Author Topic: Essen1's NY-style pizza project  (Read 105182 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #620 on: July 20, 2011, 05:04:41 PM »
Peter,

4000 posts is quite a number. The forum becomes more popular with each passing day it seems.  :)

Quick question, though. Bruno di Fabio mentions a weight of 20oz for a 16" pizza as a standard in NY. That translates to 567 grams. I have used dough balls of 550 gr for a 16" pie and thought that it is too much to replicate a NY-style pie with a smaller rim and thin center. The outer crust was always too large and puffy for a NY-style look.

What's the secret then?
Mike

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #621 on: July 20, 2011, 05:18:19 PM »
Mike,

The 20 ounces of dough for a 16" pizza translates to a thickness factor of 8/(3.14159 x 8 x 8) = 0.0995. I think that most experts on the NY style would consider that value to be too high, and certainly for an elite NY style as opposed to a NY street style, of which I think a Bruno's pizza is representative. Maybe one of the scotts (scott123 or scott r), on another expert on the NY style pizza familiar with thickness factors, can suggest a value for the thickness factor that pretty accurately reflects what pizza operators in the Metro NY area use, both for the elite style and the street style.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #622 on: July 20, 2011, 05:46:19 PM »
Mike,

The 20 ounces of dough for a 16" pizza translates to a thickness factor of 8/(3.14159 x 8 x 8) = 0.0995. I think that most experts on the NY style would consider that value to be too high, and certainly for an elite NY style as opposed to a NY street style, of which I think a Bruno's pizza is representative. Maybe one of the scotts (scott123 or scott r), on another expert on the NY style pizza familiar with thickness factors, can suggest a value for the thickness factor that pretty accurately reflects what pizza operators in the Metro NY area use, both for the elite style and the street style.

Peter


Peter,

That's what I thought. Hopefully one of the 'Scottsmen'  ;D will chime in.

Yesterday I treated my mother, who's a self-proclaimed pizza enthusiast, to a NY-style slice here in SF at Pizzeria Avellino. She travels frequently to NYC for business (Food industry) and has had authentic NY street & elite pizza a bazillion times. I've had slices from Avellino before and was very impressed. They rival my other NY-style spot, Marcello's. Anyway, she couldn't stop remarking how so very close Avellino comes to the real thing. I know from the owners that they all come from Brooklyn so I'm not surprised that the slices are great.

The crust was fantastic. The outer crust wasn't very large and puffy and the slice itself tapered off in thickness to maybe a couple of millimeters in the center, if not thinner. It was light, airy but crisp and foldable with a perfect cheese to sauce ratio. I took some pics with my mother's iPhone since I left mine in the car but the color of the cheese is off in those pics. It was not nearly as orange as it looks. Either way, the slices were dynamite, which prompted me to post a review on Yelp:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/pizzeria-avellino-san-francisco


On my way home, my mother kept asking me what I think what makes Avellino's crust so great? My thoughts were a low hydration, maybe around 59%, some salt, very small amount of oil and some sugar, combined with perhaps an overnight cold-rise. Baked at 600F in a Baker's Pride. After thinking about their slices I had to put my thoughts into action and whipped up a batch for two dough balls at roughly 400gr each.

100% Flour
59% Water
.2% IDY
1.5% Sea Salt
.5% Oil
1% Sugar

Curious to see how it'll turn out tonight.

Pics from Avellino
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 05:51:08 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #623 on: July 20, 2011, 05:57:46 PM »
Forgot to mention that in my Yelp review I thought the crust to have no sugar but the more I thought about it at home later on, I think it did although I wasn't able to taste any when eating the slice initially.
Mike

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Offline scott123

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #624 on: July 20, 2011, 10:46:30 PM »
This doesn't happen much, but when a slice really catches my eye, I'll just scroll up and down through the photos, over and over again, in a mildly hypnotic state  ;D

That could easily be one of the best looking slices that I've ever seen outside the NY area. Wow.

Mike, I think your numbers look excellent.  From the charring on the undercrust, I can tell that this is a relatively quick bake (5 maybe even 4 minutes), but, as you enter into the quick bake arena, the only way to achieve the kind of rigidity I'm seeing (pro slice grasping technique!) is to lower the hydration a bit.

