Author Topic: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question  (Read 5980 times)

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Offline PizzaEater101

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NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« on: August 05, 2012, 02:12:01 AM »
I did some searches and read a little bit about this but I see most people do add oil and/or sugar to their dough.  I recently did away with oil completely, I don't think it's necessary.  I did not do away with sugar until today. I just made a bunch of dough without sugar and of course oil. I'll find out tomorrow how it is.

Is it safe to say that NY pizza dough purist believe that the ingredients should be just flour, water, yeast and salt?  I read where I think Pete said that the oil will give it a softer texture. Sorry Pete if I got what you said wrong but I think you said that and that makes sense.  I forgot who said it around here that if you add sugar and oil you got bread dough. That might be true because I've made bread from pizza dough (with oil and sugar) that I had in the fridge and didn't want to make a pizza.

How many of you just go with flour, water, yeast and salt?  Does that make you a purist?  Why do you prefer it that way?


Thanks,



James


Offline patnx2

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 02:23:51 AM »
When  I use Power Flour I use no oil or sugar with great success. It has been my best pizza to date. I haven't purchased any Power flour because I store my 50# in the garage and it's about 110 degrees out there so I will wait to buy more Power f. I've been using a bit of oil in my bread flour pies but they do not compare to the stronger flour. Patrick
Patrick

Online Pete-zza

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 08:01:53 AM »
James,

We have several members who routinely use only flour, water, yeast and salt for their pizza doughs, including for the NY style. In fact, if you study the history of the evolution of the New York style, you will find that the early doughs included only flour, water, yeast and salt. These were the ingredients used to make the Neapolitan pizzas from which the New York style evolved. The pizzas made from such doughs were baked principally in very high temperature coal-fired ovens, which corresponded to the very high temperature wood-fired ovens used in Naples.

It wasn't until the invention and commercialization of the deck oven, along with lower bake temperatures and longer bake times, that oil and sugar started to be added to the doughs. But the amounts of oil and sugar added were not large, maybe 1-3% oil and about 1-2% sugar. At those levels, you aren't going to get a lot of tenderness in the finished crust. In the case of the oil, you will get some coating of the gluten strands and an increase in plasticity and extensibility of the dough, and also some flavor, but not a great deal of tenderness. You would need above about 4-5% to get that effect. In the case of sugar, you can't use too much because the bottoms of the crusts can brown prematurely or even burn. When refrigeration was commercialized so that pizza operators could cold ferment their doughs if they wanted, the sugar also helped feed the yeast over long cold fermentation periods and also contributed to final crust coloration. Sugar, especially when combined with oil, can also provide crust tenderness, but, again, you will need a fair amount of it, much more than just a percent or two. High oil and sugar levels are more commonly associated with the American style of pizza (think Papa John's) than the NY style.

I read somewhere that there are close to 1500 restaurants in NYC that include the word "pizza' or "pizzeria" in their names. With that many pizza places, and given that a lot of pizza operators are unfamiliar with the intricacies of dough, there will no doubt be some who use oil and sugar outside of the ranges mentioned above. Some will even include ingredients like milk and eggs in their NY style doughs. Some, like Sbarro, with which you are familiar, have used nondiastatic malt in lieu of sugar, and some might even use honey. When pizza operators are unconstrained by knowledge, just about anything can find its way into a pizza dough and in quantities that can range all over the place.

With the evolution of the NY style over a period of decades, "purism" can mean different things to different people. If you grew up in the early days of the old masters, purism would have meant using only flour, water, salt and yeast and using a very high temperature oven and short bake times. And the yeast would have been fresh yeast, since dry yeast hadn't yet been invented. Today, it might mean using flour, water, salt, yeast, oil, and maybe sugar, and lower bake temperatures and longer bake times. And the yeast might be dry yeast, which has increasingly supplanted fresh yeast for pizza dough (although there are still many pizza operators who continue to use fresh yeast). Some may consider it heresy, but ten years from now the dominant oven, not only for the NY style but for most styles, might be the conveyor oven and using screens and disks and pans in lieu of stone baking surfaces. You would be surprised how many pizza operators have switched from deck ovens to conveyor ovens, and not only the major chains.

