Thanks Bob1. Would love to see pics of your pies sometime. One of the best things about my pies now is that they reheat so very well. I would say about as good as fresh and in their own way better. Hard to describe, but I love reheated slices. Not just reheating any pizza as my past effots were never this good. But the bottom crust is absolutely crispy, yet tender and very light. It's a beautiful thing.
Great looking pies!! I'm curious-do you prefer cake yeast over other types when making NY style pizzas? And do you find that using lard in the crust makes a better crust than oil? I appreciate it!
Thanks Jason. Of course all the different types of yeast work. For NY style, I mostly work with IDY, CY, and a SD starter occassionally. The absolute best results will probably come from a properly maintained and used starter with probably the most inconsistent results. For me, when the stars line up the starter pies are great. Awesome texture and flavor, but it's not all the time. I've almost given up on starters, except for making some types of bread. Starters are notoriously difficult to get right. You won't notice this until you've work with a particular starter using the same recipe and technique for awhile. Most folks that jump into starters and make a passable pie, will be happy. But when you can get starters to really sing, it's hard to match. But I suspect probably only a handful of ppl here are able to do it consistently.
For NY pies though, I really love to use CY over IDY. I can get consistently great results using either, but if I had a choice, my choice is CY. And I can't pinpoint the major differences between CY and IDY other than CY gives a better lift. It's not really the flavor although a dough made with CY will smell better. But fresh CY is hard to beat for me. The differences are probably not that dramatic to most ppl, but for me when I have time to go get a block, I don't hesitate. Currently it's my favorite form of yeast for any style of pizza and getting consistent results. I am getting lazy and starters are becoming too much work for me.
But looking at the big picture, there are so many other factors to worry about getting right before CY will make a meaningful difference over IDY or ADY. I wouldn't worry about sourcing CY or using it unless you could easily get it from a nearby bakery. Probably not worth the drive across town unless you have your recipe dialed in, if that makes sense.
I have chosen to not be vocal about my use of shortening until recently. NY style pies can be made with and without oil. But if you are going to use oil in the dough, shortening is unequivocally the way to go. I don't care much for tradition or who says what. I absolutely know what my senses tell me and I trust senses far more than any expert out there. From the tests that I have done, shortening beats oil by far. It's not even close for me. And I can promise you my recipes and techniques are consistent. Meaning the only difference is the oil or shortening. Test after test, the shortening wins.
But it may come down to preferrence in texture and taste rather than one being better than the other. For me, I prefer shortening over oil. If I don't have shortening, I will make a trip to the store rather than use oil instead. So for me, it's much more important than CY vs IDY.