Author Topic: Essen1's NY-style pizza project  (Read 96727 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #640 on: July 21, 2011, 10:09:20 PM »
Mike,

Can you tell us how you bake your pizzas in terms of oven rack position, whether you move the pizza or stone or both at any time during the bake, whether you use the broiler feature, etc.?

Peter


Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #641 on: July 21, 2011, 10:17:29 PM »
Mike,

Can you tell us how you bake your pizzas in terms of oven rack position, whether you move the pizza or stone or both at any time during the bake, whether you use the broiler feature, etc.?

Peter

Peter,

Stone/Oven set up is as follows and pretty simple...

Stone is always on the lowest rack. Pizza is turned once during the bake and if I feel it needs a bit more browning, I kick in the broiler for a couples of minutes but leave everything on the lowest rack. I never move the stone around during the bake as to not lose too much heat by having the door open for a prolonged amount of time.

The thing with my oven is that if I start the broiler, I have to shut down the lower heating element first and rely on the stone's internal heat for a couple of minutes during the broiler use.
Mike

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #642 on: July 21, 2011, 10:27:51 PM »
Mike,

The way I see it, if I were to offer a proposition that calls for using an inexpensive Thorley stone such as yours, leave it on the lowest oven rack position at all times during the bake (even if the top broiler element is engaged), requires no modification to the oven (which might even be a basic/cheap oven), and produce pizzas such as you have made, I think there would be a lot of takers. All of these factors suggest the KISS method, which I suspect is what many of our members are looking for even if it means a slightly longer bake time. It also plays into the NY style, which is the most popular style on the forum.

Peter

Online scott123

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #643 on: July 21, 2011, 10:36:14 PM »
Mike, you've done the frozen towel trick before. I guarantee you that using the frozen towel trick to bump your oven up to 650 (with only an hour pre-heat on the stone) will not burn your apartment down or damage the oven.  A 30 degree bump poses no risk whatsoever.

I'm not sure what bake times you were seeing with the stone you had before this one, but if they were in the 9 minute realm, well, that jump in quality you saw going from 9 to 6, you'll see an equally dramatic jump in quality going from 6 to 4.

If an incredibly gentle frozen towel trick is out of the question, then is there any way I can get you thinking about a new stone?  Wasn't there 1" versions of the stone you have now?  1" with the better than cordierite material you have now will give you 4 minute bakes.

I hate to be so negative, but extra oil and water won't give you an Avellino facsimile. Water takes heat, a lot of heat, to boil.  A percentage point of hydration probably won't make much difference, but if you go with more than that, you'll only extend your bake time.  Generally speaking, in order to be successful, more water requires higher temps.

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


If that were true, then you would have been able to have tweaked your dough to make the pies you're making now with the previous stone.  But you couldn't.  You've seen, first hand what a better stone (oven tailoring) can do for pizza. You've completely proven him wrong. Why throw in the (frozen) towel now?  ;D

Online scott123

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #644 on: July 21, 2011, 10:40:37 PM »
Mike,

The way I see it, if I were to offer a proposition that calls for using an inexpensive Thorley stone such as yours, leave it on the lowest oven rack position at all times during the bake (even if the top broiler element is engaged), requires no modification to the oven (which might even be a basic/cheap oven), and produce pizzas such as you have made, I think there would be a lot of takers. All of these factors suggest the KISS method, which I suspect is what many of our members are looking for even if it means a slightly longer bake time. It also plays into the NY style, which is the most popular style on the forum.

Peter

Peter there's absolutely nothing non-KISS about steel plate, and it thoroughly guarantees ideal NY style bake times (and coal if the member so desires). It will even produce 4 minute bake times with handicapped 500 deg. peak temp ovens, which I know some members have to work with.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #645 on: July 21, 2011, 10:43:17 PM »
Mike,

The way I see it, if I were to offer a proposition that calls for using an inexpensive Thorley stone such as yours, leave it on the lowest oven rack position at all times during the bake (even if the top broiler element is engaged), requires no modification to the oven (which might even be a basic/cheap oven), and produce pizzas such as you have made, I think there would be a lot of takers. All of these factors suggest the KISS method, which I suspect is what many of our members are looking for even if it means a slightly longer bake time. It also plays into the NY style, which is the most popular style on the forum.

Peter

Peter,

It is a cheap oven. Probably one of the most inexpensive ones one can find. GE doesn't even list it at all on their website along with the Owner's manual PDFs.

But I don't know what the KISS method is. Must have something to do with Rock :) I wish GE, Viking, Siemens and even Miele would make a specific model for use home pizza freaks that rivals a pro oven.  ;D

Below's the oven and its set-up...

Mike

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Online scott123

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #646 on: July 21, 2011, 10:46:05 PM »
The thing with my oven is that if I start the broiler, I have to shut down the lower heating element first and rely on the stone's internal heat for a couple of minutes during the broiler use.