Since it's San Fran, we know it isn't bromated.  Without seeing a larger cross section of crumb it's difficult to detect the protein content of the flour. How chewy is it?  Sometimes, when you get into lower thickness factor slices, a little extra bite from a higher protein flour is nice.  That being said, my gut is telling me that this isn't 14%.  I've been incredibly gung ho about 12ish percent protein flours for some time now, so that could be clouding my judgment, but, if I were making this, I'd go 12ish.  It could be Harvest King. I'm not saying it is, but it could be, so, if you have access to it, grab the better for bread (or if you absolutely have to, the KABF ;)  )

The thickness factor, as you're probably guessing, IS the defining aspect of this pizza.  Without that thickness factor, the cheese doesn't melt like that. The less dough you have between the hearth and the sauce/cheese, the more bottom heat hits the cheese and the more it bubbles and develops it's magical flavor. I'm thinking the thickness factor is .075, but it could be as low as .07.  For a crust like this, when you stretch the dough, press out a smaller rim than you normally do, maybe 1/4" and pop any big bubbles in the rim.

And, that's either grande or a grande clone. You might get close to it with either a polly-o or sorrento, but if you really want the cheese to look like that (and I'm guessing you do), it's got to be grande.

Again, without seeing more of the crumb, detecting fermentation time is tough.  It's not DiFara's sub 2 hour pale tasteless garbage, that much I can tell you.  Cold refrigeration is generally not the norm in NY, but you have to figure that there's a few pizzeria owners outside of the NY area that understand the superior taste giving qualities of the cold ferment. Regardless of whether or not you cold ferment, I'd definitely go overnight with the dough.

I would say yes to sugar. 1% sounds about right, but it could be as high as 2%. If the ferment is longer than 12 hours, then I'd lean towards 1%, but if the ferment is 8 or less, then I'd bump it up as high as 2%.

.5% oil feels a little low.  Oil can be a little hard to detect and I think some pizzerias avoid it, but I think most pizzerias use oil, and, those that do usually go with more than .5%.  Go with 2%.

Another big feature of this pizza, is the dimension- that classic, beautiful, archetypal 18" or larger slice pie that I've mentioned before.  The way the slice looks, the way it feels in your hand, that length is pure NY bliss. I'm not saying you have to go 18" or larger, but, bear in mind, that when you go 16", the slices are going to feel a little different in your hand. It won't be quite as thrilling  ;D

Before going completely crazy about pizzamaking, I was under the impression that cheese and sauce were somewhat simple and straightforward. Oh, man was I wrong.  If you

use a different brand of cheese
add a little more/less water to your sauce
vary as little as 1 ounce of cheese or sauce
use slightly warmer/cooler cheese or sauce

your pizza will be entirely different.  Here's where I'm at with sauce/cheese.

1. Sauce should be thick enough to form soft gentle peaks. For me, that's a can of cento puree with 1 oz. of water.

2. For a 16" pizza, use 7 oz. room temp sauce and 11 oz. of grande whole milk.  As you go larger/smaller sauce cheese quantities are not proportional.

3. Seeing sauce through the cheese is a price gouging Manhattan thing.  As much as I belittle Dom Demarco's fermentation techniques, if you look at his cheese, there's no sauce peeking through it.  In the outer boroughs, you can't get away with that stingy cheese thing. If you like seeing some sauce, try 9.5 ounce. Try not to expose more sauce by clumping the cheese. Clumped cheese never really melts properly.


Mike, I think you've got this.  The .075 TF stretch might be a little trying if you've never gone that thin before, but, with your experience, I'm sure you'll master it.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 10:55:34 PM by scott123 »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #625 on: July 20, 2011, 11:26:35 PM »
Scott123,

Thanks for elaborate, detailed and obviously enthusiastic reply! Boy, you sound more excited than I am about this Avellino crust.  ;D

Okay, here's what I have been doing since yesterday afternoon:


1. I use ConAgra Mills Harvest Bread Flour. (50lb bag)

2. I did a 24hr cold-rise and divided the dough into two balls at the 12hr mark.

3. The TF I used was 0.08 for a 16" pie. My oven doesn't hold a bigger stone than the 17" kiln shelf I have.

4. I stayed with the .5 oil because the Avellino crust wasn't too soft or floppy, just enough to have that NYC flop at the tip. 2% might make the entire crust a tad too soft I'm afraid. I could be wrong, though.

5. I absolutely love Polly-O but it's not available in my area any longer unless I feel like driving 20 miles to the nearest Lunardi's Market which seems to still carry it. Grande is only available at Whole Foods at $10 or $11 a pound.

