As mentioned in my intro thread (required this morning so I could do some searching), I am a transplanted NYer stuck in MA pizza hell and have been for over 20 years. I definitely don't mean to offend anyone from MA, including the guy that said he's found some good stuff here - perhaps I haven't looked hard enough - but I just haven't found anything approaching a genuine NY slice.
Maybe I'm a slow learner, but I have been at this on and off for well over a decade - including absorbing everything in this forum for weeks at a time. And tonight... coincidentally the same day I finally actually sign up here, I have unmitigated NY Pizza Success (I think).
I'm incredibly excited. I know most of us here have had intimate relationships with the usual failures - bland flavor, tough crust, pale crust, no rise, bad sauce, too much cheese - but trust me, I am the master of them all.
As also mentioned in my intro post, I am an amateur baker who has perfected (to my mind) bagels, croissants, cheesecake and Italian bread among other things, but never the elusive NY Pie. I've had some hits over the years, the previous best to tonight being one I made with Jim Lahey's no-knead pizza dough. But honestly I have never made anything that made me feel like I was standing on a NY corner outside a shop as a kid in 1987 with orange grease dripping down my shirt. You know?
Tonight's pie was completely my own in terms of recipe, with a great debt owed to the wonderful tips I've read from so many of you through the years (how do you do it, Pete?).
For the dough I used a yeasted Biga (italian starter usually used for italian loaf) to give me a huge head start on flavor, rise and color. And I also used a relatively low gluten flour - a 2/3 combo of King Arthur AP and 1/3 of their now defunct (or changed) Queen Guenevere Cake Flour, to give me something less chewy - probably not completely authentic, I know - but I value flop over chew. Final dough had salt, little bit of sugar, little bit of oil, and about 65% hydration.
I also cooked my sauce. DOP San Marzano's through a food mill, strained and drained, with a few little hints of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, a pinch of oregano, and a bit of olive oil and sugar. Simmered partially uncovered for about 25 minutes to develop the tomato flavor. I have found that my oven can't do an uncooked sauce justice, and it just turns out, well, bland. If I was making a margherita, I wouldn't cook it and it would be perfect.
Heated my stone at 550 on bottom rack for 45 minutes. Built the pizza on parchment paper and used my screen to transfer it (and the parchment) to the deck. Cheating, yes... but I have had too many pies go awry, including a couple that ended up hanging off the stone, or actually even face down on the bottom of the 500 degree gas oven. Did I mention I am an "amateur" baker? After about 7 minutes, I pushed my screen between the blackened parchment and the pizza and transferred to the top rack where I gas broiled it for about 90 seconds, continually turning it so as not to frizzle any one part.
It was a floppy, moppy, but not too sloppy success! Yes!
Me and new hand model wifey devoured it and wanted more. She's not a huge pizza fan but she knows and loves NY pizza and agreed that this was it. She wants it again. Sorry for the long post. Thank you for reading. Pics are from phone as of course my camera battery was dead. I had no intention earlier today of sharing my pizza here as I did not expect it to end up like this. Please comment if the moment takes you. Thanks!