Author Topic: My New York Pizza Experiments  (Read 9379 times)

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Offline jeffereynelson

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My New York Pizza Experiments
« on: March 31, 2012, 12:19:55 AM »
I love a neapolitan pie but I no longer have access to a clean cycle oven, so I decided to concentrate on NY style.

I made a batch of dough tonight and decided to document the affects of different lengths of fermentation. This was a  2.5hr rise. I balled 3 doughs and put them in the fridge and left one out for a same day dough. I also reballed the one I used tonight and it sat out for one more hour while the oven preheated. Sadly all the dough was over proofed. I should of only bulked it for about an hour.

First pie baked it in about 2:50. I was thinking it was done but it really need 20-30 more seconds. I hope the experiment over the next couple of days shows visual differences in the blistering of the dough and in the crumb. I also hope I can taste a difference. Please don't mind the state of the cheese on the pizza, it's the bulk cheese from sams club and it was still somewhat frozen when I put it on, that's why it burned.


scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 11:40:55 AM »
Jeff, that's a nice looking pizza. If you are going to do NY pies, though, I highly suggest embracing NY style completely by using NY style flour and a NY style thickness factor.

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 12:34:56 PM »
Thanks for your feedback scott, obviously you know what you're talking about and I really value you your suggestions in this post and the baking stone post.

As far as my flour goes, I looked at the Sams club stuff you talked about but it said my store doesn't have it. I don't think my stores carry KASL either, I could double check though. Any other recommendations? I live in Idaho, they don't have stuff here. I'll try and make my crust thinner next time. Because it was over proofed from the get go I was a little scarred with the dough.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 01:21:00 PM »
I would highly recommend trying a re-ball in the future with overblown dough.  I tried it a few weeks back with a neapolitan batch that was slightly overblown.  The re balled dough performed so good I purposely over fermented the dough I made yesterday then re balled it all.  The result was the best tasting pizza I've ever had.
-Jeff

scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 01:29:40 PM »
Jeff (Nelson), I've never heard of a Sam's Club not carrying the Chef's flour. I would scour the store from top to bottom and try to ask some knowledgeable looking employees, as I'm guessing a lot of their people probably have no clue as to all the products they carry.

KASL is not recommended. Expensive, the protein level is a little high and other flours produce better results.

Are you anywhere near Salt Lake City?  There's a bakemark location there.

BakeMark - Salt Lake City, UT  
805 West 2500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Tel: (801) 972-1131

I have no idea if they sell to the general public, though.

Mail order flour is an option, but shipping charges tend to be cost prohibitive.

If all else fails, grab a phone book, look up bakeries in the yellow pages and start calling. Be friendly, and try, if possible, to talk to the owner, since I think they're in a better position to sell you a bag of flour than an underling would be. That's how I did it for years, although recently I tried buying flour from bakeries (pastry for piemaking) and the places I called were very unhelpful, so your mileage may vary. You are in Idaho, where people are a bit friendlier in general, so hopefully one bakery owner will be willing to sell you flour without too much of a mark up.

You should be looking for a mid high gluten bromated flour (12-13% protein). Here are the brands to look for:

Full Strength
Spring King
Occident
King Midas Special
Superlative
Commander
Majestic
Springup
Perfect Diamond (I think this is 12.5%ish, but not sure)

If you have to take a 14% flour

All Trumps
Hummer
Bouncer

it's not the end of the world, as long as it's bromated.

If you give me a town in Idaho, I can search for bakery supply distributors in your area that might sell to the public.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 01:44:01 PM »
scott123

In a pinch, would you advise to perhaps a mixture of ap and bread flour. I know that few flours found on grocery store shelves these days are bromated, so that may be an issue that can't be controlled without special ordering . I will often mix "Better for Bread" with an all purpose flour for NY style.
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Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 02:01:49 PM »
I would highly recommend trying a re-ball in the future with overblown dough.  I tried it a few weeks back with a neapolitan batch that was slightly overblown.  The re balled dough performed so good I purposely over fermented the dough I made yesterday then re balled it all.  The result was the best tasting pizza I've ever had.

