Author Topic: My first NY style pizzas!  (Read 1812 times)

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Offline chaspie

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My first NY style pizzas!
« on: March 11, 2013, 02:42:43 AM »
I cooked my first ever NY style pizzas last night, and they came out better than I was expecting.  I used Glutenboy's dough recipe from reply 5 on this thread http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7761.msg66669.html#msg66669, and Red November's sauce #2 recipe from reply 7 on http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3735.msg32136.html#msg32136.  My dough balls were 328 grams, for a planned diameter of 12 inches with a thickness factor of .102.   

For the first pizza, I formed and stretched the dough with my hands like as I've seen on numerous videos.  It ended up being about 12 inches in diameter, as I'd intended.  I got a pretty nice edge crust, although with not as much rise as I wanted.   I used 3 ounces of sauce, 4 ounces of Italian sausage, and 4 ounces of cheese.  I wanted to keep the ingredients simple so I could evaluate the crust and sauce without too many distractions.  I felt it was a good balance of ingredients, very much to my taste.   

On the second pizza, I used a rolling pin and flattened the edges to the same degree as the rest of the pie.  It ended up being a bit larger than 12 inches, with a thinner crust and a smaller and flatter edge.  I was trying for a uniformly thin crust, and it worked as I expected.  I kept the same amount of Italian sausage, 4 oz, on this pie, but I reduced the sauce to 2 ounces and the cheese to 3 ounces.  Having a lesser amount of toppings spread over a thinner and slightly larger pie made for a lighter and less filling pie.  It was good, but I liked the first pizza better.   

I like how much the bottom browned on the first pizza, but not so much the second one.  In both cases, the stone was near the top of my oven.  It was heated to 550F, as measured with an infrared thermometer.  On the first pizza, I baked for 4 minutes, then I turned the broiler on for about 45 seconds, and the pizza was done.  On the second, I turned the broiler on first, then slid the pie in and baked it under the broiler for nearly a minute.  Then I turned off the broiler and let the pizza cook for just under 3 minutes more.  I had to remove it a little prematurely to keep the top of the pie from overcooking.  The bottom of the pizza was fully cooked, but not browed as nicely as the first pizza.

I have plenty of room for improvement, but I consider this a great success for my first NY pizzas. 

The first three pictures are of pizza #1.  I'll post the pizza #2 pics in a subsequent reply due to the 1024k total size limit.





Offline chaspie

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 02:44:51 AM »
Here are the pics of pizza #2 (the one on the right in the first picture), with thinner crust and less ingredients.  As you can see, the bottom of pizza #2 is not as well browned as pizza #1.




Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 10:16:12 AM »
Chuck,

For the first time making a NY style pizza, you did exceptionally well. Congratulations!!

Peter

Offline chaspie

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 11:58:21 AM »
Thank you, Peter.  The links you and Norma gave me in my earlier threads helped quite a lot. 

I have two more dough balls from the small batch of dough I made last Thursday.  I'll try them tomorrow to see if I can detect any changes in the crust flavor or other characteristics following their extended refrigeration time.

Offline mkevenson

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 01:03:37 PM »
Chuck, nice pies! I wonder is the bottom color of your second pie had anything to do with recovery time of your stone. Depending on the oven and the stone it may take a few minutes for the stone to recover the heat it lost during the 1st bake.
 
Mark
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Offline chaspie

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 05:16:18 PM »
That's a good thought, Mark.  It didn't occur to me to check the stone temperature before loading in the second pizza.  I didn't give it any recovery time at all.  I'll check it between pies next time and allow it to fully recover if it isn't up to temp.  If it turns out that the stone needs recovery time, I hope it's not too long.  It's a pretty thick stone, the bottom piece of my Hearthkit oven insert.


Offline Qarl

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 05:25:20 PM »
Damn this pizza forum. I come here all the time and get soooooo hungry.

These pies didn't help!

Offline norma427

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 07:02:07 PM »
Chuck,

Great job on your first NY style pizzas!   ;D

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 07:18:05 PM »
That's a good thought, Mark.  It didn't occur to me to check the stone temperature before loading in the second pizza.  I didn't give it any recovery time at all.  I'll check it between pies next time and allow it to fully recover if it isn't up to temp.  If it turns out that the stone needs recovery time, I hope it's not too long.  It's a pretty thick stone, the bottom piece of my Hearthkit oven insert.

Chuck,

Pizzas that bake on stones that are near the top of the oven are often prone to having a bottom crust that is lighter in color than desired. That is because the stone is too far away from the bottom coil to be heated enough to be able to do a better job on browning the bottom of the crust. One solution to this is to put an oven rack at its lowermost position in the oven, and when the top of the pizza looks like you want it to, slide the pizza off of the stone and onto the lower oven rack. You leave it there until you get more bottom crust browning. I used to do the reverse of this when I put my pizza stone on the lowermost oven rack position. In my case, I would move the pizza off of the stone toward the end of the bake and place it on the uppermost oven rack position to get more heat to cook the top of the pizza to get better crust coloration and better melting of the cheese.

