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Offline Arthur

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Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« on: April 27, 2004, 02:50:04 PM »
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and for some reason ended up in Virginia.

I've been making pizza for 15 years but without real success (and I've only focused on the dough).  I've read countless number of cook books, articles online on making pizza and I still can't get it right.  

I've read the posts on this discussion board and just want to confirm the best (agreed) recipe from the group to make New York style pizza.  

Sorry in advance for the long post....

Starting from here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/newyorkstyle.php

here are my questions?
1) high-gluten flour - is the best flour to use - Sir Lancelot (King Arthur brand) or?  I know that places like Lombardi's in New York use "pizza flour" commercial brand and is it worth it trying to find some?

2) water - now coming from New York I'm well aware of the "new york water" discussion, but living outside of New York what's the best to use?  bottled water?

3) Olive Oil - Lombardi's, John's, and Tortonno's in New York - I don't believe they use oil except to coat the dough before retarding it....what's the deal here?

4) instant yeast vs. active dry yeast?  any difference in taste?

5) yes for the salt

As for the pizza sauce:

1) redpack vs 6 in 1?

2) cooked or uncooked?

As for cheese:

1) obviously there's buffalo mozz for authentic, but the typical New York Style uses Grande (but you can't get that anywhere in retail...right?)..  I know the "best" places uses fresh mozz.

As for general questions:

1) 24 hours in the refrig...is this the best?

Arthur.



Offline Steve

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2004, 03:49:53 PM »
Absolutely "YES" on the high-gluten flour.

Don't worry about the water, salt, and yeast.

If you must use olive oil, use "Classico" (not Extra Virgin). Extra Virgin has a very pronounced flavor which is good on pasta, but not on pizza!

Don't use whole milk or buffalo milk mozzarella... the cheese is too watery and will create puddles on your pizza. My favorite is Polly-O Low-Moisture Part-Skim or the Stella shredded cheese from Sam's Club.

Use a 24 hour retard in the refrigerator.

And... crank up your oven as hot as it'll get and use a pizza stone.
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Offline Arthur

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2004, 03:59:03 PM »
OK...

1) I've ordered the Sir Lancelot from King Arthur and will try it out

2) I guess I'll stick with bottled water since my local water is hard

3) I'll probably not mix in olive oil, but I'll coat it with non-virgin

4) I guess I'll try instant yeast since it seems easier.

Sorry, few more followups....

So what about for the sauce?  It sounds like NY = Redpack?

Also, most recipe's I've seen say just 5 minutes with a KitchenAid mixer, but you suggest 15minutes????

And I've been putting my dough in a closed plastic bag for the frig, but is something else better?

Arthur.


Offline canadave

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2004, 04:46:17 PM »
Wassup Brooklyn!

Glad to see another "ex-pat" New Yorker :)  Greenwich Village guy here.  I, too, have been in perennial search for the perfect NY pizza recipe.  Here's what I've learned (some of which has already been covered):

--High-gluten flour is a must.
--Use a pizza stone (or unglazed quarry tiles) on the lowest rack of the oven, and get the oven up to highest temp possible (as Steve pointed out).
--I really like the 6-in-1, but have yet to come up with a great "NY sauce" recipe, because I just found a place that sells the 6-in-1 locally.  If I find anything out I'll pass it along.  Mind you, I also haven't tried Redpack brand yet either, but I can't see it being much better than the 6-in-1.
--I hate to disagree with Steve on this, since he's right about just about everything else, but it's okay to do the whole-milk cheese thing on the pizza if you're trying for a NYC pizza.  I've used whole-milk cheese with excellent results.  Not that the other cheeses he mentioned wouldn't work as well--they will.
--I would say the 24-hour refrigeration of the dough is a must for taste and handling purposes.  Closed plastic bag is fine.
--What kind of NY pizza exactly are you looking to emulate?  The normal "street pizzeria" kind, or the "elite" brick-oven, old-school kind of Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, Patsy's, and the like?

--Dave


« Last Edit: April 27, 2004, 04:47:38 PM by canadave »

Offline Arthur

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2004, 05:18:38 PM »
brooklyn in the house  ;)

Thanks Dave for the responses...

As for the sauce, I'm going to try the redpack....I'm still not sure about the cooked vs. uncooked, but I'll try cooked.

As for cheese, I only know that most New York Style places use:
http://www.grandecheese.com/pizza_cheese.htm

and they use 50 whole / 50 skim but they only come in large quantities :(

As for what pizza I want...I guess the "street pizzeria".  I'd love to make the "elite" kind, but without a (coal or otherwise) brick oven I'm not sure I'd get there....my house oven is your basic electric 20 year old oven.  Maybe when I buy my outdoor wood burning oven I'll be all set.

I love this site.  I've been dormant with my pizza making for a little while, but now I'm ready to move forward.

Any other advice is appreciated!




