Author Topic: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success  (Read 540 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline OldSchoolNY

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
  • I Love Pizza!
After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« on: November 09, 2014, 05:42:02 PM »
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!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 05:44:54 PM by OldSchoolNY »


Offline chickenparm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1786
  • Location: Back in Indy...Making New York Style Pies
  • Oh No,Not Pizza Again!!!
Re: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2014, 12:45:43 AM »
 :drool:

It looks amazing! I laughed reading your story,I made the same errors,mistakes or know what you mean by your comments and feelings.

I still don't have a recipe that nails it everytime,I changed too much stuff,tried to many different settings recipes etc.

While I used a fibrament stone that filled up my entire rack,I had to use a screen for the 18 inch pies to get it cooked,then slide it off,trying to just use a peel in the oven in confined space,well,we know the accidents that can happen. A deck oven,you can launch the pie with room to spare,spin it ,move it around,at home we gotta be careful not to turn it into a burning calzone that seems to be magnetically attracted to the gaps or burners.

Love the color of the pizza....orangey oily goodness!

 :pizza:

-Bill

Offline OldSchoolNY

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2014, 09:05:37 AM »
A deck oven,you can launch the pie with room to spare,spin it ,move it around,at home we gotta be careful not to turn it into a burning calzone that seems to be magnetically attracted to the gaps or burners.
--------------------------------------

LOL, yep.

Thanks for the reply. I'm totally proud and the taste was spot on, but then I look around at everyone else's pies and start thinking that mine doesn't measure up. But that's a problem within me, and it goes beyond pizza. I'd be thrilled if I could just replicate it with the other half of Biga I've got in the fridge.

I'll probably keep tweaking but as you mentioned, that's where it gets dangerous. You can't tell from the photos, but I didn't like how the sauce had gone kind of pink and I'd change that if I could. Anyone ever seen that? Maybe it was too watery?

Offline Essen1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3392
  • Location: SF Bay Area
    • The Hobby Cook
Re: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2014, 03:42:18 PM »
Nice work, OldSchool!

You might want to post your formula so we can have a look at it and maybe get some improvements going of you feel your pie doesn't measure up. Personally, I think it looks great.

Regarding the sauce, I personally prefer ground tomatoes or crushed ones such as 6in1, Cento or 7/11. Uncooked.

And if you really want to step your game up, I'd suggest you look into Tony Gemignani's book, The Pizza Bible. Very informative and helpful.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline RICO

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 19
  • Location: Eastern Sierra
Re: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 02:30:25 AM »
...if you really want to step your game up, I'd suggest you look into Tony Gemignani's book, The Pizza Bible. Very informative and helpful.


I'd suggest ignoring this spam advice.  Your pie looks *great* and Tony would do well having you as a contributing author for the next version of his "Bible".

Other than that,  ^^^ with Essen1.    :)


Offline hodgey1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 63
  • Location: NW Pa
  • I Love Pizza!
    • My WFO
Re: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 07:45:56 AM »
I think your pies look great particularly the bottom crust, nice job. ^^^  My only comments are to echo the remarks of Essin1, do not cook your sauce and use a good quality can of crushed or ground tomato. In my trip working on Ny style, I have also found using thin deli sliced mozzarella put down first then spreading sauce on top of it, has greatly enhanced the tomato flavor of my pies.  Since the sauce is above the cheese it has more exposure to the heat and thickens and concentrates the flavor. Its one of the many tips I've learned here, give it a try, I love it! 

Offline jsaras

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 726
  • Location: Northridge, CA
Re: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 08:55:45 AM »
On the next go-around I'd suggest cutting the topping amounts in half and using KABF.
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Online rparker

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 05:52:06 PM »
 ^^^ with everyone on the toppings issue.

Congrats on your NY Pizza quest achievement, btw.

I've gotten the toppings part down, but am struggling with the crust.

My sauce is tons better NY-flavor when it has a chance to cook decently at bake instead of too much cheese. I love cheese. I got away with a bit more by putting clumps down instead of broad, even coverage. Sauce gets exposed to heat a bit more is my theory. Well, one of them. I never pre-cook sauce either. A bit of garlic powder, oregano, sugar and if standing water in the crushed tomatoes, a bit of tomato powder. (MUCH better than paste IMHO)

And if I put too many toppings on and it doesn't cook as well, it's got a great fresh tomato flavor to it. Sort of a win win.

I'm trying the KABF route right now, but it's bombing due to user error. Too elastic and very tough to chew, but man, what a great flavor. Nice color, too.


Online woodmakesitgood

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 242
  • Location: CA
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 06:08:29 PM »
OldSchool, what kind of cheese did you use, and how did you lay it down?

Offline Essen1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3392
  • Location: SF Bay Area
    • The Hobby Cook
Re: After More than a Decade (Really), First NY Pie Success
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 08:51:11 PM »

I'd suggest ignoring this spam advice. 

Seriously? You obviously haven't read the book yet.

Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/


 

pizzapan