Author Topic: New Here  (Read 2143 times)

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Offline Kentis

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New Here
« on: June 19, 2010, 03:33:19 AM »
Hey all, I am from NYC and I love to eat pizza. I want to make my own pizza at home. I recently bought a KitchenAid mixer and made my 1st homemade pie, which did not came out so well. Where can I buy high-gluten flour?

Attached is the pic of my 1st pizza.


Offline Bob1

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Re: New Here
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 09:47:32 AM »
What area or state?

Bob

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: New Here
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2010, 09:52:10 AM »
Kentis:

I assume you are looking to recreate a NYC style pizza.  I order my high gluten flour on-line.  I've used Barry Farms in the past, but switched to King Arthur High gluten flour, which you can order in 3 lb. bags.  See link below.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/king-arthur-sir-lancelot-hi-gluten-flour-3-lb

Happy pizza making.  :chef:

-ME
Let them eat pizza.

scott123

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Re: New Here
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2010, 04:00:00 PM »
Mad_Ernie, no offense, but telling a New Yorker to buy pizza flour online is like telling someone from Japan to buy sushi rice online  ;D

Kentis, what borough? I have two large distributors that I buy from in NJ, but you shouldn't have to travel this far.  Every borough has plenty of bakery/pizzeria suppliers.

Btw, you do know that, although high gluten flour certainly helps to make great NY style pizza, the biggest player in the equation is the oven set up.  You really can't achieve the right puffy chewy consistency without quick baking times (less than 6 minutes).  And this, you can't achieve without a stone of the proper thickness and material.

Offline Kentis

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Re: New Here
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2010, 11:45:57 PM »
Mad_Ernie, no offense, but telling a New Yorker to buy pizza flour online is like telling someone from Japan to buy sushi rice online  ;D

Kentis, what borough? I have two large distributors that I buy from in NJ, but you shouldn't have to travel this far.  Every borough has plenty of bakery/pizzeria suppliers.

Btw, you do know that, although high gluten flour certainly helps to make great NY style pizza, the biggest player in the equation is the oven set up.  You really can't achieve the right puffy chewy consistency without quick baking times (less than 6 minutes).  And this, you can't achieve without a stone of the proper thickness and material.
I am from Brooklyn but I study in the city. I am also interested what is inside the $0.99/slice pizza  ;D.

I have a pizza stone that I bought from Macy's, it is about 3/4-inch thick, I am actually making a pizza on it right now. In the area that I live in (Bensonhurst) there is around 10-12 independent NY-style pizza joints, no pizza chains or any other fast food chains in sight. The nearest place (Taco Bell) is a 30 minute walk.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 11:52:39 PM by Kentis »

scott123

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Re: New Here
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 01:22:14 AM »
Alright, I did a quick search and came up with a few flour distributors in Brooklyn.

1. Jetro Cash & Carry - www.jetro.com
566 Hamilton Avenue, Brooklyn - (718) 768-0555

2. http://www.casellafoods.com/casella.htm

3. Restaurant Depot

Restaurant Depot will carry a variety of high gluten flours, and you should be able to get a one day pass to buy a bag, but you'll need a membership to go there again (I think that's how it works)

4. Flour Plus Baker's Supply Inc

952 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn NY 11206
718-417-7596 (Call first, they may not be open)

5. http://www.davidrosenbakerysupply.com/ (flushing)

Where ever you choose, call before you go and confirm that they sell All Trumps (one of the best flours for NY style) AND that they sell to the public. Some places will only sell to you if you're a business.

None of these places are terribly close to Bensonhurst, though. Do you own/have access to a car? All of these could be pretty costly taxi rides.  How strong are you? Getting a 50 lb bag of flour on the subway may not be an easy task.  You're definitely going to have problems getting through the turnstile. This would definitely be one of those buzzed in special entrance kind of things. 

How about one of those old lady food carts?  They let those on the subway and it would be perfect for a single bag of flour.


Anyway, I think you should be able to figure something out.

I've never been there, but, from the photos I've seen, 99 cent pizza is basically just your iconic half decent NY style slice (with, from what I'm reading, very questionable sauce).  With the right flour and stone, you can blow that out of the water. Don't you want to set your sights a little higher? :)

If the Macy's stone is what I think it is, it's actually 1/2" thick with legs in some areas that make it seem a little thicker. Sorry, but you won't challenge the quality of any of your legendary Bensonhurst places with a 1/2" stone.  At least not easily and consistently. You might not even be able to match 99 cent.  The next time you're there- watch them bake a pizza and time how long it takes.  That's what you have to match. You can't expect a pizza baked for 10+ minutes to taste like a pizza baked in 6 or less.  They're two different animals.

