Author Topic: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?  (Read 7912 times)

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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


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #50 on: September 10, 2012, 07:47:08 PM »
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
Hey...cut me in or cut it out fellas. Is this something I should be trying   ???   ;D
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #51 on: September 10, 2012, 07:50:50 PM »
I just want someone to step up to the plate and put the plate on the stone so we can see how it does with making stuff to put on the plate!   Arrrgh!

I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline siouxerbrewer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #52 on: September 11, 2012, 01:54:36 AM »
Well I made the dough tonight and will see what happens this Thursday night.  I'm now tempted to try a piece of 1/2" steel.  One thing I don't want to do is change a recipe/technique if I don't need to, but I'm alway up for an improvement.  I might just have to go to the scrap yard to see about getting a piece of steel.  From what I read on the links above about steel is that I need to get rolled steel plate (not necessarily cast iron); is that the steel you are talking about?  Any particular alloys?  I cook almost exclusively with cast iron cookware and LOVE it, and I think it's reasonably to expect more of the same for cooking pizza on steel.  FWIW I have eaten at Lombardi's in NYC and I actually prefer the pizza's I made last time, although Lombardi's was still quite good.

scott123

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #53 on: September 11, 2012, 06:55:45 AM »
I just want someone to step up to the plate and put the plate on the stone so we can see how it does with making stuff to put on the plate!   Arrrgh!

Don't hate the plate-a, hate the game.

scott123

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #54 on: September 11, 2012, 06:57:59 AM »
Hey...cut me in or cut it out fellas. Is this something I should be trying   ???   ;D

Do you possess a lodge cast iron pizza pan and a regular baking stone?  If yes, then, by all means, stack away.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2012, 07:11:49 AM »
I'm tempted to remove my 1/8" stainless sheet from my LBE and put it in the oven on top of my mystery stone.  As far as showing change in bake characteristics, it might work.  But as far as being reproducible for anyone else, forget it.  An experiment whose only possible benefit (besides to my belly) is proof of concept.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #56 on: September 11, 2012, 07:57:42 AM »
Do you possess a lodge cast iron pizza pan and a regular baking stone?  If yes, then, by all means, stack away.
I got a 5 min NY'er out of my gas oven last bake and oven wasn't quite turned up all the way. My stone is only 12 in  :( and thin 1/2 maybe. I have 2 3/4 in thick 22in round kiln shelves here that are going into my LBE build.
Before trying a lodge pan I think I'll give the shelves a go.One directly on the bottom deck an one a shelf up? This oven is a single burner below in the drawer. Thanks.
ps, how long should I preheat.
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #57 on: September 11, 2012, 08:08:50 AM »
That must be some big oven you got there!  Mine would only take a 16x18 stone.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

buceriasdon

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2012, 08:16:23 AM »
Bob, That would be a large oven you have. For many years I had one stone in the lowest rack position in the oven and another in the broiler. When the bottom was close to being done I would pull it out of the oven and into the broiler for maybe 30 seconds, nice even bake. Worth a try sometimes.
 

I got a 5 min NY'er out of my gas oven last bake and oven wasn't quite turned up all the way. My stone is only 12 in  :( and thin 1/2 maybe. I have 2 3/4 in thick 22in round kiln shelves here that are going into my LBE build.
Before trying a lodge pan I think I'll give the shelves a go.One directly on the bottom deck an one a shelf up? This oven is a single burner below in the drawer. Thanks.
ps, how long should I preheat.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Hello and has anybody tried the Americas Test Kitchen NY pizza?
« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2012, 08:37:02 AM »
 ;D Don, Ha!  Just measured my oven...24X18 !  :-D  It's early for me still here.  ;D
That last 5 min bake for me was with the stone in the broiler drawer. Next time going to preheat it in the main compartment on the deck cause the bottom of the pizza wasn't very crisp. The crust had a very tender bite to it that I've never gotten before. Would have been killer if only a 'lil more crisp.
Sorry 'bout the 22in stoner move... ::)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"