Author Topic: New York Square Sicilian Pizza  (Read 2886 times)

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Offline radost18

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New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« on: December 06, 2011, 01:55:02 PM »
I grew up in New Jersey close to Manhattan where the Italian food is fabulous. As a new member, I am thrilled to be here. Since moving away years ago I have been trying to make Sicilian Pizza at home with limited success. The main obstacle to success is the pizza crust. My crust is too dense, but edible and not heavy (used to come out like a brick!). Nowadays I'm using high gluten flour, adding additional gluten--trying to get more lift and texture in the finished pie. I let the dough rise and punch it down twice, then proof it in the pan. Early on I would layer the sauce and cheese on the proofed pie. However, the weight of the ingredients would collapse the dough with no additional lift in the oven. Then I stated to parbake the dough, which allowed me to add the toppings without the collapse. When I look at the finished pie, the air holes in the crust are very small, hence a dense crust. When I compare mine to the real deal, the pizzeria Sicilian crust has a slightly more bready texture with bigger air holes. Any suggestions?


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 03:00:13 PM »
I grew up in New Jersey close to Manhattan where the Italian food is fabulous. As a new member, I am thrilled to be here. Since moving away years ago I have been trying to make Sicilian Pizza at home with limited success. The main obstacle to success is the pizza crust. My crust is too dense, but edible and not heavy (used to come out like a brick!). Nowadays I'm using high gluten flour, adding additional gluten--trying to get more lift and texture in the finished pie. I let the dough rise and punch it down twice, then proof it in the pan. Early on I would layer the sauce and cheese on the proofed pie. However, the weight of the ingredients would collapse the dough with no additional lift in the oven. Then I stated to parbake the dough, which allowed me to add the toppings without the collapse. When I look at the finished pie, the air holes in the crust are very small, hence a dense crust. When I compare mine to the real deal, the pizzeria Sicilian crust has a slightly more bready texture with bigger air holes. Any suggestions?

Welcome to the forum. If you post your formula, including mix regimen, it can help diagnose your problem.

John

Offline radost18

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 06:02:32 PM »
Here's how I make the dough:

2T dry yeast, 1t sugar, 1 cup warm water (less than 110 degrees F) in bowl for 5-10 minutes.
Add 2 cups water +  1 1/2 cups flour + 1/2 cup gluten, let stand 10-15 min.
Add 2 1/2t salt, 1/2 cup olive oil, then 6 more cups of flower.
Knead until smooth and springy.
Let rise in covered bowl until it doubles or triples.
Punch down dough, then let rise again; or
Punch down and transfer dough to pizza pan--proof until doubled

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 06:05:57 PM »
Knead until smooth and springy.
Let rise in covered bowl until it doubles or triples.
Punch down dough, then let rise again; or
Punch down and transfer dough to pizza pan--proof until doubled

How is the dough mixed and for how long? And how long does it take for the dough to double?

John

Offline scott123

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 06:58:48 PM »
John's questions are the immediate concern, but for future reference:

Here's a review of Mr Bruno's from Slice:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/03/lyndhurst-new-jersey-mr-brunos-pizzeria-review.html

Quote
The dough for the signature Sicilian pie rises in the morning at room temperature, cools in a dough retarder (a humidity-controlled refrigerator)


Translation: Same day dough, but an all day affair with some refrigeration.

Quote
The crust has a subtle yeasty note and a relatively soft, airy crumb. The outer edge was quite crisp. I expected the bottom to have a deliciously grease-infused, golden crisp typical to this style of pizza, but it had no oil at all.


Translation: Some oil in the pan, but not a typically Sicilian amount. Also, this may not be a super high gluten flour.

The pans they use look black and heavy duty, but I can't confirm aluminum or steel.  They are using deck ovens, which, along with airiness of the crumb, could translate into a marginally faster bake time.  In other words, this bake time could be as little as 12 minutes or as much as 15, but not above 15.

It depends on the pizzeria, but, generally speaking, Sicilian dough doesn't contain that much oil- at least not in the dough.

As a jumping off point, I would make a modified Victory Pig pizza. This is a pretty solid video tutorial on Sicilian-ish pizza that's good for beginners.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13048.msg160058.html#msg160058

Stick to his fermentation routine (you don't want to have to mess with yeast quantities too much), but only use deli-sliced mozzarella and put it under the sauce. Use a sauce of either pureed San Marzanos or Cento puree with a little sugar. For now, use Steel Baker's flour, but eventually do the detective work and find out what flour Bruno's is using. And definitely, lose the gluten- it's doing absolutely nothing for you other than trashing the taste.

I think a modified Victory Pig will get you about 70 percent of where you want to be, while giving you something you'll be pleased with. Once you've mastered that, then you'll want to tweak it (with our help) to make it more Mr Bruno-ish.

Lastly, get a digital scale. You'll never get consistent results measuring the flour by volume.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 07:01:20 PM by scott123 »

buceriasdon

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 07:05:26 PM »
scott, I'm surprised you omitted, dump the vital wheat gluten.  ;D Really it's not needed and in all honesty it's a detriment to this style of pizza. IMO it doesn't bring anything to the party, so why invite it?
Don
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 07:06:57 PM by buceriasdon »

Offline scott123

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2011, 07:21:13 PM »
Don, I went back and edited my post to omit the gluten, and I swear it only took me 20 seconds to do so, but I think you got in there too quickly and saw the gluten free version.