Peter

Offline Steve

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 07:43:42 PM »
Pizzas that bake on stones that are near the top of the oven are often prone to having a bottom crust that is lighter in color than desired. That is because the stone is too far away from the bottom coil to be heated enough to be able to do a better job on browning the bottom of the crust.

I was about to say the same thing. I made three NY style pizzas a couple of weeks ago, and to freshen my memory I moved my stone to the very top of my oven (plus I watched America's Test Kitchen on PBS and they said to do it). I was reminded why I never do this, as the bottom of my pies did not brown properly.

So, last Friday, I made three more pizzas. But this time I put my stone back on the lowest rack. After an hour of preheat, the pizzas went in... and the bottoms were once again perfect!
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 08:04:35 PM »
scott123 is a big advocate of placing the stone fairly close to the broiler element and using the broiler element as part of the process. One of the earliest implementations of that method that I can recall on the forum, but where the stone isn't too close to the broiler element, is the method described by member Waldman at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6585.msg56478.html#msg56478. I subsequently tried that method and reported on my results at Reply 830 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg96046.html#msg96046.

Peter

Offline chaspie

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 01:50:43 AM »
So one could put the stone near the top and a bare rack near the bottom, bake on the stone until the top is cooked, then move the pizza to the bare bottom rack to finish the bottom of the crust.  Wouldn't the top continue to cook even after you drop the pizza from the stone to the bottom rack?  Do you pull it off the stone a little before the top is done to compensate?

Or one could put the stone at the bottom of the oven and a bare rack near the top, then move the pizza off the stone to the top to finish once the crust is done.  A top broiler, such as I have in my oven, could make short work of finishing the top.  This seems like it might be a more controllable approach.  I would think that the bottom, which is no longer in contact with the stone once it is moved to an upper rack, would not overcook before the top was finished. 

Is there any reason to prefer one approach over the other?  I'll probably just have to try both to see what works better for me.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 11:04:53 AM »
So one could put the stone near the top and a bare rack near the bottom, bake on the stone until the top is cooked, then move the pizza to the bare bottom rack to finish the bottom of the crust.  Wouldn't the top continue to cook even after you drop the pizza from the stone to the bottom rack?  Do you pull it off the stone a little before the top is done to compensate?

Or one could put the stone at the bottom of the oven and a bare rack near the top, then move the pizza off the stone to the top to finish once the crust is done.  A top broiler, such as I have in my oven, could make short work of finishing the top.  This seems like it might be a more controllable approach.  I would think that the bottom, which is no longer in contact with the stone once it is moved to an upper rack, would not overcook before the top was finished. 

Is there any reason to prefer one approach over the other?  I'll probably just have to try both to see what works better for me.

Chuck,

Since ovens differ so much from brand to brand, you will want to play around with yours to see which configuration works best for you. However, you are correct that the pizza will continue to bake if you move it from the stone near the top of the oven to a bare lower rack. There will be less heat at the bottom of the oven because heat rises to the top of the oven, but you still may want to move the pizza from the stone to the lower rack before the top of the pizza is finished baking.

My approach has been mainly to bake the pizza on the stone at a lower rack position of the oven and move it to a bare upper rack for finishing toward the end of the bake. I normally don't turn on the broiler because I usually don't need the extra heat. However, I have done that when using a dough made with 00 flour because that type of flour is unmalted and otherwise would not produce any decent browning of the top crust.

Others will better be able to comment on the benefits of using the stone at the top of the oven. But you shouldn't be afraid to move the pizza between two locations in the oven, even a few times during the course of the bake. Just be sure to watch the pizza to be sure that it doesn't overbake, top or bottom.

Peter

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2013, 05:09:11 PM »
I'm not advocating that you go out and buy a new oven, but when the time does come to replace one, I recently bought a GE with dual oven chambers, the top oven is very small and compact and is the chamber I bake all my pizzas in. The opening is less than a foot, so by placing the stone in the center it is never far from the top or bottom heating element and it gives incredibly even baking of top and bottom of pie. I will say that yours pizzas look a little pale, I think you need more than 4 minute cooking time.

Offline chaspie

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2013, 08:32:56 PM »
Dave, my dream pizza oven would be a wood-fired one, but a smaller indoor oven like the one you described would be nice to have too.

When you say "pale", do you mean the crust, the toppings, or the bottom.  Or all of it?

I just did another couple of pizzas a little while ago, pictures below.  I got a little more browning on the bottoms, but the upper crust and cheese look about the same as my previous pizzas.  The first pizza below was a 5 minute bake, the second was 6, but I baked them a little differently.  I put the stone at the bottom of the oven this time.  On the first pizza, I used the broiler during the entire bake.  The pizza was very far from the broiler flame, but it definitely cooked the top faster than it would have without it.  For the second pizza, I left the broiler off, then moved the pizza from the stone to a wire rack at the top of the oven and finished the top with the broiler.  I liked the second pizza better than the first one.

