Author Topic: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...  (Read 5547 times)

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Offline OzPizza

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Firstly, I have to say, WOW. I'm big into forums for my interests, but up until stumbling up this forum today, I had no idea this one existed. I think I've finally arrived in the right place :D.

I have been on a quest for several years to re-engineer the NY pizza from my childhood spent living in Rye NY. I recently believe I took a big step closer by buying Dominick A. DeAngelis' book featured on this site. Interestingly I do remember using the NY style recipe featured on this site before as well, mind you minus the correct high gluten flour.

After being given a Pizza@home Pizza chef oven http://www.thepizzachef.com.au/Default.asp?c=274836, one of those self contained lidded units with built in stone, I became re-inspired in my quest. So much so I am already contemplating taking it to the next level with a bench top brick pizza oven. So far though, with the exception of being able to get 14% high protein flour, I have had some reasonable results with Molini-Pizzuti Bread Flour (12.6%). However, in briefly scanning a few threads, particularly the definitions topic, I'm noticing people talking about 00 flour, which is more like normal flour in it's gluten level. This confused me somewhat.

Perhaps I should talk about the main Pizza of my childhood. It was made by a Pizza place called Cosmo's in Rye village. I don't know whatever happen to them but I have never eaten a more compelling pizza since those days circa 1982-84. You know that addictive feeling you get when you just want to eat the entire pizza even if makes you sick:)(I'm luck if I can eat half a 12" pizza these days). The crust was delicious and the cheese had that wonderfully chewy mozzerella texture, I can still nearly taste it 20 years later! To anyone who might know the places, my feeling was that Cosmo's made Sal's Pizza of Mamaroneck taste like dime a dozen NY pizza. If anything, I would say Cosmo's was generally a smaller 12" style and marginally thicker from recollection than say the typical NY Pizza. Having said all that I'd still be more than delighted to recreate a NY pizza in the vain of Sal's or many others. The sad thing for me having now spent 15 years back in Australia, is that no one around this great country has a clue about how to make a NY style pizza. They are all obsessed with authentic italian and gourmet/woodfired/ with next to no cheese BS versions. The alternative to that are cardboard tasting generic pizzerias like the local one in my area such as Momma's and Pizza Napoli. Eating their flavorless slop would bring tears to the eyes of any New Yorker or most Americans for that matter! It's also pretty sad when a Domino's classic crust pizza is closest thing you can have to NY! If I had the time and the inclination I'd get someone out here to from NYC to open some genuine NY style pizzerias, they would take the market by storm.

Back to making pizzas. I'm starting to get some consensus on cheeses mixtures but I'd like some more feedback. It would seem the mozzarella and cheddar mix might be close, but I'm reading that skim mozzarella is far more authentic. Does anyone know what cheese blend the majority of NY pizzerias use?†

Look forward to some feedback from my fellow NY devotees!

Cheers,

Andrew
« Last Edit: June 27, 2005, 04:03:57 AM by OzPizza »
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Offline OzPizza

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2005, 10:36:07 PM »
Gee, thought I would have heard from some people by now. That's OK, I've been enjoying reading the comprehensive posts on the forum anyway. I am going to attempt making the Lehmann dough recipe soon. I have also ordered an Equipex/Roller Grill brand model PZ 330 bricked countertop oven. It can handle a 12" pizza which should do me nicely.

Now from what I'm thinking, the Lehmann dough should yield me a street pizza style crust. So I'm going to try that first, then I'll try some of the other variants, which may infact be closer to the pizza I'm trying to recreate. Now on the sauce side I was trying to work up a consensus on the best recipe if I want to make my own. There are a few out there it would seem, though the ones on the sauce thread I saw seem to look good. Lastly on the cheeses, would I be right to think that a NY style has mainly mozzarella, with perhaps a hint of Romano for some extra tang. Is it necessary to use skim mozzarella for taste or consistency or better to use whole milk?

Thanks,

Oz
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Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2005, 01:26:06 AM »
Hi Oz,
I completely agree with you -- no one knows how to make a darn pizza round here.
Even the "italian BS no cheese" versions you speak of are not anything like a true
Napolitanan pizza. I ate at Napoli in Bocca and Muzzeti, both well known for their
italian pizzas. Both don't even come close to say A16, San Fran.

