Author Topic: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?  (Read 5802 times)

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Offline JD

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2014, 02:28:37 PM »
Really? That's news to me. I can't wait to hear your explanation.

It's simple. I could never recreate a NY style pizza using my 550* oven. For me to get close to proper browning, I had to bake for 12+ minutes which I later learned was due to the acidifying nature of sourdough cultures. Maybe I just don't know what I'm doing, that's fine. But one thing I do know is when I stopped using the sourdough starter for NY style, I finally started making NY pizza.


The point I'm trying to make is you're asking for a standard when you know none exists. Does that mean anything goes? I'd say majority rules.
Josh


Online mitchjg

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2014, 02:32:15 PM »

You are an outsider making implications about my area's history, my area's culture. The onus is not on me here. I'm not spending an hour or two googling expert testimony on this subject. If you think that sourdough is or has ever been a component of NY style pizza, you prove it.



Craig, NYC is my birthplace and the culture I was raised in.  I invite you inside and I, as a native, do not consider you an outsider. This country has enough of "them and us" already. 

Offline JD

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2014, 02:34:23 PM »
Mitch, I'm a bit surprised the position you're taking considering we both found this forum due to Varasano's website. Wouldn't you think it would be better for new members to use bakers yeast in their quest for NY style, and try sourdough when they are just in the mood to try something different?

Josh

scott123

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2014, 02:36:49 PM »
I wonder when Terry (tdeane) posted about his making his NY style pizza with a wild yeast culture why nobody questioned what he was doing.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7561.0.html

I guarantee you that the good NY places like Joe's are at more like 60%. I lived in New York and ate at Joe's several times a week...
...For flavorful dough a starter and fermentation  is needed.

I'm sorry, but he's pulling a Varasano here by making the implication that Joe's is naturally leavened. I spent just as much time at Joe's as he did, right about the same time period. I would bet every cent that I've made and every cent that I will make on Joe's pizza being made with baker's yeast.  You've tasted it yourself. Do you really think there's sourdough in Joe's pizza?

Terry Deane lived in this area for 7 years. I'm sorry, but that's not the same thing as growing up here. He's a very talented pizzamaker, but he's no expert on NY style. Case in point:

I believe an authentic NY pizza dough does not have oil or sugar in it.

Are you going to stand behind that statement, too, Norma?  :)

Online TXCraig1

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2014, 02:37:03 PM »
Your argument is that it's essential to have an official organization define a style for it to exist?  It seems that origin, tradition, and common usage define a style.  It's not the AVPN that makes oil a deal breaker for the Neapolitan title.

No. I'm not arguing that. I'm just stating the obvious: VPN has DOC status and NYP has opinion. Presumably the DOC designation is rooted in origin and tradition, but that is not the point. The point is that if someone wants to argue NP, they have the VPN DOC to stand on. Opinion, on the other hand is not far removed from assumption, and that's rarely a firm footing.

With respect to origin and tradition, if the pizza is great, who cares if the yeast was grown in a vat in some factory or captured on a windowsill in Brooklyn? (Scott's answer to this question is interesting in that context, isn't is?)
Pizza is not bread.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2014, 02:39:11 PM »
Mitch, I'm a bit surprised the position you're taking considering we both found this forum due to Varasano's website. Wouldn't you think it would be better for new members to use bakers yeast in their quest for NY style, and try sourdough when they are just in the mood to try something different?

So now it's OK so long as you try baker's yeast first?  :-D
Pizza is not bread.

Online mitchjg

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2014, 02:40:47 PM »
Yes, I do agree with that.

I am very much against being excessively "black and white".  The advocacy  about newbies being well guided to what constitutes a traditional and excellent NY Style Pizza is fine.

But, using that desire to provide that kind of guidance to try to kick the SD discussion to Other (banished to breadsticks) is really using the "Newbie Guidance" issue as a means to an end.  And that end feels like it is way too dogmatic.  I think we need room in the NY forum for innovation and experimentation and I do not like that to be stifled. 

Online quixoteQ

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2014, 02:41:12 PM »
It's not just majority rules, but there certainly doesn't need to be an official authority.  If a style has an origin, and a tradition follows that origin and is perpetuated by a common usage, isn't that good enough?  Just because there are hybrids or outliers wont change what seems obvious to me, at least, that NY style is an authentic, tradition-defined category of pizza.  People who were raised on that tradition and care about it will want, rightly so, to defend it.

Do we need an authority?  If so, look to those who come from and are part of that tradition.  Will someone from that tradition step forward and claim SD to be a part of that tradition?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 02:43:15 PM by quixoteQ »
Josh

Online Pete-zza

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2014, 02:45:39 PM »
It's just a question. I don't know the answer but it does come to mind that IDY & ADY are fairly new in the span of baking.  Did the first italians that made pizza in NY even have access to IDY or ADY?  It occured to me that they must have used brewers yeast or a natural culture.  If it happened before IDY/ADY doesent that mean all NY pizza used a different leavening agent at the inception of NY-style pizza than is being done today?  Not arguing - just curious!
Cheers,
Don
Don,

ADY came into being at around World War II. It was actually developed for home bakers. IDY came into being in the 1970s. Before ADY and IDY, fresh yeast was most likely used commercially for the NY style.

Peter

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2014, 02:46:28 PM »
The point I'm trying to make is you're asking for a standard when you know none exists. Does that mean anything goes? I'd say majority rules.

No, Scott is claiming there is a standard when none exists.

Pizza is not bread.