So I think these are still a little underbaked on the bottom.  I need to screw up my nerve and leave them on the stone a little longer next time.  The tops could use more edge browning, but I don't like burnt cheese, so I need to figure a way to get the edges better browned without excessive browning and crisping of the toppings.  Any ideas would be welcome.

One other thing.  I made the dough for these pizzas last Thursday evening, so the last two doughs spent five days fermenting in the fridge until today.  They had very good flavor, better than the ones I baked from the same batch last Saturday.  But they didn't rise as those earlier ones.  I'd like to get better rise on the edge crust, and a more open crumb.  What can I do to achieve that?

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2013, 10:51:16 PM »
Chuck,
With all due respect.....I think it's time to slow down here jus a bit and take a deep breath. You are very close to making a really great pizza, but there are a couple of issues that will be best addressed if you now make your minor corrections one at a time in order to keep you from going all over the map.

First off, that last pie that you said was from a dough that gave you decent oven spring when it was younger but did give you better taste when it was several days older but no lift/spring....that indicates an over fermented dough. You will need to adjust your formula if you want to do an extended frig. ferment. However, looking back now at your first pics, I'm inclined to think something may have gone awry in the making of that dough....it just doesn't look like a Glutenboy dough. Double check your hydration and fermentation numbers on that.
I think your oven set up solution will not be difficult to get you in the zone. Talk about that next...please post some pics of the next dough you make Chuck....
You're doing great.  :chef:

Bob

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Offline chaspie

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2013, 01:39:58 AM »
Bob, thank you for the encouragement and advice.  Help in identifying the problem areas and hearing suggestions for improvement is definitely what I hoped to find here. 

I do have one picture of dough that I made these pizzas from, but it is after two days in the fridge, and it's not a great picture.  I'll post it below anyway, and when I make the next dough, I'll take more pictures at various stages. 

Glutenboy's dough recipe I used is from reply 5 of thread http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7761.msg66669.html#msg66669.  This is his recipe taken from that thread:   

Quote
All Trumps Flour -      1520 g - 100%
Water (room temp) -   928 g -  61.05632%
IDY -                        4.3 g -  .282895%   (measured as 1 teaspoon)
Sea Salt -                   38 g -   2.5%

Glutenboy specified All Trumps Flour, but I don't have that, so I used Gold Medal Better for Bread flour.  Also, Glutenboy's batch made eight 300 gram dough balls, and Glutenboy said he made 14 inch pizzas from them.  I didn't want to make that much dough, so I cut it down to make 4 dough balls of 328 grams each.  I'm also making roughly 12 inch pizzas, so my thickness factor is greater.  I believe his was .07, and mine is .102. 

Here is what I used:

Code: [Select]
812 g  -  Gold Medal Better for Bread flour - 100%
496 g  -  Water - 61.08% 
2.3 g   -  IDY - 0.2833%
20.3 g  -  Salt - 2.5%

I mixed the dough roughly, then autolysed for 20 minutes, then mixed another 4 minutes, starting off on low speed then finishing on medium speed for most of that time.   I bulk fermented in a bowl on the counter for an hour, then I divided into four portions, balled, oiled, and put each one in a plastic bag and then into the fridge.  I took out the dough balls two hours before making the crusts so the dough could come to room temperature.  The picture that follows is of a dough ball just before I made the crust after two days in the fridge.




Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2013, 09:19:27 AM »
Chuck,

To my eye, the dough ball you showed does not look particularly overfermented. To get a bit more oven spring, you might increase your hydration to about 62%, which the Better for Bread flour should be able to handle. You might also increase the amount of yeast by about 5-10%. However, if you follow the same timeline as you used for your previous doughs, both of these changes will speed up the fermentation process, and the dough will be ready sooner than your previous doughs. You might be able to compensate by dispensing with the one-hour bulk rise on the counter, which will have the effect of slowing down the fermentation process. I'm just tossing out ideas here but as Bob noted, you don't ordinarily want to make too many changes at one time. Some people do that and get results--usually not the best ones--and there is no way for them or even for the most skilled and knowledgeable members of the forum to tell them why they got the results they did or how to fix the problems There are some mutually exclusive independent events that can sometimes be explained but often there are interactions that can't. You seem to have a good grasp of technical matters so you may already know what I am talking about.

With respect to the browning of the mozzarella cheese, you could try keeping the cheese cold until you are ready to dress the pizza. Or you can use a whole milk mozzarella cheese that usually holds up better to baking. Or you can use the low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese and add a bit of oil to it when put on the pizza.

Peter

Offline chaspie

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2013, 11:38:20 AM »
I agree that it's practically impossible to determine how changes affect an outcome when you make more than one change at a time.   I'm going to leave my oven configuration alone for awhile so I'm not changing too many variables on each bake, and concentrate on understanding dough handling.  That should help me understand better the effect of any change to the dough formulation or fermentation process (one change at a time).

Online Jon in Albany

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Re: My first NY style pizzas!
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2013, 11:46:31 AM »
Peter-
I've got newbie questions for you. What would be the visible signs of an over fermented dough ball? Also, what would you be looking for to see that it is has fermented enough and it is ready for use?

Jon


 

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