But I suggest you try Muzzeti on Norton St. Their Italian sausage pizza is pretty tasty.
And a good level of cheese too.

And regarding cheese, it's mainly mozzarella. The best I've found in Australia is
block mozzarella made by "Italian Perfecto" or along those lines. The pear shaped
ones may look authentic but they are either tasteless or rubbery. I don't think
Australia makes fresh mozzarella (fior di latte). Boccincini, which is supposedly
a smaller version of the same thing can be found everywhere though.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2005, 01:30:37 AM by JF_Aidan_Pryde »

Offline OzPizza

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2005, 02:00:34 AM »
Hi Oz,
I completely agree with you -- no one knows how to make a darn pizza round here.
Even the "italian BS no cheese" versions you speak of are not anything like a true
Napolitanan pizza. I ate at Napoli in Bocca and Muzzeti, both well known for their
italian pizzas. Both don't even come close to say A16, San Fran.

But I suggest you try Muzzeti on Norton St. Their Italian sausage pizza is pretty tasty.
And a good level of cheese too.

And regarding cheese, it's mainly mozzarella. The best I've found in Australia is
block mozzarella made by "Italian Perfecto" or along those lines. The pear shaped
ones may look authentic but they are either tasteless or rubbery. I don't think
Australia makes fresh mozzarella (fior di latte). Boccincini, which is supposedly
a smaller version of the same thing can be found everywhere though.

Thanks for the tips JF. Remember, I'm going for the NY Neopolitan-American style here not strict Neopolitan. If you check some of the specific NY threads about toppings, you'll see differences in cheese make-up versus something that is native Italian. I've got respect for the true Italian pizza styles and have had some pretty authentic ones cooked by Italians in places outside of Italy, but my taste for pizza is built on true American NY style variants. Everyone in Australia wants to wank on about making authentic Italian wood fired etc. My best mate who's Greek and used to work in a local pizza shop trys to tell me how his dad who was a baker used to make pizzas- as we know baking is a vastly different dough process. Then he's keen on getting a woodfire setup for the backyard, I gave him a copy of Dominick's book and showed him how American East Coast pizza was mainly about fire brick ovens at 550F not blazing 900F woodfires. I can now piece it all together with the in depth explainations on this site. However, the good thing is he's slowly picking up on what I'm on about after many trips to the US with me, mainly west coast unfortunately, so it's come through Sbarro (desparate man's NYer). The good thing is he's due to be in NY in a week or so, and I really want him to eat a good NY street pizza, so he can hopefully know unlike 90% of people here, what I'm on about.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2005, 02:09:49 PM »
Oz,

Welcome to the forum.

We too have our share of consumer countertop pizza ovens, a couple of which you can see at http://store.yahoo.com/kitchenhome/de23ststpiov.html and http://www.giantsavings.com/prespizpizov.html.

You asked about which cheeses are used for NY style pizzas. There are several vendors of cheeses to the pizza trade in this country, and which cheese(s) a particular pizza operator will select will often be dictated by price since cheese is the most expensive topping for just about any pizza.

Of course, the most common cheese used for NY style pizzas is mozzarella cheese. Sometimes a pizza operator will use fresh mozzarella cheese but it is far more common to use processed mozzarella cheeses, which are generally cheaper and more stable. In the U.S., processed mozzarella cheese comes in many varieties and forms, including full-fat whole milk (100%), part skim, and low-moisture/part-skim, each with its own qualities and attributes. The full-fat variety has a buttery quality to it and holds up well to high heat. But it also tends to exude a lot of oil on the pizza, which many consumers do not like. To deal with this, and also to cut costs, a pizza operator will sometimes combine different forms of mozzarella cheeses on pizzas, such as a 50/50 blend of whole milk mozzarella cheese and part-skim mozzarella cheese. This combination will produce a good flavor profile yet hold up to high temperatures and be less "oily" on the pizza. So it is a good compromise between quality and cost.

