Author Topic: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza  (Read 1845 times)

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Offline wizziebaldwin

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Back in Jan., I posted a thread on my woes concerning inferior Mexican products. I still have very limited options with ingredients but I did have a significant break through. About 7 weeks ago I heard that there was a store that imports some decent stuff to make pizza and other things.

The other day, I trekked (taxi, bus, walking and my health? still not too good ... it's a journey.) to the store; to my amazement, on the warehouse shelves were 50lb bags of flour. The flour had English letters High Gluten Pizza Flour.

I can't remember the brand I forgot to enter flour info in phone notes. I do remember the package colors were red and white. Either red letters on white background or the reverse.

The store also sells a few other things like sauce, pizza screens, yeast; cake mixes (Westco), etc.
 
So now I am back, trying to loosely approximate a NY Style Thin Crust Pizza. Now that I have access to good flour I think that it will be possible.

I'll do some more study on cold fermentation before I ask any questions. I may find the answers.

The next hurdle is the sauce. How do I describe the NY Style sauce I grew up with and love? Most of you know what I am talking about. Tangy, sweet, tastes like "I want more and more of this!"?

So here's my questions about sauce, cheese, and other things; looking for recommendations.

1) The high gluten 50lb bags of flour sells for $13.90. USD. How does this compare to prices in the USA?

2) Yeast: Safe-Red or Safe-Gold IDY?

4) Sauce:
Cans or bags(Costco) are 107oz
Costco| $14.95
Angela Mia| $16.50
REALE| $13.99
REALE Basil| $14.99

I don't expect anyone to know about REALE, but is there anything that will even be close? What can I add to the American sauces to make them a little closer to NY Style? (please remember I don't have access to NY fresh markets with a gazillion different herbs and spices)


3) Mozzarella Cheese: Whole Milk or the NOT Whole Milk?
My phone notes are a little sparse:
Brands at this store are:
REALE - Skim.

Smithfield - Skim.

I think I can find Precious Whole Milk at another store.

I appreciate anyone's recommendations.



Offline scott r

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 03:02:37 PM »
It sounds to me like you have everything you need to make a good NY style pizza.   

Your pizza flour will probably be perfect.   Just about any High gluten flour is going to be fairly similar, and it is widely used in the NY area.   The trick is in what you do with it!  That is the same price, or maybe even a bit lower than what you would find in the US.  It may be a lesser known brand, but I have had some AMAZING NY style pizza made with cheapo generic high gluten flours. High gluten flour is usually a premium flour by design (the higher gluten content of the flour costs the miller more money).     

Either one of those yeasts will work great

Im not sure about the costco tomato products, but you should try them.   I know a number of NY style pizzerias that use Angela Mia brand tomatoes.   They are a california grown tomato, and 90% of NY style pizzerias use california grown tomatoes.    I am not sure which of their products you have access to (there is a large line of angela mia products), but between that and the costco tomatoes you will be able to get close.   Most NY style pizzerias add very little or nothing to their sauce,  usually just oregano, salt , and garlic powder.  Sometimes romano cheese.  You might want to start without adding anything, then work up from there.  The Reale tomatoes are not something I have ever seen, but the basil makes me think they may be an Italian product.   If so you might find you like them a lot, as that is what is used at many of the high end elite NY pizzerias.  I have a feeling what you are looking for, however, are california grown tomato products.   The trick is getting them to the right consistency.   If what you buy is very thick it might neeed water added (this is done at many of the good but budget minded NY pizzerias).   If what you buy is a whole tomato it is going to need to be pureed, and thickened somehow.   You can either add a thick product (like a tomato paste), or you can puree and strain out the excess moisture with a mesh strainer or even a coffee filter.   For now it might be a good idea to avoid cooking down your sauce to thicken it if you are looking for a NY style sauce.  A cooked sauce is very rarely found at NY pizzerias.   

Most NY pizzerias use whole milk mozzarella or a blend of whole milk and part skim.   Precious whole milk mozzarella is actually a good quality mozzarella that is widely available in the western US,  and will work for you.  I am not sure about Reale products, but you should try them!   The beset thing you could do is grate the cheese yourself.   Pre shredded cheese has anti caking agents unless you buy the Grande brand.   Anti caking agents make the cheese melt strangely and burn too fast.

Good luck!



« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 10:40:24 AM by scott r »

Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 03:34:43 PM »
Thanks for the reply.

The Angela Mia sauce that I saw if I remember correctly, had Pizza Sauce on the label. It was not anything like crushed or whole tomatoes; I'm pretty sure of that.

All of the sauces they carried were just labeled Pizza Sauce. or w/Basil etc.

I'm still puzzled as to why there is a Red and Gold yeast though. The Gold package had an ingredient that I don't remember how to spell that was not in the Red package.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2010, 04:04:20 PM »

I'm still puzzled as to why there is a Red and Gold yeast though.


SAF Gold is more for doughs high in sugar or acid. Last I checked, they are manufactured in Mexico (by SAF).

Offline scott r

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2010, 04:06:26 PM »
SAF gold is an osmotolerant strain of yeast.   It is meant to go into very sweet doughs where the amout of sugar in the recipe would make other types of yeast slow down.   You won't have a  problem with this if you are just making pizza, so either would work fine for your purposes.  

If I am working with someone who wants to use a wild yeast starter for pizza with some augmentation from commercial yeast I recommend the SAF gold.  Along with being able to survive in very sweet environments it is also more tolerant of an acidic environment.    For normal commercially yeasted pizza dough (like every one made in NYC) the SAF gold is not necessary, nor will you see any difference in its results when put side by side with SAF red.    

Offline scott r

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2010, 04:06:55 PM »
Looks like bill beat me to it while I was writing.   Nice Bill!

Offline scott123

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2010, 05:48:05 PM »
Sauce:

1. Don't buy 'pizza sauce.'  Whatever canned tomatoes you go with, the ingredients should only be one of the following:

Tomatoes
Basil
Salt
Citric Acid

2. Don't be afraid to add sugar.

Does every NYC pizzeria add sugar? No. Do most? Yes.

3. Don't be stingy with the salt

4. Take it easy with the oregano.

Pizza sauce should highlight the taste of the tomatoes, not be an oregano delivery system.

5. Fresh garlic, but not a lot.

NY pizzerias may like to put out garlic powder to sprinkle on the pie, but none of the places I've ever been to (and enjoyed) use powder.  Not everyone adds garlic, mind you, but if you do add garlic, add fresh. Remember, pizza sauce doesn't cook all that much, so it won't temper the harshness of the raw garlic, so keep the garlic to a bare minimum.

6. No dried basil

Fresh basil is great, but dried basil has no place on a NY pie.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 05:50:34 PM by scott123 »

Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2010, 03:03:24 AM »
Great replies everyone. Thanks!

Citric acid? I know what that is, but I don't think that it is an ingredient I can buy off the shelf here. Correction: If it is sold I would not have any idea where to buy it.

There is citric acid in real Lemons, Limes, Oranges. Will any of those do? Bottled Lemon juice or Lime Juice?

Do you cook the sauce?

I have tried, in the past, with less than stellar results, to make pizza sauce that tasted like the NY Style shops. I have tried fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, diced tomatoes - all sorts of tomato products. Actually the results were pretty dismal, by my standards. I could never figure out how to get that yummy, yummy tangy flavor.

The best way I can describe it is that you can "taste" the sweet tangy sauce on a good NY pizza. My sauce, was flat and not as bright red, not as "fresh" tasting. It's not like I didn't experiment with different things (this is before I moved south of the border when I had access to reasonably decent ingredients - I was living in the Midwest. Not the greatest place to by food products either. But I could find fresh herbs. I guess I did not know the process well enough.

I have do have access fresh garlic. Don't cringe everyone, but sometimes, I am partial to granulated garlic (not the really fine powder; the granulated garlic that looks like sand)

Fresh Basil is in a market that is very far from where I live.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2010, 08:05:19 AM »

The best way I can describe it is that you can "taste" the sweet tangy sauce on a good NY pizza. My sauce, was flat and not as bright red, not as "fresh" tasting.


Sorry if these seems obvious, but if the sauce tastes "flat" after baking, you need to make it "brighter" before baking. The cooking and the milder cheese, dough, etc. will mute the flavors of the sauce. This approach applies to many aspects of cooking, but is particularly important in how I make pizza sauce.

