Author Topic: Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)  (Read 17459 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #100 on: August 17, 2014, 08:40:28 AM »
If anyone is interested, the video by Scott Wiener does explain a lot about how pizza has evolved since pizza was first made.



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Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #101 on: August 18, 2014, 01:53:24 PM »
Great video, thanks for linking this.
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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #102 on: August 21, 2014, 08:08:39 PM »
The brooklyn story video is fascinating to me. It confirmed much of what I heard from my older relatives on my mothers side.  They came from Italy and they talked of the coal oven bakeries and how pizza was made in them along with bread.  This is how I was raised with dough and still can't understand how anyone can say knowing bread will not help with knowing pizza and visa versa.  My Smiling With Hope Bakery makes breads and pizzas.  Dough is dough and once you understand it you can easily transfer the skills to either pizza or bread. The video has a great shot of the blodgett 1000 ovens with a Mastro logo on them(see story in video below). Just before these ovens are shown (towards the end of the video) you will see a lot of stacks of black blodgett ovens.  These are low btu ovens and would go at least a 10 minute bake time.  I was visiting my friends that own Mazzi's pizza in marion Oh and they run the exact same ovens.  He got all the recipes from his family's brooklyn pizzeria including cake yeast and eggs in the dough.  They bake a 10 minute pie in these ovens just like in the old days. 

http://www.mazzies.com/

This video also fascinates me.  I was at the NYC worlds fair in 1964 with my father.  We ate pizza at the Mastro pizza pavillion.  The ovens they used were the same blodgett 1000 ovens I use today and mine contain the original gas burners and stones.  This in essence is a time freeze oven that gives us a window into the 1960's-70's (when they were discontinued by blodgett) NY area pizzeria culture.  The sweet spot in these ovens is 500-550 on the way high end.  The common saying back in the Newark NJ area when I grew up in the 50's-70's when asked about temp and bake times was 500 degrees and 10 minutes.  I push my ovens to 550/560 and that is it and I have to watch them very closely or the bottoms will burn.  This video is cool in many ways including cold fermentation was happening in the early 60's.   Check it out. 
http://youtu.be/PNvDOXogJE0?list=UUvky1rZGtj4jGtiS4NkB00w

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« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 08:18:56 PM by waltertore »

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #103 on: August 21, 2014, 08:37:25 PM »
Walter,

Your post was very interesting in many ways.  I would like to ask you a question about if you know what brand of ovens back in the 60's-70's could bake faster than the Blodgett 1000's like you have?  If the high end bakes temperatures are about 550 degrees F for your oven, where did faster bakes times come into the scene for NY style pizzas?  I find that interesting too the common saying back when you were younger in the Newark, NJ area was 500 degrees for 10 minutes. 

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #104 on: August 21, 2014, 09:13:49 PM »
Walter,

Your post was very interesting in many ways.  I would like to ask you a question about if you know what brand of ovens back in the 60's-70's could bake faster than the Blodgett 1000's like you have?  If the high end bakes temperatures are about 550 degrees F for your oven, where did faster bakes times come into the scene for NY style pizzas?  I find that interesting too the common saying back when you were younger in the Newark, NJ area was 500 degrees for 10 minutes. 

Norma

Norma:  I know of no gas deck oven that was in general use in the NYC area that baked pizzas at temps higher than 550. Pushing them to the 650 limit burns the bottoms.  Gary, the owner of Star Tavern in orange NJ, Joe Sanasiri, who worked at star and whose family owned bunny's in south orange NJ, Alfredo the owner of Alfredo's Pizzeria that was in South Orange, all cooked on blodgett 1000's(120,000 btu's) and their bake temps were 500-550 and 8-10 minutes approx. I never actually timed any of these places pies but having made lots of pies in deck ovens you get a feel for approx times.  I feel my pies are in the 8 minute range but again I never have timed them.  I have tried but get sidetracked with managing a full oven and end up with erroneous numbers. 