Mozzarella cheeses are also sometimes combined with other types of cheeses. Provolone cheese is a good secondary cheese to combine with mozzarella cheese. A typical blend is three parts mozzarella cheese to one part provolone cheese. This combination is popular because the two cheeses have similar melting, flow and stretching characteristics (they are both stringy curd cheeses), and they carry the flavors of toppings, like pepperoni, throughout the entire pizza without interfering with the flavors of other ingredients. The provolone cheese (regular or smoked) also adds a distinctive flavor. Some places will use white cheddar cheese, Muenster cheese or other similar light-colored cheeses in combination with the mozzarella cheese, but this is far less common than the provolone.

You mentioned the 00 flour in one of your posts and its protein content relative to other flours. People are often confused when they see that the 00 flour has a similar protein content to say, all-purpose flour. Consequently, they wonder why the two flours can't be used interchangeably. First, it is important to note that not all 00 flours have high protein levels. The Caputo 00 flour, of which much has been written on this forum, has 11.5-12.5%. But that is uncommonly high for 00 flours. Many 00 flours have around 10% (and maybe even less in some cases). Second, the wheat from which the 00 flours are milled is different from the wheat used to mill domestic (U.S./Canadian) flours, which are frequently milled from red hard spring wheat. The 00 flours also retain less of the bran and wheat germ from the wheat grain. So they will be lighter in color and almost silky in feel. They will also have lower hydration levels than most other, stronger flours. I have found it best not to think of 00 flours in relation to other flours, and instead to look for the best applications of each. For me at least that generally means 00 flour for Neapolitan styles, and other flours for NY, Chicago deep-dish, etc.

Peter

Offline OzPizza

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2005, 09:20:18 PM »
Oz,

Welcome to the forum.

We too have our share of consumer countertop pizza ovens, a couple of which you can see at http://store.yahoo.com/kitchenhome/de23ststpiov.html and http://www.giantsavings.com/prespizpizov.html.

You asked about which cheeses are used for NY style pizzas. There are several vendors of cheeses to the pizza trade in this country, and which cheese(s) a particular pizza operator will select will often be dictated by price since cheese is the most expensive topping for just about any pizza.

Of course, the most common cheese used for NY style pizzas is mozzarella cheese. Sometimes a pizza operator will use fresh mozzarella cheese but it is far more common to use processed mozzarella cheeses, which are generally cheaper and more stable. In the U.S., processed mozzarella cheese comes in many varieties and forms, including full-fat whole milk (100%), part skim, and low-moisture/part-skim, each with its own qualities and attributes. The full-fat variety has a buttery quality to it and holds up well to high heat. But it also tends to exude a lot of oil on the pizza, which many consumers do not like. To deal with this, and also to cut costs, a pizza operator will sometimes combine different forms of mozzarella cheeses on pizzas, such as a 50/50 blend of whole milk mozzarella cheese and part-skim mozzarella cheese. This combination will produce a good flavor profile yet hold up to high temperatures and be less "oily" on the pizza. So it is a good compromise between quality and cost.

Mozzarella cheeses are also sometimes combined with other types of cheeses. Provolone cheese is a good secondary cheese to combine with mozzarella cheese. A typical blend is three parts mozzarella cheese to one part provolone cheese. This combination is popular because the two cheeses have similar melting, flow and stretching characteristics (they are both stringy curd cheeses), and they carry the flavors of toppings, like pepperoni, throughout the entire pizza without interfering with the flavors of other ingredients. The provolone cheese (regular or smoked) also adds a distinctive flavor. Some places will use white cheddar cheese, Muenster cheese or other similar light-colored cheeses in combination with the mozzarella cheese, but this is far less common than the provolone.

You mentioned the 00 flour in one of your posts and its protein content relative to other flours. People are often confused when they see that the 00 flour has a similar protein content to say, all-purpose flour. Consequently, they wonder why the two flours can't be used interchangeably. First, it is important to note that not all 00 flours have high protein levels. The Caputo 00 flour, of which much has been written on this forum, has 11.5-12.5%. But that is uncommonly high for 00 flours. Many 00 flours have around 10% (and maybe even less in some cases). Second, the wheat from which the 00 flours are milled is different from the wheat used to mill domestic (U.S./Canadian) flours, which are frequently milled from red hard spring wheat. The 00 flours also retain less of the bran and wheat germ from the wheat grain. So they will be lighter in color and almost silky in feel. They will also have lower hydration levels than most other, stronger flours. I have found it best not to think of 00 flours in relation to other flours, and instead to look for the best applications of each. For me at least that generally means 00 flour for Neapolitan styles, and other flours for NY, Chicago deep-dish, etc.

