Author Topic: A Cheesehead does New York. Style  (Read 2019 times)

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Offline Musky

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A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« on: November 30, 2013, 10:52:21 PM »
Here's some pictures of my first tries at NY style pizza.  I picked a formula from that awesome road map thread that Pete has so kindly put together.  This is the one.  I used the expanded dough calculator to make a batch for two 15 inchers, and made a 12 incher separately.  I don't have KASL, until Monday, so I used KABF instead.  Made the dough Wednesday night so it was in the fridge for about 67 hours.  Gave it a three hour counter rise.  It was really easy to handle.  Too easy maybe.  I've never worked with a dough I could spread out like that. 

Here's the formula for one 15" pie.  The 12 incher weighed the exact amount it was supposed to.  The 2-15 incher ball came out about 80 grams short, so I don't know what happened there.  I added the yeast to the flour, dissolved the salt in the water in the bowl of a stand mixer, added the flour to the bowl, added the oil, ran it slow to bring it together, then ran it on #3 for about five minutes.  Balled it up and into the fridge.

100%, High-gluten flour (KASL), 11.19 oz. (316.89 g.), 2 1/2 c. plus 1 T. plus 2 t.
63%, Water, 7.04 oz. (199.64 g.), 7/8 c.
1.75%, Salt, 0.20 oz. (5.55 g.), 1 t.
0.25%, Instant dry yeast (IDY), 0.03 oz. (0.79 g.), a bit more than 1/4 t.
1%, Oil, 0.11 oz. (3.17 g.), a bit more than 5/8 t.
Total dough weight = 18.56 oz. (526.03 g.)
Thickness factor (TF) = 0.105
Note: All measurements are U.S./metric standard

I'm not unhappy with the results, though there certainly great room for improvement.   I have a gas WOLF range with an infrared broiler.  The knob goes to 500*.  I set it between the 500 mark and the broiler setting and heated a stone for like 2 hours. 

The 12" pizza was for my 16 year old daughter.  She spread it out, sauced , and topped it with WM mozzarella.  Cooked it for about 5 1/2 minutes with the broiler on for the last 2 minutes.  The first two pictures show that pizza.  I call it the Gracie.

The second one I baked I flattened out to about 16 inches.  That was a mistake.  It had San Marzano crushed tomatoes, domestic since I don't know what the hell I'm buying yet, salt, chopped garlic I softened in olive oil, basil, and Aleppo pepper.  Same length of bake, broiler on longer.  It baked up okay, but was too thin.  No bite to it to speak of.  Very limp.  Second two pictures are of that.  I called this pizza the MaryJoRita.

The third I spread out to a little under 15 inches.  So it was thicker throughout, but still nice and  thin away from the rim.  Topped it with the garlic and a little oil, a scattering of WM mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, most of a 10 oz. can of Cento whole baby clams, 3 diced slices of bacon, Aleppo, and diced parsley.  For this one I ran the broiler for a couple minutes before putting the pie in, left it on for three minutes after it was in, then shut it off.  This one was the best by far.  The last three pictures are of this pizza.  The bottom on all three looked pretty much like the picture posted of the clam.  I call this pizza the Mine.  Though my daughter, bless her heart, ate two slices.

Comment away if you're so inclined.  I'll keep messing with the heat/broiler and the thickness going forward.  I'm new to this style so I'm really just kneading my way.  I highly recommend the Aleppo pepper.  Does anyone here use it?  lol.

Kevin






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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 08:23:33 AM »
Kevin,

I think you are off to a good start. However, I have a few questions and comments.

First, did you bake the pizzas on a stone or on screens such as shown in the photos?

Second, whereas I used a thickness factor of 0.105 for the recipe you used, that is actually high for most NY styles. There are some members who prefer a fairly thick crust, but if you want to use a thickness factor that is more common for the authentic NY style, you might try a thickness factor of 0.085. You can always go up or down from there based on your personal preference.

