Be glad to!†
Iíd probably be violating the copyright of Peter Reinhart by posting his recipe online. In which case, I'll play it safe and say that I'm simply using his recipe (from American Pie, of course) for New York Style dough on page 114. (If someone knows it to be legally okay for me to post the recipe, please let me know and I'll do it.)
When I first bought the book, I knew that NY style was the recipe I was going to make; it's my favorite style of pizza. Initially reading it, I had low expectations because I've read many other recipes that were similar in their ingredients and execution--with one notable exception: there was an option to use either solid vegetable shortening or olive oil. As I had never used vegetable shortening (always extra-virgin OO) in my doughs of the past, I figured that if this recipe were going to work out to be ďthe oneĒ good dough recipe for me, it had better be made differently than my lackluster doughs of the past. Actually there are other aspects of this recipe that I hadnít encountered in the past (the short mixing times, the cold rise), but the shortening stood out as particularly odd to me. I had to try it.
Maybe the best way to do thisóinstead of listing Reinhartís recipe verbatimówould be simply to tell you that I start by using the exact quantities he specifies, and as I hinted at before, I choose to use the shortening rather than olive oil. I havenít even tried this recipe using OO because Iíve been too happy with the results of the shortening.
Back to the prep . . .†
I use room temperature water. What kind of water? Well, lately, Iíve been using water from a Brita purified water tank, but thatís not because Iím looking to use filtered water; itís merely because we keep the tank on our kitchen counter and itís already room temperature. The water from the tap seems a bit cooler so I donít use it. Thatís not to say I never have though. I donít remember the recipe coming out any better/worse when using tap water.
I then dissolve 1.5 tsp. of Fleischmannís rapid rise yeast into the water. (I canít speak for Red Star or other brands; Iíve not experimented with them, and I somewhat doubt Iíd be able to taste any kind of difference using another brand/type of yeast unless perhaps I had two pizzas side by side to compare.) I then add sugar (arbitrarily opting to use it instead of the honey that Reinhart also recommends could be used) to the yeast/water mixture and wait for a bloom before I go any further.
I then add the shortening and salt to the other ingredients (except the flour) into the bowl of my DeLonghi/Kenwood 800 watt mixer and lightly mix it with the wire wisp for a few seconds. I snap in the dough hook and put the mixer on a low speed while gradually introducing the flour* to the liquid. In well under a minute, the flour and liquid is a coarse mixture, and I immediately let it rest as per the recipe for 5 minutes or so.
After the rest, I put the mixer on a medium-low speed for anywhere from 2 Ė 5 minutes. (The beauty of this recipe is that thereís so little mixing involved!) After 2 Ė 5 minutes, the dough is usually sticky, but not wet. Itís sticky to the point that it sticks a bit to the bottom of the bowl when mixing and itíll slightly stick to your fingertips if youíre not ďworking it.Ē By ďworking it,Ē I mean that if you manipulate the dough quickly in your hands to shape it into a ball, it wonít stick; but if you were to hold it and slowly work with it, itíd probably be too sticky. (Itís so hard to explain the feel. I have no idea what % hydration the dough is.) When the dough is at this point, I remove it from the mixer, place it on a lightly floured surface and form it into a log. I then cut it into 3 approximately equal pieces and shape each one quickly into a ball ensuring that there are neither wrinkles nor seams anywhere on the perfectly smooth skin. The three dough balls go right into zippered freezer bags coated with cooking spray and sit for about 15 minutes at room temperature. I then place them immediately in the freezer (again, as per recipe) or into the fridge for 24 hours (sometimes less, sometimes more).
*I use with King Arthurís bread flour (the highest gluten content I can find in my local stores) and stir it up a bit in the canister in which I keep it to incorporate a bit of air into it. I guess my old crusts turned out too dense, which I attributed to too much flour, so I try to play it safe by aerating it a bit. I then spoon the flour out into the measuring cup and level off the top, rather than cramming the cup into the flour which would pack it too densely.
The next day, I take the dough out of the fridge anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes before I want to bake it. I also fire up the oven to 500F and heat up the pizza stone (some rectangular thing from Williams Sonoma) for at least an hour. When the dough has been out of the fridge for at least 90 minutes, I go to work shaping it. It is VERY relaxed, but not so much that itís hard to work with. I can shape it merely by letting it drape over the back of my hands in under 30 seconds. Itís quite extensible and has nearly no elasticity whatsoever. I think that (if I knew how to throw dough), I might find it too relaxed and be tempted to knead it for a few seconds to get the glutens to tighten up. As it happens, itís perfect for how I shape dough. As I said, I drape it over my well-floured hands and continue letting it stretch itself by gravity. In no time at all, itís probably 15 or so inches in size and I lay it on the counter to form a small raised edge around the perimeter. The dough typically has some big and some moderate sized gas bubbles throughout, and I work gently with it to preserve them. I donít dock the dough.
For toppings, I lightly coat the whole dough with good olive oil. I then sprinkle some grated Romano cheese across it. Next I add (if Iím making a white pizza) a fairly uniform coating of roasted garlic. I spread it around in a thin layer; itís like paste. I then add varying amounts of oregano and basil. I canít say how much as Iíve never measured it. (I actually donít measure any of my toppings, come to think of it. I just know when thereís enough for me.) If I was too lazy to have made roasted garlic earlier, I just substitute garlic powder and a little garlic salt. Itís nothing like the roasted garlic, but itís pretty good in its own way. I add a pinch of salt and pepper. I also put the smallest sprinkling of red pepper flakes on it. If I had to guess the amount, I'd say probably 1/8 of a teaspoon if not less. Finally I add cheese and top it with plum tomatoes. Iíve put many different kinds of cheeses on top. Sometimes a cheddar and mozzarella mixture, other times just cheddar. Iíve never put *only* mozzarella on my pizzas. It seems too bland by itself. I've found that sharp cheddar works really well. It has a lot of flavor, but it's not overpowering. By the way, I always dry my ingredients (tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, etc.) by laying them on a paper towel before putting them on the pizza. I think that too much water makes things soggy. My pizzas seem better when doing this.
As for a peel, I donít have one. The pizza is prepared on a large cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper underneath. It works beautifully. When the pizza is ready to go in, I just slide the dough and parchment directly onto the stone. I also back the oven down to 450F just before baking. Iíve found that it works best for me. I leave it in the oven for only about 7 Ė 8 minutes or when the cheese just begins to get a slight char here and there and the crust is browned on the edges and underneath. When I take it out, I let it rest for a minute or two, pull out the pizza wheel and enjoy. The texture is usually exactly how I like it: chewy, thin, and light with some nice air pockets in it. My old pizza doughs used to come out like crackers or like bread. This dough is neither. It just tastes like . . . pizza!
One day Iíd like to try other cheeses. Maybe a buffalo milk type of cheese or something. I just can never bring myself to buy the good stuff. Iím a cheapskate, I guess!
Iím sorry that I donít have more specific details about the preparation. Iíve been browsing this site and I notice that there are some *extremely* detailed preparation directionsódown to the nano-ounce of flour. I donít have a kitchen scale (yet) so I still measure by volume. I also donít have the patience to attempt to experiment (much) with this recipe. I have found that it makes great pizzas, and any time I think about making a batch of dough, I tend to go with what has worked in the past rather than risk being dissatisfied by an experiment gone awry.