I hope everyone is well. I have been lurking on this forum for quite some time, and then last week, finally decided to give my shot at a NY-style pizza. I am originally from Staten Island, NY, which is one of the best places for pizza in the NY area. My favorite pizza place is Denino's, which makes a traditional NY style, with a particularly crunchy crust (some might say "well-done"). Since I now live near Boston, MA, the NY-style pizza offerings are very weak. Despite my wife's skepticism about making a pizza in a home oven, I proceeded anyway.
For the dough, I used the recipe at the beginning of this thread.
100% King Arthur Organic Bread Flour, 7.15 oz (my scale only rounds to the tenth of an ounce, so I did the best I could to approximate)
63% Water at 100 degrees (Cambridge, MA tap water)
1% oil, 0.07 oz.
1.75% salt, 0.13 oz
0.40% IDY (Fleischmann's rapid rise)
I made the dough in a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and followed Pete's instructions as closely as possible. I forgot to weigh the final dough ball, but the final dough temperature was 80 degrees (room temperature was about 71 degrees, btw). It then stayed in the refrigerator for 19 hours until I took it out to come up to room temperature.
Following the video posted earlier in the thread, I dusted my dough ball with a flour/semolina flour mix, and then stretched out the dough. I ended up with an oblong pizza, but I decided not to try to fix it to maintain the integrity of the dough. I then got the rest of the pizza ready (just sauce, cheese and pepperoni, on half).
I baked the pizza in my electric oven at 505 degrees. With 45 minutes of pre-heating, I got the oven to about 505 degrees, but then had a mishap getting the pizza in the oven. (My peel is coming this week, but I was impatient and wanted to make a pizza anyway. I got what I deserved, I guess). I also dusted my makeshift "peel" with semolina. Despite the mishap, which involved slightly reshaping the dough, the dough held up really nicely. The pizza cooked for about 12-14 minutes, probably at 475 degrees, because I had lost so much heat during my mishap. I cooked the pizza on a stone I had seen recommended here, but now I forget the name, as I purchased it months ago and then never used it until now.
My "sauce" is described below, and for cheese, I used a local mozzarella from Burnett Farms in Vermont that I got at Whole Foods. It was basically the only choice besides Calabro or Belgioso, and I it was the right choice. Once I give it a few more shots, I plan to order some Grande from Penn Mac.
Despite my mishap and the non-ideal cooking conditions, the pizza came out surprisingly good. The crust was crunchy and had a nice NY style texture. In this respect, I think that the semolina really helped. Tonight, I am going to try another go at this recipe with the hope of making a pizza Sunday, and I had a few questions:
(1) My wife and I both thought the crust lacked a little flavor. We both figured that I should add more salt. Does this make sense, or is longer fermentation the answer? I have read that salt can toughen a dough, and I do not want to overly-toughen the dough, either.
(2) For sauce, I got a can of Cento San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, and hand crushed them. Then I added some salt, oregano, italian seasoning, garlic powder, and a touch of fresh garlic that I had around from a dish my wife was cooking. The sauce was okay, but had a little bit of a "raw" taste to it. Do you think I should lightly cook the sauce next time? I am also planning to puree it in the food processor, as I just did not get it smooth enough with hand crushing.
(3) The crust came a golden brown, rather than the slightly darker brownish color I am accustomed to in a NY-style pizza. Could this have been a result of cook time and the lower than ideal temperature? I have also read some people add sugar to help a crust brown. Is this something that would be helpful? If so, how much sugar?
Any thoughts or comments would be great. I will post some pictures later. Thanks!