Third, did you use the weight measurements or the volume measurements for the dough? At the time I posted the dough recipe you used, I do not believe that the dough calculating tools existed. There are four such tools but the two tools that are most often used by the members for the type of dough you made are the Lehmann dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html and the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html. With either of those tools, you can enter a bowl residue compensation value (BRC). The bowl residue compensation value increases the amount of dough slightly and compensates for normal dough losses during the preparation of the dough. For most doughs made in a stand mixer, I use and typically recommend a BRC value of 1.5%. Once the dough has been made, it can be weighed and scaled back to the desired dough ball weight. The loss of 80 grams you experienced might have been because you did not use a BRC, or it could have happened if you used the volume measurements, which can be erratic and vary from one person to another, instead of the weight measurements. It could also have happened if you mismeasured the flour or water ingredients, since they are the two major ingredients from a weight standpoint.

Fourth, when using a bread flour instead of a high-gluten flour, you should lower the hydration value a bit. The KABF can handle a hydration value of 63% but 62% should be a bit better value, and, all else being equal, might lead to a slightly less extensible dough at the time you form a skin out of it.

Fifth, you were on the cusp in kneading the dough for five minutes after having added the IDY to the flour. Tom Lehmann, whose dough recipe you used, advocates prehydrating IDY in a bit of warm water when the knead time is to be about five minutes or less. The warm water should be a small part of the total formula water. The rest of the formula water should be on the cool side so that the finished dough temperature is in the desired range (about 75-80 degrees F when a standard home refrigerator is used to cool the dough).
 
Sixth, for some tips that I have come up with and have read on the forum and elsewhere that relate to the use of standard home ovens and stones and screens, you might take a look at Reply 45 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg20965.html#msg20965. That post relates primarily to the use of an electric oven and long predates the use of metal plates that some members now use, but one of the main points of that post is to show how to move a pizza around the oven to achieve the desired top and bottom bakes.

Peter

Offline Musky

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 11:42:23 AM »
Thanks for chiming in, Pete.  First, the pizzas were just set on the screen to cool.  They were cooked on a stone, albeit on parchment paper as I'm a tad launch shy at this point.  I did not want a bunch of corn meal on the bottom, and forgot to buy semolina.  I did use weight measurements.  I suspect I may have made a mistake with the flour, and did not use a dough residue factor.  Could you clarify your "on the cusp" comment for me?  Is five minutes too long or too short?  And what about the mixer speed?  Is 3 or 4 appropriate?  As for water temperature, I used bottled water at room temperature which, in the case of my house and the early Winter we've been subjected to in Cheeseland, was likely 62-64*.  I did measure the dough temperature after kneading and it was around 70*.  I thought that was a little low. 

As for the bread flour, I have ordered some KASL that should be here tomorrow.  The next attempt will be using that.  I have a gas oven and an electric oven.  While the electric might get a bit hotter, the gas has the unreal infrared broiler that is really hot, and heats up and turns off very quickly.  On the other hand, the gas oven is big, as it is the large side of a 48" range.  The electric is a wall oven which would just fit my 15" stone.

A couple more questions.  Would the results have been better with a shorter fridge time?  It seems 48 hours is the most common.  Mine was longer mainly because I wanted it Saturday and made it Wednesday as I knew I would be too lazy to make it after eating turkey on Thursday.  And what about the use of parchment paper?  That sure makes it easy.  Would you have a formula for KASL you prefer more than the one I picked?  There are so very, very many, it's kind of mind blowing.

I wish I was closer in time to my last visit to NYC, because honestly, I'm not sure exactly what I'm trying to create in terms of bite and chew.  I have had pizza from Di Fara, Lombardi's, Joe's on Bleeker, and one or two others, but it was five years ago, and many pizzas have been consumed since that time.  And here in WI I eat mostly thin and crispy crusts from a couple local places.  As far as taste and texture, for me, the crust on the clam pizza was by far the best. 

Kevin


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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 02:55:27 PM »
Kevin,

By "on the cusp", I meant to say that five minutes knead time was too short. For further detail, see Tom Lehmann's PMQ Think Tank posts at  http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7527&p=51038&hilit#p51038 and at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7684&p=52689&hilit=#p52689. In rereading your original post, I missed that you used speed 3 of your mixer. That might have been good enough to knead the dough in five minutes. I'm not sure how that speed compares with the speeds used by commercial mixers. In my case, I tend to use the stir/1 and 2/3 speeds for my old KitchenAid stand mixer. My favorite method of making dough in my KitchenAid stand mixer is described at the bottom of Reply 745 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25401.msg281529.html#msg281529 except that step 6 will not apply in your case. I should also point out that the method outlined in Reply 745 works especially well when the hydration plus oil percents combined are below about 58%. But it will also work for higher hydrations.