If your are a history buff, and you haven't already done so, you might want to read the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14920.0.html. That thread makes for a fascinating read and will give you many insights into how the NY style pizza as we now know it evolved from its humble beginnings at the start of the 20th century.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 08:05:42 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pappy

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 02:14:07 PM »
I would merely like to add to Peter's informed post that I suspect the use of oil became more widespread with the extensive use of high-gluten bread flour for pizza making.  Even a very forgiving strong flour like All Trumps can freeze up with improper handling, and, as Peter points out, small amounts of oil can give more plasticity and extensibility to the dough.  The softer flours used in Naples, and in the U.S. at the time Lombardi and Totonno were introducing pizza to New Yorkers, would not need such an assist.

Bromated flours brown very well even at lower temperatures, so I agree with Peter that small amounts of sugar were probably used, either to help feed the yeast over a long cold fermentation period, or, conversely, as a boost for shorter rise times, enabling operators to make several batches of shorter-rise dough over the course of a business day. 

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 02:27:07 PM »
Pappy,

Those are both good points. It took a long while for the pizza operators in NYC to use high-gluten flours, long after the commercialization of deck ovens, but the high-gluten flours would benefit from some oil. Also, for the pizza operators who made same day doughs, often in several batches, the sugar would aid browning, mainly through caramelization (and maybe also through the Maillard reactions).

Peter

Offline chickenparm

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 02:31:29 PM »
James,I have made many doughs that way.I also have experimented with sugar,oil,etc.

It seems anytime I use oil and sugar,it browns a lot easier and the crust is crispier.That said,I love a dough that has nothing but the basics.

 8)
-Bill

Offline Don K

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 04:13:23 PM »
I have done a lot of experimenting with different amounts of sugar and oil.

I think that sugar definitely helps with browning at lower oven temps. It's not always as simple as the amount of sugar used though. If you reduce the amount of yeast for any given amount of sugar, browning seems to increase too. I suspect that this is because less of the sugar is consumed by the yeast so there is more residual sugar after fermentation.

As for oil, I usually use a little. It seems to soften and make the dough a little moister. If you use too much the crust ends up doughy.

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Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 02:37:20 PM »
Thanks for the help everyone. I think I'll probably put sugar and oil back in and compare how the two are. 

Offline Don K

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 02:51:55 PM »
What I used to do is make two small batches of dough at at time. I would make one with oil and one without, otherwise everything else is the same. This way you can compare the difference between the two in the final product. You can do this with any ingredient. I learned a lot by doing this.
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Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2012, 04:02:00 PM »
What I used to do is make two small batches of dough at at time. I would make one with oil and one without, otherwise everything else is the same. This way you can compare the difference between the two in the final product. You can do this with any ingredient. I learned a lot by doing this.

I'll give that a try. I'm curious how the two would compare.  Good suggestion.

Thanks Col!


Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2012, 08:20:37 PM »
Two days ago I made two dough balls with just flour, water, salt, and ADY at 63% hydration.  Then made two more and added 1% sugar and 1% oil to the mix.  Today I made pizza for the family out of these two batches following the 48 hour proof.  The unanimous opinion was that the sugar and oil dough was slightly to moderately superior.  Both doughs handled well but the oiled/sugar dough was a little less elastic but more extensibile and slightly easier to work.  It almost seemed to stretch itself under its own weight.  The cooked crust of the oil/sugar batch was slightly browner and had considerably more crunch and was less chewy.  I starting using some Trader Joes semolina flour on the peel and this added a wonderful and welcomed crunchy addtion to all my doughs.

So, in my mind, the addition of oil and sugar is well worth the effort, both in terms of handling and taste.  The next question is:  If a little is good, would a little more (2% of either or both) be even better?

« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 09:45:27 PM by Pizza De Puta »
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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2012, 08:29:07 PM »
RE,

Can you tell us what type and brand of flour you used?

Peter

Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2012, 09:40:02 PM »
I used WinCo high gluten pizza flour and baked in my Kenmore electric kitchen oven at 500.  Hopefully, I'll have my used (new to me) Blodgett 1060 propane monster repaired and running by the end of the week.  I don't know if my results will be affected by the oven change from kitchen amatuer to a dedicated commercial machine.  However, the addition of 1% oil/sugar definitely appears to be a step in the right direction at this point.  Just what percentages of each will prove optimum has yet to be seen but I'm going to thoroughly investigate all corners of this envelope over the next month as I strive to perfect a pizza worth marketing.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 09:49:24 PM by Pizza De Puta »
RE

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2012, 10:39:55 PM »
I haven't made many doughs with sugar, but the few times I did (in my early pizzamaking days) it improved browning.  I also used to use oil in my dough.  It certainly made it easier to handle and harder to ruin.  I can't say, that I ever got any texture or flavor benefit from either.   As my dough management and handling skills have improved, I've found I like the lean dough best.  Granted, it's harder to handle, and needs time in the cooler to develop brownability.  It also makes the rustic and not-so-bready crust that I was always looking for.  I think whether or not to use those ingredients depends on 1) level of experience (they make it easier), and 2) what kind of flavor and texture you want.  I think the definition of New York Pizza has changed over the last few decades.  I don't find it to be for the better, but taste is one thing you can't argue.  I do know I'm still looking for the flour that has all the qualities I want in one place.  I want the flavor of Harvest King, combined with the chew and browning I get from All-Trumps.  I saw a bag of GM Full-Strength flour at one of my favorite pizzerias in Connecticut, so I think that's next on the list.  Anyone used it?
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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 06:33:40 AM »
I used WinCo high gluten pizza flour and baked in my Kenmore electric kitchen oven at 500.  Hopefully, I'll have my used (new to me) Blodgett 1060 propane monster repaired and running by the end of the week.  I don't know if my results will be affected by the oven change from kitchen amatuer to a dedicated commercial machine.  However, the addition of 1% oil/sugar definitely appears to be a step in the right direction at this point.  Just what percentages of each will prove optimum has yet to be seen but I'm going to thoroughly investigate all corners of this envelope over the next month as I strive to perfect a pizza worth marketing.

RE.

In my opinion you will see a difference in your pizzas when you got your Blodgett up and running.  I still am trying to dial in my pizzas with difference temperatures and formulations for my Bakerís Pride oven.  Right now I am using some sugar and oil in the Lehmann dough.  I have tried many different brands of high-gluten flour.  I am not sure I have the right formulation yet.

Norma
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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2012, 06:37:58 AM »

I saw a bag of GM Full-Strength flour at one of my favorite pizzerias in Connecticut, so I think that's next on the list.  Anyone used it?


Glutenboy,

I have tried GM Full-Strength flour in different formulations for a NY style pizza and still have a 50 lb. bag of it.  So far I like higher gluten flours, but maybe I didnít give the GM Full Strength enough of a chance.

Norma
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2012, 08:59:22 AM »
I used WinCo high gluten pizza flour and baked in my Kenmore electric kitchen oven at 500.  Hopefully, I'll have my used (new to me) Blodgett 1060 propane monster repaired and running by the end of the week.  I don't know if my results will be affected by the oven change from kitchen amateur to a dedicated commercial machine.  However, the addition of 1% oil/sugar definitely appears to be a step in the right direction at this point.  Just what percentages of each will prove optimum has yet to be seen but I'm going to thoroughly investigate all corners of this envelope over the next month as I strive to perfect a pizza worth marketing.