With a ceramic stone that takes tens of minutes to pre-heat, you're relying on it's internal heat anyway during the bake.  The bottom element is doing absolutely nothing. It takes way more than 6 minutes for the heat to travel from the bottom of the stone to the top.  Now, if you're baking multiple pizzas and want to minimize the stone's recovery time between bakes, then sure, you want to try to keep the bottom element on as much as possible.  But as far as the pizza that's being baked is concerned, the bottom element is meaningless.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 10:50:11 PM by scott123 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #647 on: July 21, 2011, 10:52:22 PM »
Peter there's absolutely nothing non-KISS about steel plate, and it thoroughly guarantees ideal NY style bake times (and coal if the member so desires). It will even produce 4 minute bake times with handicapped 500 deg. peak temp ovens, which I know some members have to work with.

Scott,

I absolutely agree. However, home pizza makers have already been conditioned to the idea of using pizza stones, since there are so many recipes and cookbooks out there that call for using pizza stones--for years and years. So, there is no big selling job required to get people to think about using a steel plate. As you know, some members went to soapstone stones but others remained back in the pack, patiently watching and waiting to see if that was the way to go. I suspect that there are also a fair number of people out there waiting for a more definitive verdict on the steel plates. Old habits change hard.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #648 on: July 21, 2011, 10:54:30 PM »
But I don't know what the KISS method is.

Mike,

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #649 on: July 21, 2011, 11:00:33 PM »
Scotty,

I can't do the towel trick any longer because the temp gauge is too close to the back wall. Furthermore, this oven does not have a cleaning cycle which my old Whirlpool had so I don't know if the insulation is as good and can withstand temps of up 800F. Not gonna risk it. The Whirlpool was not even half the size what I have now and on top of it, it was wall-mounted.

I still believe that what Luc (Owner of Marcello's) told me about a year ago or so rings somewhat true but she uses a Rotoflex with steel decks in her business and bakes at 550F according to her. Don't know what she uses at home or if she even makes any pies at home.

So I've got to work with what I have, basically. maybe upgrade to a thicker stone but the only one that's available is an 18x18x1" and that won't fit. Yes, I could have cut something off but that will result in basically the same size I have now. Or an oblong pie ;)


Peter,

Aha. Glad the KISS method doesn't require face painting during the baking!

« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 11:21:32 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #650 on: July 21, 2011, 11:05:15 PM »
Scott,

I absolutely agree. However, home pizza makers have already been conditioned to the idea of using pizza stones, since there are so many recipes and cookbooks out there that call for using pizza stones--for years and years. So, there is no big selling job required to get people to think about using a steel plate. As you know, some members went to soapstone stones but others remained back in the pack, patiently watching and waiting to see if that was the way to go. I suspect that there are also a fair number of people out there waiting for a more definitive verdict on the steel plates. Old habits change hard.

Peter

Peter,

I agree that stones have been pushed and advertised for many years as the sole solution to a great homemade pie.

But if a steel plate delivers superior results in a home setting I might look into it. Given that my racks are a bit on the flimsy side as you can see, a 1/4" would have to do I guess. That's the same thickness I use in my LBE to buffer the flames from the burner underneath and that thing gets red hot!

Rotoflex offers steel decks so there must be a reason for it.
Mike

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #651 on: July 21, 2011, 11:18:01 PM »
Mike,

I forgot to ask earlier, but have you tried heating your stone for, say, only 45 minutes to an hour and, if so, to what effect? In other words, is a 90 minute plus preheat mandatory to get the results you achieved?

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #652 on: July 21, 2011, 11:25:13 PM »
Mike,

I forgot to ask earlier, but have you tried heating your stone for, say, only 45 minutes to an hour and, if so, to what effect? In other words, is a 90 minute plus preheat mandatory to get the results you achieved?

Peter

Peter,

A 45 minute preheat will get me to about 500F, maybe 525F. Not much more than that. I usually do 90mins and always check with my IR.

So, yes, a 90 min preheat is what I gotta use with this particular stone.
Mike

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Online scott123

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #653 on: July 21, 2011, 11:35:01 PM »
Mike, I just got back from looking at the ceramicssf site. Yup, 18 x 18 x 1.  It's disappointing that they don't sell a 17 x 17 x 1 stone.  If you cut off an inch, will a 17 x 18 x 1 stone fit in your oven?  If you're willing to do that, then that will give you the 4 minute bake.

1/4" steel plate, huh?  You just love cutting it close, don't you? ;D 1/4" steel at 620 f... 1/4" steel at 620 f... I don't know, maybe. On the positive side, 1/4" x 17" x 17" will probably run you as little as $20, so you might as well try it. I know I said that the heat from the bottom element can't reach the pizza with pizza stones, but 1/4" steel could very well be one of those very few exceptions to that rule. Another plus is that your pre-heats will be quick- most likely less than a half hour.

Think about 1/4" steel or 1" cordierite-mullite, and, if you get a chance, try timing one of Avellino's bakes.