I see no problem with using parchment paper. It is sort of a crutch and most people who start with parchment paper eventually graduate to using a peel, but in my experience once the hydration value gets to around 64-65% (or higher), I might be inclined to use parchment paper because of the higher risk of the dressed skin sticking to the peel, even when using a release agent, such as semolina or cornmeal. I would rather use the parchment paper than run the risk of losing the entire pizza and/or causing a big oven mess.

I also don't see a problem with letting the dough go to three days of cold fermentation instead of two days. However, if you know at the outset that you are going to three days, you might add about 1-2% sugar to be sure that the yeast is adequately fed for the three days and to create enough residual sugar in the dough at the time of baking to contribute to final crust coloration. It might also help to use a lower finished dough temperature. The 70 degrees F finished dough temperature that you had with your last dough is a good value in my opinion.

As for the recipe you used, I think it is fine for your experiments. It is a basic NY style dough recipe. Eventually, you may find that you would like to use a bit more oil (but usually not to exceed 3%) or a bit of sugar (not to exceed 1-2%) and a lower thickness factor. Some people use no oil or sugar at all, so personal preferences do come into play. Some fans of the NY style might frown on your use of the KASL. Apart from the fact that it is not bromated, as are the flours used by most pizza professionals who specialize in the NY style, it is a high-gluten flour that can lead to a somewhat leathery and overly chewy crust, especially after cooling. Those fans might suggest using a bromated flour with a protein content of around 13%. Unfortunately, such flours are not readily available at the retail level. For now, I wouldn't let that deter you. Try the KASL, if only to compare the results with the KABF. In the process, you should learn something that might guide you in your future efforts with the NY style.

Peter

Offline Musky

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2013, 03:29:10 PM »
Thanks, Pete, for the links and suggestions.  I'll likely give the KASL a go this coming weekend with a little longer kneading, then a two day fridge rest.  We'll see how those turn out.  I'll likely try one in my gas oven, and one in my electric oven to see if there's a difference, there, too.

I've seen it mentioned that some put foil over the rack above the rack on which the stone rests.  Essentially making a lower ceiling.  Any input or opinions on that?

Kevin

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2013, 07:20:11 PM »
I've seen it mentioned that some put foil over the rack above the rack on which the stone rests.  Essentially making a lower ceiling.  Any input or opinions on that?
Kevin,

I know that some members feel that putting aluminum foil on an upper rack position helps but I don't recall trying that myself. I think member Pythonic (Nate) is a recent convert to that method.

Peter

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2013, 08:02:17 PM »
Yeah, Nate mentioned something about that in a reply in the thread I started because my crusts were coming out pale. In my response to Nate, I said that I already had a small piece of foil on the top rack, but I didn't explain why.

I had the foil on the top rack for the total opposite reason that Nate suggested. That is, sometimes I use a piece of foil to block heat from my broiler, because my oven's broiler makes the cheese melt in a different way than I want it to melt. (Well, it used to, anyway. Seems to do better now.)

However, I thought Nate's makeshift oven roof trick made sense, so I'm probably going to try it soon.

Offline Musky

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 08:58:19 PM »
Yeah, Nate mentioned something about that in a reply in the thread I started because my crusts were coming out pale. In my response to Nate, I said that I already had a small piece of foil on the top rack, but I didn't explain why.

I had the foil on the top rack for the total opposite reason that Nate suggested. That is, sometimes I use a piece of foil to block heat from my broiler, because my oven's broiler makes the cheese melt in a different way than I want it to melt. (Well, it used to, anyway. Seems to do better now.)

However, I thought Nate's makeshift oven roof trick made sense, so I'm probably going to try it soon.

It seems to make sense.  What about a couple cookie sheets?