Offline nysauce

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2004, 07:08:20 PM »
Hey Aurthur,
  Which part of Brooklyn did you grow up in, I grew up in Sunset Park, work in Borough Park but now live in Staten Island. I too am planning to move down South eventually and want to Bring NY style pizza with me to open a business hopefully (still learning the ropes though). I mentioned it on this site before but if you want to buy a video that's shows how to make a NYC style pizza visit www.pizzeriapros.com. The only thing is that they're really expensive and the quality of the videos are pretty cheesy.  The only reason I feel the videos are worth it is because the guys in the videos are actually 2 guys  who work at Romeo's Pizzeria in NJ (pizza from Jersey is just as good as NYC in most cases) who use 1 VHS camcorder and basically video tape their lessons. Big time low budget but yet they charge about $99 for a 15 - 30 minute tape. Also for example, in their dough making video the guy shows you the ingredients for their dough using an entire 50lb bag of high gluten flour with their 60qt Hobart Mixer! Something you probably don't have in your house. But none the less you can scale down the recipe for home use. So if you still are looking for resources you might check out their site. I'm planning on buying their sauce video next. They have 4 videos in total. I talked about one of them in one of the posts.

Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2004, 12:01:00 AM »
I have found that using a mix of cheeses works out best for me. Sometimes I change it up but usually it is 70/30 Mozzarella/Provalone. The provalone gives the cheese that stringy quality that you see in resturaunts and commercials.

Also what kind of sauce do you like. Spicy, Sweet, Tangy, Mild, Garlic. I have a load of great recipes for sauce.
But as many of the others will tell you simple and easy is usually the best, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic. Sometimes just a couple of these ingredients with good tomatoes is enough :D
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Offline Randy

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2004, 09:01:18 AM »
By the time I got to this thread Arthur you had already been given the best advice.  Attention to detail is the best advice I could add.
Also  the best pizza cookbook on the market,  Peter Reinhart's American Pie.
High gluten and overnight rise in the cooler, all are a must.

Randy

Offline mama mia

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2004, 09:04:50 AM »
1) high-gluten flour -

100% yess on the high-gluten flour, I will NEVER go back to "pizza flour" again

2) water -

I have a water purifier, so purified tap water for me

3) Olive Oil -

I use 1 tablespoon regular, classic olive-oil in my dough recipe, not extra-virgin

4) yeast

I use red star bread machine yeast, for the ascorbic acid

5) salt

I use sea salt, and  sugar

As for the pizza sauce:

1) redpack vs 6 in 1?

 I love the 6 in 1, I think it is just a personal preference, just tomatoes, oregano, garlic, red pepper flake, sugar, salt in my sauce

2) cooked or uncooked?

  yes, I simmer 30 minutes

As for cheese:

1) cheese

  STELLA'S MOZZ CHEESE FROM SAMS CLUB!! 5lb bag
 


As for general questions:

1) 24 hours in the refrig...is this the best?

with out a doubt, I place my dough in a ruber-made bowl with lid, right after kneading it

Offline Pizzaholic

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2004, 10:43:30 AM »
Nice to review all the information on one post.
I have been meaning to do that as well with a post.
One point that I might add is that I just started to weigh my ingredients and have found a huge difference in product as far as dough.
Randy hit the nail on the head, get the book American Pie.
Just got mine and did an Americana dough last nite.
WOW is all I can say. Turned out awsome.
You know what flour to use now. All the other points are in this post.
One other thing that I did differently is not mix for the 15 minutes that alot of recipes call for.
American Pie suggests mixing for about 4 minutes, resting the dough for 5 minutes, then mixing again for 5 minutes.
This did make a difference, I feel (and tasted)
I use kosher salt because it desolves easier, just like sea salt.
Yeast is a preference that is found by experimentation and taste.
If you have other questions, this site is chockablock full of people who know, I have found.
Pizzaholic


Offline Arthur

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2004, 03:08:19 PM »
Wow....there's a lot of great advice and I thank you all.

BTW, I'm from Canarsie, Brooklyn ("nysauce" asked).








Offline Arthur

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2004, 10:00:21 AM »
Well I bought and read the "American Pie" book.

With everyone's input there are still some major differences in recipes.  Particularly,

1) Some NY Style recipe's call for olive oil in mixture and others just covering the dough for rising.
2) Some add sugar and some don't
3) Some people suggest 6 and 1...some pizza places use 7/11 (is this what it's called??) and some redpack...etc.
4) some cook/simmer their sauce and some pizza places don't cook it.

BTW I was truly disappointed in Reinhart's book in his quest for pizza....by not stopping at L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn NY, he missed an opportunity to taste the best square/Sicilian pizza in the world.  Besides the fact that this pizza is truly the best tasting square pizza with its artistically placed sauce on top of cheese, he missed the true essence of what makes a great pizza - the environment!  Similar a great wine complementing great food, the great essense of New York is essential to eating great pizza and there is no better place in New York to capture the heart of soul of New Yorkers then in the heart of Brooklyn at L&B.  You cannot understand true new yorkers by visiting manhattan and taking in a show or watching Saturday Night Fever, but by eating at L&B while partaking in a community of dozens of people - policemen, young tough guys, workers, mothers, etc...all tripple parked cars in front of this pizza palace with spumoni and ices dripping from mouths of 300 lb men, you will get what it's like to be a New Yorker all while eating the best Sicilian pizza in the world - and then you can go home to New Haven or Phoenix and be happy as a clam with the decent pizza you have there.  Pizza is never about the dough, the cheese or the sauce - it's about the experience.

