Author Topic: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza  (Read 554558 times)

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Offline chiguy

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #325 on: December 20, 2005, 09:54:58 PM »
 Wallman,
  A nice job on the pizza, i like the color of the sauce. I also like the balance between the chhese, sauce and other ingrediants.    Chiguy


Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #326 on: December 23, 2005, 01:42:17 PM »
abc,


I'd love to see the photos of your recent pizza if you are able to post them.

Peter

happy holiday.  here's that parbaked 16" hand tossed pizza.  It was with a layer of polly-o low moisture mozz, then drained uncooked tomatoes seasoned the night before, fresh spinach sauted in olive oil and garlic, a bit of fresh sliced carando pepperoni, chopped fresh onions, chopped fresh garlic with olive oil, oregano.  Topped with fresh mozzarella for the final bake until it made pools around the pie.

Offline AP

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #327 on: December 23, 2005, 08:39:01 PM »
Ok here are some shots of my go at Peter's VWG + bread flour.  Specifically, these are Stone-buhr brand bread flour and Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten.  I ran these with non-proofed ADY under the dough hook for about 10 minutes.  I found that starting the dough with cold(er) water produces a better end product.  One dough I got up to 83 degrees before retarding in the fridge and I think the yeast was too spent at the beginning.  The dough expanded in the fridge significantly.  Starting with cold water, though, I could get the finished temp at 79-80 and didn't see as much action in the fridge.  All these pics were from dough retarded for 2 days.  I have some KASL coming on the 29th so I can't wait to see how those compare.  I'm still in shock that I can make this dough at home even without special flour.  Also; my oven was on "stand-by" at 500 F for about 2 hours...then I kick on the lower broiler while baking.  In my oven, turning on the broiler just means that the thermostat is fixed so the flame stays on regardless of temp.  I can get it up to 525 about.  Sorry I didn't get any really good crumb shots.

Offline AP

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #328 on: December 23, 2005, 08:40:37 PM »
Some others...same formula.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #329 on: December 23, 2005, 09:41:58 PM »
AP,

Those are great looking pizzas. Whatever you are doing, it is working.

With regard to your comments concerning extensibility, I’d like to mention that although I have settled on a hydration percent of 63% for my own Lehmann NY style doughs, and frequently recite it in many of the Lehmann formulations, there is no particular magic to that number. The typical range for the Lehmann dough formulations is around 58-64% (give or take). While I haven't made many doughs at the lower end of that range, but quite a few at the upper end and using small amounts of yeast and using cool/cold water, I am coming to believe that you may get better extensibility (less stretchiness) by using a lower hydration percent instead of using either a small amount of yeast or cold/cool water. A lower hydration dough will usually ferment slower than a higher hydration dough, all other factors being equal. I will have to test the thesis out sometime.

I am curious to know why you have not been hydrating the active dry yeast (ADY). I assume you are using the ADY like instant dry yeast (IDY) by adding it directly to the flour. One of the main reasons ADY is proofed in water (warm), apart from testing its viability, is because ADY has more dead cells than IDY. It takes several minutes to get the live cells to the point where they can be effectively used. Otherwise, you have to rely on the moisture in the flour or the added water to hydrate the ADY. And neither IDY nor ADY likes to be shocked with cold water. In the case of IDY, putting it in with the flour mitigates that concern. Even then, it is a good idea to let the IDY and flour sit for a while before adding the cold water. I have read that some pizza operators do use ADY without first proofing it, but the logic for doing that was never explained.

I will be interested in the results you get when your King Arthur Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour arrives. But, either way, it is good to know that you have another option in those cases where high-gluten flour is unavailable.

