Author Topic: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?  (Read 2962 times)

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Offline ImissNYpizza!

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New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« on: September 04, 2012, 11:16:44 PM »
The knowledge and dedication to detail regarding doughs, hydration, and everything is incredible here.  I grew up in a small NY city that was over 50% Italian.  Our Italian bakeries, restaurants and pizzerias were incredible.  If I had the money, no question I would be flying back there once a month for the pizza.  I'm in Denver and have never found anything close here.  I'd love to make something close simply because I can't buy it here.

I'll be following a members suggestions on intensive NY style pizza and then see they've added cheddar to the mozzerella, or they've never had a NY pizza from NY.  To me that's a sacrilege.  So.... on this NY style forum, who are the NY pizza purists who are trying to perfect the true NY pizza?  Those are the ones I wish to follow to make a true NY pizza - one that would never have cheddar on it. ugg!

Thanks! ;)


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 11:18:40 PM »
Scott123 hands down. There are others, but his passion puts him at the top of the heap.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 11:20:40 PM »
Scott123 hands down. There are others, but his passion puts him at the top of the heap.

+10
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 11:41:03 PM »
I guess it's not really a NY pie, but I really like this pie with tomato, lots of evoo, mootz, aged white cheddar, and black pepper.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 11:52:38 PM »
I'll be following a members suggestions on intensive NY style pizza and then see they've added cheddar to the mozzerella, or they've never had a NY pizza from NY.  To me that's a sacrilege.

ImissNYpizza,

Can you tell us where you saw a member's suggestion to use cheddar cheese on a NY style?

Peter

Offline ImissNYpizza!

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 12:05:54 AM »
Thanks all, and to those that like cheddar, wood fired, gourmet, ranch or BBQ or whatever on pizza dough, that's cool.  I lived in Geneva and they have a gruyere ( spelled it wrong but too lazy to look it up) pizza there to die for, but it's not really a pizza.... to me a NY pizza is a true distinct food of perfection which should not be messed with.  Similar to a true french baguette - they are foods of beauty which you can try to recreate, but not improve upon. So Steve or any other NY pizza purists I will be reading your words of wisdom because I MISS my NY pizza! :D

Offline ImissNYpizza!

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 12:42:17 AM »
Hi Pete-zza,

I've been pouring over this forum this past week and the cheddar or other twists has come up several times, more so in the other forum groups which is quite fair since "pizza" can be many things to many people.  I don't want to point fingers because I'm here to learn not criticize, if I can upload this recent pizza pic from the NY style group comment I'll do so. Sometimes the cheddar is just in the picture.

Offline scott123

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2012, 01:16:16 AM »
Thanks, Craig, and Brian, that's very kind of you.

ImissNYpizza, this forum has many members that are passionate and knowledgeable about NY pizza. While cheddar on NY style is a pretty big no no, but if I ignored the advice of those that have recommended cheddar, I would have lost out on some useful information.  Just about everyone brings something to the table.

While I've dedicated a pretty large chunk of my life trying to establish a 'true' NY pizza, the reality is that NY pizza can be all over the map.  If you're trying to recreate a pizza from quite a few years ago- more than 15, that helps to narrow it down a bit, but if you can still go home and get this pizza today, there's a really good chance that how you define 'true' NY pizza is different than how I define it.

In your profile you mention Napoli's.  Is this Napoli's in New City? If so, when was the last time you were there? Has the pizza changed in the last 15 years? Is this typical of what their slices look like?

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/ymBN-8ZbfS1jDRA8Vf-2rQ?select=TLxwKvbkFemrC3KmSK3ZkQ#TLxwKvbkFemrC3KmSK3ZkQ

I have to admit, from this angle, the slices look a little better than most, but they still have the same fairly generic quality that most of the NY area suffers from.

If you want to match this, it should be relatively easy, but I think you can do better.

Tell me about your oven. Peak temp? Electric or Gas? If gas, is the broiler in the main compartment?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 01:32:26 AM by scott123 »

Offline ImissNYpizza!

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2012, 03:39:55 AM »
Hi Scott, Thanks for your quick reply! ;D

I grew up in a small upstate  city, Ithaca, NY.  I looked up the Napoli's in Ithaca and the picture of the pizza doesn't look the same as it was.The son bought out the father about 10 years ago, but he still used to come by everyday to help so the pizza maintained its quality.  As the city grew, the Italian population dwindled in proportion and the best Italian bakeries, restaurants and pizzeria's became replaced with Domino's, Mexican, Thai and Sushi restaurants.  I'm after the little family owned American Italian NY style pizzerias where the big steel pizza ovens were behind the counter. In Ithaca NY 20 years ago they were our mainstay.  They were slightly dumpy, had a small eating area with plastic red checkered cloths, parmesean and pepper flake shakers at each table and a cheap Italian Chianti for the  house wine.  The pizza had an airy crispy outer crust, thin soft center with stringy, greasy, mild flavored cheese and I'm pretty sure the sauce was uncooked imported italian tomato base.  From reading this thread I believe the different flavor in the dough was probably due to a bromated or 00 Italian flour - not sure which. I have spent little time in NYC, so the only pizza I've had there was Ray's in Manhattan.  It wasn't as good as I'm used to but was pretty much the style I'm after.