 

Offline scott r

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010, 10:28:39 AM »
Scott123, your advice about fresh garlic to recreate an authentic NY style sauce intrigues me.    I use fresh garlic on my pizza, of course, but I have never run into a NY pizzeria that has admitted to using fresh garlic in the sauce.   Im sure it happens, but in the places that have been kind enough to bring me back into their kitchen or are forthcoming about telling me their recipe it has always been garlic powder or (usually) the recommendation of no garlic at all.  When I have questioned pizzeria owners I have had a few people tell me that fresh garlic seems to break down the sauce if it is left to sit overnight or for a long day, and is therefore best avoided if you want to keep your sauce tasting nice and fresh without having to make lots of batches.    Could you tell me the name (or names) of the places that you know are using fresh garlic in the pizza sauce?

Also, with the incredible sweetness of a number of escalon and stanislaus products, I am surprised about your sugar comment.    I know that in the midwest sugar is very popular as a sauce additive, but my experience has been that in NY they tend to use a very sweet tomato product (such as full red, super dolce, 6 in 1 etc.) rather than add sugar.    Of course there is a small number of places using italian tomatoes, and it wouldn't surprise me if some sugar was used to get rid of some of the "dryness" and to get more of that NY pizza sauce flavor.   



Wizzlebaldwin,   I believe scott123 was referring to the citric acid that is added to some tomato products in the canning process, not recommending that you add it to your sauce.   Also, I have only found one pizzeria in NY that is using a cooked sauce, and it is Dom from Difarras.   He only uses this sauce for his sicilian pizzas.      I think it is probably best to start without using a cooked sauce and see if it comes close to what you are looking for.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 10:31:15 AM by scott r »


Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2010, 01:50:11 PM »
Sorry if these seems obvious, but if the sauce tastes "flat" after baking, you need to make it "brighter" before baking.

... and therein lies the problem. I don't think I would have asked the question if I had known the answer. How does one make it "brighter" "before" baking.

When I make an red sauce for Spaghetti, Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan the sauce tastes great. That same exact sauce, that tasted very good on the Parmesan, dish doesn't seem to "have it" when I put it on a pizza.

I don't know maybe its the proximity to the air above the Hudson.

Could you elaborate on something you would do?

Edit:
Forgot to say thanks for replying.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 02:21:52 PM by wizziebaldwin »

Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2010, 02:21:10 PM »
Scott123, your advice about fresh garlic to recreate an authentic NY style sauce intrigues me.    I use fresh garlic on my pizza, of course, but I have never run into a NY pizzeria that has admitted to using fresh garlic in the sauce.   Im sure it happens, but in the places that have been kind enough to bring me back into their kitchen or are forthcoming about telling me their recipe it has always been garlic powder or (usually) the recommendation of no garlic at all.  When I have questioned pizzeria owners I have had a few people tell me that fresh garlic seems to break down the sauce if it is left to sit overnight or for a long day, and is therefore best avoided if you want to keep your sauce tasting nice and fresh without having to make lots of batches.    Could you tell me the name (or names) of the places that you know are using fresh garlic in the pizza sauce?

Also, with the incredible sweetness of a number of escalon and stanislaus products, I am surprised about your sugar comment.    I know that in the midwest sugar is very popular as a sauce additive, but my experience has been that in NY they tend to use a very sweet tomato product (such as full red, super dolce, 6 in 1 etc.) rather than add sugar.    Of course there is a small number of places using italian tomatoes, and it wouldn't surprise me if some sugar was used to get rid of some of the "dryness" and to get more of that NY pizza sauce flavor.   



Wizzlebaldwin,   I believe scott123 was referring to the citric acid that is added to some tomato products in the canning process, not recommending that you add it to your sauce.   Also, I have only found one pizzeria in NY that is using a cooked sauce, and it is Dom from Difarras.   He only uses this sauce for his sicilian pizzas.      I think it is probably best to start without using a cooked sauce and see if it comes close to what you are looking for.


Thanks,
Remember I live in an area where you are not going to find any of the fancy brands that you take for granted in NYC.

Most stores in the area do not even sell Olive Oil. The stores that do; One or two brands and it's between 111 and 120 pesos for 750ml (that's close to $10.00)

There are fresh tomatoes that are not all that great and products like Hunts, Shurfine, Contadina for sauces and paste.

I asked this question before, but no one answered it yet.

Do you precook the sauce used on Pizza? Or do you just combine the ingredients and let it cook in the oven?

thanks

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2010, 02:29:50 PM »
... and therein lies the problem. I don't think I would have asked the question if I had known the answer. How does one make it "brighter" "before" baking.