Peter

Offline AP

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #330 on: December 24, 2005, 03:35:30 AM »
I wasn't proofing the ADY because I didn't want to give the yeast any advantage.  This is silly, I know.  In every other recipe I've made over the past 5 years I've always added my yeast to the 90-100F water before mixing in.  I guess the idea was that everything I had done before this was backwards and wrong...and now it was time to do things the opposite to make them right.  I'll probably just end up using IDY.  I'm also curious as to why most formulas mentioned here include IDY.  I suspect that it is because the IDY is less, more potent yeast cells.  This would give me equal power as the ADY without such a yeasty presence.  I could be completely wrong about that.  I believe yeast to be a woman of the night; I want her to get in, do her job, and leave without a trace.  (not that I have any experience with that...but I think it's a good analogy.)

I am curious to know something: If I were to knead by hand, how long would it take me to accomplish what my kitchenaid does on speed 1 in 10 minutes?  I have a feeling it would take a half hour.  Also -- do you think the heat of human hands provide an advantage or not to building gluten?

I can't say enough about what I've learned on this website in such a short time.  I even cracked open my "crust and crumb" book yesterday and couldn't believe how much more sense it all made.  Thanks again....I can't wait to report on my KASL and Caputo dough experiences.


Offline AP

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #331 on: December 24, 2005, 03:40:24 AM »
Oh -- I also wanted to note something about my pizza stone.  It is virtually the same shape as the cutting board you see in the second pic I posted.  Notice the browning of the crust on the long sides of [what would be] the stone and the opposite on the short sides.  I think I'm going to try to find a round stone for even heat around the round pizza.  Or start making rectangular pizzas.  I haven't quite mastered the pizza shaping thing...  :-\

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #332 on: December 24, 2005, 07:40:10 AM »
AP,

There's no reason why you can't continue to use the ADY. I would just recommend that you proof it in a bit of warm water. I don't think that there is just one reason why you see IDY used more than ADY here on the forum. The industry is increasingly moving in the direction of using IDY but, apart from that, it is also more convenient to use because it can go directly in the flour, therby avoiding the need to set aside warm proofing water, combining it with the rest of the water after proofing, adding it to the dry ingredients, etc.

As for your question on kneading by hand, the knead time will depend of course on the amount of dough you are making but my experience is that it takes at least double the time of a stand mixer for a given dough ball weight. FYI, King Arthur does not recommend hand kneading for doughs made from the KASL. Only machines. I personally think that machine keading does a better job at gluten development than hand kneading, but that is just my own opinion. 

Peter

Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #333 on: December 30, 2005, 08:31:36 PM »
Santa brought me a Soehnle Futura scale and I used it to make dough on Wednesday.  To be honest, the digitally measured crust, following Pete's basic 63% hydration recipe, didn't taste that different than the volumetric measured crust. But, since the crust tastes great either way, it was a successful pizza bake.  The scale does make it easy to make dough to Baker's percents. It is also a faster way to make dough since you can quickly measure the ingredients and get them into the mixer.  BTW, I measured a scooped cup of KASL and it weighted 5.5 oz.  I certainly wouldn't take this as the gospel since my sample was one cup! 

Hope everybody here has a happy New Year. I'll be bbq'ing (whole beef tenderloin for New Year's Eve and bone-in pork loin roast for New Year's Day) instead of making pizza, no disrespect to Pizzamaking.com'ers, but it's a holiday tradition in my household  ;)


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #334 on: December 30, 2005, 09:51:22 PM »
Wally,

The most important ingredients to weigh on your new scale are the flour and water. Unless you are making large amounts of dough, the other ingredients are harder to weigh on the scale with a high degree of accuracy. For these ingredients, volumes are just as good.

For some time I have tried to post the volume equivalents to weights, so if you were using the volume equivalents I posted I'm glad to hear that they worked out. Some time you should weigh several "cups" of flour in succession and note the variations. I think you will then see the merit to using your scale to weigh things.

