Author Topic: Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)  (Read 16375 times)

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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2011, 12:29:23 PM »
... I think burning coal in a WFO is inadvisable at best - but not necessarily because of the temperature.

CL

Craig, If I get some coal can I try it in the Acunto first, before I melt the stainless roof in mine?  Your friend Jet.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2011, 01:40:46 PM »
Craig, If I get some coal can I try it in the Acunto first, before I melt the stainless roof in mine?  Your friend Jet.

You can put coal in my oven when you pry the peel from my cold dead hands. :-D
Pizza is not bread.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2011, 01:56:46 PM »
When I conducted my research on the evolutionary aspects of the NY pizza style, while sitting behind my keyboard in Texas, I was looking mostly for broad strokes and timelines. From time to time, I summarized what I had learned in various posts, including:

Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11816.msg109739/topicseen.html#msg109739 ;
Reply 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8789.msg76171/topicseen.html#msg76171 ;
Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10441.msg92369/topicseen.html#msg92369 ; and
Reply 44 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13347.msg133246/topicseen.html#msg133246

One of the posts that got me thinking about these matters is the post by our esteemed member Ron Molinaro (ilpizzaiolo) at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1053.msg9384/topicseen.html#msg9384 where Ron discussed changes that took place with dough formulations when deck ovens started to be used by pizza operators. Kelly is correct that the deck oven was invented in the mid-1940s (see the historical blurb at the Bakers Pride website at http://www.bakerspride.com/about.asp). What isn't clear, as Kelly also noted, is when pizza operators really started to use such ovens to make the NY style pizza. It almost seems like the old pizza masters with their coal-fired ovens ruled the roost for many years before deck ovens, and what we now know as the NY street style pizza, caught on and went on to completely overtake the coal-fired pizza business in terms of volume, a condition which persists to this day even with the expansion of the old pizza names like Grimaldi's, Patsy's, John's and even DiFara's.

It also isn't clear when pizza operators went to commercial refrigeration to make cold fermented doughs. I did a fair amount of research using the Google news archive search feature and, as best I can tell, it wasn't until about the 1970s where I started to find reports of cold fermenting of doughs in a commercial environment. The use of cold fermentation seemed to nicely complement the use of deck ovens, with many of the benefits mentioned in Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11816.msg109739/topicseen.html#msg109739.

For the development of flours over the years, I found a lot of useful information of a historical and chronological nature at the General Mills website at http://www.gmflour.com/gmflour/ourheritage.aspx. I also used the Google news archive search feature to find out when NYC pizza operators went to high-gluten flour. As best I can tell, it was perhaps sometime in the 1970s. Prior to that time, high-gluten flour was used mainly to make bagels. So, arguably the NYC bagel industry may be given credit or blame for the NY style pizza that is now made with high-gluten flour. It is also important to keep in mind that over the years millers and plant biologists were not just standing still. New varieties of wheat grains were developed with better features, characteristics and performance than their predecessor varieties. Today's all-purpose flour bears little relationship other than name to the all-purpose flours that existed at the turn of the 20th century. It is also not clear when Dom DeMarco first started to use 00 flours. When I first heard about 00 flours back in 2003 or thereabouts, there were only a couple of brands of 00 flour at the retail level although I am sure that there were more choices at the foodservice level.

Kelly also made reference to increased demand for pizza when soldiers returned home after WWII. One of the interesting tidbits that I read somewhere is that active dry yeast (ADY) was developed at least in part to cater to that demand. In fact, Tom Lehmann once noted (at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7527&p=50956&hilit=#p50956) that ADY was developed for home use, not commercial use. A key feature for that yeast is that it had to be rehydrated in warm water before using. By so doing, home bakers stood a much better chance of succeeding with their baked goods. At that time, pizza operators used only fresh yeast. Instant dry yeast (IDY) wasn't developed until sometime in the 1970s.

Speaking about pizza in evolutionary terms seems quite natural. There were major inventions that, when adopted commercially, changed the entire NY pizza industry. Yet, there were perhaps aspects of foot dragging, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", which discouraged change, or old habits that died hard that made change resistant.

Peter

EDIT (4/3/14): For the Wayback Machine version of the above GM link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20100105084108/http://www.gmflour.com/gmflour/ourheritage.aspx

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2011, 07:05:32 PM »
Kelly also made reference to increased demand for pizza when soldiers returned home after WWII.

Peter, interestingly Ira Nevin, the man behind the helm at Bakers Pride when their first gas fired deck oven became available in 1945, was a returning soldier from WWII himself.

