I'm a born-and-bred New Yorker and pizza-lover who recently moved to Edmonton, and I've been on a quest to make myself the PERFECT NY pizza like I used to enjoy at home.
So far I've had what I'd say is "fair to middling" success. I've done a lot of research on the Internet, found the standard "3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp yeast,1 cup water" types of recipes...but it doesn't seem to work QUITE right. I mean, it comes out LOOKING like NY pizza, even feels a bit like NY pizza, but it doesn't quite taste like NY pizza. I use the ceramic tiles on my oven floor, I let the dough sit overnight in my fridge, I form the disk with my hands rather than a roller, I do everything "right"; I know all the "basics" of how to do it. It just doesn't seem to work quite to my demanding specifications
So I have a few questions (unless someone wants to make it easy and say "Oh, I know what your problem is!"...) :
1. Does the quality of the given flour make any difference? In other words, I use standard all-purpose flour from the local supermarket. Do I need to go to a warehousing-type place and get "grade A" quality all-purpose flour?
2. Is it important how (in what order) the ingredients are mixed? i.e., I see some people with specific instructions on things like putting the yeast into the water first, then mixing the flour, then putting the oil in gradually, etc etc, while some people say just dump the oil and yeast and flour in together, gradually add water, etc etc etc.
3. I've heard all sorts of conflicting info about what temperature the oven should be. I've tried everything from 500 degrees to 425. Isn't it "the hotter the better", since those great coal-oven pizzerias are at 700-800 degrees? And if so, since my oven goes up to 550, shouldn't I be using that?
4. Anyone have any great sources for pre-made AUTHENTIC NY pizza sauce? I use Unico brand pizza sauce, which is "okay", but not QUITE what I'm looking for. I tried making my own, but I obviously am awful at that, so pre-made is the way for me to go for now
Thanks for any help you can provide!