Author Topic: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !  (Read 8236 times)

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Offline JerryMac

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NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« on: February 23, 2006, 12:12:30 PM »
Hi Guys,

I lived in Jersey my whole life and worked in Manhattan for many years, just to let you know a little about myself and that I do know "New York" style pizza.

Pizza dough is an ART not a SCIENCE. It is made by FEEL and not FORMULAS.

Here is your "formula"

2 1/2 to 3 cups any good quality bread flour.
1 1/4 cup very warm water (just where you can barely keey your finger in it.
2 tsp salt (don't use Iodized crap) sea or cosher.
1 pkg active dry yeast.

Note the lack of oil and sugar. This is true Neapolitan dough. I saw the manager of Lombardi's (the first pizza place in the US) on TV the other day and he uses no oil or sugar.

Method: I use a kitchenaid mixer with dough hook (best money I ever spent, If you make a lot of   bread,    get one you won't regret it.)

1) combine water and yeast in bowl of mixer and stir to disolve yeast.

2) add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the sugar. beat on speed  1 or 2 untill combined well.

3) here is where the art and feel come in. add flour slowly till the dough barely clears the bowl and I mean just barely. I have seen times when I only use 2 1/2 cups flour and others when I use 3 1/2 cups.
Your dough should feel like, and this is the best way I can describe it, well chewed bubble gum. Ususaly this will take about 3 minutes of needing at speed 2. The amount of flour can change drastically from day to day due to weather, brand of flour etc.  Always remember you are going for the feel of the dough and not the amount of flour.

4) turn dough out into a greased bowl, cover with plastic and rise in a warm place  1hr.

5) turn dough out onto counter top, divide in two (makes 2 large 14" pizzas, remember NY thin) roll into balls, cover and let rise on  floured surface 1 hr.

6) punch balls down into discs and let rest covered 10 minutes (this is important for easy handeling)

7) roll, stretch or toss (this dough will be completely tossable) into 14" crusts.

8) assemble pies on a peel and bake at 550 on a stone. These will cook fast, my oven about 4 minutes.

This will give you a true NY foldable crust, soft and whewy with just the slightest bit of crunch on the bottom. Oh yea, Great big bubbles as a bonus.

Please ejoy CREATING your pizza and don't work so hard at manufacturing it.

Mangia Bene,
Jerry


Offline chiguy

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2006, 01:16:15 PM »
 Hi JerryMac,
2) add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the sugar. beat on speed  1 or 2 untill combined well.
I assume you mean salt and not sugar.
 Thanks for sharing you're pizza making experience. I will say that almost every pizzeria in the country weigh's out their ingrediant's. It is much easier and will produce more consistent results. I can say from my experience that weighing out ingrediants and using bakers percentages is much easier which makes for a more enjoyable pizza making experience.   Chiguy

Offline JerryMac

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2006, 01:22:46 PM »
Yea, that should have been Salt, no sugar in this "formula"

Jerry

Offline chiguy

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2006, 01:34:15 PM »
 Jerrymac,
 I don't know if you had time to search around the forum, but you're recipe is fairly consistent with alot of recipe's here. I will admit i have never heard of such a short rise time, even using ADY. I personally use IDY and the retarded/refridgerated dough method. This is also a common practice among alot of pizzeria's.  Chiguy

Offline JerryMac

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2006, 01:55:34 PM »
chiguy,

This "formula" is one verry similar to one in Michele Scicolone's "1000 Italian recipies" which I have found to be probably the most authentic Italian cookbook around.

Don't know about the breviety of the rise time, but all I can say is it does produce a very realistic NY crust.

I think a lot of it has to do with developing the feel for when the dough is "right".

Also think its great for those who don't have the time for the elongated cold rise.

Mangia Bene
Jerry

Offline JerryMac

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2006, 01:58:09 PM »
Guys,

One more note. On the first rise I put the bowl in an oven which was very slightly warmed at 250 for about 1 minute and then cut off. The second rise is done at room temp.

Jerry

Offline chiguy

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2006, 02:16:36 PM »
 Hey JerryMac,
 Have you had a chance to read or have a look at The Silver Spoon?? I understand it is also a very authentic italian cookbook.   Chiguy

Offline JerryMac

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2006, 02:32:33 PM »
chiguy,

No, I haven't. Who is it written buy?