I've learned how to make a decent Italian American marinara, lasagna, manicotti and spaghetti, but always thought the NY pizza was hopeless without the pizza oven or the right brand cheese and sauce ingredients.  Thanks to this site i've found some brand names to try for the flour, tomatoes and cheese to order.  In the Denver area Precious mozzerella does okay for my lasagna and other dishes, but it won't cut it for NY pizza,and the other brands you can get retail just plain suck. Thanks to this forum I've found an Italian store I'll check for some supplies, otherwise I'll order from Pennmac, but the shipping charges are quite hefty. I have a basic household electic oven so I'm thinking a stone is my best option which I just ordered. If I've explained my style well enough, please let me know if you think my choice of ingredients could be better.

Flour:  All trumps or Caputi 00 pizzeria - not sure which would be better
Cheese: Grande East Coast - only chose this because its been mentioned this seems to be the most typical for most NY pizzerias.
Tomatoes: a combo of Full Red and 6 in 1.
Pepperoni: Ezzo

Question: I've read some mention of a mix of provolone in with the mozzerella?  Not sure if this is the standard NY thing or not?

Thanks again!

Offline scott123

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 04:26:20 AM »
Ithaca, got it.

I'm attaching a photo of Napoli's pizza below.  Is this different than what it used to be?


Offline ImissNYpizza!

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 04:53:06 AM »
Wow...you're good!  I didn't see that picture.  Unfortunately, that's not the same pizza:(  Way too uniform, color is off, inner crust doesn't look thin or chewy enough, not enough air bubbles? Outer crust looks wrong. Dough looks too much like bread? Cheese isn't right. I'm having some real trouble putting words to what my mouth could tell you with one bite. I obviously need to get my pizza eating lingo up to par. I know I saw some incredible pizza pictures in this forum in the past.  I'll do some more lurking and put one or two on here.  If anyone objects to me posting their pizza pictures from here please let me know and I'll take it down immediately.  I don't know if that is proper etiquette on here or not.  My favorite pizzeria was actually Elba's pizza in Ithaca, but that closed many years ago. They even had the candles in the old chianti bottles on each table.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 04:54:34 AM »
Cheddar on NY-Style pizza = GMAFB.

Welcome to the forums. -k
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Offline scott123

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 05:02:48 AM »
If it's not too late, return the stone.  The stone will give you Ray's quality pies, but you want something better than that- something faster than that. I don't know exactly how long Napoli's was baking their pizzas when you were going there, but you want the most flexibility as possible when it comes to bake times, and, in order to achieve that, you want 1/2" steel plate.  It's heavy, but the good news is that you can find it in Denver, and, once you have it in place, you can have any possible NY style bake time you can imagine. The whole "I can't match a commercial deck oven" equation is gone- and believe me, when you're looking for a light and airy non-bready non-doughy crust with plenty of character, the bake time is the biggest contributing factor.

What's the peak temp on your oven dial? Does your oven have a convection feature?

This is going to make your cheese quest difficult, but don't get cheese shipped.  Grande is ideal (or a Grande clone), and it has a longer shelf life than most mozzarella, but it still doesn't stand up well to the rigors of shipping.  For now, don't rule out your local cheese. Make sure it's low moisture whole milk, and not high moisture (fresh) mozzarella.  A huge part in judging mozzarella is getting the crust thickness right as well as the bake time, so the cheese bubbles properly. 

00 is almost never used for NY style pizza. You'll find it in some of the legendary coal places, but never for NY style. Bromated All Trumps is quite common in the NY area, at least, it's quite common now, but lower protein bromated flours have a history as well, and produce less leathery pizza.

Here are the brands to look for:

Full Strength
Spring King
Occident
Pillsbury xxxx patent flour
King Midas Special
Superlative
Commander
Majestic
Springup
Perfect Diamond (I think this is 12.5%ish, but not sure)

These are all going to be really difficult to find, but Denver should have some kind of distributor that sells to the public. Give Dawn Foods a call:

4500 Lipan Street
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 455-3296

Some Dawn warehouses will do cash & carry to the public, but many won't. It can't hurt to call.

If worse comes to worse, start calling bakeries and see if one will sell you a few pounds of flour.

Provolone is a tough call.  According to my taste buds, I'd say it makes it into about 3% of this area's pizzas, maybe even less, so if you're uncertain, just go with low moisture whole milk.  The East Coast blend is 50/50 whole milk/part skim, which will oil off less than whole milk will with pepperoni, but might not oil off quite enough when used for plain pies. You want that drip coming off the edge on a plain pie- and you might not get that with a blend.