I haven't been back to NYC in about 30 years so I am not able to say where/when /if the higher bake temps/bake times began, with the gas deck oven.  I was involved in the pizza world in the late 60's through the late 70's.  My friend Joe's family owned Bunny's and I worked there a bit and at Alfredo's. Alfredo was just off the boat from Italy and was confused by the gas deck oven.  He had a single deck blodgett 1000 and did master it but said it took a lot of modifying of his upbringing in Italy.  I worked there quite a bit(fo no money just food and experience).  Both these places baked in the 500- 550 temp range.  I know you were at Star recently and Gary gave you a backstage tour.  I believe they use to bake at 500-550 back in my day and bet you can confirm what they do today (doubt it has changed any).  I have been following these threads and took a real close look at the ovens that pizza town uses.  I researched them and they appear  to be older ds-805 bakers pride ovens and wonder how they can get a fast bake time without burning up the bottoms rated at 70,000btu's.  Here is the spec sheet for the DS-805.  It is for the new oven but my experience is that as long as they keep the model number of an oven it rarely changes btu's. 

http://www.bakerspride.com/specs/SDECK-GS-DS-10-06.pdf

here is a photo that looks  to be the ovens used at pizza town. I am not trying to discredit anyone with bake times but wonder how these ovens can do such a thing?  I own 2 original blodgett 1000's in perfect running condition and could never get a pie done in less than 7 minutes without severly burning the bottom and neither could the ovens at star or bunny's who both used all original blodgett 1000's?  Walter

« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 06:15:26 AM by waltertore »

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #105 on: August 21, 2014, 10:11:13 PM »
Norma:  I know of no gas deck oven that was in general use in the NYC area that baked pizzas at temps higher than 550. Pushing them to the 650 limit burns the bottoms.  Gary, the owner of Star Tavern in orange NJ, Joe Sanasiri, who worked at star and whose family owned bunny's in south orange NJ, Alfredo the owner of Alfredo's Pizzeria that was in South Orange, all cooked on blodgett 1000's(120,000 btu's) and their bake temps were 500-550 and 8-10 minutes approx. I never actually timed any of these places pies but having made lots of pies in deck ovens you get a feel for approx times.  I feel my pies are in the 8 minute range but again I never have timed them.  I have tried but get sidetracked with managing a full oven and end up with erroneous numbers. 

I haven't been back to NYC in about 30 years so I am not able to say where/when /if the higher bake temps/bake times began, with the gas deck oven.  I was involved in the pizza world in the late 60's through the late 70's.  My friend Joe's family owned Bunny's and I worked there a bit and at Alfredo's. Alfredo was just off the boat from Italy and was confused by the gas deck oven.  He had a single deck blodgett 1000 and did master it but said it took a lot of modifying of his upbringing in Italy.  I worked there quite a bit(fo no money just food and experience).  Both these places baked in the 500- 550 temp range.  I know you were at Star recently and Gary gave you a backstage tour.  I believe they use to bake at 500-550 back in my day and bet you can confirm what they do today (doubt it has changed any).  I have been following these threads and took a real close look at the ovens that pizza town uses.  I researched them and they appear  to be older ds-805 bakers pride ovens and wonder how they can get a fast bake time without burning up the bottoms rated at 70,000btu's.  Here is the spec sheet for the DS-805.  It is for the new oven but my experience is that as long as they keep the model number of an oven it rarely changes btu's. 

http://www.bakerspride.com/specs/SDECK-GS-DS-10-06.pdf

here is a photo that looks  to be the ovens used at pizza town. I am not trying to discredit anyone with bake times but wonder how these ovens can do such a thing?  I own 2 original ones in perfect running condition and could never get a pie done in less than 7 minutes without severly burning the bottom and neither could the ovens at star or bunny's who both used all original blodgett 1000's?  Walter

Walter,

Thanks for your answers.  I find it interesting that you don't know of any Blodgett 1000's that bake over 550 degrees F, unless the bottoms will get too dark.  I think De Lorenzo's in Robbinsville bakes at about 600 degrees F, but that is an entirely different pie than NY style.  If I recall right they have the Blodgett 1000's too.  I don't think Gary told me what bake temperature he uses, but from the time I ordered the pie until it was served was longer than 14 minutes.  Star Tavern was not busy when I first got there so our pie was made right away.   