Peter



Peter,

Thanks for coming in to share your knowledge. I have been thoroughly enjoying your dough making research on other threads.

I've seen the Deni and the other oven. To me the Italian made pizza chef has it over the others, thanks to be both high heat and having its own stone. The only thing that annoying its it's tight space (10") and poor thermostatic control. Anyway, I now officially have a Equipex 330z fire brick unit on the way to me from a store in Sydney for not too much more than they cost in the US. I'm really excited about that and am now ready to move on from my Braun Food Processor for dough mixing, to a Kitchenaid with dough hook.

I'm glad that I'm clear now on 100% Mozzarella being the way to go. Guys like Dominick in his book tend to confuse you with references to combinations of provolone etc., which I've tried but am not certain I like. Also, thanks for explaining the skim Mozzarella story, I am now totally clear on that. I'm personally fine with a bit of oiliness as that all adds to the authenticity to me. I am aware of the majority of operators using processed cheese over fresh. To me if you start going to lumps of fresh mozzarella you are taking a step back towards a continental Neapolitan style which doesn't really interest me in the gourmet sense, unless I'm visiting Italy.

With Provolone, we have 2 varieties here Picant, which would be sharp and dolce, which is obviously sweet. I have used Picant and I'm not certain yet if I like the flavour it adds. I am yet to stumble across the smoked variety, however, I'm pretty sure if I hit some of the Italian delis in Sydney I'll find some for sure. I'll shall continue to experiment here.

I'm aware of the 00 flour's general properties from looking at it various versions we have here such as the Molini-Pizzuti brand and Farina. Even before I knew of their specific properties, I was aware that the protein levels generally were insufficient for making a high protein dough. I agree on styles for 00 flour too as I've mentioned recently on another thread. If you're a woodfiring traditional Neapolitan addict, then 00's your flour. I would tend to blame 00 on why so many pizzas I eat here may have a reasonably Neapolitan tasting crust, but aren't the taste I long for.

Andrew
« Last Edit: July 04, 2005, 09:38:56 PM by OzPizza »
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Offline OzPizza

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2005, 06:03:32 AM »
My best mate who's Greek Australian and used to work in a local pizza shop(many moons ago) trys to tell me how his dad who was a baker used to make pizzas- as we know baking is a vastly different dough process. Then he's keen on getting a woodfire setup for the backyard, I gave him a copy of Dominick's book and showed him how American East Coast pizza was mainly about fire brick ovens at 550F not blazing 900F woodfires. I can now piece it all together with the in depth explainations on this site. However, the good thing is he's slowly picking up on what I'm on about after many trips to the US with me, mainly west coast unfortunately, so it's come through Sbarro (desparate man's NYer). The good thing is he's due to be in NY in a week or so, and I really want him to eat a good NY street pizza, so he can hopefully know unlike 90% of people here, what I'm on about.

 I just had a text message from this friend of mine today as he's been in NY for the last few days. After passing on some info from this site (he did'nt go to Patsy's 509 3rd Ave), he came up with Famiglia (never heard of it) and then John's on Bleeker St., which I mentioned to him had received favourable reviews for NY Street pizza style on this site. His responce via text msg was that he thought Famiglia was great. But then he was substantially more excited by John's Bleeker St. saying "I've had the best pizza ever, have photos and family to confirm". Now this guy apart from eating a few place on the West Coast with me has also had pies in a few places in Europe as well as a few in other parts of the US. The great thing is now I have a best friend who'll be able to join me in my own efforts to reproduce NY at home and he's got a very recent taste memory to go off, which is very cool ;D.
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Offline kenokev