RE,

I am not familiar with the WinCo high-gluten flour, which appears to be a bulk flour sold by a company by the name of WinCo, but the reason why I asked you about the type and brand of flour you were using is because, according to member November, there is a direct, and ideal, correlation between the amount of oil to use based on the amount of protein in the flour. You can read November's discussion on this point at Reply 61 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg40104.html#msg40104. As you will note from that post, for a flour with a protein content of 12.7% (which happens to be the protein content of the King Arthur bread flour), November states that the ideal amount of oil to use is 1.58%. I don't know offhand how November calculated that amount but if we assume that there is a linear relationship between protein content and oil usage, a high-protein flour with a protein content of, say, 14.2%, would suggest an oil usage of 1.77%. Not all flours within a given protein band are of the same quality, which could alter the ideal amount of oil to use, but using about 1.75-2% oil would seem to be reasonable.

In actual practice, the amount of oil that is commonly used for a NY style dough formulation is about 1-3%. That is consistent with the amount of oil that Tom mentioned (2-3%) in the last paragraph of an article that he prepared for Pizza Today, at http://www.pizzatoday.com/Buckets/april-10-2012-buckets/oil-n-dough.htm. It is also consistent with Tom's NY style dough formulation at http://pmq.com/tt2/recipe/view/id_151/title_New-York-Style-Pizza/ and also with the NAPICS and AIB NY style dough formulations that Tom has recommended at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4800.msg40779.html#msg40779, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6184.msg53808.html#msg53808 and http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5621.msg47717.html#msg47717. With over a thousand places in NYC making pizza, I think it is safe to say that someone somewhere is using more than 3% oil, maybe even a lot more oil, to make what might be considered by the pizza operators to be a NY style. But, once you get above 4-5% oil, you start to get increased tenderness and softness in the crumb. According to Tom Lehmann, once you get above 8% oil, then other crust characteristics are changed. So, staying with a band of 1-3% oil seems to be a reasonable place to be for the NY style.

Since oil also contributes "wetness" to a dough, it is generally advised to lower the formula hydration by the percent of oil used. Tom Lehmann raises this point in the last paragraph of the Pizza Today article referenced above.

For those who are interested, Tom Lehmann penned another article on oil/fat in dough for Pizza Today at http://www.pizzatoday.com/Buckets/oilsAffectDough-Lehmann.

Peter

EDIT (3/22/13): For the updated link to the PMQ recipe, see http://www.pmq.com/Recipe-Bank/index.php/name/New-York-Style-Pizza/record/57724/
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 09:45:59 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pappy

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2012, 10:29:11 AM »
Glutenboy,

I am now using GM Full Strength flour upon the recommendation of Scott123, who prefers medium strength bromated flours to the stronger All Trumps (I believe his favorite is Spring King).  My experience is limited to a few pies, but I am very pleased with the results.  The Full Strength handles beautifully, and does not "seize up" on me when forming skins, as All Trumps does occasionally when I am rushed or careless.  The crust on the pies was incredibly crispy, and while strong, lacked the tough, almost leathery quality one gets with All Trumps.  I think you'll like it.  I use a 60 percent hydration, and no oil or sugar in the dough.  I like room temperature ferments, ranging from 2 hours to 12, depending on the flavor characteristics I am trying to achieve.

According to Pete-zza, the original Lombardi's used a bleached, bromated medium strength flour with a protein content of 12-13 percent: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14920.40.html

Full Strength, at 12.6 percent protein, would thus seem to be an ideal flour to use in order to recreate a reasonably authentic NY style pie.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 10:35:17 AM by Pappy »

Offline pythonic

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2012, 05:12:41 PM »
If u use 2% honey will u be able to taste it?
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: NY Pizza Dough W/O Sugar and Oil Question
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2012, 05:52:25 PM »
If u use 2% honey will u be able to taste it?

Nate,

To a certain extent, it depends on the type of honey. There are over 300 unique types of honey in the U.S. and they can have flavors that run from very mild to very intense. But, even with an intensely flavored honey, I am not sure that 2% of it is enough for you to taste it in the finished crust.

Peter


 

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