Peter

Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #335 on: December 30, 2005, 10:01:26 PM »
Pete,
I did mainly get the scale for weighing flour, based on your recommendations oh master of the dough!  :) While making my dough the other day, I did measure the salt, oil and IDY and as you pointed out in an earlier post, the amounts are so small that blowing on the scale will make them change .01 of an oz.  My wife likes to bake, so the scale will certainly come in handy for other things, plus as I said, I think it helps speed up the measuring process -- which means I can get to the eating process, my favorite part!

Offline sebdesn

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #336 on: December 31, 2005, 07:37:43 PM »
Wallman,  If your scale does it ,you might use the metric system , grams are a lot easier to juggle around than oz.  and besides that, if you have a metric beaker the h2O is 1 gram per ml. so you dont have to weigh it.
Bud

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #337 on: December 31, 2005, 08:05:29 PM »
Here's my latest stab at Tom L. New York Style pizza, with thanks to Peter for the recipe tips.  I took the Peter's basic Tom L. recipe for a 16 inch pie, using the following baker's percentages:

Flour 100%, 12.10 oz. (KASL)
Water 63%, 7.62 oz.
Salt 1.75%, 0.21 oz. (just over 1 t.)
Oil 1.00%, 0.12 oz. (about 3/4 t.)
IDY 0.30%, 0.04 oz. (about 1/3 t.)

I upped the yeast a little bit from the basic recipe to get a little more rise to the crust, but not quite as much rise as I got when following Canadave's recipe (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.0.html). Don't get me wrong, Dave's recipe is very good, I was just trying for something in between.

I followed Pete's basic mixing instructions using a KitchenAid mixer, making dough for 2 pies, in 2 batches and let the dough balls rise for 48 hours.  I think the 2-day rise really helped, the dough was very easy to work with and streched really thin. In fact, on one pizza it was a little too thin and some of the topping broke through on to my tiles, but that's why God invented self-cleaning ovens. I think I need to work on my hand tossing skills a bit  ;)

I topped them with an uncooked sauce of Contadina tomatoes, pizza spices, garlic salt, dried onion, pepper, olive oil and red wine, moz. cheese (a mix of fresh and shreaded from Costco), mushrooms, and pepperoni.  I stretched the pies on a work surface dusted with Semolina flour which gave a little crunch to the crust, then baked them for about 8 minutes in a 515-530 F oven.  There was a nice crumb in the crust which was very flavorful.  Here are some pics --


wall...  you put sauce first, then cheese right?
btw, what 'costco' cheese did you use.  from what i see they carry pollyo stuff, and maybe 1 more brand.  in both cases they have preshredded stuff.

your cheese looks really oily like most NY pizzerias.

Offline pam

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #338 on: December 31, 2005, 10:49:39 PM »
btw, what 'costco' cheese did you use.  from what i see they carry pollyo stuff, and maybe 1 more brand.  in both cases they have preshredded stuff.

I'm starting to wonder whether Costco doesn't carry different stuff in different parts of the country, because earlier someone mentioned they picked up Conagra "Full Power" high-gluten flour at Costco and the only Conagra "high gluten" flour available at the local Costco isn't their "Full Power" and it ain't high gluten (it's only 10% protein) >:(, someone else mentioned their local Costco carries All Trumps, which the one here doesn't (at least I've never seen it, and I'm in there at least once a week) >:( >:(, and some of you are apparently able to get Polly-O at your local Costco, and the only Polly-O they carry here is the string cheese, which I find to be somewhat drier and less creamy than the 1 lb blocks I buy at Kroger. >:( >:( >:(
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Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #339 on: January 01, 2006, 01:38:34 PM »
wall...  you put sauce first, then cheese right?
btw, what 'costco' cheese did you use.  from what i see they carry pollyo stuff, and maybe 1 more brand.  in both cases they have preshredded stuff.

your cheese looks really oily like most NY pizzerias.

I used the pre-shredded, I don't recall the name. It was in a big bag. The Costco by me, Northern VA, also stocks polly-o is big bricks and All Trumps.  I plan to Polly-O soon and when I run out of my 50 lb. bag of KASL, I'll get some All Trumps.  I did put the sauce on first. Some of the oil in the pictures may have also come from the pepperoni.  Not low fat, but tasty!