Jerry

Offline chiguy

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2006, 04:18:08 PM »
 Sorry Jerry,
 I did not get back to you immediately, i was not on the site. Here is a link from amazon that gives some details and price. My uncle said this is a fantastic book, i have only browsed though it at the book store, it looks excellent. i will probably buy it soon enough.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0714845310/?tag=pizzamaking-20              Chiguy

 Sorry the address was incorrect, you will have to type in The Silver Spoon when you get to Amazon, once again sorry.

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2006, 06:02:06 PM »
Jerry --

My recipe is very similar to yours, and I agree with you 100%; in the end it comes down to the feel.  Try your recipe with a 72 hour retardation in the fridge.  I do the 1 to 2 hour counter rise, then I divide the dough and ball it, put each ball in it's own lightly olive-oiled (to prevent sticking) 1-gal. ziplock bag, and stick it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.  Let it rise and come back to room temprature on the counter before using.  You won't believe the difference that time in the cooler makes.  Same day, good.  Three days later, delicious!!!  Why?  I'm sure many chemical processes take place, but it works like a charm.  I got the recipe out of that same book -- Pizza: Any Way You Slice It -- and I discovered the retard by accident when I didn't have time to use the dough I made.  Try it and let me know if you like it.

-- Glutenboy
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.


Offline foodblogger

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2006, 07:28:12 PM »
Chiguy -
Quote
Have you had a chance to read or have a look at The Silver Spoon?? I understand it is also a very authentic italian cookbook.   Chiguy

I have that book.  The pizza section was a disappointment.  They did have some VERY interesting things to say about Easter pie.  The Silver Spoon is touted as THE Italian cookbook, much like the Better Homes and Gardens or Betty Crocker is to us Americans.

Offline addicted

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2006, 07:58:34 PM »
I use to be a believer in the fridge rise , but no longer. Tried a different spin on rise time based on a local EXCELLENT neopolitan pizzeria's recipe and will never go back to a fridge rise again. The crust is snappy and absolutely melts in your mouth.
Well....okay,then.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2006, 08:07:08 PM »
addicted,

Since you mentioned a Neapolitan pizzeria's recipe, have you been using a 00 flour or a different flour that simulates a Neapolitan style pizza dough?

Peter

Offline JerryMac

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2006, 10:32:31 AM »
Glutenboy,

I like your idea of the feel and the cool second rise. I'll give it a try and let you know how it turns out. Do you use oil or sugar?

Jerry

Offline pftaylor

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2006, 11:48:39 AM »
JerryMac,
You bring an interesting perspective to the table. I trust there is room in this discussion for an alternative position which simply states that home pizza making is 50% passion (art) and 50% (science/math).

Home pizza making has a large element of art associated with it, but you would have to arm wrestle me on why science isn't involved. In my experience, a pizza maker has to have passion and the ability to understand measurements of ingredients( and the basic principles of heat) to produce excellent pies.

I happen to use a scale (actually two) which are precise enough to reproduce any recipe time after time perfectly. Since I have adopted the use of scales, I have not had a single instance of pizza making failure. So in the truest sense of the craft, the word science may not be exactly appropriate but rather a basic understanding of math is. Knowledge of how to apply the math helps and is critical. I call it knowing information rather than just data. Data by itself is useless. That's why so many new home pizza makers fail to achieve acceptable results when trying a new recipe. Its because they don't understand why they have to do something a certain way to produce a certain result. A recipe without the associated procedures to assemble it is meaningless in my estimation.

Making a pizza recipe by feel is great when you have made it a few times and have a baseline from which to compare. In that case, through historical recognition, one is able to "see" whether things are right or not. I simply prefer a much more precise approach which has led to better results, in my experience. I'm not saying a feel approach doesn't work, I'm just saying it doesn't work well enough for me.

For the home pizza maker who may be struggling to produce a great pie for the first time, a scale tilts the playing field in their direction. To choose not to use a tool which increases the likelyhood of a positive result is unacceptable for me. After a while the importance of a scale diminishes because one has a baseline of memory and recognition to go by. But in the beginning, a home pizza maker should measure everything. That way they eliminate one critical area of mistakes which tend to lead to disaster.