Kevin

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2013, 09:15:33 PM »
It seems to make sense.  What about a couple cookie sheets?
Kevin,

After my last post, I remember that one of our members, ThunderStik (Bill), used a large cast iron skillet at an upper rack position. As can be seen at Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8516.msg73660.html#msg73660, Bill used a combination of a pizza stone fairly high up in the oven with the skillet at the top rack position. You will note that the stone is thin. Bill said that he had thicker stones but the thinner stone worked better because it would lose heat during baking at about the same time that the top was done and, as a result, the bottom crust would not be burned or overbaked. Bill's oven--a gas oven--ran at around 600-650 degrees F. The purpose of the skillet, he said, was to radiate heat to brown the top of the crust.

I'm certain that other members have used cookie sheets, so that might help in your case.

Peter


Offline Musky

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2013, 09:26:58 PM »
Kevin,

After my last post, I remember that one of our members, ThunderStik (Bill), used a large cast iron skillet at an upper rack position. As can be seen at Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8516.msg73660.html#msg73660, Bill used a combination of a pizza stone fairly high up in the oven with the skillet at the top rack position. You will note that the stone is thin. Bill said that he had thicker stones but the thinner stone worked better because it would lose heat during baking at about the same time that the top was done and, as a result, the bottom crust would not be burned or overbaked. Bill's oven--a gas oven--ran at around 600-650 degrees F. The purpose of the skillet, he said, was to radiate heat to brown the top of the crust.

I'm certain that other members have used cookie sheets, so that might help in your case.

Peter

That stone looks fairly similar to mine.  Since I mentioned cookie sheets, I was thinking about skillets.  I have a big carbon steel pan that would hold a lot of heat.  My gas oven is pretty cavernous, so I'm thinking the smaller electric might be better to keep heat concentrated.  Or maybe just buy another pizza stone.

Kevin


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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2013, 01:42:18 AM »
That is, sometimes I use a piece of foil to block heat from my broiler, because my oven's broiler makes the cheese melt in a different way than I want it to melt. (Well, it used to, anyway. Seems to do better now.)

Ryan, for up to 7 minute NY style pizza, faux ceilings, whether they be low mass (foil) or higher (cordierite stones), will never outperform a broiler and are only ideal in broilerless settings.  Broilers are definitely not worry free- there's a learning curve to power cycling them with the right frequency to get the correct top browning when the bottom is done, but they're far easier than faux ceilings- which generally will never give you good top browning without major deflection alchemy.

In a broilerless gas oven setting, foil is a bit untested, but it's definitely worth trying- as long as one maintains an awareness that rising gases need to vent, and that failure to provide a vent could extinguish the flame and create a dangerous situation. I've also found that it's best to place the vent in the center of the oven rather then the sides, as you want the hot rising over the top of the pizza, not up the side walls and bypassing the pizza completely.

But, if you've got a broiler, my suggestion would be to use it. If your cheese is baking strangely, I would look at other potential culprits rather than the broiler (cheese brand, grate size, cheese temp, sauce quantity, thickness factor, etc.).
« Last Edit: December 02, 2013, 01:46:40 AM by scott123 »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2013, 11:14:29 AM »
To be clear, when I said "broiler" in my earlier post, I probably should have said "top element" or something. I don't actually use it as a broiler while I bake pizza; it just goes on while the oven is set to bake, which I assume happens with all electric ovens.

Having never lived in a home with a gas oven, I wonder: Do some gas ovens have broilers in the main oven compartment (or baking chamber), or are all gas oven broilers located in the drawer below the main compartment?

Offline Musky

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2013, 11:17:20 AM »
To be clear, when I said "broiler" in my earlier post, I probably should have said "top element" or something. I don't actually use it as a broiler while I bake pizza; it just goes on while the oven is set to bake, which I assume happens with all electric ovens.

Having never lived in a home with a gas oven, I wonder: Do some gas ovens have broilers in the main oven compartment (or baking chamber), or are all gas oven broilers located in the drawer below the main compartment?

In my case, I have a gas oven with an infrared broiler at the top of the main chamber.  It cranks, too.

Kevin

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2013, 11:25:13 AM »
I hadn't even thought about that kind of setup, nor do I know anything about infrared. Is that an expensive oven?

