Author Topic: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  (Read 8052 times)

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Offline adletson

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2014, 11:19:48 AM »
This has got to be one of the coolest threads on this forum. I hope everything goes well and I can't wait to hear what the reception to your pizza is.  And we gotta have a picture of the homemade pizza peel!


scott123

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2014, 01:35:01 PM »
Andrew, it looks like things are moving forward nicely.

I have a few ideas that I'm sure, with your background, you've already thought of, but, just in case you hadn't, I thought it wouldn't hurt to mention them.

Donuts are generally cake flour.  22 kg of cake flour is an entirely different ball game than 22 kg of high-ish gluten flour when it comes to stress on the mixer. Mo gluten  mo problems :)

As I'm sure you're aware, the absolute best substitute for pork in traditional Italian American sausage is veal.  In fact, I think you'd probably find quite a few old school Italians who think veal is better than pork.  I don't know what your availability might be for veal, or if it's feasible from a cost perspective, but, if you can get veal, that's what I'd go with.

The flavor in meat comes entirely from the fat.  When blindfolded, it's virtually impossible to detect the difference between very lean beef, very lean pork and very lean chicken. They've done studies on this.  I don't think the flavor of beef belongs in traditional Italian sausage, but, you could probably capitalize on the lean flavorless phenomenon by using very lean beef and combining it with either the fat from another animal, or, possibly even a hard vegetable fat, such as palm oil. Butter might even be neutral enough to work.

Regarding the recipe, anise is very fennel-like, so it probably wouldn't be bad in Italian sausage, but, if you're looking for that old fashioned NY area flavor, I'd probably skip it, as no commercial Italian sausage I've ever heard of contains anise. And you really want to be careful with the other spices. I've researched Italian sausage recipes online and they can get pretty egregious with the number of ingredients.  Commercial sausage should be very simple. Fennel, pepper, salt, sugar- and not much more.  I'm still trying to decide whether or not coriander should be a component, but, beyond that, I'd avoid it.

Unless, of course, a classic NY area commercial sausage is not your goal, and you're just doing your own thing.

When it comes to pushing an oven to do faster bakes, the thermostat mod is only one in a list of tweaks that typically need to be performed, and, when done on it's own, rarely provides much of a bake time reduction.  As Walter pointed out, as you push the thermostat higher, the propensity is for the oven to burn the bottom of the pie before the top is done.  Depending on how the oven is setup, you most likely won't even get balanced bakes at 590.

Balance (typically more top heat in an average gas deck when pushed to higher temps) is directly correlated to the number of BTUs the burner is pumping out and the manner in which the heat is deflected away from the bottom stone and up towards the ceiling.  I don't want to sound too pessimistic, but we've had numerous members source Asian ovens, and the specs/build quality have typically been pretty disappointing.  Does your oven have a single burner or a burner for each deck?

What are your oven's internal dimensions? If you want faster, balanced bakes, which, from your Lombardi's experience, I'm sure you know make better pizza, you need a very intense, high BTU burner and good deflection- usually metal sheeting between the stone and burner that leads the heat up the side channels and away from the stones. A brick ceiling also goes a long way in bolstering top heat for better heat balance at elevated temps.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 09:45:05 PM by scott123 »

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2014, 09:17:43 PM »
This has got to be one of the coolest threads on this forum. I hope everything goes well and I can't wait to hear what the reception to your pizza is.  And we gotta have a picture of the homemade pizza peel!

Thank you very much, and I don't know how photogenic it will be - but I promise I'll post a picture of the peel!

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2014, 09:53:44 PM »
Andrew, it looks like things are moving forward nicely.

I have a few ideas that I'm sure, with your background, you've already thought of, but, just in case you hadn't, I thought it wouldn't hurt to mention them.

Donuts are generally cake flour.  22 kg of cake flour is an entirely different ball game than 22 kg of high-ish gluten flour when it comes to stress on the mixer. Mo gluten  mo problems :)

As I'm sure you're aware, the absolute best substitute for pork in traditional Italian American sausage is veal.  In fact, I think you'd probably find quite a few old school Italians who think veal is better than pork.  I don't know what your availability might be for veal, or if it's feasible from a cost perspective, but, if you can get veal, that's what I'd go with.

The flavor in meat comes entirely from the fat.  When blindfolded, it's virtually impossible to detect the difference between very lean beef, very lean pork and very lean chicken. They've done studies on this.  I don't think the flavor of beef belongs in traditional Italian sausage, but, you could probably capitalize on the lean flavorless phenomenon by using very lean beef and combining it with either the fat from another animal, or, possibly even a hard vegetable fat, such as palm oil. Butter might even be neutral enough work.