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2005, 11:34:49 AM »
Hey OzPizza! I just moved here to Brisbane from California. I was born and raised on Long Island,New York and my cousins lived in Mamaroneck next to Rye! We used to go to Playland every summer!
Although I don't recall having pizza up there in Westchester county, I'm sure it tasted quite similar to what I grew up with out on the Island. My all time favorite pizza comes from "Little Vinnies" out in Lake Ronkonkoma. I still visit New York once a year and the first stop is always "Little Vinnies" Having lived in California for 30 years, my quest for delicious N.Y pizza was never ending although there were a few places in Hollywood that made a reasonable facsimile. Now that I'm living in Brisbane and I've sampled the local pizza, I'm seriously considering opening a pizzeria with New York style food. I've read a few of your posts and you seem to be quite knowledgeable about the various ingredients  and the availability of such.
Could you tell me what "BESTS' are?  Best high gluten flour, mozz. cheese and sauce ingredients? What about their availability up here in Brisbane? I went to a few Continental shops here in Brizzy and was quite disappointed.
Any help in narrowing down my search will be most appreciated.Thanks,Kevin
PS. If its that difficult to get high gluten flour over here perhaps all interested parties can share the costs and import it from the States and ship a bunch over on a container? As I have just moved here
and know the shipping company folks back in the USA, I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem getting it out. Is there a problem with Australia customs with importing food such as flour? What do you think the shelf life would be for a 25 pound sack of flour (especially if I imported hundreds of pounds of it)? Thanks again!

Offline Wazza McG

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2005, 02:31:16 PM »
Hiya Kenokev,

Welcome to the forum and to Brisbane - I'm on the southside of Brissie.  I am in the early stages of searching out the ingredients as well and I will keep you posted once I find reliable sources.

I can see why you want to open a NY style pizzeria here - there is no real competition up here.

Regards,

Wazza McG
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Offline OzPizza

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2005, 06:30:09 PM »
Hey OzPizza! I just moved here to Brisbane from California. I was born and raised on Long Island,New York and my cousins lived in Mamaroneck next to Rye! We used to go to Playland every summer!
Although I don't recall having pizza up there in Westchester county, I'm sure it tasted quite similar to what I grew up with out on the Island. My all time favorite pizza comes from "Little Vinnies" out in Lake Ronkonkoma. I still visit New York once a year and the first stop is always "Little Vinnies" Having lived in California for 30 years, my quest for delicious N.Y pizza was never ending although there were a few places in Hollywood that made a reasonable facsimile. Now that I'm living in Brisbane and I've sampled the local pizza, I'm seriously considering opening a pizzeria with New York style food. I've read a few of your posts and you seem to be quite knowledgeable about the various ingredients and the availability of such.
Could you tell me what "BESTS' are? Best high gluten flour, mozz. cheese and sauce ingredients? What about their availability up here in Brisbane? I went to a few Continental shops here in Brizzy and was quite disappointed.
Any help in narrowing down my search will be most appreciated.Thanks,Kevin
PS. If its that difficult to get high gluten flour over here perhaps all interested parties can share the costs and import it from the States and ship a bunch over on a container? As I have just moved here
and know the shipping company folks back in the USA, I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem getting it out. Is there a problem with Australia customs with importing food such as flour? What do you think the shelf life would be for a 25 pound sack of flour (especially if I imported hundreds of pounds of it)? Thanks again!


Hi there Kevin, welcome to Oz mate. Wazza can probably help you with the brissie end, that's if he's gone as far as contacting any distributors up there. The other thing is that you can easily contact the manufacturers here. To be honest, I really think you'll blow the budget if you try to bring in a container of Hi Protein Flour from the US. From the many pizzas I've now made with Ben Furney maxi pro flour, I can tell you you shouldn't need for anything more in the gluten stakes. Ben Furney is based in Dubbo, NSW http://www.dubbo.com.au/dcol/business/listing.asp?ListingID=6453&CategoryID=1, just give them a call, they'll have a distributor in Brisbane. The other flour to try is Weston Mills Pro-Max, which I'm yet to try but I'm told by a distributor that it's not as good as the Ben Furney product. As for the cheese, the best off the shelf product is the professional grade Caboolture Mozz and Pizza cheese (part skim) from Dairy Farmer Inc. It should be a piece of cake to call Dairy Farmers Brisbane office and find an outlet for it. For your tomatoes and tomato sauces, you should have an Italian restaurant distributor up there along the lines of this one I use in Sydney : http://www.torino.com.au/. You could even call them as they would probably know who sells their products in Brisbane or at the very worst could send you some. They also sell pepperoni and other toppings.

