Author Topic: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?  (Read 9667 times)

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Offline petef

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2012, 07:33:15 PM »
Good point! America's Test Kitchen is one of my favorite cooking shows. They are normally very precise and science oriented. I'm thinking they need to be aware of your concerns. Just now I went to their website and Emailed them about this issue, including a link to this thread. Hopefully I'll get a response and post it here.

---pete---


Ok everyone, I did get a response from America's Test Kitchen. See below. ---pete---


Dear Pete,
Thanks for your e-mail. Here at the Test Kitchen, we weigh our dry ingredients (flour, sugar, etc.) to get the most precise measurement. We understand that many at home cooks don't have kitchen scales to do so. Therefore we include in our recipe ingredient lists the cup measurement equivalents for an ingredients' weight.
I hope this helps to answer your question.
Happy cooking,
Rachel



Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2012, 07:42:41 PM »
At risk of sounding snooty, I don't find their response sufficient.  For the many reasons already cited, weight beats volume for precision hands down.

It's too bad they don't have more of an educational attitude.  They are reaching a wide audience that could benefit.
 
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline petef

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2012, 11:38:16 PM »
At risk of sounding snooty, I don't find their response sufficient.  For the many reasons already cited, weight beats volume for precision hands down.

It's too bad they don't have more of an educational attitude.  They are reaching a wide audience that could benefit.
 

I agree. It seems to me they didn't answer the question or they didn't fully understand the issue. The issue being an inconsistency of the flour ingredient when using a measuring cup vs measuring by weight. I have not replied back to them yet. I'm still trying to figure out what to say that could be beneficial to their show and their viewing audience.

Perhaps they should have a segment on their show that demonstrates how to properly measure flour using a measuring cup so that it matches the target weight.

---pete---



Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2012, 08:50:46 AM »
Perhaps they should have a segment on their show that demonstrates how to properly measure flour using a measuring cup so that it matches the target weight.

pete,

King Arthur has such a video. It is at http://how2heroes.com/videos/dessert-and-baked-goods/bakers-tip-measuring-flour.

Peter

buceriasdon

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2012, 09:13:04 AM »
And that is the weight that KA uses in their recipes and their volume to weight comparison table.  You can't use that method if 5.5 ounces is the target but these other sites don't tell you that.
Don

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2012, 09:27:08 AM »
And that is the weight that KA uses in their recipes and their volume to weight comparison table.  You can't use that method if 5.5 ounces is the target but these other sites don't tell you that.

Don,

You are absolutely correct. However, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for things to change.

Peter

buceriasdon

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2012, 10:43:58 AM »
And I don't see things changing soon either Peter. But It does give me an excuse to use such hyperbole as in message 2. :-D
Don

Offline siouxerbrewer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2012, 05:57:40 PM »
I'm gonna make a few batches of dough tonight for pizza's on Wednesday.  I'll make one dough with my sourdough starter and one dough with commercial yeast.  I'll report back with pictures!

Offline siouxerbrewer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2012, 12:50:55 AM »
I made the dough tonight and I think I just confirmed the importance of measuring by weight vs volume.  I was VERY careful to make sure the measurements were accurate tonight and I noticed that the dough was not nearly as sticky as last time.  I don't think I was careful enough last time with my measurements, although I doubt they were off by much (parallax error with liquid volume measurements).  I made one batch of dough with commercial yeast and one batch with a sourdough starter instead of yeast.  I'm going to let it cold ferment until Tuesday or Wednesday and I'll report back with my results.


Offline dwighttsharpe

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2012, 04:48:13 AM »
pete,

King Arthur has such a video. It is at http://how2heroes.com/videos/dessert-and-baked-goods/bakers-tip-measuring-flour.

Peter

Fairly certain that I have seen such a video(from ATK/CI), and also read their explanation as to how their flour measures/weighs in at least one of their cook books(borrowed from the library).

Also, almost all of their recipes list the volume and weight measures, typically, for flour. At least for things like breads, etc.
Dwight

buceriasdon

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2012, 06:12:25 AM »
Dwight, On the ATK website, they do not tell you their method to measure a cup of flour by volume. If you don't measure volume as they do, how can you duplicate their recipe correctly? You can't. Happy Homemaker shouldn't have to check out a book or locate a video(that maybe exists) for an explaination that would take perhaps a short paragraph published along with the recipe. Why should Happy Homemaker have to do more work researching if the idea is to have a one page recipe?
Don


Fairly certain that I have seen such a video(from ATK/CI), and also read their explanation as to how their flour measures/weighs in at least one of their cook books(borrowed from the library).

