Author Topic: Evelyne, I Need a Favor  (Read 9542 times)

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Offline charbo

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Re: Evelyne, I Need a Favor
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2006, 07:05:47 PM »
Evelyne.

You indicate above that authentic NY-style pizza did not have oil in the dough.  I  also noticed in your interesting book that the recommended NY-style dough lacks oil.  Yet I'm under the impression that most NY pizza today does have oil in the dough.  I'm wondering if the old-timers had access to the high-gluten flour we have today.  Would you comment on the desireability of oil in a NY-style dough?

cb


Offline SLICEofSLOMON

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Re: Evelyne, I Need a Favor
« Reply #41 on: August 17, 2006, 12:38:49 PM »
Charbo,

The original Lombardi formula did not contain oil. Places like Lombardi's, Totonno's, Patsy's etc do not use oil in their dough--but many New York Style pizza places do. They also use sugar, which was a no-no in the old days. When did oil and sugar come to be used? I'm not exactly sure. Probably in the 50's when pizza really blossomed and gas deck ovens became the standard. Sugar became popular because it facilitated faster rising times and helped promote color in the finished crust. Oil contributes to color and manageability. Both sugar and oil act as preservatives which increase the life of the dough. As more and more operators stopped longer fermentation times, they learned to make up the effects with sugar, increased yeast and oil. Also, many places started making Siclian style pizza, which works best with a rich dough, so they adapted their dough to make both products with one base dough.

As for the high gluten flour. There simply wasn't the choice at the turn of the century. Flours came from local geographic locations. Flour used in the North East, came from there. The prized flours, wheat varieties and climates of the great Norhern Mid-Western states and Canada had yet to be utilized to anyone beyond their area. Most other local strains of flour (some still exist) are fairly soft. I'm sure that flour quality was very inconsistent until the national millers came on the scene. The flour probably was between 10-12 percent protein. When I was making pizza in New York City back in the early 80's I was using one of the remaining local North East flours that was still distributed by General Mills--it was unbleached, bromated and had a protein content of 12.5%. The name has just escaped my mind (I'm having a senior moment) I want to say Wallop, but I know that's not it. General Mills hasn't carried that flour for quite a long time, I think the mill no longer exists. But it was the closest thing I could get, back in those days, to what was used for the Lombardi formula type pizza.

Now, this is going to drive me nuts all day while I try to remember the name of that flour!!!! ???


Offline charbo

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Re: Evelyne, I Need a Favor
« Reply #42 on: August 17, 2006, 05:05:12 PM »
I was under the impression that a little oil in the dough facilitates extension of a high-gluten dough, which is necessary for a large-diameter pie, which distinguishes NY-style from Neapolitan.  If that's not the case, I don't see any essential difference between the two crusts, assuming the same oven.

cb

Offline SLICEofSLOMON

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Re: Evelyne, I Need a Favor
« Reply #43 on: August 17, 2006, 06:03:23 PM »
charbo,

Oil in the dough facilitates handling with any kind of flour, it also promotes color and flavor, both of which are diminished with shorter fermentation times. As operators cut down the fermentation time of their dough, they added more yeast, sugar and oil to replace some of what was lost from natural fermentation. I don't believe they actually knew that though. I think the new formula evolved out of necessity for changing methodology and product specifications: ie uniform crusts for slice pies in a hurry.

If you look at Neapolitan pizza and the Lombardi formula, there isn't much difference; they are both flour water yeast and salt--but within those 4 little ingredients lies a vast difference in product and technique. The flours are different, the hydration levels are different and the oven is different. Neapolitan pizza is the mother recipe, but the Lombardi formula was the first American pizza archetype.
New York slice pies, New Haven Pizza and most of the pizza produced in the early part of the 20th century evolved away from the Neapolitan  pizza Napoletana model. Even in Italy itself, after WW2, Neapolitans migrated to the rest of the country and brought with them their style of pizza and the pizzeria. However, in Italy, most Neapolitan style pizza is not true to the authentic VPN--but it is closer than American pizza ever was. To get the real deal, one must go to Naples.

There's really a whole clan of New York Style Pizzas--with different variations. This will be the basis of an article someday. So when I talk about NY style pizza, there are most definitely more than one type.


 

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