Offline Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #340 on: January 09, 2006, 09:47:48 PM »
Hi Pete --

I was reading this thread some today and came across the discussion about how it is ideal for the dough to be between 80-85 F when it goes in to the fridge.  How do you figure out what the water temperature needs to be to get the dough at the right temperature?

Dartanian

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #341 on: January 10, 2006, 12:22:46 AM »
Dartanian,

That’s a topic that generates a lot of reactions whenever I discuss it. So, let me preface my reply to you by saying that finished dough temperature is more important to professional pizza operators than to home pizza makers, especially in the context of using cold fermentation of dough balls. Most professional pizza operators do not like to see their dough balls rise too much or too fast while under refrigeration. If the dough balls are too warm and rise too fast or too much, the dough balls can spread out and run together within the dough boxes. Dough balls that expand too much use up more real estate within the dough boxes. This can translate into a need to use more dough boxes. So, keeping dough balls on the cool side seems to work well for pizza operators who rely on cold fermentation. As it so happens, a finished dough temperature of 80-85 degrees F is considered optimal for fermentation purposes for bread and pizza dough. In a home environment you can even use 75-80 degrees F if you’d like. That's because home refrigerators tend to run several degrees warmer than professional coolers.

By contrast, in a home environment it is no big deal if a dough ball or a few dough balls ferment faster and rise faster because of a higher finished dough temperature. This may foreshorten the dough’s useful life but it is rarely fatal. And there are ways of compensating for this if you know what you are doing. It is also possible to use simple water temperature adjustments to compensate for seasonal variations that can affect dough temperature. And without doing a lot of mathematical calculations. Even professionals rely on simple water temperature adjustments, and especially if they are using employess who are not math-savvy to make their doughs.

If you would like to read more on this topic, I have written on it several times on the forum, including at Reply #3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,567.0.html, and at
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,486.msg4163.html#msg4163. And if you would like to hear from a real expert on this subject, you may want to take a look at this Q & A item by Tom Lehmann himself: http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003spring/tom_lehmann.shtml.

Peter

EDIT (5/15/14): Since the link to the above Lehmann article is no longer operative, see the Wayback Machine link to the same article at http://web.archive.org/web/20070502014430/http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003spring/tom_lehmann.shtml


Offline Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #342 on: January 10, 2006, 06:53:01 AM »
Thanks, Peter.

Dartanian.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #343 on: January 18, 2006, 02:51:32 PM »
Recently, I took a first stab at making a “take-and-bake” version of the Lehmann NY style dough. I was not looking to make a take-and-bake pizza per se, but rather I was hoping to achieve one or both of the following objectives: 1) To be able to make one or more pizza rounds (“skins”) one of more days in advance, and to refrigerate them until used; and 2) to take the skins a step further and make fully-dressed, unbaked pizzas that can be transported to someone else’s place to be baked rather than in my own oven and without requiring a pizza stone or tiles or a peel (although in my case I might bring my peel to be on the safe side).

After having read about the take-and-bake industry and the ways that doughs are commonly formulated to allow transport of unbaked, fully-dressed pizzas from the take-and-bake shop or independent’s pizzeria to the consumer’s home, I concluded that possibly the take-and-bake approach was the way to accomplish the above objectives, and particularly the second objective.

So, I reformulated the basic Lehmann NY style dough to reflect the dough chemistry and physics that take-and-bake doughs seem to rely on for their success. What especially intrigued me is that take-and-bake pizzas are “designed” to permit the consumer to bake them in the consumer’s oven without the need for a pizza stone/tiles or peel. Typically, the pizza is baked on the center oven rack position, at an oven temperature of 425 degrees F, for about 10-18 minutes. A carrier, in the form of either a tray (such as a Pactiv brand take-and-bake tray) or a cardboard/parchment paper combination, is used to facilitate the loading of the pizza into the oven. Since I don’t have access to Pactiv trays (they are sold to professionals), I elected to use a homemade version that I fabricated from cardboard and parchment paper.