I did reball the dough but then I let it sit for about an hour after the reball. Are you saying to reball and then use immediately? I haven't done that.



Scott- Thanks for the good info. There's only one bakery in the town I live in and it's the Great Harvest chain. The town I live closest to where the Sams club and stuff is is Idaho Falls. Salt Lake is where I got my Caputo before, it's about 4 hours away. If we do go down there I will have to plan to find some flour while I am there. You are right about people being nice here, for the most part they are helpful. I wonder if Sams could special order the item into the store for pickup?

scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 02:08:02 PM »
Jeff, yes, see if they'll special order it for you (but first scour the store).

scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2012, 02:15:47 PM »
scott123

In a pinch, would you advise to perhaps a mixture of ap and bread flour. I know that few flours found on grocery store shelves these days are bromated, so that may be an issue that can't be controlled without special ordering . I will often mix "Better for Bread" with an all purpose flour for NY style.

That's an excellent point, Dave.  Since Jeff has equipment that can produce a fast (and what I consider to be an ideal) bake, I'm trying to guide him toward ideal flour for this style.  Better for Bread isn't Full Strength or Spring King, but it's a solid flour- better than Caputo for this bake time, imo. A Northern US brand of All Purpose (Pillsbury, Heckers, etc.), on it's own or blended with Better for Bread, is also nothing to scoff at. If Jeff strikes out on the bromated end, this is the next best thing.


Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2012, 03:16:51 PM »
Okay so here's 1 Day of ferment. Probably about 20 hours in reality. This dough was right about the same size as the peel and stone. I wish I had a bigger peel and stone. Bigger pizzas for some reason seem more fun.

I like how this pizza turned out better. The dough was less over proofed than yesterdays which helped. The cheese also wasn't frozen which actually let the cheese melt some instead of just burning. The crumb was actually much better too. Since I realized the top was too hot for my pizza I changed my baking method a little bit. I moved the stone down 1 rack and only turned the broiler on about 60 seconds before I launched the pizza. This pizza cooked in just under 4 minutes. Thanks again for all the help.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 03:18:26 PM by jeffereynelson »

scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 06:37:02 PM »
For Neapolitan, 13-14" is just the right size, with larger sizes feeling strange, imo.  For NY, though, the bigger the better.

This pie is definitely a step in the right direction.

Was this another hour pre-heat on the stone?  Again, we need to see what malted flour can do, but, for unmalted flour, the bottom is still looking kind of anemic.

While I did say that broiler pre-heats are superficial/ineffective, you did seem to be getting a net increase of around 15 degrees, so, based upon a comparison of this undercrust to the last, I'm not entirely you should get rid of the broiler pre-heat or move the stone to a lower shelf, which is going to really impact any broiler pre-heat adversely, because of the increased distance from the IR.

If the top is browning too quickly, don't move the shelf down, just turn the broiler on for only part of the bake. Out of my 4 minute bake, I only use the broiler from minute 2 to minute 3.

While I think that getting pro flour is important, I think it's even more important to dial in your oven setup and make sure the stone is browning the pizza in the right amount of time.  For this reason, I would, while you're looking for pro flour, get a bag of better for bread just to test the properties of the stone. That way, if this stone can't give you half decent char in 4 minutes with a malted flour, you can start stone shopping as well.

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 07:04:03 PM »
Yes this preheat was about an hour again. I wanted to do it longer like we talked about but it hit about 70F today where I live and it got too hot inside. Idaho doesn't have AC.

I'll try preheating using the broiler, turning it off for the launch, and then back on around the two minute mark tomorrow. My next bakes will still be using the same KAAP. I have 2 skins left that I don't want to waste. Monday I will go get new flour at local grocery and get something bromated if they have it or better for bread to mix with my standard AP if they don't.

I also have no qualms about getting a new stone if I need one. The one I have came from BBB I believe.

scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2012, 08:16:16 PM »
Hold on a sec... the pies pictured in this thread were KAAP?  For some reason, I thought they were Caputo.