Kev, good luck with it and keep us posted.

PS. did you ever have a Sal's pizza in Mamaroneck? They are still there to this day I understand. While back in the day I didn't rate them next to the taste of Cosmo's, I reckon I'd enjoy a slice of their's over anything I could buy locally!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2005, 06:34:47 PM by OzPizza »
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Offline Bubba Kuhn

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2005, 02:13:25 PM »
I was a pizza maker in that area when you were a child. I still use the old recipes and methods. You can find then at homespunpizza.com
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Offline OzPizza

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2005, 06:24:38 PM »
I was a pizza maker in that area when you were a child. I still use the old recipes and methods. You can find then at homespunpizza.com
Hey Bubba, that's pretty cool. Can you specify the restaurants you made pizza at? Also by in the area, do you mean Westchester generally or specifically Rye/Mamaroneck? Having had plenty of pizzas in my time there in the area, I found Cosmos to be very specific indeed, vastly different for example to Sal's which was extremely generic street tasting to me at the time (didn't cut it at all by comparison).

Bubba, what's the story with your site? Do I have to register and look at the forum for recipes?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2005, 07:19:04 PM by OzPizza »
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Offline Bubba Kuhn

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2005, 08:27:43 PM »
Sorry I miss read the post my fault for skimming. I come from Long Island across the sound. I started in a little place called Romando's in Rocky Point. As far as the site goes there is a registration fee.
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Offline Trinity

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2005, 09:10:36 AM »
::)

I would tell all you guys my secrets to a good pie,,, ::) But I'd have to charge ya... :P
It's an Earth food. They are called Swedish meatballs. It's a strange thing, but every sentient race has its own version of these Swedish meatballs! I suspect it's one of those great universal mysteries which will either never be explained, or which would drive you mad if you ever learned the truth.

Offline Bubba Kuhn

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2005, 11:51:51 AM »
I know what you mean. There are a lot of cost in creating, running and maintaining a web site. Especially if you stream video lessons!
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Offline OzPizza

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2005, 07:49:05 PM »
Sorry I miss read the post my fault for skimming. I come from Long Island across the sound. I started in a little place called Romando's in Rocky Point. As far as the site goes there is a registration fee.

Ahh bit of hop across the Sound then so to speak. With the variety in methods out there I would doubt both pizzas from these areas would share more than the basics of the Neo Napolitan style. Probably no more so than a broad cross-section of pizza from across NYC, Long Island, and Westchester would.

Anyway, since the time I wrote this, my first ever post here, I've come along way with making my own pizzas based on the Lehmann NY recipe. Mind you, I'd still like to know where the people from Cosmo's went in case there's a chance to find them and experience their pizzas again one day. To that end the forums like Road Food may one day yield a specific answer...
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Offline Barbiere

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2005, 12:45:25 PM »
Hi Oz,

I donít have any personal experience with Cosmoís pizza.† I do have fond memories of New York pizza having spent many of my summers and holidays down in the Bronx during the early 1960ís.† Since moving to California in the early 80ís, I too have been on a quest to reproduce the quintessential New York Pizza.† I travel back to New York fairly often so my memory of what the good neighborhood pizzeriaís can produce is pretty fresh.

Here is what Iíve come up with.† Maybe it will help you on your quest.

Dough:
32 oz of flour
28 oz warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil

I mix 5 cups of regular all-purpose flour with one cup of pure gluten flour.† I found pure gluten flour at a health food store where they sell it in bulk.† Start by mixing half of the flour mixture with all of the water to create a batter.† Be prepared to use a little more water.† The pure gluten flour makes this some seriously thirsty dough.† Using a stand mixer, let the batter stir for about 15 minutes.† Then let the batter rest for another 15 minutes.† After letting it rest, add the remaining flour, proofed yeast, and salt.† With the dough hook in place, let the dough knead for another 15 or so minutes.† Add the olive oil last.† Again, be prepared for pretty wet dough.† It is harder to work with but the end results are fantastic.† Let the dough ferment in the fridge for a day or two.† You can make four good size (14Ē to 16Ē) pies with this much dough.