Regarding the recipe, anise is very fennel-like, so it probably wouldn't be bad in Italian sausage, but, if you're looking for that old fashioned NY area flavor, I'd probably skip it, as no commercial Italian sausage I've ever heard of contains anise. And you really want to be careful with the other spices. I've researched Italian sausage recipes online and they can get pretty egregious with the number of ingredients.  Commercial sausage should be very simple. Fennel, pepper, salt, sugar- and not much more.  I'm still trying to decide whether or not coriander should be a component, but, beyond that, I'd avoid it.

Unless, of course, a classic NY area commercial sausage is not your goal, and you're just doing your own thing.

When it comes to pushing an oven to do faster bakes, the thermostat mod is only one in a list of tweaks that typically need to be performed, and, when done it's own, rarely provides much of a bake time reduction.  As Walter pointed out, as you push the thermostat higher, the propensity is for the oven to burn the bottom of the pie before the top is done.  Depending on how the oven is setup, you most likely won't even get balanced bakes at 590.

Balance (typically more top heat in an average gas deck when pushed to higher temps) is directly correlated to the number of BTUs the burner is pumping out and the manner in which the heat is deflected away from the bottom stone and up towards the ceiling.  I don't want to sound too pessimistic, but we've had numerous members source Asian ovens, and the specs/build quality have typically been pretty disappointing.  Does your oven have a single burner or a burner for each deck?

What are your oven's internal dimensions? If you want faster, balanced bakes, which, from your Lombardi's experience, I'm sure you know make better pizza, you need a very intense, high BTU burner and good deflection- usually metal sheeting between the stone and burner that leads the heat up the side channels and away from the stones. A brick ceiling also goes a long way in bolstering top heat for better heat balance at elevated temps.

Hi Scott,

Thank you so much for the detailed reply.  I really appreciate the time you took to give your assessment, and you bring up some very valid points.  Enough points that it triggered an immediate tension headache as I read your post just after waking up this morning.  :D  I have since taken some Motrin and am ready to respond.

Here's the overall thing.  I have been engaged to create the prototype in what will hopefully become a chain of "New York Style Pizzerias" in South East Asia.  And our key definition of what a NY pizzeria is has to do with the size of the pie first and foremost.  We are introducing not only an 18 inch pie here in Malaysia, but a SLICE as well.  No one does slices here.  No one.  As far as anyone doing "New York Style" pizzas - yes - Domino's has that on their menu.  But I don't think we need to debate the merits of a Domino's NY style pie.  Although, both Domino's and Pizza Hut are killing it here in Malaysia, with Papa John's running a very distant third.  But none of them do slices - and that is our core concept.

Now, as far as the dough mixer and the oven.  Going back to the concept of this being the prototype for a chain, the guy who pays me wants everything to be sourced locally.  My job is to make it work - or at least get the maximum I can from what are lesser products than their American or Italian counterparts.

I am a Hobart man from way back.  It's the best machine out there IMO.  You can buy a used one from 1960 and it will continue to be a workhorse for you.  That said, I am going with the local mixer for availability and price.  Mostly price.  OK, only for price.  Will it do a 22KG batch of 11% Hi Gluten dough, which is what I plan to start with?  I'll let you know.  But my first batch will be based on 10KG of flour and I'm pretty confident that will work.  And the owner already knows my reservations of using a belt-driven machine versus gear-driven.

Awesome information on Italian sausage.  First, I use fennel and anise seeds interchangeably when speaking, but of course fennel is savory and anise is sweet and fennel is the way to go.  Italian sausage is sometimes called fennel sausage - you never hear it called anise sausage.

That said, in my research on this topic, I hadn't come across veal as a substitute and it is available here.  We'll see about the cost.  Malaysia produces no beef/veal so all of that comes from Australia or New Zealand or if you want to max out your credit card then Wagu from Japan.  And of course fat adds the flavor - but I hadn't thought of palm oil or butter. Scott, if I use any combination of that and it works, I will give you full credit.

Now the oven.  To answer your question, it is a triple-Decker with individually controlled decks.  It's the best "Baker's Oven" they have, as opposed to their "pizza oven" which was crap.  I did know about using a metal tray to diffuse the heat, just like I use the top of a number 10 can when cooking sauce on a flame - so the bottom doesn't burn.  I don't know about the feasibility of a brick ceiling, but of course I can see the merits.