This also gets me to thinking about the ovens at DiFara. His deck ovens are quite old, stainless steel doored ovens. I've never asked him if those are the original deck ovens from when the shop opened in 1964 or not. Regardless, his oven is able to cook at a higher temperature than many of the deck ovens available on the market (the newer high temperature Bakers Pride Super Decks are relatively new in comparison). Which brings to question whether the deck ovens being produced back in the 1940s and onward were all higher temperature models like the one employed by DeMarco on Avenue J?

If so, it may be that whenever the deck ovens with the 550° to 650°F max thermostat temps more commonly seen today (lower temps than DiFara) became the norm, it was then that fresh mozzarella (fior-di-latte) gave way to the lower moisture mozzarella more commonly seen and sugars and oils started being added to the doughs to help with the lower temperatures. Again, pure speculation on my part. --K
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Offline chickenparm

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2011, 07:30:17 PM »
Hey guys,

I'm very interested in the History and evolution of the NY pizza making.Have a question though,was a Bari oven a Bakers pride model or a spin off?Were they popular in the City as well?Here is a picture of the Family and Bari oven at pizza place I grew up with many years ago.This picture is from the '70's I believe.This place was in mid state NY,in Northern Westchester County.





-Bill

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2011, 08:56:54 PM »
I am not sure all of these articles or accurate. Anyone can correct it, if one or more of these articles are wrong.

This blog gives a good glimpse of Di Fara’s. 

https://homeslicepizza.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/the-mythic-difara/

This article says:

http://kitchenproject.com/history/pizza/index.htm

Pizza Only Became Popular in the US after WWII

"Pizza came to America at the end of the nineteenth century with immigrants from southern Italy. Italian immigrants built commercial bakeries and backyard ovens to produce bread they had eaten in Italy. In addition, Italian bakers used their ovens for flatbreads: northern Italians baked focaccia, while southern Italians made pizza. Initially, pizza was made by Italians for Italians, but hy the late 1930s after the Great Depression many Americans were eating pizza in Italian restaurants and pizzerias on the East and West Coasts...Over time, two basic and distinct styles of American pizza appeared. A thin-crust pizza, commonly called "East Coast" or "New York" style, is made with just a few toppings like pizza made in Naples.

http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Pizza/PizzaHistory.htm

20th Century

NOTE: For many people, especially among the Italian-American population, the first American pizzas were known as Tomato Pie. Even in the present 21st century, present-day tomato pie is most commonly found in the Northeastern United States, especially in Italian bakeries in central New York. Tomato pies are built the opposite of pizza pies - first the cheese, then the toppings, and then the sauce.

1905 - Gennaro Lombardi claims to have opened the first United States Pizzeria in New York City at 53 ½ Spring Street. Lombardo is now known as America's "Patriaca della Pizza." It wasn't until the early 1930s that he added tables and chairs and sold spaghetti as well.

1943 - Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (a pizza with a flaky crust that rises an inch or more above the plate and surrounds deep piles of toppings) was created by Ike Sewell at his bar and grill called Pizzeria Uno.

1945 - With the stationing of American soldiers in Italy during World War II (1941-1945) came a growing appreciation of pizza. When the soldiers returned from war, they brought with them a taste for pizza.

1948 - The first commercial pizza-pie mix, "Roman Pizza Mix," was produced in Worcester, Massachusetts by Frank A. Fiorello.

1950s - It wasn't until the 1950s that Americans really started noticing pizza. Celebrities of Italian origin, such as Jerry Colonna, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante, and baseball star Joe DiMaggio all devoured pizzas. It is also said that the line from the song by famous singer, Dean Martin; "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that amore" set America singing and eating pizzas.

1957 - Frozen pizzas were introduced and found in local grocery stores. The first was marketed by the Celentano Brothers. Pizza soon became the most popular of all frozen food.

Another article about NY style pizza and time lines, if you go down on page.

http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Am-Welcoming-You-To-Kik-Culinary-Corner-And-History-Of-Some/866541

Norma
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2011, 10:06:41 PM »
I've alluded to it many times, and I'll say it again here.  I do not believe the coal oven temperature claims.  Plain and simple.  The two coal oven pizzerias here(one has a firedeck the other has a $100,000 custom build oven from some guy out east) operate their ovens at under 600F.  Both claim ridiculous temperatures, one claiming 1200F.  One of the them gets mention in national media and rankings from time to time and claim to have been trained in New Haven(can't remember which pizzeria).

In my opinion coal does not generate enough open flame to create the top heat needed for a balanced bake at the temperatures coal oven places like to claim.  Again in my opinion this is confirmed by the bake times. 