But, yes, vital wheat gluten has no place in Sicilian pizza. I actually think Sicilian works a lot better with lower gluten flours and gets it's chewiness from an elevated hydration.

Offline radost18

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 02:18:45 PM »
John,

I knead the dough by hand for 15 minutes to get the desired consistency. It only takes about 30 minutes to double or triple.

Thanks,
Bill

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 02:25:37 PM »
Bill - I agree with Scott and Don, the VWG is just overkill. And quite frankly, that amount of yeast is enough to blow up a small house. You might want to rethink your recipe to include a much lower amount of yeast, and a long, cold fermentation. Maybe someone can convert your volume measurements to see what your hydration is as well. My initial reaction is that you have over worked the gluten and then exhausted the yeast before you even got to baking.

You may want to take a look here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6608.0.html

John


Offline radost18

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 02:32:39 PM »
Scott,

Thanks for all the information. Your suggestions offer many concrete steps which I can experiment with, the most surprising being to omit the gluten. I'll be heading for New Jersey over the holidays, so I won't actually be able to try a modified recipe until I return home in January. In the meantime I can head to Mr. Bruno's for further observation. I look forward to making my next pizza.

John,

Thanks for your helpful comments. As you mention, I have observed that I was perhaps exhausting the yeast, but didn't understand how or what to do next--now I do.

Thank you both very much!


Offline scott123

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 02:47:46 PM »
Radost18, that's fantastic that you'll be able to do a little reconnaissance.  At a minimum, try, if you can, to get a bake time.  This could be especially difficult for longer bake pizza, but see if you can clock when the pizza goes in the oven and when it comes out.

If you could do that, it would be a huge help in reverse engineering their recipe.  If you want to go the extra mile, here are some suggestions.

1. Bring a still camera.  Ask their permission if you can take a few photos (for a blog).  If they say it's okay, try to discretely take a zoom photo of the:

bags of flour
mixer (if out in the open)
walk-in (if possible)
and anything else that catches your eye, like empty/discarded packaging

2. Bring a video camera. Again, ask their permission.  Film a pizza from the point it goes into the oven to when it comes out. Zoom in on as much of the back of the shop as possible, doing a slow pan to get detail.

3. If they sell dough balls, buy one, and, as you're buying the ball, press for fermentation details.

You: Hi, I'd like to buy a dough ball.
Them: Sure thing
You:  When was the dough ball made and how long can I refrigerate it?
Them: (details)
You: What's the best amount of time to refrigerate? Do you refrigerate the dough in the pizzeria? How long? How long should I bake it for and at what temp? I really love your crust and am trying to match it as close as possible at home.

4. Dumpster Dive

If you can get a chance to see a cheese wrapper, that would help, as would an empty bag of flour.  A camera would be nice, but, be careful.  If someone sees you taking photos of their trash, they might get a little suspicious.

Befriending an employee can be especially enlightening, but, I've spent some time in Lyndhurst, and I don't see these guys as being real chatty. Not to mention that they're a 'best in state' winner, so they're probably busy most of the time.

Also, use the bathroom. Sometimes you'll catch a glimpse of a storage area on the way to the bathroom.

If all you end up doing is eating a slice of pizza and making observations, then it's not the end of the world, but whatever other data you can acquire would be incredibly helpful.

Offline sum1else

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 09:31:31 PM »
Quote
Also, use the bathroom. Sometimes you'll catch a glimpse of a storage area on the way to the bathroom.

That's my favorite method of restaurant reconnoissance. It's pretty successful, especially at pizza joints.

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 11:11:43 PM »
I let the dough rise and punch it down twice, then proof it in the pan. Early on I would layer the sauce and cheese on the proofed pie. However, the weight of the ingredients would collapse the dough with no additional lift in the oven. Then I stated to parbake the dough, which allowed me to add the toppings without the collapse. When I look at the finished pie, the air holes in the crust are very small, hence a dense crust.

Try skipping the pan-proofing. Pan-proofing practically guarantees a dense crumb so delicate that it collapses under the weight of the toppings without a par-bake. Press the risen dough out with your fingers on a floured bench, drape it over your forearms (don't pick it up with your fingers), then put it in the pan, press out again as needed, top, and bake. Try this at least once before you change your recipe or methodology.

JLP
Scarsu d'ogghiu, e riccu di provolazzu ::)

Offline radost18

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2011, 01:49:37 PM »
Radost18, that's fantastic that you'll be able to do a little reconnaissance.  At a minimum, try, if you can, to get a bake time.  This could be especially difficult for longer bake pizza, but see if you can clock when the pizza goes in the oven and when it comes out.

If you could do that, it would be a huge help in reverse engineering their recipe.  If you want to go the extra mile, here are some suggestions.