Also, almost all of their recipes list the volume and weight measures, typically, for flour. At least for things like breads, etc.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 07:54:14 AM by buceriasdon »

Offline dwighttsharpe

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2012, 07:44:08 AM »
Dwight, On the website, they do not tell you their method to measure a cup of flour by volume. If you don't measure as they do, how can you duplicate their recipe correctly? You can't.
Don



This is from their website, and is in the format I usually see their recipes listed:

"Makes two 13-inch pizzas...

Ingredients
Dough
    3cups (16 1/2 ounces) bread flour, plus more for work surface (see note)..."
Dwight

buceriasdon

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2012, 08:16:55 AM »
Dwight, If you go to King Arthur's site one cup flour weighs 4.25 ounces, not 5.5 ounces that ATK calls out but doesn't bother to explain their method. That's a huge difference percentage wise with absolutely no explanation or instructions, how is that helpfull or educational? Please, if you can locate their method on the site, post it's URL. For KA:
 http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/measuring-flour.html
Very easy to locate on their site
Don
Aha! I did finally locate a mention of how ATK approaches volume for solids: there's a different cup for every amount. Dry ingredients and wet ingredients are also measured differently. The test kitchen measures the dry sort by dipping the cup into the ingredient, scooping a heaping cupful, then sweeping across the cup with a spatula (or the flat side of a knife) until the contents are level with the top of the cup—a method referred to as "dip and sweep".
So if using ATK bread recipe use the deep and sweep, yes as mentioned before in this thread. :D




This is from their website, and is in the format I usually see their recipes listed:

"Makes two 13-inch pizzas...

Ingredients
Dough
    3cups (16 1/2 ounces) bread flour, plus more for work surface (see note)..."
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 12:12:06 PM by buceriasdon »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2012, 12:31:00 PM »
Even if you measure one cup of flour exactly how they told you they do it (if they even bothered to tell you how they do it), you will end up with AT LEAST a slightly different amount of flour than they ended up with. Similarly, if you measure one cup of flour precisely the same way every time you measure one cup of flour, you will always end up with AT LEAST a slightly different amount of flour with every cup of flour you measure.

The flour quantity disparity could be at least 10%, even if you're very careful to measure exactly how they measure; even if you are careful to measure the same way every time.

When you measure by weight, 16.5 oz of flour is 16.5 oz of flour. Every time.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline siouxerbrewer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2012, 06:34:05 PM »
I made these pizzas again last night and they turned out INCREDIBLE.  I have been trying to make pizza that tasted like this for a few months now without success.  The dough with the commercial yeast was not stretched out as much as the sourdough, but I preferred the slightly thicker crust even though the flavor and texture of the sourdough was significantly better.  I preheated the oven to 550 degrees with the pizza stone on the lowest rack for just over 1 hour.  The pizza's cooked in about 8 minutes and they turned out great.  I think these pizzas were as good as or better than most pizza out (for my tastes). Thank you guys for all of you help and suggestions.  Now I need to figure out weather to buy a ceramic pizza stone or get a large cast iron pizza skillet (bigger than my 12" frying skillet).  Any suggestions?  While I still have my mom's pizza stone I'm probably going to do a side by side comparison in my cast iron skillet. If I do I'll report back.  The pizza on the left was fermented with commercial ADY and the one on the right was fermented with my sourdough starter.

Offline petef

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2012, 01:06:50 AM »
Nice job! Looks perfect to me. Just the way I like my pizza.

So, what do you think was the biggest difference in this recipe that all your others were missing?

---pete---

Offline siouxerbrewer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2012, 01:40:45 AM »
The things that made the biggest difference are:
-Allowing the dough to rest for 20 minutes before kneading
-Adding the oil and salt near the end of kneading
-The appropriate moisture level of the dough (I believe some of them had way too much hydration)
-Cold ferment for 3 days
-Preheating the oven/stone for an hour
-Placement of the stone within the oven for a balanced baking (crust and toppings finish baking at the same time)

Now I'm going to try a side by side comparison between (my mom's pampered chef brand) baking stone and a cast iron skillet.  If the skillet bakes the pizza as good as the stone I will buy one of those instead of a ceramic stone because of how tough they are.  I will post back with the results!

On another note I did make a few modifications to the ATK recipe.  I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil, Kosher salt instead of table salt, and sourdough starter instead of active dry yeast.


scott123

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2012, 05:49:11 AM »
SB, pretty much all cast iron (frying pan or pizza pan) is 1/8" thick.  That's very little thermal mass.  You can pre-heat skillets on the stove top to much higher than oven temps, but, while a hot frying pan can be moved around with oven mitts, I'm not all that comfortable moving around a hot cast iron pizza stone, even if it does have handles. Beyond the safety issue, these kind of stove top pre-heats seem to produce pretty inconsistent results.  A stone that just works with a fully pre-heated oven, is, imo, far more elegant, forgiving, simple and consistent then any kind of cast iron tomfoolery.

Long story short, unless you're willing to mod the oven to higher temperatures, ceramic stones are generally superior to cast iron cookware.