6. For the sauce I use 6 in 1's, pureed in a blender, with oregano, some garlic powder, sugar and salt added. I also used about 1.5oz of water to thin it out a bit.

7. The cheese I have right now is a Mexican Mozzarella which I have used before with good results. It's tangy, melts great and has a pretty good flavor.


The individual dough ball's weight came in at 391.5 grams for a 16" so I should be right on par with the TF, give or take a few. Well, the stone's heating up at 550F...well actually at 585F since I calibrated it up by 35. It'll take about an hour or so to get to 625F.

I'll be reporting back with some pics.

Scotty, thanks for the tips and the info on the sauce/cheese ratio and weights. I re-attached the pics from Avellino, cleaned them up as much as I could to reflect the actual colors and straightened them out.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 11:41:57 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #626 on: July 21, 2011, 03:37:38 AM »
Last night's bake...

I'll write more but it's time for some sleep now  ;D

Mike

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Offline Matthew

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #627 on: July 21, 2011, 07:27:49 AM »
Last night's bake...

I'll write more but it's time for some sleep now  ;D



Great as usual my friend!

Matt

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #628 on: July 21, 2011, 07:55:31 AM »
Essen;
If you dough will handle it, I would suggest adding a little more water. Dough absorption can be somewhat variable, so my advice to get a more open cell structure would be to begin adding incrementally more water. When the dough begins to get difficult to handle you will know that you are at or near the limits of your flour/dough. Once you are at that point, if you still don't have what you want, begin increasing the yeast level, but keep in mind that as you do this, one result might be a loss of refrigerated holding time.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline scott123

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #629 on: July 21, 2011, 11:14:32 AM »
Mike, you're right, I'm amped. Really amped  ;D  It's taken for granted in the NY metro area, but the style of Avellino and your pizza last night is NY style pizza. That's the TF that has every single high school kid for the last 40 years saying 'favorite food: pizza' in their yearbook. That's the TF that outsells coal and Neapolitan pizza by a factor of about 1000 to 1.  That's the TF of the best pizza on the planet- the pizza that doesn't get a huge amount of respect, but if you put it and other styles in front of 100 average people, 99 of them would prefer it.

And yet, how often do you see this style, a true NY style being made by members of this forum?  I haven't seen this TF in many months.  Maybe Terry Deane from last year?  So, yes, I'm excited  ;D

Now, your pie... wow.  I thought you'd get something slightly Avellino-ish and then tweak it some more the next time, but this is amazingly close. I'm impressed.

What was the bake time? 5 or 6 minutes?  From the evenness of the browning on the undercrust and what appears to be slightly more rigidity, I think you're going to want to trim that time a bit. Avellino's looks crunchy, but I don't think it's that crunchy. Avellino's is working at 600, but... it's 600 with a deck that's most likely somewhere in the realm of an inch and a half cordierite. How thick is your kiln shelf? If it's an inch or less, you might have to hit 650 or even 675.

I have to admit, that Mexican mozzarella looks good.  It's not exactly up to par with Grande, but at $10 a lb, I completely understand.  I know Whole paycheck has a reputation for price gouging, but that's excessive, even for them.

Overall, though, like I said, I'm impressed. You have got to be happy about those results.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 11:16:17 AM by scott123 »


Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #630 on: July 21, 2011, 12:19:46 PM »
Great as usual my friend!

Matt

Thank you, Sir. Always appreciated.  :)
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #631 on: July 21, 2011, 12:26:09 PM »
Essen;
If you dough will handle it, I would suggest adding a little more water. Dough absorption can be somewhat variable, so my advice to get a more open cell structure would be to begin adding incrementally more water. When the dough begins to get difficult to handle you will know that you are at or near the limits of your flour/dough. Once you are at that point, if you still don't have what you want, begin increasing the yeast level, but keep in mind that as you do this, one result might be a loss of refrigerated holding time.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom,

Thanks a bunch for the tips!

I understand what you're saying regarding the water but would adding more water move the characteristics of the crust away from a NY-style pizza, which is believed to hover around 58%-60% hydration and more into the realm of an artisanal crust, resulting in a larger, puffier outer crust?
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #632 on: July 21, 2011, 12:43:33 PM »
Mike, you're right, I'm amped. Really amped  ;D  It's taken for granted in the NY metro area, but the style of Avellino and your pizza last night is NY style pizza. That's the TF that has every single high school kid for the last 40 years saying 'favorite food: pizza' in their yearbook. That's the TF that outsells coal and Neapolitan pizza by a factor of about 1000 to 1.  That's the TF of the best pizza on the planet- the pizza that doesn't get a huge amount of respect, but if you put it and other styles in front of 100 average people, 99 of them would prefer it.