I have found that "feel" really enters the pizza making process when mixing the ingredients and forming the skins. In time, one should be able to recognize when the flour has enough water or not. But for the average home pizza maker, weighing ingredients will increase the likelyhood of reproducibility a great deal.

I will leave you with this opinion. Home pizza making by feel, is fine for when one wishes to make a good-enough pie (Better than chain pie but not bordering on artisanal). However, in order to achieve the last few percentage points of the highest rarefied levels Artisan pizza making, one has to be equally creative artistically and comfortable with employing math to their advantage. The resultant pies speak for themselves.

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Offline JerryMac

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2006, 12:25:33 PM »
pftaylor,

I couldn't agree with you more. No matter which rout you take it is all a learning process which method you choose to learn by, I feel is soley dictated by your personality.

I have gone through a very lengthly learning process in cooking in general and I guess that I am the type that prefers their mouth to measuring spoons, which by the way I very seldom use. I make a lot of bread and very little other baked goods. I guess on the bread I learned through the feel method. Every bread has a diferent feel which I learned through much trial, failure and sucess. All other types of food are measured by mouth. I am also a food minimalist, a true believer that the fewer the ingredients the better, especially in Cucina Italiana.

I think  this board is realy great and hope to learn from everyone here.

Just as a sideline I feel that to be a realy good "cook" is a God given talent just as a talent for art or music. (which I feel God left for people other than myself)

I can tell if a person can cook by watching them handle a knife in their kitchen for 5 minutes and am seldom wrong.

Thanks for all the input.

Eat Well
Jerry

Online Pete-zza

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2006, 12:39:12 PM »
I have never personally considered "feel" and science/math to be incompatible concepts. To me, they are entirely consistent. I can make any number of pizza doughs entirely by feel, but if I want to scale a recipe up or down to make a different pizza size but retain the same crust characteristics, or if someone asks me to tell them the amounts of ingredients to make say, 100 dough balls for 12-inch size pizzas and 300 dough balls for 16-inch size pizzas, or 75 dough balls for 15-inch deep-dish pizzas, there is no way that I could do that by feel. I would have to use baker's percents and other mathematical tools. The other day, one of our members asked me to give him a Lehmann formulation based on 25- and 50-pounds of flour. I couldn't do that by feel. But I can do it easily using math tools.

On an individual pizza basis, I use "feel" just like everyone else and for all the reasons that everyone has mentioned. But I am an avid experimenter also, and I make all kinds of pizzas, all across the pizza spectrum. And to be able to reproduce my results when I hit upon a really great pizza, this means I have to know exactly what I did to get the results. This means knowing ingredient amounts and processing detail. I can only do this by weighing things, being precise, taking copious notes and measurements, and using mathematical tools such as baker's percents. And when I get good results, I share them with everyone on the forum so that they can reproduce what I did and even improve upon my results. And if I am able along the way to teach others the tools and how to use them, then they don't need me anymore. Coupled with "feel" and the kind of knowledge that pftaylor mentions, they will have mastered the art of pizza making.

Peter

Offline JerryMac

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2006, 12:58:19 PM »
Pete-zza,

Your absolutely right about math and measurements when it comes to scaling up and down and passing on amounts to other people.

I guess us old horses just die hard.

My mother was one of the best cooks and bakers I have ever seen but when I would say to her, Ma, how do you make such and such or how much of this or that goes into this or that,  the answer was always a rough guess and then, "come on I'll show you" or "come on and taste it"  :D

As far as reproducability goes, what ever she made was always the same the 1st or 1000th time she made it.

I'm not quite as good as her as far as reproducibility goes but I am "Learning" :-\

I am also a "home" cook who does not vary quantities greatly verry often. Maybe that is a plus on my part.

"jeetyet ?"
Jerry

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2006, 01:41:00 PM »
Jerry --

No sugar, and no oil except for the bag.

-- GB
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: NY Dough, An ART not a SCIENCE !
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2006, 01:58:51 PM »
JerryMac,
I too share your disdain of measuring spoons. I will also add to the list Pyrex measuring cups. They create the illusion of measurement and often times, are inaccurate due to a whole host of reasons. The only sure-fire method of knowing what is really going into your mixing bowl is to weigh each and every ingredient.
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