Describe your oven. Gas? Electric? Top Broiler? Max temp?
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 02:18:32 AM by scott123 »

Offline Kentis

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Re: New Here
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 02:25:18 AM »
Yes, I just checked and it is actually the 1/2 inch stone, it is the version without the legs.

Do they sell the high-glutten flour in 5-lb bags? Because that would be more manageable since I only have access to public transportation but my dad can help me out with a car if it is a real emergency or very important.

I think that the Restaurant Depot is my best choice since it is the one that is the closest to the subway.

There is a place called 2 Bros Pizza ($0.99/slice pizza) that has at least 3 locations in the city. Last time I ate there I notice that their taste improved but the pies are now smaller than they used to be 16-inches from 18-inches. During the lunchtime their are always super-busy with 16-20 people in line.

My oven is a small stainless steel 24-inch wide Avanti gas range-oven. It is made in a number of models but it is reviewed to be unreliable. I have a Fluke laser thermometer that gives inconsistent readings throughout the whole oven. The maximum temperature is 550 degrees.

Attached is the pizza that I just did. The dough was better than the last time but it lacked flavor (1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp yeast, 6oz water and 2 1/2 cups of flour or so). The sauce I did was 8oz Hunts tomato sauce with added salt, oregano, and a bit of fresh minced garlic. Cheese was mozarella, provolone, grated parmesan and shredded taco cheese mix. Toppings were sliced of stick pepperoni, sliced Tyson BBQ chicken breast, mushrooms,  green peppers, sweet onions and broccoli. I forgot to buy the olives because I forgot the checklist at home.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 02:27:33 AM by Kentis »

scott123

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Re: New Here
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 03:33:36 AM »
It's getting better!  :) Bake time?

I've seen reviews for both 99 cent fresh pizza and 2 Bros.

This is what you're talking about, right?

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/04/cheap-dollar-slice-pizza-showdown-99-cent-fresh-pizza-vs-st-marks-2-bros-pizza-hells-kitchen-manhattan-nyc-review.html

I definitely think you can do better. A lot better. Still, if that's what you're shooting for, you're going to have a hard time with that stone. I'm attaching a photo of 2 bros pizza below.  That's not the puffiest pizza I've ever seen, but it still has pretty big voids.  To get voids, you need high hydration and quick bake times.

When you buy 'real' pizzeria flour, you're stuck with, unfortunately, 'real' pizzeria quantities. The nice thing, though, is that a 50 lb. bag will cost somewhere around 18 bucks.  Compared to supermarket flour, that's a great deal.  Start going to bakery/bakery sections of supermarkets and ask them if they can spare any large plastic buckets w/ lids.  I've asked my local bakery twice and twice they had a bucket waiting to be tossed that I grabbed. A couple of 4.25 gallon buckets will store most of a 50 lb bag of flour, no problem.

Is this your oven?

http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/DG241BS.html?mv_pc=fr&utm_source=google&utm_medium=base

According to the specs, you're working with an internal dimension of 18" x 18".  That means you can fit a 17" x 17" stone. One of our NY members here recently purchased a 16" x 16" for $92 delivered from http://www.soapstones.com/

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10676.0;attach=22215;image

I would guess a 17" square stone would probably run you somewhere around $105.  Considering you mentioned 'studying' in Manhattan and that you're eating slices for $.99, it sounds like you might be doing the starving student thing. If so, $105 might seem like an obscene chunk of cash.  With this $105 stone, though, you can be making plain pies far superior to any of your neighborhood places (even better than DiFaras!) for only about $2.25 per 16" pie (maybe even less, depending on your supermarket cheese deals).  Divided by 8 slices, that's 28 cents a slice.

Speaking of expenditures... if you really want to get into pizza making, you have to shell out a couple of bucks on a digital scale- none of this '2 1/2 cups of flour or so.' I think Walmart has a passable scale for around $20- if you can find a Walmart.  Target is a little more, but should work for your needs. There's better scales online but I don't think you need to spend more than about $30.  Just make sure whatever you get goes to at least 5 pounds and measures in 1g increments.

Btw, a pizza stone, especially a hot pizza stone, should always stay in the oven.  Preheat it for about an hour at the highest temp your oven will go and slide the pizza onto it from the floured peel. When the pizza is done, remove it (with preferably a flour free peel or your original peel wiped clean) and put it on a tray. 

Lastly, I know I'm sort of spewing at the mouth here, but, unless you moved to Bensonhurst just a week (or less) ago, I'm going under the assumption that you've caught the pizza bug full on and have a roaring fire in your gut in your quest for pizza at home perfection. You really can't live in Bensonhurst and not want to strive for pizza greatness. Brooklyn's gotta represent :)

Offline Kentis

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Re: New Here
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 03:54:36 AM »
Yup, that is 2 Bros pizza, only not the one that I been at, but I passed but the pictured location. The one that I go to is on 6th Avenue and 18th Street, right across from TJ Maxx. There is also one on 8th avenue and like 38th Street.