Being a novice at this sort of thing, I reformulated the Lehmann dough as best I could based on what I had learned, I made a skin (16-inches), placed it on the parchment paper/cardboard arrangement, placed the entire assembly (covered with plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for about a day, removed the plastic wrap, dressed the pizza (in a simple pepperoni style), and baked it. I even let the dressed pizza sit on my countertop, covered with plastic wrap, for about an hour before baking, to simulate the travel of the pizza from one point to another. The pizza was baked on the center oven rack of my oven, which had been preheated to 425 degrees F, for about 12 minutes. The pizza sagged at the side edges at the beginning, so it is something I will have to work on in my future attempts to make a better take-and-bake pizza. Maybe I can even get a few Pactiv trays to play around with.

The photos below show the finished Lehmann “take-and-bake” pizza. This is one of those cases where the photo belies the actual results. The pizza was better than the photos indicate. The finished pizza was quite delicious, with a thin, tasty crust, good crust color (top and bottom), and a reasonably decent crumb. It was also very chewy at the rim and crispy. If anything, the crust was too thin and crispy and, for me, a bit too chewy, and quite different overall from the normal Lehmann NY style pizzas I have made. However, in due course I hope to improve the formulation to deal with these issues. What I did learn, however, is that it is possible to make unbaked skins and refrigerate them for at least a day before using them, and possibly longer, and also to make an unbaked, fully-dressed pizza using such a skin that can travel to another location for baking in a standard home oven, at normal oven temperatures, and without requiring a pizza stone/tiles or a peel. More work needs to be done but that sounds pretty good to me for a start.

Peter

Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #344 on: January 18, 2006, 09:29:24 PM »
Here's my latest stab at Tom L's NY Style Pizza. The 16 inch pie pictured below was made following Peter's basic recipe at 63% hydration with a 2 day rise in the fridge.  I used KASL flour for the dough and my wife's new Kitchenaide 11 c. food processor to mix the dough.  I think I may have over processed the dough slightly since the crust edge didn't rise quite as much as when I've used a stand mixer, the crust was also a little crisper than I wanted, but it tasted good.   

I dressed the pie with fresh moz. and canned mushrooms. I used an uncooked sauce using the Rosa tomatoes, pictured below, I found at a small Italian deli here in Manassas, 2 teaspoons of Penzy's pizza spice, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon olive oil, a shot or so of red wine, and a bit of fresh cracked pepper. I was disappointed in the sauce, it didn't really taste that great. It definitely need more salt (the tomatoes were unsalted).  The tomatoes cost $2.69 a can and I don't think they were really worth it. Redpack tasted better. 

Only  one problem with the pizza, I cracked the glass on my range door. A word to the wise, don't drip room temperature toppings on an oven door that has been heating at 530 F for over an hour!  Fortunately, I found an online store that sells replacement glass for Frigidaire ranges.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2006, 09:34:05 PM by Wallman »

Offline RockyMarciano

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #345 on: January 18, 2006, 10:18:00 PM »
Recently, I took a first stab at making a “take-and-bake” version of the Lehmann NY style dough. I was not looking to make a take-and-bake pizza per se, but rather I was hoping to achieve one or both of the following objectives: 1) To be able to make one or more pizza rounds (“skins”) one of more days in advance, and to refrigerate them until used; and 2) to take the skins a step further and make fully-dressed, unbaked pizzas that can be transported to someone else’s place to be baked rather than in my own oven and without requiring a pizza stone or tiles or a peel (although in my case I might bring my peel to be on the safe side).

After having read about the take-and-bake industry and the ways that doughs are commonly formulated to allow transport of unbaked, fully-dressed pizzas from the take-and-bake shop or independent’s pizzeria to the consumer’s home, I concluded that possibly the take-and-bake approach was the way to accomplish the above objectives, and particularly the second objective.