As for burning coal in a standard wood fired oven...good luck, lol.  A few years ago when my first oven was new I bought into the hype that coal ran hotter, so I got a bag of coal to give it a go.  To this day I've never got a single lump to ignite in a wood fired oven.  I've tried elevated grates, I've loaded it onto a pile of coals in a 1000F oven.  No go.  I've got about 3/4 of a bag left if anybody wants to drive to suburban Detroit and pick it up. 
-Jeff

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2011, 10:26:44 PM »
Norma,
Thanks for posting all that info.I seen similar stories on TV as well.Always good to read more about it.
 8)
-Bill

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2011, 10:32:14 PM »
I've alluded to it many times, and I'll say it again here.  I do not believe the coal oven temperature claims.  Plain and simple.  The two coal oven pizzerias here(one has a firedeck the other has a $100,000 custom build oven from some guy out east) operate their ovens at under 600F.  Both claim ridiculous temperatures, one claiming 1200F.  One of the them gets mention in national media and rankings from time to time and claim to have been trained in New Haven(can't remember which pizzeria).

In my opinion coal does not generate enough open flame to create the top heat needed for a balanced bake at the temperatures coal oven places like to claim.  Again in my opinion this is confirmed by the bake times. 

As for burning coal in a standard wood fired oven...good luck, lol.  A few years ago when my first oven was new I bought into the hype that coal ran hotter, so I got a bag of coal to give it a go.  To this day I've never got a single lump to ignite in a wood fired oven.  I've tried elevated grates, I've loaded it onto a pile of coals in a 1000F oven.  No go.  I've got about 3/4 of a bag left if anybody wants to drive to suburban Detroit and pick it up. 

It depends on where in the oven the temps mentioned are measured from. I think too many places site the temperatures the coal pile itself can reach, which is irrelevant because the pizza is not placed on the pile.
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Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2011, 10:35:48 PM »
Norma,
Thanks for posting all that info.I seen similar stories on TV as well.Always good to read more about it.
 8)


Bill,

I don't know if everything is accurate, but this website, does look accurate.  http://foodtimeline.org/

This is supposed to be from the food time line for pizza.  http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpies.html#pizza

Time line for NY style

http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpies.html#nypizza

Norma
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Offline chickenparm

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2011, 11:00:05 PM »
It depends on where in the oven the temps mentioned are measured from. I think too many places site the temperatures the coal pile itself can reach, which is irrelevant because the pizza is not placed on the pile.

Thats a great way to explain it. The Frank Pepe pizza place I spoke about,uses a coal fired oven,yet they bake their pies around 600 degrees F or so.I do not doubt peak temps can reach very high levels in coal ovens,I think its more of a WOW factor to tell the customers about,a sales pitch than anything.
 :)



-Bill

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2011, 11:06:55 PM »
Thank you for typing and posting this history lesson Kelly.  I really enjoyed reading it and looking forward to the rest of the article.  Interesting to read that American pizza has some roots in bread making.

Chau
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 11:23:39 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2011, 09:18:09 AM »
How 'Italian Food' Became A Global Sensation

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/24/134628158/how-italian-food-became-a-global-sensation

Listen to part of the story: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=134628158&m=134818916

John F. Mariani book “How Italian Food Conquered the World", can be looked inside, at the below link, for other references, what pizza might been like in NY in older days, that other references might be found on the web.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Italian-Food-Conquered-World/dp/0230104398

History of Blodgett ovens.

http://www.blodgett.com/history.htm and http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Blodgett-Holdings-Inc-Company-History.html

Norma
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 09:41:45 AM by norma427 »
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2011, 10:44:43 AM »
I've got a copy of that 1956 NY Times article mentioned in my previous, long story about Lombardi's & New York Pizza (to be continued).

The 1956 article sheds further light on the expanding popularity of pizza, its threat to topple the hot dog as America's favorite food, mechanization of the pizza process, etc.

Interestingly, towards the end of the article when the reviewer, Herbert Mitgang, is at Lombardi's, the following quote about the pizza which was made specifically for Mitgang:

"It [the pizza] had been in the oven for 12 minutes at 300°F".

Much longer bake times than the pies now being made at Lombardi's and the other coal-oven joints in NYC. I wonder if that is how they were made in the very beginning, but Gennaro Lombardi himself was there during the interview, so I imagine it would have to be similar to the way it was always done.

I'll also post the NY Times article later when I have time, as it is also a good read. --K
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 10:47:36 AM by pizzablogger »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2011, 06:36:00 PM »
There is an article on slice.seriouseats today, by Scott Wiener, on the story of coal-fired ovens.

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/07/scotts-pizza-chronicles-rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-the-coal-oven.html

Norma
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2011, 09:24:38 AM »
I just got off the phone with Scott Klein at Reading Anthracite Coal.  


He gave me a freight quote of $490 + $200 for the coal = $690 for a ton of coal delivered to Texas  :'(.  I will continue to look for another source of a smaller amount.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 09:26:42 AM by Jet_deck »
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2011, 12:25:28 AM »
I have some thoughts on this coal oven thing/ the beginnig of NY style pizza that I would like for anyone to comment about.