$18.00/50lb sounds great, the only problem is getting it from the store to home. I also gotta figure out their membership thing.

Yes, this is my oven, only the light on/of button switch is in the middle of the oven knob and the range knobs instead of all the way to the left. I know that the oven sucks, but my mom insisted on it because she wanted a stainless steel range-oven and this is the only one that store has that was 24-inches wide.

I may order this 16"x16" stone in the future, I just gotta practice sliding the pizza from the peel to the stone, because the way that I did way to prep the pie on the stone and slide the whole thing into the oven. My oven is really small, so is my kitchen (6'x8' galley-type, with a window).

They sell cheese at the supermarket for around $3.99/lb but I tried to get it for $1.99-$2.49 on sale and I stock-up. These days there are not much sales so I am all out of cheese. Around the November there were tons of deals for 1lb mozz from supermarkets all around.

In the city I mostly eat in Sbarro's and at the $0.99 pizza place (2 Bros). There is also a place on 6th Avenue and I think 36th street that makes great vegetable pizza, I can't afford to eat there all the time. In the neighborhood I eat mostly at the Italia Pizza place, the quality is very good and prices are also reasonable (they have $11.00/18-inch pie specials and they also advertise with $10.00/18-inch pie coupon). They make the best garlic knots in the city, I'd pay them couple of hundred bucks so they would teach me how to make their garlic knots - they are so good.

I also make baked ziti and lasagna without the ricotta cheese.

scott123

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Re: New Here
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2010, 05:01:50 AM »
Start a thread here asking about Restaurant Depot. Lots of members here go there and they can fill you in on how the membership thing works.

I think you meant to say that you'll be ordering the 17" x 17" stone in the future :) Believe me when I tell you that you'll really want that extra inch.  16" is the classic NY dimension and getting that on a 16" stone is really difficult.

And yes, you really do have to practice sliding the pizza onto the stone.  If you slid the raw pizza into the oven with the stone, I'm surprised you didn't end up with a raw pie as it takes at least a half hour for the stone to get to the right temp. Make a skin, and, before you top it with anything, slide it onto the peel and then launch the peel onto the counter as if it was your oven stone. Repeat about 20 times, making a note of where the skin ends up on the counter. Ideally, you can get to a point where you can hit the same place every time. The more toppings that are on the pie, the harder it is to slide, so it won't give you the exact feeling of a topped pie, but it will be close.  Do what this guy does at 4:08



over and over again.

If you're willing to throw out a skin's worth of dough, you might want to top a skin with a pound of dried beans- that will simulate a topped pie a bit better. Lastly, you can cheat and buy screens.  Your 2 Bros place uses screens.  If you really want to do it right, though, master a peel.

I've been getting kind of burned on the sale cheese lately as well.  For the last three weeks I've been waiting for a decent sale on Mozz. Nothing.  Considering this is national dairy month, I can't believe they can't give me a decent price on mozzarella.

I would talk to member Norma about garlic knots.  I can't speak for their taste, but the photos look amazing.


Offline norma427

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Re: New Here
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2010, 08:33:38 AM »
scott123,

Thanks for saying my garlic knots look amazing.  They arenít hard to make.

Kentis,

This is one of the link to pictures of the garlic knots I make.  See if this looks like anything you want to make.  Go down though a few pictures and you will see what the garlic knots that I make look like.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.msg98110.html#msg98110
                                    
If you do want to make them like this, they can be made from any basic NY style dough.  The herb toppings is what makes them tasty in my opinion.  I just take fresh oregano, fresh parsley, fresh basil and fresh garlic, then food process them, add olive oil and microwave the mixture different times until all the ingredients are wilted. Usually it takes about 4 minutes total, but this can vary depending on your microwave. I usually microwave first at one minute, then 30 second intervals.  Be careful and watch this because you are microwaving olive oil with the mixture.  Then it can be refrigerated.  I usually use it the next day and add margarine, butter and more olive oil to the mixture.  Let it sit at room temperature to melt the margarine and butter.  Dip the hot baked garlic knots into this mixture, then all depending on what taste you want you can sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, Asiago, or Romano cheese.  These can be reheated on a screen in the oven.  The taste after baking on a screen is about the same as when first baked.

After tying a knot, these can be left out covered to proof more (covered) or just put into the oven until baked.  I bake these on a screen on the stone.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Kentis

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Re: New Here
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2010, 11:13:09 PM »
I gotta measure the internals of the oven carefully because some reviews of the oven said that it was not exactly 24" wide and same could be said for inside in terms of with accuracy.

For the cheese I usually use Polly-O or Sargento, but recently I got a couple of packs of generic supermarket brand and it is pretty good. Grates better than the rest and I can't tell the difference in taste. Ground beef and whole chickens are also have not been on sale for some long time, 3 weeks or so because I am running low on supplies.

