Just wanted to share some of my pizza making experiences when I switched to high quality ingredients.
First, the flour. I have been spoiled using quality flours. My supply of King Arthur "Sir Lancelot" high-gluten flour ran out months ago, then I switched to General Mills' All Trumps high-gluten flour and have been happy with the results. Well, the other day, my wife started using the Baker's Choice bread flour from Sam's Club and suddenly I discovered that my NY style pizzas were not browning properly using my standard recipes. We're talking about a pre-heated 550° F oven with the pizza sitting under a hot broiler! My dough simply would not brown. Switched back to the All Trumps and I'm getting nicely charred crusts. Anyone else seen this type of behavior?
Next, the tomatoes. For my NY style pizzas, I had always advocated using Red Pack brand whole peeled tomatoes which are widely available. I'd run the tomatoes through a blender to puree, then I'd gently cook down the sauce until it was thick enough for pizza. Well, the other day I opened one of my cans of Escalon's Bonta pizza sauce and diluted it to the proper consistency (no cooking required). I then added some salt, pepper, and some dried oregano. I put this sauce on my pizzas and it was a day and night difference. The wife and kids LOVED this sauce... I love it too! I would never have imagined that a change in brands would yield such drastic results!
Now, on to the cheese. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, recommends using Grande whole milk mozzarella cheese. I'll be ordering some of this soon, but I can hardly wait to taste the difference. If it's anything like switching to Escalon tomatoes, it will be great!
And, finally, the pepperoni. I had been using Hormel sliced pepperoni. Now I hear that Ezzo is the super-premium brand that I should be using. Again, I am trying to obtain some of this to try on my pizza.
My pizzas have improved to a whole new level... using the same recipe... simply by changing the brand of ingredients. I can't wait to try the Grande cheese and the Ezzo pepperoni.