Right now, as far as I can tell, you're making something very close to Pizza Port.  I also think this current oven setup is more than sufficient for reproducing Papa Johns.  If you're perfectly happy with this, then I'd suggest a kiln shelf such as this:

http://www.axner.com/cordierite-shelf-18x18x1square.aspx

If you live near a ceramic supplier, I'd try to purchase a shelf locally, as shipping can get expensive. Just make sure that it's at least 3/4" thick to match the stone you're working with now.

If you think you might ever want to take your pizzas in a more pizzahacker-ish direction, though, then you want a material that will give you the shortest possible bake times.  Right now, the reigning champ is 1/2" steel.  It's really heavy, but it will take you down to 2.5 minutes at 550.

Offline petef

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2012, 05:28:44 PM »
The things that made the biggest difference are:
-Allowing the dough to rest for 20 minutes before kneading
-Adding the oil and salt near the end of kneading
-The appropriate moisture level of the dough (I believe some of them had way too much hydration)
-Cold ferment for 3 days
-Preheating the oven/stone for an hour
-Placement of the stone within the oven for a balanced baking (crust and toppings finish baking at the same time)


Interesting. In my many years of pizza making, my biggest "ah ha" dough making moments came after discovering the 24 hour cold ferment and then letting the dough rest at room temp 4 hours before spinning, and adding a higher amount of olive oil to the dough. My target crust is very similar to yours, golden brown, with a good rise.

I'm still experimenting with my kitchen oven and my gas grill to get that perfect top to bottom bake.
The fun never ends. :)


---pete---

Offline siouxerbrewer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2012, 04:05:16 PM »
I have attempted the Heston Blumenthal method of making a pizza with no success, but after eating the pizza I made last time I'm content with what I am able to make.  For now I'm not really interested in a 2 minute pie, but I would like to replicate what I made last time.  The reason why I would prefer a cast iron pizza "stone" is because it is durable.  I have read several accounts of ceramic pizza stones cracking under normal use and would like to avoid that.  I'm going to try a side by side comparison this Thursday to see if I can replicate the pizza on cast iron.  I don't plan on heating up on the stove or anything; my procedures will be identical to how I baked the pizzas last time but this time I will bake one on the stone and one on the skillet.  I'll post back with the results.

Offline siouxerbrewer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2012, 04:17:05 PM »
Long story short, unless you're willing to mod the oven to higher temperatures, ceramic stones are generally superior to cast iron cookware.

Right now, as far as I can tell, you're making something very close to Pizza Port.  I also think this current oven setup is more than sufficient for reproducing Papa Johns.  If you're perfectly happy with this, then I'd suggest a kiln shelf such as this:

http://www.axner.com/cordierite-shelf-18x18x1square.aspx

If you live near a ceramic supplier, I'd try to purchase a shelf locally, as shipping can get expensive. Just make sure that it's at least 3/4" thick to match the stone you're working with now.

If you think you might ever want to take your pizzas in a more pizzahacker-ish direction, though, then you want a material that will give you the shortest possible bake times.  Right now, the reigning champ is 1/2" steel.  It's really heavy, but it will take you down to 2.5 minutes at 550.
That shelf looks pretty good.  Is that safe to cook on (food grade)?

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2012, 04:18:04 PM »
Yup. No worries.  A lot of us use them.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

scott123

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2012, 05:14:16 PM »
I have attempted the Heston Blumenthal method of making a pizza with no success, but after eating the pizza I made last time I'm content with what I am able to make.  For now I'm not really interested in a 2 minute pie, but I would like to replicate what I made last time.

In theory, the Blumenthal method could make a great pizza, but I've never seen it produce one, and I've seen probably close to 50 pizzas that have tried this technique. As I said before, it's too inconsistent.

I'm happy that you're happy with your pizza, but one thing to keep in mind, for NY style, most people that have had a chance to taste a 4-6 minute pie prefer it over 8+ minute ones, and, with any ceramic stone, 8+ minutes is pretty much the shortest time you'll ever hit. If you ever do reach a point where you want to kick up your game one more notch, you might want to think about 1/2" steel.

I'm going to make a prediction regarding the cast iron pan testing- it will fail to produce comparable results to the ceramic stone you're using. 1/8" of cast iron is just not enough.

At some point, I recommend experimenting with stacking the cast iron pan on the ceramic stone.  That could get interesting.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2012, 06:27:56 PM »
At some point, I recommend experimenting with stacking the cast iron pan on the ceramic stone.  That could get interesting.

Sigh.  Here we go again...
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

scott123

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2012, 07:31:41 PM »
Sigh.  Here we go again...

Where are we going, Brian?  ;) Is it to the place where someone tries stacking cast iron on a ceramic/cordierite pizza stone?  Because we've never been there  ;D


 

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