When I make an red sauce for Spaghetti, Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan the sauce tastes great. That same exact sauce, that tasted very good on the Parmesan, dish doesn't seem to "have it" when I put it on a pizza.

I don't know maybe its the proximity to the air above the Hudson.

Could you elaborate on something you would do?

Actually, I'm in the middle of editing a video on this very subject - at least as it relates to Neapolitan pies, but many of the same principles apply. It should be up on YouTube by the end of next week. In the meantime, here are a few quick points that I cover in the video:

0. Tomato selection - if using canned, I prefer ones without anything other than the tomatoes and puree.  
1. Salt - add a little at a time until the sauce is a little too salty. The other 2 main ingredients, cheese and dough, need the salt from the sauce for the right balance.
2. Sugar - if needed, I add it just until I can taste it. The sauce will tend to sweeten with baking. You may need to go back and adjust the salt.
3. Acid - Depends on the tomatoes you are using. A major role of the sauce is to provide an acid note to balance the other ingredients. Not sour. This is the key to the brightness I mention. I add a little bit of red wine vinegar at a time until the sauce has a bit more brightness than I am seeking since it will also be toned down by baking and by the other ingredients. At this point will you definitely need to adjust the salt and sugar again. And then maybe adjust the vinegar again. And then the salt. And then the vinegar, and then ....
4. Let the sauce sit for at least an hour - mainly to give your taste buds a chance to get back to normal after all that tasting.
5. Additional flavors - there are all kinds of things that can be added to the sauce. Often you see recipes with garlic, oregano, basil, anchovies, cheese, etc. I do often like these flavors on the pie, but I keep them out of the sauce, preferring not to mess with its clean bright flavor. I'll add them separately to toppings when so inclined.

This approach works very well for the kind of pies I like to bake and can be used to doctor up mediocre tomatoes.  I have a lot more to say about this in the video. I'll post an update here when the video is done.  
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 02:33:55 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2010, 04:41:47 AM »
Actually, I'm in the middle of editing a video on this very subject - at least as it relates to Neapolitan pies, but many of the same principles apply. It should be up on YouTube by the end of next week. In the meantime, here are a few quick points that I cover in the video:

0. Tomato selection - if using canned, I prefer ones without anything other than the tomatoes and puree.  
1. Salt - add a little at a time until the sauce is a little too salty. The other 2 main ingredients, cheese and dough, need the salt from the sauce for the right balance.
2. Sugar - if needed, I add it just until I can taste it. The sauce will tend to sweeten with baking. You may need to go back and adjust the salt.
3. Acid - Depends on the tomatoes you are using. A major role of the sauce is to provide an acid note to balance the other ingredients. Not sour. This is the key to the brightness I mention. I add a little bit of red wine vinegar at a time until the sauce has a bit more brightness than I am seeking since it will also be toned down by baking and by the other ingredients. At this point will you definitely need to adjust the salt and sugar again. And then maybe adjust the vinegar again. And then the salt. And then the vinegar, and then ....
4. Let the sauce sit for at least an hour - mainly to give your taste buds a chance to get back to normal after all that tasting.
5. Additional flavors - there are all kinds of things that can be added to the sauce. Often you see recipes with garlic, oregano, basil, anchovies, cheese, etc. I do often like these flavors on the pie, but I keep them out of the sauce, preferring not to mess with its clean bright flavor. I'll add them separately to toppings when so inclined.

This approach works very well for the kind of pies I like to bake and can be used to doctor up mediocre tomatoes.  I have a lot more to say about this in the video. I'll post an update here when the video is done.  


Great thanks!

I look forward to the video. That info helped a lot.

Offline scott r

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2010, 10:45:50 AM »
 For now it might be a good idea to avoid cooking down your sauce to thicken it if you are looking for a NY style sauce.  A cooked sauce is very rarely found at NY pizzerias.   
Good luck!

Offline scott r

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Re: Hi all, I am back with a few more questions about NY Style Pizza
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2010, 10:46:50 AM »
I have only found one pizzeria in NY that is using a cooked sauce, and it is Dom from Difarras.   He only uses this sauce for his sicilian pizzas.      I think it is probably best to start without using a cooked sauce and see if it comes close to what you are looking for.



 

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