And yet, how often do you see this style, a true NY style being made by members of this forum?  I haven't seen this TF in many months.  Maybe Terry Deane from last year?  So, yes, I'm excited  ;D

Now, your pie... wow.  I thought you'd get something slightly Avellino-ish and then tweak it some more the next time, but this is amazingly close. I'm impressed.

What was the bake time? 5 or 6 minutes?  From the evenness of the browning on the undercrust and what appears to be slightly more rigidity, I think you're going to want to trim that time a bit. Avellino's looks crunchy, but I don't think it's that crunchy. Avellino's is working at 600, but... it's 600 with a deck that's most likely somewhere in the realm of an inch and a half cordierite. How thick is your kiln shelf? If it's an inch or less, you might have to hit 650 or even 675.

I have to admit, that Mexican mozzarella looks good.  It's not exactly up to par with Grande, but at $10 a lb, I completely understand.  I know Whole paycheck has a reputation for price gouging, but that's excessive, even for them.

Overall, though, like I said, I'm impressed. You have got to be happy about those results.


Scott,

First off, thanks for the kind words! Looks like you're really stoked.  ;D

A couple of things I noticed and realized when making the two pies last night.

  • A) The individual weight was a bit too low at 391 gr. for a 16". I think I dropped below a TF of 0.08 because I could have stretched that skin until the cows came home but my peel will only hold a 16" max. Avellino's crust is a tad thicker than what came out of my oven last night. 425 gr. sounds about right to me.
  • B) I think I need to up the amount of oil to perhaps 1% or 1.5% because the crust turned out a tad too stiff.

The bake time was 6 mins at 620F after giving the oven about 90 mins to pre-heat. Scott, the stone I use is a 5/8" thick kiln shelf and works extremely well. Better than my previous cordierite stone. Actually you and Matt gave me advice on new stones when I said I need a new one. It's made from composite material which has mullite in it among other things.

The Mexican mozzarella was not bad but not something I will use on a steady basis. I simply bought it because it was on sale and thought what the hell, I'll give this one a shot. Whole Paycheck is ridiculously overpriced, imho. They have good stuff, yes, but $10/lb for Grande is a bit much. Got to get my hands on some Polly-O.

Well, come to think of it, I might bite the bitter apple and fork over the money for some Grande just to see the difference. However, I have used it before and wasn't really that excited about it because it oiled off way too much for my taste.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 12:52:02 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline DrivenAgain

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #633 on: July 21, 2011, 02:44:03 PM »
man those last pies look amaaaazing, nice and thin!!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #634 on: July 21, 2011, 02:46:03 PM »
Beautiful NY pie Mike!

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #635 on: July 21, 2011, 03:47:01 PM »
Mike,

I know that you have upgraded from your Cordierite stone to a Thorley Cordierite-Mullite stone (http://www.ceramicssf.com/shelves-posts.htm) but that is still quite an accomplishment for a guy with a regular electric stove in an apartment. I'm guessing that the biggest pizza you can make in your oven is 17". Is that correct?

With a few tweaks here and there, I am sure you will ace the NY style.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #636 on: July 21, 2011, 04:13:18 PM »
Mike,

I know that you have upgraded from your Cordierite stone to a Thorley Cordierite-Mullite stone (http://www.ceramicssf.com/shelves-posts.htm) but that is still quite an accomplishment for a guy with a regular electric stove in an apartment. I'm guessing that the biggest pizza you can make in your oven is 17". Is that correct?

With a few tweaks here and there, I am sure you will ace the NY style.

Peter


Peter,

Yes, it's the Thorley one. I couldn't remember the name  ???  Thanks for reminding me.

My stove is as generic as a GE oven gets, I'm afraid. I wonder what the pies would look like in a more powerful home oven such as gas, for example. But what I like about my particular oven is the feature of calibrating the temperature either up or down. It's really helpful. And the stone makes a huge difference. It gets hotter than the American Metalcraft cordierite and the heat up time's faster.

17" is a big as I can fit into the oven or the door wouldn't close. The stone's already almost touching the glass window.

Regarding the tweaks, I'll make them over the weekend because I have some buddies that would like to try the pizza. We'll see how that turns out  :)
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #637 on: July 21, 2011, 04:16:50 PM »
DA & Craig....