 These guys are baking pizzas in a bread oven?  I respect the fact that they are using the oven that they have available.  The forum has a double handful of wood fired/ propane fired/ whatever fired ovens with low domes that cannot reproduce what style they were accustomed to in Italy.

Is there a possiblity that the NY style is a "Do what you can with what you got" adaptation of the "true" neopolitan style pizza ?

It seems couragous that flour would be imported at this early stage in the game of bread/pizza making.  The incoming boats would be full of passengers and what not.  But sacks of 00 flour?

I've alluded to it many times, and I'll say it again here.  I do not believe the coal oven temperature claims....

In my opinion coal does not generate enough open flame to create the top heat needed for a balanced bake at the temperatures coal oven places like to claim. 

Again in my opinion this is confirmed by the bake times. 
]
I've alluded to it many times, and I'll say it again here.  I do not believe the coal oven temperature claims....

In my opinion coal does not generate enough open flame to create the top heat needed for a balanced bake at the temperatures coal oven places like to claim. 

Again in my opinion this is confirmed by the bake times. 
[/url]

I support this claim on the top heat available, especially in a bread oven.

....   Interestingly, towards the end of the article when the reviewer, Herbert Mitgang, is at Lombardi's, the following quote about the pizza which was made specifically for Mitgang:

"It [the pizza] had been in the oven for 12 minutes at 300°F".



What kind of pizza could anybody cook at 300 degrees F for 12 minutes, that a mass of people would approve of ?

Mini rant finished/  carry on.

 :)
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2011, 06:17:48 PM »
I believe that a discussion on this forum of the evolution of the New York style pizza would not be complete without considering the many highly informative posts that Evelyne Slomon (SLICEofSLOMON) entered on the forum on this subject. So, I went back and looked at all of Evelyne’s posts to isolate those that discussed various aspects of the way that the NY style pizza evolved starting from the time of the original Lombardi’s NYC location and through the decades to modern times. I have set forth the links to those posts below, in alphabetical order, just as Evelyne posted them on the forum. Readers may find it useful to read other posts in the threads in which Evelyne posted in order to better understand the context of Evelyne’s posts. I found her posts fascinating to read. They even answered some of the open questions that I had on the way that the NY style pizza evolved over a period of over one hundred years.

I think that our readers will see that Evelyne is not a shrinking violet and can be quite outspoken and candid, whether it is about pizza or people. While it has been some time since Evelyne has posted on the forum, she does check in on the forum from time to time. I personally miss her contributions and would love to see her become active again, whether it is about the NY style pizza or any other pizza subject near and dear to her heart.

Evelyne Slomon’s Posts re the Evolution of the NY Style Pizza
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3944.msg28747.html#msg28747 (Reply 424)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3944.msg28814.html#msg28814 (Reply 432)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg28856.html#msg28856 (Reply 464)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3399.msg28955.html#msg28955 (Reply 29)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3399.msg28970.html#msg28970 (Reply 36)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3443.msg29287.html#msg29287 (Reply 3)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3443.msg29310.html#msg29310 (Reply 5)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3443.msg29490.html#msg29490 (Reply 36)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3443.msg29496.html#msg29496 (Reply 38)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3443.msg29532.html#msg29532 (Reply 41)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3443.msg29544.html#msg29544 (Reply 43)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3489.msg31563.html#msg31563 (Reply 47)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3873.msg32476.html#msg32476 (Reply 8)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3873.msg32525.html#msg32525 (Reply 16)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3873.msg32537.html#msg32537 (Reply 19)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4125.msg34455.html#msg34455 (Reply 1)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg37081.html#msg37081 (Reply 298)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4477.msg37434.html#msg37434 (Reply 14)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg38358.html#msg38358 (Reply 304)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg38943.html#msg38943 (Reply 310)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg38948.html#msg38948 (Reply 312)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg41054.html#msg41054 (Reply 606)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5000.msg42171.html#msg42171 (Reply 1)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5000.msg42535.html#msg42535 (Reply 19)

Peter

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2011, 08:24:57 PM »
Wow Peter,thats alot of great info there! Thanks for doing all that work.
 8)
I read a few of them and wow,I wish I had read them before or some,a little more carefully.

After browsing some info,I did not read all of it,does anyone know the Lombardi's dough recipe or was that still kept a secret by Evelyn?Just curious,If it was posted,I havent gotten that far yet.
 :)

-Bill

Offline texmex

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2011, 09:15:36 AM »
Peter, you really know how to spin a tale and keep things even more interesting here. 

Well, I don't exactly mean spin a tale...but these concentrated specific link heavy threads are a fascinating insight to the inner workings of  pizza fanatics. 
Reesa


 

pizzapan