Both Stanislaus and Escalon put out quality products. Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not sure I see the point in blending them.  If you go with Full Red, make sure it's the puree, not the prepared/seasoned sauce, and also make sure the 6 in 1s are peeled ground.

Do you have a digital scale?  You can't make consistent pizza without one.  How about an IR thermometer? A good wood peel? A good metal peel?  Good proofing containers?

Offline scott123

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 05:22:07 AM »
Wow...you're good!  I didn't see that picture.  Unfortunately, that's not the same pizza:(  Way too uniform, color is off, inner crust doesn't look thin or chewy enough, not enough air bubbles? Outer crust looks wrong. Dough looks too much like bread? Cheese isn't right.

I wasn't going to say anything, but, yes, the crust is too uniform- to chain-ish.  I think we might be on the same page after all.

What you're describing to me sounds a lot like the pizza I grew up with.  If that's the case, then, as I said, steel plate.  Measure your oven. Carefully.  You want square steel plate that touches the back wall and almost touches the front door- with room on the sides for air flow. Cut out a piece of cardboard to make sure the door closes. You want the biggest plate that your oven will fit.  Size matters. Big time. Smaller slices don't feel right in your hand nor do they eat the same way.

Here's a couple of steel places to get you started. Remember 1/2" a36 hot rolled steel plate.

R&S Steel
3811 Joliet Street
Denver, CO 80239
(303) 321-9660
sss-steel.com‎

Atlas Metal & Iron Corporation
1100 Umatilla Street
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 608-0874
atlasmetalandiron.com‎

Altitude Steel
1824 West Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 534-7075
altitudesteel.com‎

DenCol Supply Company
4630 Washington Street
Denver, CO 80216
(303) 295-1683
dencol.com‎

The goal should be an 18(ish) x 18(ish) x 1/2" steel plate for around $40. If you end up having to pay around $60, it's worth it.  It is heavy, though. 40ish pounds.  It's hard to get in, and, once you get it in, it's difficult to take out.  Since you want to use it with the broiler, it needs to be on a shelf towards the top of the oven.  In that position, it makes it difficult to bake other items.

Online slybarman

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 05:47:21 AM »
Hi ImissNYpizza:

I was living in Ithaca '87(or '88?) -'91 Unfortunately, Rogans is all I remember of the pizza. I sed to live across from Purity Ice Cream and worked at the Old Port Harbor restaurant. Good times. I am long overdue for a visit.

Scott will set you straight on your pizza quest. Welcome to the forum.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 06:28:49 AM by slybarman »

Offline Ev

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 09:33:24 AM »
Actually, I love cheddar on a NY style pie. Not all the time, to be sure, but it's a nice change once in a while.
I say, don't knock it til you've tried it. :D

 @Scott
I was just wondering, do you think a pizza will bake differently at Denvers altitude from sea level than it does in NY? Might there need to be some formula and/or temp. adjustments made?

Offline norma427

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 10:10:27 AM »
I also have played around with all cheddar, or a cheddar blend on different NY style pizzas.  My distributor told me that many pizzerias in my area use some cheddar in the blend on their NY style pizzas.

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buceriasdon

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 11:21:14 AM »
Steve,      http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=15317.0
I went from Denver to sea level and many times more humidity. I recall I used more water back there than I do now.
Don
Actually, I love cheddar on a NY style pie. Not all the time, to be sure, but it's a nice change once in a while.
I say, don't knock it til you've tried it. :D

 @Scott
I was just wondering, do you think a pizza will bake differently at Denvers altitude from sea level than it does in NY? Might there need to be some formula and/or temp. adjustments made?

Offline Ev

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2012, 12:46:19 PM »
Thanks, Don.  I think the OP may find some interesting reading there.

Offline atom

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Re: New to board, but Cheddar on NY pizza? really?
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2012, 07:18:13 PM »
Imiss,

I grew up in Olean, which is another small city that is probably more then half Italian. You're food culture you have romanticized in your postings does not exist in my town. I find it odd though that you are so serious about your NYC style pizza, because that style of pizza certainly isn't common in all the places I have lived in NY. I have lived in Western NY, Southern Tier, and now in the North Country. Most pizzeria's in the west and southwest have pizza in the style of the Napoli's pizza shown. I had a Napoli's in Olean, and it was my favorite pizzeria. I understand though there are two completely unrelated chains of Napoli's around NY State. The only thin slice joint in Olean was Renna's, and it was quite delicious. Just about everyone loved it but it was really expensive and the owner refused to do a delivery service. Up here in Watertown the only NYC style joint is Cam's pizza, which is halfway decent.

UPDATE: I just reread the thread a little and I see you asking about provolone on your pie. I can tell you that yes, this is quite common in the west, i.e. Buffalo style pizza. Try a blend of 2/3 Mozz, 1/3 Provolone. I used to have a formula that was a pretty good Napoli's style crust, but I have since moved on to NYC style pizza. I believe I was using :
KABF 100%
Water 60%
Yeast .25%
Salt 3%
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 09:21:31 AM by atom »