Author Topic: Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making  (Read 2637 times)

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Offline Fio

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Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making
« on: March 08, 2006, 01:26:14 PM »
Disclaimer: I do not purport to know any more about pizza making than anyone else on this wonderful forum.  I am not Varasano, :chef: Pete-zza,  :chef: nor do I pretend that I even approach their breadth of knowledge and skill.  I merely wish to share my personal observations for making decent NY-Style pizza at home:


1. Thou shalt pay STRICT attention to hydration levels in dough formulation, with no less than 62% hydration;
2. Thou shalt use only high-gluten flour;
3. Thou shalt utilize a 20-minute autolysis (rest) when mixing;
4. Thou shalt retard the dough at least one day, preferably two, in the fridge;
5. Thou shalt retard and proof the dough in a round-shaped container.
6. Thou shalt stretch, never roll, the dough;
7. Thou shalt cook the pizza on a stone, in as hot an oven as you can find;
8. Thou shalt use only the best whole-milk mozzarella available;
9. Thou shalt never cook a pizza sauce beforehand, but use good-quality crushed tomatoes with a minimum of herbs and garlic for flavor;
10. Thou shalt have no more than three toppings on any one slice of pizza.

Note how over half of them deal with dough.  My pizza was never very good until I joined this forum and improved my dough.

That's it!  Comments?

- Fio
« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 02:14:18 PM by 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 nostalgia

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Re: Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2006, 01:56:23 PM »
I love them :)  I haven't tried autolysis yet, but I plan to with my next dough, whether it be pizza or bread.

The only one I could disagree with is 9.  I've had excellent results with cooked sauces.  I guess it depends on your palette, and definition of 'authentic'.

-Joe
« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 02:20:15 PM by nostalgia »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2006, 03:26:14 PM »
Fio,

I can't really argue with your commandments. Even though there is some wiggle room, they should produce consistently good results.

One of my own personal commandments is to strive for a finished dough temperature of around 75 degrees F (by temperature adjusting the water) and get the dough into the refrigerator as fast as possible, preferably in a metal container or plastic storage bag or anything else that will cool quickly and help keep the dough on the cool side.

I have mixed reactions to autolyse. I like it for doughs using preferments and doughs like Raquel but not for the basic NY style, such as the basic Lehmann NY style. But I accept its popularity among many of our members, so a commandment is not out of line.

I also like the use of a screen in conjunction with a stone and broiler (if needed) for pizzas larger than my stone, such as 16" and up. Arguably a stone would be better, and if I were starting all over again, I would get the larger stone. I also believe that a good pizza can be made at temperatures lower than the maximum oven temperature. It took me a while to figure this out.

Another personal commandment is not to covet my neighbor's pizza.

Peter

Offline statu

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Re: Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2006, 11:06:21 AM »
I must be on my way to Pizza Hell >:D I brake 4 sometimes 5 of your commandments. Oh well Pizza hell it is then. How bad could it really be down there?   Now severing Little Caesars for the next 1000 years!!! :-X

Offline Fio

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Re: Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2006, 11:26:08 AM »
I must be on my way to Pizza Hell >:D I brake 4 sometimes 5 of your commandments. Oh well Pizza hell it is then. How bad could it really be down there?   Now severing Little Caesars for the next 1000 years!!! :-X

In spite of that, you make damn fine pizza.  As I said, these are MY personal rules, and if this forum proves anything, pizza is in the eye of the beholder.

 - Fio, thinking longingly of the 5 doughballs in his fridge, wondering if it's Friday yet?
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 varasano

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Re: Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2006, 10:38:40 AM »
I think you could experiment with other flours. I have hi gluten, but almost never make a recipe with more than 20% of it.

Jeff

Offline Lydia

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Re: Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2006, 01:54:30 PM »
I'm with Jeff.

My pantry has 8 different flours and I use them all in pizza making, not exclusively.

High-gluten
Semolina
Pizza Blend
Bread Flour
All-purpose Bleached and unbleached
Self-rising
Pastry Flour
Cake Flour

Oh! forgot Cornmeal, but I dont consider it a flour.

And then there is my Masa flour, but I haven't tried it in pizza....yet   ;D  ;)
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline Artale

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Re: Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2006, 05:20:23 PM »

Your commandment are pretty solid.

I recently did a science project with my daughter and proved in
our experiment that you can make excellent pizza using all purpose flour
or hi gluten. In fact i am sure at this stage i could probably make a good
pizza with any flour. I agree with the jeff varasano philosophy here.

Any way my daughter won 3 rd place in the competition which was
judged by brookhaven national labs here on long island.

I am gonna try mixing flours next.  Say 80% all purpose and 20% High glut.

One last thing there is a pizzeria in my neigborhood that makes outstanding
NY street with all purpose flour and as a kid growing up in brooklyn and queens
you can trust me he makes very good pie.

 :chef:

Offline DKM

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Re: Fio's Ten Commandments of NY-Style pizza making
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2006, 08:38:42 PM »
I must be on my way to Pizza Hell >:D I brake 4 sometimes 5 of your commandments. Oh well Pizza hell it is then. How bad could it really be down there?   Now severing Little Caesars for the next 1000 years!!! :-X

I know I break some but i believe all rules are there to be broken.  I have fun doing that all the time.

DKM
I'm on too many of these boards