So, I reformulated the basic Lehmann NY style dough to reflect the dough chemistry and physics that take-and-bake doughs seem to rely on for their success. What especially intrigued me is that take-and-bake pizzas are “designed” to permit the consumer to bake them in the consumer’s oven without the need for a pizza stone/tiles or peel. Typically, the pizza is baked on the center oven rack position, at an oven temperature of 425 degrees F, for about 10-18 minutes. A carrier, in the form of either a tray (such as a Pactiv brand take-and-bake tray) or a cardboard/parchment paper combination, is used to facilitate the loading of the pizza into the oven. Since I don’t have access to Pactiv trays (they are sold to professionals), I elected to use a homemade version that I fabricated from cardboard and parchment paper.

Being a novice at this sort of thing, I reformulated the Lehmann dough as best I could based on what I had learned, I made a skin (16-inches), placed it on the parchment paper/cardboard arrangement, placed the entire assembly (covered with plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for about a day, removed the plastic wrap, dressed the pizza (in a simple pepperoni style), and baked it. I even let the dressed pizza sit on my countertop, covered with plastic wrap, for about an hour before baking, to simulate the travel of the pizza from one point to another. The pizza was baked on the center oven rack of my oven, which had been preheated to 425 degrees F, for about 12 minutes. The pizza sagged at the side edges at the beginning, so it is something I will have to work on in my future attempts to make a better take-and-bake pizza. Maybe I can even get a few Pactiv trays to play around with.

The photos below show the finished Lehmann “take-and-bake” pizza. This is one of those cases where the photo belies the actual results. The pizza was better than the photos indicate. The finished pizza was quite delicious, with a thin, tasty crust, good crust color (top and bottom), and a reasonably decent crumb. It was also very chewy at the rim and crispy. If anything, the crust was too thin and crispy and, for me, a bit too chewy, and quite different overall from the normal Lehmann NY style pizzas I have made. However, in due course I hope to improve the formulation to deal with these issues. What I did learn, however, is that it is possible to make unbaked skins and refrigerate them for at least a day before using them, and possibly longer, and also to make an unbaked, fully-dressed pizza using such a skin that can travel to another location for baking in a standard home oven, at normal oven temperatures, and without requiring a pizza stone/tiles or a peel. More work needs to be done but that sounds pretty good to me for a start.

Peter

  What kind of cheese did you use and did you use a screen or pan?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #346 on: January 19, 2006, 07:27:05 AM »
Wally,

Nice job. The pizza looks great.

I recently posted a reply on using a food processor to knead dough for a NY style. In case you haven't seen it, it is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2189.0.html. I have also posted one or more replies on the subject on this thread relative to a Lehmann dough.

I notice what appears to be a Silpat or Matfer silicone baking sheet. I assume you use it solely as a kneading pad and to take advantage of the markings along the edge to measure your pizza. Is that correct?

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #347 on: January 19, 2006, 07:50:40 AM »
Rocky,

I didn't use either a pizza screen or pan. The unbaked pizza sat on top of the round sheet of parchment paper, which in turn sat on the round cardboard form. I shuffled both the pizza and parchment paper into the oven (directly onto the middle rack) and withdrew the cardboard form. The pizza baked entirely on the parchment paper. I was surprised to discover that the parchment paper had little effect on the browning of the bottom of the crust. I used the cardboard form to help remove the baked pizza from the oven, as is intended.

It occurred to me that I could have used a pizza screen in lieu of the parchment paper/cardboard form arrangement. If I had done so, I would have removed the screen as soon as the pizza firmed up so that I could more closely replicate the way that take-bake-pizzas are baked in a home oven. Of course, I could also have used a standard peel in lieu of the parchment paper/cardboard form arrangement. However, I was trying to get the full take-and-bake experience. In retrospect, even if I had used a peel, I might have kept the parchment paper because it seemed to provide some support, albeit minimal, for the unbaked pizza.

