Author Topic: First attempt at New York crust  (Read 1426 times)

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Offline Timreid

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First attempt at New York crust
« on: March 06, 2005, 11:32:08 PM »
Ok, here's my very first attempt at the Tom Lehman New York crust.  I was starting with a hydration level of 65% which figured to be about 1/2 cup water to one cup flour when I weighed it out.  The dough was very wet and I wound up adding about 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour to get a workable dough ball.  Once I got the dough into a ball I oiled it and refridgerated for 24 hrs.

Now, here's where I ran into an odd situation.  I forgot to warm the dough to room temp.  I took it straight from the fridge and started shaping it.  The first pie, the one pictured, nearly stretched itself.  The second one I had to work for awhile to get it to size. 

I found the dough very easy to work with overall but very delicate and as my spinning skills are out of practice I put holes in the second one trying to get it stretched out so I rolled it.  I'm counting it as a tasty mistake.  The crust turned out pretty much as I anticipated, having a crispy edge and soft middle.

Overall, I'm pleased with my first effort.  I would appreciate any tips you guys have on spinning/tossing this dough as I find it very delicate and I'm sort of a brute, used to working with very resilient dough.  Also, any tips on hydration levels etc. would be appreciated.  I do read the posts and I read a bunch before making this dough, but if you see something in the pics or what I write that could be corrected then please let me know.

Anyway, here's a couple of pics of a five cheese pizza and the crust.



Offline Pete-zza

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Re: First attempt at New York crust
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2005, 11:42:35 AM »
Tim,

I have a few thoughts that might help you with your Lehmann NY style dough.

First, it looks like you are using one of the early Lehmann dough recipes that called for high hydration at the upper end of the range. More recently, I posted a recipe for a slightly lower hydration percent (63%) that might be a bit easier to use. It is at Reply #86 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=576.msg7407#msg7407. You might want to try that version the next time to see if it is an improvement.

Second, you may want to wait until it is absolutely certain that your dough is too wet before adding more flour. My recollection is that you do not have a mixer and are resorting to hand kneading. If you pick up the wet/sticky dough and knead it carefully by hand for a few minutes, even though the dough may seem too wet/sticky and is sticking to your fingers, I think you will discover that the stickiness of the dough will pretty much disappear. If it doesn't, that is the time to add a bit more flour, but only a little.

Third, I think you now know that you have to give the dough a reasonable chance to warm up when it comes out of the refrigerator.

Fourth, from the photo it looks like you used a pan to bake the pizza, rather than a pizza screen or on a pizza stone. I haven't used a pan before with any of the Lehmann dough recipes, but I suspect you will get a more authentic NY style pizza by using a screen or stone. Screens, especially, are quite cheap if you don't have one.

Fifth, I recently posted a message for a new member that pretty much incorporates my thinking on making the Lehmann NY style doughs, including some of the points mentioned above and basic shaping techniques as well. That posting might help you crystallize your own thinking. It is Reply #2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1000.0.html.

Feel free to ask any follow-on questions.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 07, 2005, 11:44:46 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Timreid

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Re: First attempt at New York crust
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2005, 03:00:03 PM »
Thanks for the tips.  I immediately see one thing I did wrong and that was putting sugar in the mix.  The next was knead time.  I did not knead the dough very much at all.  As bubba warned in one of his posts, I panicked.  Not being used to working with such a wet dough I just assumed it needed more flour without giving it much time to work through.  Finally, as you indicated, I cooked it on a pan. 

I usually make pizza on Sunday night.  In my effort to make the perfect pizza it's become the tradition and my family is not complaining... :)  So I will incorporate these changes this Sunday and will post results accordingly.  Thanks for the suggestions and keep making great pizzas.

Timbo

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: First attempt at New York crust
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2005, 04:05:38 PM »
Tim,

There is usually no problem in adding some sugar to the recipe. Many of our members do it all the time, either in the form of table sugar (or another dry form of sugar), Carnation malted milk, or occasionally both. You can also use honey. Tom Lehmann makes sugar optional in his basic dough recipe, especially if the dough is to be held before using for beyond 48 hours or so. In that case, he doesn't want the yeast to run out of food (sugar). He usually doesn't advocate sugar under normal circumstances where the pizza is to be baked on a hearth or stone, because the pizza bottom is likely to turn brown too quickly (because of the sugar), in some instances before the rest of the pizza is finished baking. He does however allow for baking dough with sugar on a pizza screen (or disk) because there is metal (the screen or disk) between the heat source and the pizza itself, which shields the pizza bottom from browning too soon.

Good luck.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 07, 2005, 04:25:27 PM by Pete-zza »