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2012, 09:19:39 PM »
jn,  all things being equal,  Great Harvest is a great resource for you.  In my experiences,  the people that end up owning these are very nice people,  the flour they use for the white portion of thier loaves is harvest king,  or better for bread.  50#,  20-25 bucks,  and they are nice enough to sell it to you.  The real kicker,  they use fresh yeast,  and usually just give you some.  Course offer to pay for it,  and get a great sandwich while you are there.  YMMV  -marc

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2012, 10:17:33 PM »
Hold on a sec... the pies pictured in this thread were KAAP?  For some reason, I thought they were Caputo.

Yep they were. I often use KABF for my pies, but these were KAAP.

jn,  all things being equal,  Great Harvest is a great resource for you.  In my experiences,  the people that end up owning these are very nice people,  the flour they use for the white portion of thier loaves is harvest king,  or better for bread.  50#,  20-25 bucks,  and they are nice enough to sell it to you.  The real kicker,  they use fresh yeast,  and usually just give you some.  Course offer to pay for it,  and get a great sandwich while you are there.  YMMV  -marc

That's good advice, I'll have to talk to them. Any experience buying in quantities smaller than 50#? My condo isn't huge and there isn't much room for that much weight.

scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2012, 03:32:02 PM »
Jeff, I thought you could increase the bottom browning with a malted flour, but since you're using KAAP, you're already using a malted flour. I think the final nail is in the coffin.  It's time to go stone shopping.

My recommendation is 1/2" steel plate.  It won't give you Neapolitan bottom charring, but, your broiler can't do 90 second Neapolitan top browning anyway, and, right now, hearth materials that can do Neapolitan bake times @ in the 550 realm are a crap shoot.

As discussed, bigger is always better for NY style, so get the largest square plate your oven will take.  Ovens usually have more width than depth, so I generally recommend sizing it so that it's touching the back wall and almost touching the door, with gaps on the sides for air flow. Measure carefully.  If, for some reason the plate's a bit big and the door doesn't close, you've got a big problem. I recommend making a dummy out of cardboard to make sure the door closes.

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2012, 04:39:56 PM »
Can I just get a plate at home depot? Is there anything I should watch out for like one has a coating of some type or something? Do you have a guess on price? Is it like 10 bucks or $100?

I'll post pictures of my next pie soon, I'm going to bake it in about an hour. I think it will be better by using the broiler to heat the stone but turning it off for the first part of bake.

*edit* Scott I've read tons of your post and seen the trips you've planned for people in NY, but I'm curious about your background. I haven't read that anywhere. Mind sharing?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 04:42:30 PM by jeffereynelson »


Online Ev

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2012, 05:36:38 PM »
Some pictures of your pies would be nice too, Scott! ;)
I'd just like to see the results of steel plate baking by the guy who recommends it. :D

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2012, 06:12:22 PM »
Okay so this skin was awful, it had a really thin spot in it and wouldn't up right, so I only have the picture of the bottom of the pizza because the rest was garbage.

Things to note, I realized I forgot to put the oil into the dough, so that could be affecting the browning correct? I found the measured oil sitting on my counter behind the KA haha.

Also I did a longer preheat and ran the broiler with the stone on the top, and while the broiler was on the stone registered 698F. So pretty hot. The dough still looked white but it spotted very differently this time compared to the other 2 bakes. Baked in 3:50, the first 2 minutes with no broiler.

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2012, 03:16:54 PM »
So I went and got Better for Bread as discussed just to see the differences. I didn't keep all other things the same though, so it's not a perfect comparison. This time I didn't forget the oil and i upped the sugar by .5%. I also didn't overproof the dough, it was in much better shape. I like how this one turned out best so far in the experiments. Bottom browning was much better.


scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2012, 03:14:51 PM »
Can I just get a plate at home depot? Is there anything I should watch out for like one has a coating of some type or something? Do you have a guess on price? Is it like 10 bucks or $100?

I'll post pictures of my next pie soon, I'm going to bake it in about an hour. I think it will be better by using the broiler to heat the stone but turning it off for the first part of bake.