All to say:  there will be a lot of experimentation at the beginning to produce the best pie possible with what I am working with.  Will it be the best pie in the world?  No, but I knew that going in and that's not the end game here.  Will it be significantly better than Domino's and Pizza Hut?  That, of course, is a rhetorical question.  ;D

Scott, once again thank you so much for your input, I welcome it at any time, as I do everyones input.  This forum has been an invaluable resource and I'm so glad to be a part of it.

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2014, 11:24:23 PM »
you could probably capitalize on the lean flavorless phenomenon by using very lean beef and combining it with either the fat from another animal, or, possibly even a hard vegetable fat, such as palm oil.

Did you know Malaysia is the world's second largest producer of Palm Oil - right behind Indonesia?  In fact, I can see Palm Oil trees from my balcony (see picture below, circled in red).

I've also attached a photo from a meeting we had yesterday with a paper manufacturer.  We're getting slice boxes custom made and that's a picture of the prototype.  The engineer is on the left and Michael Helfman, owner of Mikey's Original New York Pizza is holding the box.

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2014, 11:14:08 AM »
And we gotta have a picture of the homemade pizza peel!

Well, things were looking dim for the peel, until the designer said he knew a guy out in a village who could do the work for us.  So we hopped in a car and drove about 30 minutes outside of Kuala Lumpur to a small village filled with old shops.  We pulled up to this pretty big workshop.  It was about 95 outside and probably 120 inside.  There was one fan going, probably because they didn't want to blow all the sawdust around - and of course, nobody was wearing masks or gloves or any protective equipment.

We spoke to the owner and explained what we wanted.  Mike drew an outline on a piece of untreated wood and things got going.  Just a tape measure and a paint pail to mark the rounded edges.  He beveled the front to a fine edge just like I wanted.  We left happy and asked for 4 more and he's doing 20 wooden dough boxes as well.  Should have the first dough box on Monday.  Here are some pictures.

Talk to you guys next week, I'm off to Phnom Penh for a little R&R before things get really busy.

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2014, 11:34:14 AM »
And to Scott123,

I started doing a little research and it seems that they are pretty serious here in Malaysia about using Palm Oil as a Halal food animal fat replacer.  http://www.primahalal.com/technology/safar.htm

Thanks so much for bringing that to my attention! Looks like we're going to go that way.  Now I'm hunting for some decent collagen casings.

Offline waltertore

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2014, 01:44:05 PM »
Man Andrew you are really building it up from ground 0.  I didn't realize everything had to be sourced locally.  Heck, pizza has survived, mutated, been enjoyed by so many around the world for so long, you will shine too!  It must be exciting to turn a culture on to a new thing.  I kind of get that here in Ohio with our pizza only I can get everything I need pretty easily.  Your journey is an ispiration to everyon to get off their butt and follow their dreams :chef:  Walter

scott123

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2014, 06:07:55 PM »
Andrew, I have to be honest, when I threw out the palm oil idea, it was an ingredient, that, based upon your geography, I knew you could obtain, but, I wasn't/am not all that gung ho about it. Flavorwise, I would definitely see first if you can score some cheap fatty ground veal, and, if not, then try butter before palm oil. Crisco's been palm oil since '04, and I don't see that bringing much flavor to the table. The intent of my original post was to get you to look at every fat/oil you have available and then tasting them to see which one/which combination of ones gives the porkiest results.

Veal sausage is pretty common where I am in NE NJ.  It's no where near as common as pork, of course, but I would say that you find veal sausage more frequently than you find ground veal- and I'm not in a hugely Italian area, either.  My area is fairly affluent, though, and veal tends to be much costlier, so that might be a factor. Regardless, though, veal makes an absolutely stunning Italian sausage. 

It's hard to tell from the photo, but the peel looks like it might be plywood. Is it? Plywood uses a formaldehyde glue, which is definitely not food safe. If it's not plywood, then it's great you found someone that could fashion it for you.

All to say:  there will be a lot of experimentation at the beginning to produce the best pie possible with what I am working with.  Will it be the best pie in the world?  No, but I knew that going in and that's not the end game here.

Not the best pie in the world?  What kind of blasphemy is this?  ;D  Are you sure you're from NY?  ;)

Seriously, though... Andrew, I've seen people encounter extraordinary difficulties endeavoring to making pizza in Asia, and, for the most part, these difficulties were insurmountable and compromises had to be reached, so I can understand how you might be tempering your expectations, but, these people didn't have your background :)  Sure, I'm a little skeptical of the mixer, I have some slight reservations regarding the oven and Asian flour has a history of not always matching up, percentage point to percentage point, to it's published protein content, but... so far, I see nothing preventing you from making the best slice in the world.