Offline Musky

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2013, 11:29:50 AM »
I hadn't even thought about that kind of setup, nor do I know anything about infrared. Is that an expensive oven?

Unfortunately, yes.  It's a 48" Wolf Range.  It has a 36" oven with the infrared, a 12" oven, and six burners and a charbroiler on the range top. 

Kevin

scott123

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2013, 03:49:51 PM »
To be clear, when I said "broiler" in my earlier post, I probably should have said "top element" or something. I don't actually use it as a broiler while I bake pizza; it just goes on while the oven is set to bake, which I assume happens with all electric ovens.

Having never lived in a home with a gas oven, I wonder: Do some gas ovens have broilers in the main oven compartment (or baking chamber), or are all gas oven broilers located in the drawer below the main compartment?

Some have broilers in the main compartment, some have a single burner in the bottom with a broiling drawer below.  Based upon the small sample of people I know who own gas ovens, I would say that the owners with main oven compartment broilers outnumber the drawer folks by around 70/30 or even 80/20. I definitely believe that the age of the oven plays a large role- that older ovens are more likely to have the broiler drawer than newer ones (although I believe broiler drawer ovens are still manufactured).

If you haven't used the broiler/top element for NY, I highly recommend it.  You want to position the stone on a shelf that's about 5" below it, and use the broiler towards the middle of the bake.  For less than 7 minute bakes, it's the only way you're going to get balanced heat- and it's the single reason why home ovens blow grills out of the water for fast baked pizza, even though grills have higher peak temps- the broiler in most home ovens allows for far greater balance.  Heat imbalance is much harder of an issue to correct than lower peak temp. The Little Black Egg thread, with it's (presently) 107 pages of mostly unsuccessful attempts at producing balanced heat in a bottom heat scenario, is a strong testament to this fact.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2013, 03:52:15 PM by scott123 »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2013, 04:58:23 PM »
Scott & Cheesehead,

I took a leap with today's pizza and moved my stone up a couple racks. I planned to use the broiler for a couple minutes, as well, but I decided not to do that because I didn't want to make too many changes at the same time. I'd say raising the stone was a good decision. My crust browned much better than any NY style pizza I've made in a long time, except for the part of the pizza that baked in the rear of the oven. (I didn't rotate because I usually don't have to.) I think this will probably become a permanent change. I'll share a couple pics later in "my" thread.

Offline Musky

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2013, 11:34:27 PM »
I tried again with the same formula except I used KASL.  This time after mixing and balling, I let it rise on the counter for four hours.  The in the fridge for about 64 hours, then on the counter for three before baking.  I'm playing with using the infrared broiler in my gas oven.  Oven set between 500* and the broiler setting.  Bake for three minutes, then broiler for three (it probably hits full temp in about a minute), then bake for another minute. 

1st picture is crushed tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, Pecorino Romano, Gorgonzola, salami, roasted tomatoes and red onions, spinach, and Aleppo pepper.  The crust was nicely flavored, browned not too badly on the bottom I don't think.  But again is seemed too thin and droopy.

2nd picture is crushed tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, Pecorino Romano, Gorgonzola, spinach and Aleppo pepper.  This one I ran the broiler first and turned it off after 2 1/2 minutes.  Baked a total of 6 1/2 minutes.  It got a little too brown in spots.  Again thin and droopy. 

I fear my stone isn't hot enough when the pizza hits.  I might have put on too many toppings.  Tasted great, though.  Since reading about Aleppo pepper on this site, I'm putting it on everything.  lol.

Kevin





Offline Musky

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2013, 02:46:20 PM »
I reheated a couple pieces for lunch at 350* for 2 1/2 minutes and they get a little more crispy.  I like it better.

Kevin

Offline Musky

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Re: A Cheesehead does New York. Style
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2013, 11:21:14 PM »
Used a poolish this time.  They were crispier.  With a better crumb.  They didn't brown as well though.  I'm still jockeying around with the broiler.

1st is a white pie.  Ricotta and sour cream as a base/sauce.  Some sharp white cheddar.  Sliced Yukon gold, garlic, and diced bacon

2nd is light crushed tomato sauce, WM mozzarella, romano, white cheddar, gorgonzola, mushrooms, and diced bacon.

Kevin





 

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