*edit* Scott I've read tons of your post and seen the trips you've planned for people in NY, but I'm curious about your background. I haven't read that anywhere. Mind sharing?

Home Depot won't have steel plate.  To find steel plate, you'll need to look up metal in the yellow pages.  You want a36 hot rolled 'mild' steel plate.  The prices tend to vary. I've seen some people pay as little as $25, while others have paid $50. I don't think it will run you much more than $40.

Jeff, my day job is IT, but I am a self taught food scientist. Since reaching adulthood, I've read every book on food science that I could get my hands on. Within the last ten years, my obsession for food science morphed into a more specialized realm- pizza and oven thermodynamics. I've been eating NY style pizza, in all 6 boroughs, for 40 years, and I've been baking pizza at home for 20, but it wasn't until about 5 years ago that I experienced my thermodynamic breakthrough and was able to bake the pizza of my youth in my home oven. Since that time, I've pretty much focused on nothing else.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 08:56:04 PM by scott123 »

scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2012, 03:16:12 PM »
Some pictures of your pies would be nice too, Scott! ;)
I'd just like to see the results of steel plate baking by the guy who recommends it. :D

Actually, Steve, my soapstone setup pre-dates the steel plate 'revolution,' and, since it works for me, I haven't modified it. But, yeah, some pictures will be forthcoming.

scott123

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2012, 03:23:38 PM »
So I went and got Better for Bread as discussed just to see the differences. I didn't keep all other things the same though, so it's not a perfect comparison. This time I didn't forget the oil and i upped the sugar by .5%. I also didn't overproof the dough, it was in much better shape. I like how this one turned out best so far in the experiments. Bottom browning was much better.

This is definitely a step in the right direction. Bake time?  Could you post your recipe and your dough handling procedures?

As you dial in the recipe and achieve a more manageable dough, I think it will definitely be time for dialing back the overall dough quantity and stretching it to the same diameter, for a lower thickness factor.

I think a good chunk of the American public would make that pizza and be perfectly content, but if you have Neapolitan aspirations, then I think you should still continue on the steel plate course.  Not that steel plate will give you Neapolitan, but it will give you a little undercrust char, which I'm sure you'll appreciate.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 03:28:38 PM by scott123 »

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2012, 03:58:30 PM »
Hey thanks Scott for the feedback, you're really the only one who replies to my posts for some reason. I think the piece looked a little thicker than it was because I cut into a bubble. I did another bake today and I really liked it. I feel like it is getting pretty thin, but I can go thinner if need be. This most recent dough handled very very well. Also make a neapolitan pizza is no longer my goal, I am not going to pursue it again until I get an oven with clean cycle or get a WFO. I am moving in about 4 months so I will see what I end up with, until then a great NY style is what I am going for.

My recipe is

Dough 280G
Flour 100%
H20   61%
IDY    .5%
Salt  2.5%
Oil    2.5%
Sugar 2%


I mix the IDY into about 70% of the flour. I dissolve the sugar and salt in the water. I then add the 70% of the flour into the water, mix until mostly incorporated then let it sit for 10 minutes. I then drizzle in the oil and add the remaining flour while mixing on low speed till it is getting close to smooth (~2 min), but still has lumpy texture, and I can handle without it sticking too much. I bulk rise for about an hour then ball and put in the fridge. Bake time is right at 4 min.

Oh I also would love to see the pics of your pies.

Here is today's lunch- I know the pictures kind of suck. But I feel like I got really good color on the bottom comparatively. I really like the cornicone to have a crunch on the outside but then be very soft on the inside. I hate pizza that makes my jaw sore.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My New York Pizza Experiments
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2012, 04:22:54 PM »
Hey thanks Scott for the feedback, you're really the only one who replies to my posts for some reason. I think the piece looked a little thicker than it was because I cut into a bubble. I did another bake today and I really liked it.

Scott's the guy you want replying to NY-style questions. Not much I can add to his expert advice. Your pie looks great!

CL
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