Offline parallei

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2014, 02:47:25 PM »
[quote author=JD link=topic=33547.msg333169#msg333169 date=1408211576
Sourdough is not beneficial in oven temperatures under 600* unless you dramatically increase bake time. I certainly don't know the true statistics, but I'd guess a high majority of NY pizza restaurants are using deck ovens under 600*
[/quote]
???

If one likes what SD does for a dough, like I do, the bake temperature has nothing to do with it.  I do NP's at 850F, breads at 475F, sicilian and and al taglio at 450ish.  All these are quite different when done with SD.  "Beneficial", of course, is in the eye (tastes) of the beholder.

Online quixoteQ

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2014, 02:49:12 PM »
Also, most people here know that good pizza comes in many shapes and forms.  That's not the issue, is it?  Tradition and style, the desire to recreate it and share it and recognize its various forms is why we have separate pizza categories here, and also common sections to appreciate the beauty of a well-made pizza, even if it has mushrooms on it.  Which it shouldn't.
Josh

Offline JD

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2014, 02:53:02 PM »
So now it's OK so long as you try baker's yeast first?  :-D

You spun that around and you know it.


Yes, I do agree with that.

I am very much against being excessively "black and white".  The advocacy  about newbies being well guided to what constitutes a traditional and excellent NY Style Pizza is fine.

But, using that desire to provide that kind of guidance to try to kick the SD discussion to Other (banished to breadsticks) is really using the "Newbie Guidance" issue as a means to an end.  And that end feels like it is way too dogmatic.  I think we need room in the NY forum for innovation and experimentation and I do not like that to be stifled. 


I've admitted previously that Scott has far more passion about authenticity than I do. But if I can save some poor sap months of misery trying to use Sourdough for NY pizza they grew up eating, I'm all for that. I probably read Varasanos website top to bottom a few dozen times, and I couldn't understand why my pizza was not coming out correctly. In the end all I had to do was use bakers yeast.

Sourdough in a home oven will not get you NY pizza and most deck ovens run at, or near home oven temps.
Josh

Offline JD

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2014, 02:54:26 PM »
even if it has mushrooms on it.  Which it shouldn't.

How dare you... let's start another thread on this  ;D
Josh

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2014, 02:56:40 PM »
You spun that around and you know it.

Yes and no. But to argue that I did, you have cut yourself off at the knees.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Donjo911

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2014, 02:56:50 PM »
How about a sticky "Introduction to the history of NY Style Pizza", approved by the moderators & a blue ribbon panel of PM members (external members too - PQM, others?), that could address the historic and evolutionary aspects of New York style pizza? A short primer, with links to recipes and pictures would be a great starting point for newbies (like me) and save time and potential confusion.
Cheers,
Don
I have done wrong.. but what I did, I thought needed to be done.

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2014, 02:56:53 PM »
Quote
You spun that around and you know it.

Yes and no. But to argue that I did, you have cut yourself off at the knees first.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2014, 02:59:03 PM »
: You can call the pizza you are trying to describe as "Traditional NY Style" and let everyone else call what they are doing in this forum "NY Style."  In other words, you can be the one that is wiling to change for the greater good and still make the point you are trying to make.
Otherwise,you need to toss out all the threads here that don`t make true old school NY pizza.
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scott123

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2014, 03:02:27 PM »
Very well said, thank you.  My concern is that issues get so buried in "official definitions" and we get too black and white, that efforts to improve things are impeded.  Latin is a dead language.  Great NY Style Pizza does not have to be locked in based on something that was prevalent a long time ago, but like Latin, we can study the classics but not change anything.  It could be that, but it does not have to be.

What?  So no one should learn Latin any more?!  Or can someone come along and say "Well, Latin isn't really all that innovative, so let's add some Mandarin to it and spice it up a little bit?" Change is good, right?  ::)

This has absolutely nothing to do with innovation.  People can study any gosh darn language that their heart desires.  They can combine Esperanto and Swahili into an entirely new language and I'll be cheering them on all the way. Just don't call the new language Esperanto. Or Latin.  All I'm asking for is for Latin to still be Latin, regardless of how useful you consider it to be. Personally, I treasure the Latin that I've learned, but I guess I'm just an old fart clinging to dead languages- and dead pizza.

Quote
The ancient ways should be honored because they produced good results.  We should allow room for innovation and lots of it.  We would not be extreme and destructive by banishing SD starter added to NY Style to the home of breadsticks.  How about leaving NY Style alone and calling the style you like "The Original NY Style that was ubiquitous during a period of time (the good old days) but that is not really the same thing as the Original Rays and is not the crap served today by most"?  Or, less sarcastically and more constructively: You can call the pizza you are trying to describe as "Traditional NY Style" and let everyone else call what they are doing in this forum "NY Style."  In other words, you can be the one that is wiling to change for the greater good and still make the point you are trying to make.

I spend a lot of time attempting to delineate between great vintage NY style pizza and crappy modern NY style pizza, so, while I'm happy that we're both on the same page in that aspect, that particular chronological delineation has no connection to this discussion, to sourdough.  Old NY pizza never had sourdough, and new NY pizza doesn't have it either.

scott123

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Re: No sourdough in NY pizza? Says who?
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2014, 03:04:59 PM »
It's not just majority rules, but there certainly doesn't need to be an official authority.  If a style has an origin, and a tradition follows that origin and is perpetuated by a common usage, isn't that good enough?  Just because there are hybrids or outliers wont change what seems obvious to me, at least, that NY style is an authentic, tradition-defined category of pizza.  People who were raised on that tradition and care about it will want, rightly so, to defend it.

Amen!  ;D