Author Topic: No good pizza in Boston  (Read 839 times)

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Offline KBrainerd

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No good pizza in Boston
« on: December 31, 2011, 09:34:43 PM »
I was spoiled when I lived in New York. Now that I've moved to Boston, I can't find any decent pizza. I'm realizing that if I want to eat good pizza it's going to have to come from my own kitchen. I tried Scott Riebling's recipe as printed in the Boston Globe, but it turned out pretty tough, so I want to refine the recipe and maybe try others as well. I'm sorry that I won't have much expertise to offer, but I'd be happy and grateful to learn from you all!


scott123

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Re: No good pizza in Boston
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2011, 09:39:47 PM »
KBrainerd, welcome to the forum.   :) You've come to the right place.  Not only can we help you make great pizza, but I'm certain that some of our Boston area members (Scott Riebling, included) can give you good leads on good pizza in the area.

Offline KBrainerd

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Re: No good pizza in Boston
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2012, 08:28:35 PM »
Thank you for the nice welcome!

I tried making another pizza tonight (same batch of dough) and it is already so much better! I've learned a lot from the forum posts already!

I learned that I have the right equipment (with the exception of a somewhat limited oven that only goes up to 500 degrees). That leaves the recipe and the cooking techniques that need tweaking and work!

I humbly thank you for all your expertise. There is much to learn.

scott123

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Re: No good pizza in Boston
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2012, 08:50:01 PM »
I learned that I have the right equipment (with the exception of a somewhat limited oven that only goes up to 500 degrees). That leaves the recipe and the cooking techniques that need tweaking and work!

No offense, but I don't think you've got the right equipment for NY quality pizza at 500 degrees. 500 degree NY style pizza requires some pretty serious alchemy.

Tell me more about your oven. Gas? Electric?  If it's gas does it have a separate compartment for the broiler?

What kind of stone are you working with?

What bake times are you achieving now?

Offline KBrainerd

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Re: No good pizza in Boston
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 04:55:42 PM »
No offense taken.

I have an old electric oven which is going to be replaced within the next year, but in the meantime, I'm stuck with it. (Just moved.) It has a broiler, but not separate.

The oven seems to run on the hot-side (based on cook-times), so I'd guess it gets a little bit in excess of 500 degrees (maybe 525). But, I haven't yet purchased an oven thermometer to calibrate it.

I use a 14"x16" pizza stone close to the bottom.

My pizza was done in about 6 minutes on the stone on the bottom rack.

Maybe I should try different recipes than NY style, based on my oven?

scott123

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Re: No good pizza in Boston
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 05:54:00 PM »
KBrainerd, if you're trying out Scott R recipes from the Globe and participating in a forum such as this, I think you're ready to invest in an infrared thermometer.

Harbor Freight sometimes has good deals.  I normally recommend a store in Hong Kong.

This is the IR thermometer I recommend for NY style baking temps:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/digital-infrared-thermometer-with-laser-sight-32-c-380-c-26-f-716-f-29079

That link is currently having problems. Here's a comparable one for $2 more:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/1-2-lcd-non-contact-digital-infrared-thermometer-with-laser-sight-50-c-380-c-35754

The shipping takes quite a while (up to a month), but the quality of products is on par with anything you'd get anywhere else.  IR thermometers are all pretty cheap/made in China, but, for the most part, they generally work.

The reason I bring this up is that I've never seen a typical 14 x 16 baking stone ever do a 6 minute pizza at 525, so I think your oven is running quite a bit hotter (as sometimes older ovens are prone to doing), and an IR thermometer will tell you how much hotter you're running at and give you a better sense of what your oven can do.

I think you're also in a position to tremendously benefit from a better baking stone, but, before you go that route, I think it's best to confirm the peak temp of the oven, as that will dictate your stone options.

I'm curious, how much browning on the crust are you getting with a 6 minute bake? 

Offline johnamus

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Re: No good pizza in Boston
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 06:31:13 PM »
For as cheap as these Chinese infrared thermometers are they still manage to receive positive reviews on Amazon and the they seem to give accurate temperature readings.  Here's a link to a review that was written by someone who took the thermometer through a few tests: http://www.amazon.com/review/RCBIBF60F361S/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Amazon's version of the thermometer goes for around the same price ($16) and after I ordered mine last month it was shipped to my house in about a week.  This link works now, but the seller and link are constantly changing, if you search amazon for "HDE thermometer" you'll find it:
http://www.amazon.com/HDE-Temperature-Infrared-Thermometer-Laser/dp/B002YE3FS4/?tag=pizzamaking-20

scott123

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Re: No good pizza in Boston
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 06:49:24 PM »
Good find, John.

Offline scott r

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Re: No good pizza in Boston
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2012, 01:24:27 AM »
hey, I just stumbled upon this.....    Im scott riebling.   In the spirit of simplifying the recipe to keep it easy on first timers the boston globe omitted some important steps.  The dough must be left out at room temperature to rise until it has doubled in size.  Once the dough has doubled in volume its THEN time to split your dough into individual dough balls.  Once formed, the dough balls should be left to rise again till they have doubled before you use them to make pizza.   Just to be clear there are two stages where the dough must double in size, once in bulk, and once after individual balls have been formed.   You will know the dough is ready to be used when it offers no resistance at all when you you poke your finger into it.   If the dough is hard to stretch out you didn't let it rise enough.    Good luck!!!

Offline KBrainerd

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Re: No good pizza in Boston
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2012, 10:12:00 AM »
Thanks so much for the supplying the missing step, Scott! That makes sense. I'll give it another rise. I can't wait to try it out. I'll make up a batch today.

Your recipe was my introduction to the world of pizza making. It's a lot of fun! Grateful to you for making it accessible to the newbies. I have a deeper appreciation for both the art and science of it all.

Best,
Kimberly


 

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