Thanks for the kind words! I'm getting closer it seems. 'Bout time, dammit!  ;D
Mike

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Offline scott123

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #638 on: July 21, 2011, 06:54:06 PM »
Mike, if you want to increase the oil to 1%, I think that would be wise, and a hydration bump of another percentage point probably wouldn't hurt anything, but... the stiffness/dryness really boils down to one thing- bake time.  The longer the bake, the more evaporation you have. This is why Neapolitan crusts can have as low as 54% hydration, but, with fast bakes times, can still be moist and fluffy.

As I've said many times before, 4-5 minute bakes is where the magic happens for NY Style. Also, the charring on the Avellino's undercrust screams 4-5 minutes. I went back and looked at our earlier stone conversation and noticed that I had posited that a 5/8" partially mullite stone might cut the mustard at 600.  I'm now seeing that it can't-at least not from my 4 minute litmus test perspective. I know you were playing around with oven tricks for a while there.  Ready to get back on that horse?  ;D  I don't think you'll need much of a bump- maybe as low as 650.  But if you can push that bake time to 5 or less minutes, you'll get that Avellino style charring, the residual water will be higher in the final product, giving you less stiffness/more moisture, you'll get a tad better oven spring, and all will be well with the world  ;D

According to my calculations, 391 g @ 16" is a .068 TF. I'm sure it's just the angle of the photos, but I thought your crust looked the tiniest bit thicker than Avellino's. 425 g puts you at .075, which is on target with my earlier conjecture. If you're striving for an exact replica, you could press out a slightly smaller rim, but that's really neither here nor there. Keep in mind that if you can achieve a 5 minute bake, the oven spring will improve a tiny bit and the perceived TF will increase.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 07:08:31 PM by scott123 »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #639 on: July 21, 2011, 10:00:27 PM »
Mike, if you want to increase the oil to 1%, I think that would be wise, and a hydration bump of another percentage point probably wouldn't hurt anything, but... the stiffness/dryness really boils down to one thing- bake time.  The longer the bake, the more evaporation you have. This is why Neapolitan crusts can have as low as 54% hydration, but, with fast bakes times, can still be moist and fluffy.

As I've said many times before, 4-5 minute bakes is where the magic happens for NY Style. Also, the charring on the Avellino's undercrust screams 4-5 minutes. I went back and looked at our earlier stone conversation and noticed that I had posited that a 5/8" partially mullite stone might cut the mustard at 600.  I'm now seeing that it can't-at least not from my 4 minute litmus test perspective. I know you were playing around with oven tricks for a while there.  Ready to get back on that horse?  ;D  I don't think you'll need much of a bump- maybe as low as 650.  But if you can push that bake time to 5 or less minutes, you'll get that Avellino style charring, the residual water will be higher in the final product, giving you less stiffness/more moisture, you'll get a tad better oven spring, and all will be well with the world  ;D

According to my calculations, 391 g @ 16" is a .068 TF. I'm sure it's just the angle of the photos, but I thought your crust looked the tiniest bit thicker than Avellino's. 425 g puts you at .075, which is on target with my earlier conjecture. If you're striving for an exact replica, you could press out a slightly smaller rim, but that's really neither here nor there. Keep in mind that if you can achieve a 5 minute bake, the oven spring will improve a tiny bit and the perceived TF will increase.

Scott,

I'm positive that I cannot achieve a 4 minute bake with my stone.

When I first got it, it heated up to 680F and some change (there's a pic in this thread of the temp somewhere) but now the highest I am able to achieve is probably around 650F give or take a few and that is with an average heat-up time of 2 hours. Yesterday it topped out at 620F after 90 minutes.

I still remember what a pizzeria owner once told me "Tailor your dough to your oven, not the other way around".

Pro ovens are way superior to the regular home oven and I gotta work with what I have here at home, unfortunately. But I am still stoked about this stone because ever since I upgraded the pies have been much better, whether it was a rustic type, an artisanal or the NY-style.

As far as the oven rigging goes, I can't go there anymore. Don't want to set the place on fire for any kind of pie even though I have Renter's Insurance  ;D In other words, I got to work around the 4 or even 5 minute bake.

What I'll do is I'll bump the hydration a couple of percentage point, will increase the oil level to 1% and see what happens. Also...I'll increase the individual dough ball's weight to 425gr./ball.

Everything else will stay the same.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 10:03:17 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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