Your history in the pizza world back in the 60's through the late 70's is interesting.  I find Alfredo's experience in not knowing how to operate the single deck Blodgett 1000's and being confused interesting too.  I guess everyone has to learn how a deck oven works unless someone teaches them.

I also wonder how those ovens at Pizza Town do such a short bake.  I see that ds-805 Baker's Pride look like what Pizza Town uses, but I am not experienced at all on deck ovens. 

You had a lot of history to add and I thank you for doing that.

Norma
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Offline jsaras

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #106 on: August 22, 2014, 12:20:46 AM »
Vito's, here in LA, bakes on screens in the bottom compartment for the first two minutes.  The pizza is then moved into the top compartment to be finished off.  Could that be one of the missing keys?
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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #107 on: August 22, 2014, 06:10:09 AM »
Vito's, here in LA, bakes on screens in the bottom compartment for the first two minutes.  The pizza is then moved into the top compartment to be finished off.  Could that be one of the missing keys?

I never saw a screen used from my birth until I left the NYC/NJ area and that was in the late 70's.  To be honest I never saw one until coming on this forum a couple years ago.  When I go into a pizzeria the first thing I do is look in the window and see if a completed pie is visable at a customers table or the ovens are visible.  That has detoured me away from well over 99% of the places I was intending on going in :-D  Walter

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #108 on: August 22, 2014, 06:13:08 AM »
Walter,

Thanks for your answers.  I find it interesting that you don't know of any Blodgett 1000's that bake over 550 degrees F, unless the bottoms will get too dark.  I think De Lorenzo's in Robbinsville bakes at about 600 degrees F, but that is an entirely different pie than NY style.  If I recall right they have the Blodgett 1000's too.  I don't think Gary told me what bake temperature he uses, but from the time I ordered the pie until it was served was longer than 14 minutes.  Star Tavern was not busy when I first got there so our pie was made right away.   

Your history in the pizza world back in the 60's through the late 70's is interesting.  I find Alfredo's experience in not knowing how to operate the single deck Blodgett 1000's and being confused interesting too.  I guess everyone has to learn how a deck oven works unless someone teaches them.

I also wonder how those ovens at Pizza Town do such a short bake.  I see that ds-805 Baker's Pride look like what Pizza Town uses, but I am not experienced at all on deck ovens. 

You had a lot of history to add and I thank you for doing that.

Norma

Norma:  I could push my ovens to 600 but that would definetly char the bottoms even with careful watching.  For some people that char would be perfectly ok but for most, me included, would conclude they were burnt too much.  Hopefully Tom Lehman will step in here at some point and put the fact seal on alot of things.  Walter
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 06:17:03 AM by waltertore »

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #109 on: August 22, 2014, 08:12:04 AM »
Vito's, here in LA, bakes on screens in the bottom compartment for the first two minutes.  The pizza is then moved into the top compartment to be finished off.  Could that be one of the missing keys?

Jonas,

Thanks for telling us what Vito's in LA does.  I know I can use a pizza screen to keep my bottom crusts from burning too fast.  I have tried that for different formulations I have tried, from the recommendations of Peter.  I also know my top deck temperature is not as hot as my bottom deck.  My counter-top Baker's Pride is not as powerful as some of the other deck ovens. 

I wonder when pizza screens were invented, and who held the first patent for them.  I never saw pizzerias in NYC use pizza screens years ago.

I wonder what the missing keys were years ago.   

Norma
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Offline Johnny the Gent

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #110 on: August 22, 2014, 08:19:39 AM »
Norma and Walter, thanks for sharing those videos.