And, in the meantime, do the 61% hydration/1% oil version you are planning.  Also, you might want to think about a 2% oil version.  Anything up to 3%, imo, is within the NY style parameter.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #654 on: July 21, 2011, 11:49:21 PM »
Mike, I just got back from looking at the ceramicssf site. Yup, 18 x 18 x 1.  It's disappointing that they don't sell a 17 x 17 x 1 stone.  If you cut off an inch, will a 17 x 18 x 1 stone fit in your oven?  If you're willing to do that, then that will give you the 4 minute bake.

1/4" steel plate, huh?  You just love cutting it close, don't you? ;D 1/4" steel at 620 f... 1/4" steel at 620 f... I don't know, maybe. On the positive side, 1/4" x 17" x 17" will probably run you as little as $20, so you might as well try it. I know I said that the heat from the bottom element can't reach the pizza with pizza stones, but 1/4" steel could very well be one of those very few exceptions to that rule. Another plus is that your pre-heats will be quick- most likely less than a half hour.

Think about 1/4" steel or 1" cordierite-mullite, and, if you get a chance, try timing one of Avellino's bakes.

And, in the meantime, do the 61% hydration/1% oil version you are planning.  Also, you might want to think about a 2% oil version.  Anything up to 3%, imo, is within the NY style parameter.

Scott,

Here's what common sense tells me (where's Red.November (RN) when you need him?? ;D).

A steel plate will heat up quicker and might get past my current stone temp of 620F within or before 90 mins. However, that would still require some modifications to the dough itself

A 1/4 steel plate will be different than a porous stone, I'm sure of that. I'll look around and see if I can find something adequate. In the meantime, given the results I have achieved, I'll make the tweaks and see how it comes out this weekend.

Thanks so much for all the advice, guys. Especially Peter & Scott.
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #655 on: July 23, 2011, 11:28:32 PM »
I revised my "Avellino" formula I posted on Wednesday and not everything stayed the same as I thought it would previously.

I increased the individual weight of the dough ball from 391 grams to 425 grams to stay closer to the 0.08 TF, upped hydration value from 59% to 61%, increased the amount of oil from 0.5% to 1% and also gave the sugar amount a bump from 1% to 1.5%.

Here are the current numbers:

Flour      100%
Water      61%
IDY            .2%
Sea salt  1.5%
Oil             1%
O-Sugar  1.5%

Will be making a batch for four dough balls at 425 gr. each. I hope this will bring me a bit closer... :-\

Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #656 on: August 18, 2011, 10:05:31 PM »
Finally got my hands on Polly-O. Finally!

It's harder to find here in Cali but a family member had a meeting with some regional managers of our smaller independent supermarkets (Lunardi's) here in the Bay Area and while she was there brought me a couple of 16oz blocks.

I forgot that Lunardi's carried it, which is probably the only source here for Polly-O, until member Scott R refreshed my memory. I just love that cheese. Much better than anything around here, imho.



Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #657 on: August 22, 2011, 11:24:13 PM »
My mother requested a pizza today, calling me at 6:30am on my day off no less. She was the one who hooked me up with the Polly-O and was curious about how the cheese holds up on a pizza. At 6:30 am??

So, after getting another two hours of sleep in I started to scramble coming up with an emergency dough. I needed a short time window, 3 hours or less and came across Grilling 24x7's recipe, which Peter had converted first...

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9453.msg81835.html#msg81835

And Peter's original:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7892.msg71897.html#msg71897

Yes, I know it's for newbies but so what? It worked. And amazingly well!

Even though I had only IDY I still proofed it until it foamed, added the dry and wet ingredients to the flour and let the mixer do its thing for about 6 mins. rested it for 20 mins, mixed it again for 4 mins and took it out of the bowl, balled it up and let it rise for 2 hours.

Then I punched it down, kneaded it and re-balled to let it rise again...this time in the fridge for one hour. Pre-heated the oven to about 600F, put it in and baked it for 9 minutes.

My mother was ecstatic. She claimed it was one of the better crusts I have made. I have to admit, it was a great one, nice crunch, nice texture. Overall it was a good formula that begs for a 24hr cold ferment to increase flavor.

It was topped with sauteed spinach, garlic, red onions, 'shrooms and black olives. Fresh basil went on afterwards.

Mike

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Offline chickenparm

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #658 on: August 22, 2011, 11:49:33 PM »
Mike,
That looks awesome! You did a great job in such a short time and even better,you did it for your Mom.Thats so nice of you to do that.I lost my mom to cancer in 2006 and wish I could make her a pizza today.I envy you here bro.
 :)
-Bill

Offline Essen1

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Re: Essen1's NY-style pizza project
« Reply #659 on: August 22, 2011, 11:56:07 PM »
Mike,
That looks awesome! You did a great job in such a short time and even better,you did it for your Mom.Thats so nice of you to do that.I lost my mom to cancer in 2006 and wish I could make her a pizza today.I envy you here bro.
 :)


Bill,

I am really sorry to hear that!

I witnessed two of my closest family members, my Great-Grandmother and my Grandmother both from my Dad's side, pass away within weeks of each other. Hooked up to several hoses in a hospital and then die is not a way to leave this world.

Keep your Mom's memory close, bro. And...make pizzas that will envy the best of those posted here  ;)
Mike

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