You've already, by modding the oven to reach a higher temp, shown that you understand the connection between fast bake times and better pizza, which puts you light years ahead of anyone else in Asia- and, for that matter, in the world.

Unless I'm totally off the mark and you're seeing something that I'm not, I say, make the best slice in the world- until you can't. Until you run into that wall, though, expect glory :)

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2014, 06:38:51 PM »
Scott,

I agree with you on the palm oil. In the U.S., producers of margarine and margarine-like and shortening products have been tripping all over each other to use oils like palm oil, and also palm kernel, but it is not because of flavor. It is to reduce or get rid of Trans Fats because the FDA is breathing down their necks.

Peter


Offline dmckean44

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2014, 07:18:17 PM »
I think we're going off the assumption here that the palm oil in Malaysia is refined and that might not even be true. Unrefined palm oil is red and has a ton of flavor and might go well in an Italian sausage if well seasoned.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2014, 07:25:33 PM »
I think we're going off the assumption here that the palm oil in Malaysia is refined and that might not even be true. Unrefined palm oil is red and has a ton of flavor and might go well in an Italian sausage if well seasoned.
Dave,

Good point. You are also correct that palm oil in unrefined form is red (see, for example, http://www.amazon.com/Omni-Unrefined-Palm-33-8-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B005DZ2SMU/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Peter

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2014, 10:32:05 AM »
Hey guys,

Some great responses in great detail and it may take a couple of days to answer them with the detail they deserve, but I will get to it.  Especially for Scott, who I must thank again for the level of detail.  Just a quick note - I'm pretty sure that the peel is from untreated wood, because that is what we specified.  But my Malaysian is non-existent and we will verify this on Monday.

scott123

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2014, 11:37:45 AM »
Andrew, from the research I've done on this, plain old plywood uses untreated wood, but the glue they use to laminate the wood together is formaldehyde based and completely unsafe for food.

Now, I have come across formaldehyde free plywood, but it's expensive, and very rare.  If it it's hard to find in the U.S., I'm guessing that it's close to impossible to find in Malaysia.

It won't be as easy to build, but your woodworker should be able to follow the traditional method- take a lightweight hardwood, such as oak, cut it into 3/4" x 2"-ish planks, glue them together with carpenter's glue and then clamp and allow them to dry.  Ideally, he'll have a belt sander that will allow him to bevel the entire peel. I just measured my peel, and the tip of the handle is 3/4" and where the blade starts, it's a little less than 1/2".  This gives you the lightest peel, that's also the easiest to launch with.

Offline JBailey

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2014, 12:23:29 PM »
I've used a regular plywood peel for years. Never been a problem and never suffered ill effects. I'm curious how exactly the evil formaldehyde is supposed to penetrate the food?

scott123

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2014, 02:38:28 PM »
When you bevel the edge, you expose the glue, which, in turn, exposes the undercrust of the pizza to formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde isn't, like bromate, a suspected carcinogen. It's a known carcinogen.  Carcinogens don't produce immediate ill effects. It's about long term exposure.

Even if the edge isn't beveled, the laminate is thin enough that I still wouldn't want food near the top layer of plywood.

Offline JBailey

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2014, 03:16:38 PM »
How much glue exactly is being exposed and how much of that is transferred to the pizza dough (I assume you've taken measurements?).
How does that amount compare to the safety levels for formaldehyde (assuming they exist?)


scott123

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2014, 05:03:28 PM »
Formaldehyde is a 'known carcinogen.' There are no safety levels for known carcinogens- no one should ever be exposed to known carcinogens- ever. The levels being transferred have never been measured.

When I eat a slice of pizza made with bromated flour, I'm

a. consuming a chemical compound that has yet to be proven to cause cancer in humans
b. consuming about the same amount of bromate that occurs naturally in a typical glass of water (tap or bottled)

In other words, no one is entirely certain if it causes cancer and, even if it did, the quantity is confirmed- and infinitesimally small.

For plywood, there's zero question about the danger and the quantity is completely unknown.

If you want to argue that the transfer is insignificant and use plywood yourself, go ahead, but, you can't make that decision for your customers. Unless you know for certain that the transfer is trivial, you really shouldn't be using regular plywood for food in a commercial environment.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 05:06:35 PM by scott123 »

Offline JBailey

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2014, 05:11:48 PM »
Surely your medical expertise would be better focused on  extrapolating the carcinogenic risk of charring on neapolitan pizza?
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 05:16:07 PM by JBailey »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2014, 05:16:52 PM »
Please, guys,

Let's await what Andrew finds out on the matter of the material of the peel.

Peter


 

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