There are few take-and-bake places near me here in Texas, at least the "pure" take-and-bake places like Papa Murphy's, which is the largest of the lot. If I come across one not too far from home, I may give their take-and-bake pie a try. 

The cheese I used for my take-and-bake pizza was a shredded Dragone whole-milk, low-moisture mozzarella cheese.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 02, 2006, 01:19:36 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Buffalo

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #348 on: January 19, 2006, 09:28:43 AM »
Good Morning Pete-zza;
I am very interested in your experiments with the take and bake pizza.  Your sample photo shows a great looking pizza.  Will you share your reformulated Lehmann recipe, or is it in too early an experimental stage?  Did the bottom brown nicely using the parchment paper?  I am interested in all the process steps you are willing to share in this experiment.
Thank You
Buffalo

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #349 on: January 19, 2006, 11:54:57 AM »
Buffalo,

I intentionally did not post the formulation I used because I felt that it would be premature, and I was not entirely satisfied with it. I might mention, however, that reformulating the Lehmann dough was not new with me. For example, see http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/8346. Also, if you go to the PMQ RECIPE BANK at http://www.pmq.com/recipe/view_category.php?id=2, at pages 1 and 2, you will see a couple more Lehmann take-and-bake dough formulations. My version was quite a bit different in that I used a yeasted version rather than one using a different leavening system (such as WRISE), plus I made other changes.

By way of background, I discovered that take-and-bake pizzas can be quite finicky. One of the biggest problems that take-and-bake operators seem to have is coming up with an unbaked fully-dressed pizza that can tolerate a fair amount of "abuse" by the consumer. This includes leaving an unbaked pizza in the back seat of a car for a few hours in the middle of summer, leaving the unbaked pizza in the refrigerator or on a kitchen counter too long before baking, baking the pizza when the dough is too cold (the typical instructions for baking even suggest checking the pizza for bubbling during the first few minutes of baking, and puncturing them with a fork if they appear), or freezing the pizza instead of baking it. Whatever dough is used, it must take these possibilities into account. Also, take-and-bake doughs often have short fermentation times, so the finished crust may not have as much flavor as a typical pizzeria crust.

From my reading, I learned that take-and-bake pizzas are specially adapted to address all or most of the above concerns. For example, take-and-bake doughs usually use high-gluten flour, which seems to best tolerate normal customer abuse; small amounts of yeast, which prevents overfermentation of the dough for its normal shelf life and minimizes gassiness in the dough; fairly high levels of sugar, to feed the yeast over its intended shelf life and to provide sugar for crust browning purposes in a normal home oven; and fairly thick pizza sauces, to prevent leaching of water from the sauce into the dough during transport of the pizza and/or if the dough sits around too long before baking. Some take-and-bake pizza doughs, especially those from big firms that specialize in that style, also use special leavening agents (e.g., WRISE) that take effect only when the pizza is in the oven being baked. The use of a leavening agent is somewhat like a belt-and-suspenders approach in the event the dough suffers from improper customer handling. It appears that many independents just alter their existing formulations to adapt them to a take-and-bake application. I decided on the latter approach with the Lehmann dough formulation.

To give you an idea of the sequence I used to make the take-and-bake pizza, I have included photos below of 1) the cardboard form I used, 2) the cardboard form/parchment paper combination, 3) the undressed pizza skin on top of the cardboard form/parchment combination (as it went into the refrigerator), and 4) the dressed pizza skin (as it sat on my countertop for about an hour before baking--to simulate travel time from one point to another).

As time permits, I plan to focus mainly on the formulation, since that is more important at this point than the carrier used (a tray or cardboard/parchment paper arrangement).

Although I didn't take a photo of the bottom of a pizza slice, it was essentially the same color of the top crust.

Peter

« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 03:04:28 PM by Pete-zza »