having a chewy center crust. It was a posh course of that was arduous to coach the workers on, and within the first few months of operation, Michael and I had been the one ones in a position to run the pizza station proper.
When forming a dough ball by hand, you run your fingers across the exterior to create a raised edge. Then, you flatten the within portion of the dough together with your fingers, being very cautious to go away a bit further dough within the heart. In the event you don’t have further dough within the heart, the crust will rip whenever you choose up the fashioned ball and begin to stretch it.
I used to be decided to discover a instrument that might support with the shaping of the dough and simplify the method so anybody within the kitchen might do it. The purpose was to chop down on the time we spent making pizzas. It was an limitless search to search out the fitting expertise that might do what we wished with out sacrificing how good the dough is, and it took an excessive amount of trial and error. I attempted pizza presses, pizza sheeters and all types of apparatus. The machines would form the dough however compromise its cell construction, ruining the sunshine and crispy texture we attempt for. I knew what would work, however there was nothing prefer it on the market.
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After struggling to search out tools that operated to the requirements of Mici, I made a decision to invent my very own instrument. After testing out many wood prototypes in my storage, I landed on a design that labored completely. I minimize out about an inch across the perimeter of the mildew to type a raised edge whenever you pressed down on it. The mildew has dimples across the exterior perimeter to simulate the fingers that we might use to flatten the dough, and the center has a slight grade upwards, which forces that all-important further dough into the middle, so the dough doesn’t rip once we stretch it. A neater method to say it’s that whenever you apply stress to the press, it forces the dough to the skin to create the raised edge, and in addition to the center to guard it when you end stretching it by hand.
As quickly as I introduced that design into the kitchen at Mici, I knew it was precisely what we had been needing to streamline operations and make the dough-shaping course of simpler. All the staff loved utilizing it and commented on the way it saved their fingers from straining and was a lot quicker than doing it by hand. They didn’t need me to take it again house with me!
I knew then that this was a particular piece of apparatus that might be extremely helpful in our kitchens. We partnered with a 3D printing firm to provide them, and in June of 2020, I filed for US Patent #10,687,537 B2.
This press is the inspiration of our proprietary pizza-making course of and has allowed us to make artisan, New York-style pizza persistently and really effectively. I’m happy with how the press has positively affected operations at our areas. Franchisees are in a position to rent children from the group, and they can make nice pizzas in below an hour of coaching with the assistance of this instrument. It makes me proud to go to our areas and see younger, arduous employees within the again utilizing this invention to help them within the dough prepping course of. Our backside line is healthier, and our meals is extra constant than ever earlier than.