The slice shown in Walter's embedded video, at the 8:40 mark instantly reminded me of Peter's Lehman slices. Something about the shape and look of the cornicione/rim. Peter's sliced do tend to be thinner towards the center, though.
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Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #111 on: August 22, 2014, 08:21:16 AM »
Norma:  I could push my ovens to 600 but that would definetly char the bottoms even with careful watching.  For some people that char would be perfectly ok but for most, me included, would conclude they were burnt too much.  Hopefully Tom Lehman will step in here at some point and put the fact seal on alot of things.  Walter

Walter,

De Lorenzo's in Robbinsville does have char on the bottom crust of their pizzas.  I didn't think I would like that char, but somehow it works for a De Lorenzo's pizza.   

Maybe if we can think up enough questions for Tom Lehmann someone can start a new thread and see if he can provide some answers about deck ovens long ago.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #112 on: August 22, 2014, 09:06:32 AM »
Johnny,

There is a thread where Vincent (Vinnie) posts different things about his father, grandmother and grandfather if you or anyone is interested in reading more.

http://www.worldsfaircommunity.org/topic/244-mastro-pizza-pavilion/ 

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #113 on: August 22, 2014, 09:16:04 AM »
maddyferr also posts on this thread.  http://staging.roadfood.com/Forums/m/tm.aspx?m=197589&fp=10&p=2 

This is copied form one of his posts.

Mastro Pizza at the 1964-1965 World's Fair was a pavillion that show cased our family's business Frank Mastro Inc. started by my father  originally in 1925.  It was a restaurant, hotel and institution supplies business. At that time, commercial pizza was baked only by the huge wall ovens usually found in bakeries, but many Italian housewives made pizza and focaccia at home in their gas fired ovens.  My father strove to find a gas and coal fired oven that could become an adjunct to an Italian restaurant so that pizza could become part of their menu.  He originally by himself added a gas line to a commercial wood and coal oven to see if he could be successful in creating a portable oven that could do the job.  He was indeed sucessful and so the Mastro pizza oven was born.  After many models later, and with his work with Blodgett oven, Brooklyn Union Gas and Robert Shaw Controls a totally gas fired portable commercial pizza oven was produced in the late thirties and early 1940's.  My father definitely knew what the outcome would be, because he said at that time that pizza would become as popular as the american hot dog.  To get to the point.  The secret of the pizza baked at the Mastro Pizza pavillion at the Fair was keeping the ovens at their properly controlled heat so the yeast in the dough was grabbed at the right time to produce that puffy outer core and crisp center.  The recipe was basically my grandmother"s made in 100lb batches.  What was showcased at the Fair
was this dough which had been frozen and which was to be used in my brother, Vincent Mastro's new franchises "Pizza Plaza".  Unfortunately my brother Vincent died in November just as the Fair had closed and all of my father's and mother's dreams died with him.  My father had died previously in l957 at age 59, my brother followed at age 33.  Would the world of pizza be the same today were it not be for these two people Probably because pizza made properly is almost the perfect food, someone would have found a way to commercialize it.  But my dad's dedication to his profession and customers certainly brought it much sooner to fruition.


I find it interesting that pizza dough was frozen way back then.

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Offline Johnny the Gent

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #114 on: August 22, 2014, 10:31:31 AM »
Johnny,

There is a thread where Vincent (Vinnie) posts different things about his father, grandmother and grandfather if you or anyone is interested in reading more.

http://www.worldsfaircommunity.org/topic/244-mastro-pizza-pavilion/ 

Norma

Norma, thank you for sharing the link!


  I was visiting my friends that own Mazzi's pizza in marion Oh and they run the exact same ovens.  He got all the recipes from his family's brooklyn pizzeria including cake yeast and eggs in the dough.  They bake a 10 minute pie in these ovens just like in the old days. 


Fascinating info Walter!  The idea of a 10 minute pie made with CY and eggs sounds funky and interesting to me, something I want to try. (I started a new topic as to not throw the line of discussion off point)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 10:35:18 AM by Johnny the Gent »
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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #115 on: September 27, 2014, 08:54:54 AM »
For those who are interested in reading about the bake times that were used for the old classic NY/NJ pizzas baked in deck ovens will do well to read the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=34182.msg340076#msg340076. There is also some good reading on oven bake times in another thread, starting at Reply 14 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=22794.msg233690#msg233690.

Peter


 

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