Sauce:

1 can Escalon 6 and 1 All Purpose Ground Tomatoes (San Marzano are great too but harder to find.)
3 Tablespoons good quality olive oil.
1 Tablespoon butter.
Ĺ Teaspoon red pepper flakes.
3 cloves chopped garlic.
1 Tablespoon dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Start by heating the oil and butter over low heat.† When the butter is melted, add the red pepper flakes and let them infuse the oil.† Then add the garlic being careful not to burn it.† When the garlic starts to brown, add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper.† You can also add a little sugar.† Iíve even added paprika.† Both add a different dimension to the sauce.

Cheese:

2/3 Low moisture Mozzarella
1/3 Provolone

Low moisture content seems to be the ticket to good pizza cheese.† In my experience, the lower the moisture content the better.† If you can get imported cheese, then Soresina Classico works well.

Using this recipe has produced some seriously good New York style pizza.† Enjoy and good luck on your quest.
Christopher

Offline OzPizza

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Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2005, 07:55:33 PM »
Thanks Barbiere, I appreciate you sharing your own NY version recipe.

To be honest this post keeps floating back to the top(mainly due to some recent questions from fellow Aussies), but it's important to note it's the post I wrote on day 1 at Pizzamaking.com nearly 6 months ago. I have moved on and now consider myself quite a successful NY pizzamaker here in Oz. Can I offer some advice in return regarding recipes having tryed several permutations including bolstering Italian bread flour (12.5%) with gluten flour. At best that method will give you a marginal result approaching the look of a NY pizza but not really getting there in taste. If you are truly stuck I believe the best way to do it would be as Pete-zza suggest and go another step and add dairy whey to the mixture. I can't comment on the resulting AP Flour/Gluten Flour/Dairy whey combination but Pete seems to indicate you can just about get by(when stuck) for a facsmile of pizza that uses true high gluten flour with this method.

I myself graduated some months ago now to professional grade high gluten flour that's meant to be right on or even slightly above the 14% protein mark. I've never looked back since that time. Same with the cheeses I use. I began with Dominick D.'s recommendations of using a mozz and provolone combo but found it not quite satisfying and introduced a† cheese flavour that I didn't want. My preference now is a professional grade stretched curd Mozz with a hint of grated parmesan. I some times also use the skim pizza version of the same cheese in combination with the whole milk, which cuts down on the oil a bit but can dull down the flavour if you use too much skim mozz.

It might be time to close this topic as I can pretty much say I can create a pizza that's if not a precise replica of the particular 'Cosmo's' pizza(which would be impossible), is still a very faithful(and delicious) NY style. I could not have done this without the expert knowledge and experience of guys like Pete. What they've managed to do here is outstanding and an invaluable resource for aspiring pizziolos the world over ;D!

Founder of B.R.N.Y.P.O.Z. - The bring REAL NY pizza to Oz movement!

Offline Barbiere

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  • 7 days without pizza makes one weak
Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2005, 10:53:22 PM »
I agree that this site is fantastic.  Before you close down the thread, let me ask a few questions.† Where are you buying your professional grade products?† Do you have a particular brand you're using?† I'd love to get the details.
Christopher

Offline OzPizza

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  • Age: 43
  • Location: South of Sydney, Australia
  • Pizza Perfectionist from Oz!
Re: Trying to recreate a suburban NY pizza from my childhood...
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2005, 10:59:04 PM »
I agree that this site is fantastic. Before you close down the thread, let me ask a few questions.  Where are you buying your professional grade products?  Do you have a particular brand you're using?  I'd love to get the details.

Barbiere, I could tell you where I buy the products but I don't think it's going to assist you in California as these are locally based brands down here. I have mentioned specific product details in other threads on the forum, easy to find if you search for my posts.

Founder of B.R.N.Y.P.O.Z. - The bring REAL NY pizza to Oz movement!