1. Bring a still camera.  Ask their permission if you can take a few photos (for a blog).  If they say it's okay, try to discretely take a zoom photo of the:

bags of flour
mixer (if out in the open)
walk-in (if possible)
and anything else that catches your eye, like empty/discarded packaging

2. Bring a video camera. Again, ask their permission.  Film a pizza from the point it goes into the oven to when it comes out. Zoom in on as much of the back of the shop as possible, doing a slow pan to get detail.

3. If they sell dough balls, buy one, and, as you're buying the ball, press for fermentation details.

You: Hi, I'd like to buy a dough ball.
Them: Sure thing
You:  When was the dough ball made and how long can I refrigerate it?
Them: (details)
You: What's the best amount of time to refrigerate? Do you refrigerate the dough in the pizzeria? How long? How long should I bake it for and at what temp? I really love your crust and am trying to match it as close as possible at home.

4. Dumpster Dive

If you can get a chance to see a cheese wrapper, that would help, as would an empty bag of flour.  A camera would be nice, but, be careful.  If someone sees you taking photos of their trash, they might get a little suspicious.

Befriending an employee can be especially enlightening, but, I've spent some time in Lyndhurst, and I don't see these guys as being real chatty. Not to mention that they're a 'best in state' winner, so they're probably busy most of the time.

Also, use the bathroom. Sometimes you'll catch a glimpse of a storage area on the way to the bathroom.

If all you end up doing is eating a slice of pizza and making observations, then it's not the end of the world, but whatever other data you can acquire would be incredibly helpful.

Scott,

Can't tell you how much fun I am having blogging with other pizza fanatics. I have been like this since childhood! I wonder if many other New Yorkers have this obsession with great pizza.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. This will be my first visit to Mr. Bruno's while on a mission.

Bill

Offline radost18

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2011, 01:53:33 PM »
Try skipping the pan-proofing. Pan-proofing practically guarantees a dense crumb so delicate that it collapses under the weight of the toppings without a par-bake. Press the risen dough out with your fingers on a floured bench, drape it over your forearms (don't pick it up with your fingers), then put it in the pan, press out again as needed, top, and bake. Try this at least once before you change your recipe or methodology.

JLP

Thanks Jose, awesome idea. I'm going to be making many pizzas with all the ideas I've received from the members of the pizza making forum. I am learning so much. I found the site by accident searching for something else. What a find!

Bill

Offline matermark

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2012, 09:08:23 PM »
Are those quantities correct?

7.5 cups of flour + 1/2 cup VWG to 3 cups of water + 1/2 cup oil? (8c dry + yeast & salt, to 3.5 wet?)

Offline radost18

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2012, 01:31:37 PM »
Are those quantities correct?

7.5 cups of flour + 1/2 cup VWG to 3 cups of water + 1/2 cup oil? (8c dry + yeast & salt, to 3.5 wet?)

Yes, the quantities are correct, but I would suggest you use the recipe previously provided by Scott.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=6e258e1714cdd56f6366ec80e12bccc1&/topic,13048.msg160058.html#msg160058

After various adjustments and comparison trials I decided to abandon my recipe for Scott's Victory Pig Pizza. At a minimum, the recipe I was using has hydration issues. Also, adding extra gluten flour makes no difference, as evidenced by Scott's recipe.

Good Luck, I hope this was helpful.

Offline scott123

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2012, 01:48:21 PM »
Radost18, I provided the link, but the recipe is Steel_Baker's.

Offline norma427

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2012, 05:00:40 PM »
radost18,

I donít know if you are interested, but I have been making Sicilian pies.  I made some with KAAP and no VWG at Reply 400 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18281.msg198443.html#msg198443  and at a few more posts.  The formulation is easy, but I donít know if that is what you are looking for.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline matermark

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Re: New York Square Sicilian Pizza
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2012, 05:33:50 PM »
Are those quantities correct?

7.5 cups of flour + 1/2 cup VWG to 3 cups of water + 1/2 cup oil? (8c dry + yeast & salt, to 3.5 wet?)

Yes, the quantities are correct, but I would suggest you use the recipe previously provided by Scott.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=6e258e1714cdd56f6366ec80e12bccc1&/topic,13048.msg160058.html#msg160058

After various adjustments and comparison trials I decided to abandon my recipe for Scott's Victory Pig Pizza. At a minimum, the recipe I was using has hydration issues. Also, adding extra gluten flour makes no difference, as evidenced by Scott's recipe.

Good Luck, I hope this was helpful.


Thanks. I thought that sounded rather dry, 8:3.5.

I have been using the Rustic Ciabatta recipe lately, it's really wet and it's a same day recipe.  I use a sheet pan that has perforated holes covering most of the bottom but put a piece of parchment paper down first and I spray garlic oil over it and spread the oil around before dumping the dough. It can be used to make Foccacia too. With a KitchenAid mixer with the paddle blade it comes together in under 5 minutes for me in a summer kitchen. Then I let it rise in the oven with the light on for 60-90 minutes covered with greased plastic wrap (more garlic oil.)  I've tried the original recipe (250g:237g flour to water) and 150% & double batch recipe. I think my pan is 13x18 so I use at least the 150% recipe (375g flour, 356g water.)

Hope this helps.


 

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