Author Topic: Cheese-free strategies for a NY/Lehmann-style pizza  (Read 1162 times)

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Offline Fio

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Cheese-free strategies for a NY/Lehmann-style pizza
« on: February 27, 2006, 03:58:09 PM »
Having friends for pizza on Friday.  One of them is on a dairy-free kick.  I plan on making my usual NY/Lehmann style 14-inch pizzas.  Half of one will be sans cheese.

How do I adjust the toppings to compensate for the lack of cheese?  I guess it depends on which toppings - meats or veggies. 

Do I use more of each topping?

Do I use slightly less-cooked veggies, to allow their water to buffer the sauce? 

Do I add oil to my sauce to compensate for the lack of fat from the cheese?

How does this sound:

Dress dough with EVOO.
Add sauce (6-in-1, seasoned).
Add minced garlic from Garlic Genius (It works GREAT!).
Add a layer of cooked, chopped spinach (To occupy the space where cheese would go, and a vaguely similar texture)

Top with a layer of meat or veggies; perhaps sausage, pepperoni, or sliced mushrooms.

Hopefully, if the spinach is cooked and drained enough, it will retain enough moisture of the sauce, without leaching out too much more water. 

Whaddya think?

Already hungry (Is it Friday yet?),

- Fio
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Cheese-free strategies for a NY/Lehmann-style pizza
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2006, 04:20:19 PM »
Fio,

A couple of thoughts come to mind.

You could make a classic Pizza Marinara, which is a Neapolitan pizza, but using your Lehmann dough. The Pizza Marinara includes only tomato, olive oil, oregano, and garlic. No cheese at all.

Another possibility is to use a soy-based mozzarella cheese. I have used it in deep-dish pies (usually as a supplement to regular mozzarella and/or provolone) and in lasagna and, with all the other flavors and textures, couldn't detect its presence. I found the soy-based mozzarella at Whole Foods. Soy-based mozzarella is firm, mild (but pleasant) tasting, and looks very much like regular mozzarella cheese, shreds and slices just like regular mozzarella cheese, and can be used on a pizza just like regular mozzarella cheese. It will melt without any significant browning and it will be chewy and almost indistinguishable on a baked pizza from regular mozzarella cheese. However, it will not be as flavorful as regular mozzarella cheese, and certainly not as tasty or flavorful as fresh mozzarella cheese. In addition to being dairy-free, it is lactose- and cholesterol-free, so it offers clear advantages to persons who are lactose intolerant or are on low-fat or low-cholesterol diets. The hardest part may be to convince your guest to give the soy mozzarella cheese a try, even if you are able to agree on all of the other toppings to use.

Peter

Offline SouthernPete

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Re: Cheese-free strategies for a NY/Lehmann-style pizza
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2006, 06:31:45 PM »
I would go with the soy cheese like mentioned above, or you could also do some kind of calzone or stromboli w/o the cheese but packed full of toppings.

Offline Fio

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Re: Cheese-free strategies for a NY/Lehmann-style pizza
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2006, 09:00:46 AM »
Fio,

A couple of thoughts come to mind.

You could make a classic Pizza Marinara, which is a Neapolitan pizza, but using your Lehmann dough. The Pizza Marinara includes only tomato, olive oil, oregano, and garlic. No cheese at all.

Peter

Have you ever noticed that Neapolitan pizzas are only 12" wide or smaller? My theory is that, on these pizzas, the crust (cornicione) is a major component of the experience.  Being so small with a relatively big cornicione, the pie has a larger than average ratio of crust to interior (being the part of the pizza inside the cornicione).   That means more crust per bite on average.  I think this works because the fresh mozz is relatively bland, and the balance favors more toasty, crispy crust.

Contrast the NY style, which is huge.  Most of the pizza experience consists of the cheese and toppings on the interior.  If the crust is good, it's a bonus.   Bt the pizza is really made to showcase the cheese and toppings.

For this reason, I think a big 14" marinara pizza might be relatively boring because you're not getting enough crispy, toasted cornicione relative to the interior, and this would throw the balance off.    Thus, I think a marinara works well but only in a small size.

Thoughts?

Is it Friday yet? :pizza: :pizza:

 - Fio
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.


 

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