The garlic knots from the local pizza joint are more like rolls than the knots. I will buy them and take pics of them for reference soon, the only problem is that they sell out extremely fast, usually there's no more of them after 3PM. I think that they use olive oil, parsley, garlic and parmesan for their topping of garlic knots.

I made the 3rd pizza pie today. It was really good and much better then the other pies that I made. This time I added 3 1/2 teaspoons of sugar instead of 1, and forgot to add the olive oil into the dough. I mixed it for about 25 and dough came out perfectly smooth and it was not sticky. I then made it into a ball and coated it with olive oil and placed it into the storage pan, and covered it. It was stored there on the table for around 1 1/2 hours before I put it in use: I coated the metal pizza dish with cornmeal and slapped the dough on both sides, so the cornmeal would apply to both sides of the skin. The I topped it off with toppings and baked the pizza for 13 minutes (more or less) in the pre-heated oven that was set to 550-degrees, like you said: I pre-heated it 1 hour in advance.

My local pizza place uses the metal pizza dishes instead of screens.

Take a look at the pics for the rest of the info:

Offline Kentis

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Re: New Here
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2010, 11:14:20 PM »
More pics. The last one is of the local pizza place:


scott123

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Re: New Here
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2010, 01:31:19 AM »
Hey, looking better!  :)

The hour pre-heat recommendation was to pre-heat the stone- you put the pan on the hot stone, right? If you're not using the stone, you can dial back the pre-heat to 10 minutes.

Definitely, measure your oven to make sure a stone will fit.  I'd actually remove a shelf and measure the dimensions of that.  Pay close attention to any lips on the shelf and/or any other potential obstructions in the oven.  If, say, the shelf supports are close to each other, they may obstruct the stone.

Polly-O is actually pretty mediocre cheese.  Considering it's usually the most costly, it's extremely easy to avoid.  It has a translucent/low fat/swiss quality that's just not as creamy/rich as other brands. Sargento is better, but, imo, not as good as the supermarket brands. There's a few pizzerias that shell out for expensive Grande cheese, but most use typical food service stuff- which is identical to the supermarket/private label cheese. So, name brands for Mozzarella will not only cost more, but be of inferior quality. Sometimes the cheap stuff can be a little on the wet side (especially if you store it for a while) and this can cause curdling issues in prolonged high heat scenarios, but, overall, the cheap stuff is the best.

I'm waiting for a decent ground beef sale as well.  My freezer is currently a no ground beef zone- that happens about once every two years.

Offline Kentis

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Re: New Here
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2010, 02:18:31 AM »
Hey, looking better!  :)

The hour pre-heat recommendation was to pre-heat the stone- you put the pan on the hot stone, right? If you're not using the stone, you can dial back the pre-heat to 10 minutes.

Definitely, measure your oven to make sure a stone will fit.  I'd actually remove a shelf and measure the dimensions of that.  Pay close attention to any lips on the shelf and/or any other potential obstructions in the oven.  If, say, the shelf supports are close to each other, they may obstruct the stone.

Polly-O is actually pretty mediocre cheese.  Considering it's usually the most costly, it's extremely easy to avoid.  It has a translucent/low fat/swiss quality that's just not as creamy/rich as other brands. Sargento is better, but, imo, not as good as the supermarket brands. There's a few pizzerias that shell out for expensive Grande cheese, but most use typical food service stuff- which is identical to the supermarket/private label cheese. So, name brands for Mozzarella will not only cost more, but be of inferior quality. Sometimes the cheap stuff can be a little on the wet side (especially if you store it for a while) and this can cause curdling issues in prolonged high heat scenarios, but, overall, the cheap stuff is the best.

I'm waiting for a decent ground beef sale as well.  My freezer is currently a no ground beef zone- that happens about once every two years.
Today's pie was without the stone.

Do you think that a local kitchen assembly workshop can cut a custom stone for me? I know a place nearby that makes kitchen cabinets and countertops and the subway is 5 minute walk away from this workshop. I was passing by once and they had a truck coming in with 6'x10' plate of somekind of granite.

I might try the 5lbs Costco shredded mozarella. I am not a fan of grating cheese with my cheap Ikea grater.


Couple of times when Sargento 1lb cheese pack was a week or so away from expiration date, it bubbled up and was very wet once I opened it.

I use ground beef for regular fried seasoned ground beef (salt & pepper) and for the seasoned taco beef. I make tacos and these burrito-wrap thingies. The cheapest chicken that I could find this week is Perdue Oven Stuff for $0.84/lb. I might get a couple because I really need it. Usually I buy chicken for $0.69-$0.79 per pound.

This is the mozzarella that I currently use:
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 02:51:58 AM by Kentis »


 

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