Offline Randy

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2004, 10:22:49 AM »
Arthur, when we talk about NY style pizza we talk in generalities because variations in New York are as many as there are pizza joints in the Big Apple.
Our and Peter's recipe are only a snippet of what is out there.  I think you are looking for a magic bean that makes the perfect New York Pizza, but I like and what you like may not be the same.  Each of us, for the most part, fashioned our recipes to suit our taste.  Start with a basic recipe and experiment until you hit your best ever New York style pizza.  Each of us has made hundreds of homemade pizza to find our pizza zin.
Revisit American pie and study the recipes to learn what they do and why they do it.

We would all be interested in a good Sicilian pizza recipe if you have one.
Best of luck in your quest.

Randy

Offline Arthur

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2004, 11:12:26 AM »
Yes...I totally understand and agree.  I guess my mathematical (exact science) background is coming through.  I'm just trying to narrow down my "experiments" with pizza since I'm sooo far off.  Since the smallest changes in amounts of water or flour, or the addition of oil makes such a big difference, I was looking for some commonly used practices.

Offline DKM

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2004, 12:13:15 PM »
What Randy is saying is very true.

Like I have said about my Chicago before, i'm not out to make the perfect Uno's, or Gino's East pizza deep dish pizza.  I'm out to make the perfect DKM Chicago Style deep dish pizza.  Many of the pizza made here are better then any that can be found in any pizza shop.

Although I also don't care for the first part of Reinhart's book, he has a very valid point at the beginning that somethings are not as good as we remember them.

No, I'll take only of Randy's pizzas over Gino's East anythime.

DKM
« Last Edit: May 04, 2004, 12:13:54 PM by DKM »
I'm on too many of these boards

Offline Randy

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2004, 10:04:02 AM »
DKM, thanks for the good words.
  8)
Randy

Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2004, 10:26:02 PM »
Pizza is never about the dough, the cheese or the sauce - it's about the experience.

I am sorry Arthur, but I have to totally disagree with you here. It is all about the dough cheese and toppings.
I will return to a resturaunt over and over again no matter where the location or its atmosphere if the food is good.

However if it is average food with outstanding atmospere that is not what I am paying for. I pay for quality and taste. Atmosphere is Secondary.

i.e. We all make our own pizzas for their taste I think, I do not think the surroundings in our kitchen or dining rooms takes away from that expereince.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2004, 10:29:27 PM by Foccaciaman »
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Offline Arthur

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2004, 09:23:52 AM »
Yes...I know, I know.  Of course it is (although I do believe the dough is the most important of the three) - I was just coming off of a shocker that Reinhart hadn't visited my favorite Sicilian pizza place since in Brooklyn (which of course is the center of the world to people from Brooklyn) it's well known.  

As for atmosphere, I guess I would suggest going to L&B in Brooklyn and you'll get the idea of what I'm talking about, but (agreed) you would only back to eat there if the pizza was as good as I claim it is.



Offline Arthur

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2004, 02:29:39 PM »
OK....I finally had some time this weekend to test out my new recipes - thanks to all who provided input.  Here's some results....

I had two versions (A & B)

A:  (differences = no oil, kosher salt, rest within mixing, redpack)

3 1/2 cups of KA Sir Lancelot flour
3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
9 oz bottled water
1 teapsoon of instant yeast SAF

kitchaid mixer - 4 min on low, 5 min rest, 5 min on med-low

coat with olive oil (not virgin)
in fridge for 24+ hours in plastic ziploc bag

Topped with
puree uncooked redpack whole tomatoes with oregano

Polly-O part skim moz.

8 minutes in 550 oven (after heating for 1 hour)



B:  (differences = oil in, regular salt, 15 straight mixing, San Marzano tom)

3 1/2 cups of KA Sir Lancelot flour
3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
9 oz bottled water
1 teapsoon of instant yeast SAF
1 tbl olive oil

kitchaid mixer - 15 min med-low

coat with olive oil (not virgin)
in fridge for 24+ hours in plastic ziploc bag

Topped with
puree uncooked San Marzano whole tomatoes with oregano

Polly-O part skim moz.

8 minutes in 550 oven (after heating for 1 hour)



Results (from the officials living in my house)

A's dough tasted "better".  More like the real NY thin, candy-like pizza.
B's dough was too "bready".  More like a NY bagel.

A's sauce was better than B.

Cheese was pretty good (same on both).


Not there yet.....

1) I could not really get the windowpane test working on my dough...close, but not exact.  Once I was using the dough I was able to stretch it out and see through it, but not after kneeding it.

2) I had trouble handling the dough....first time using high-gluten (KA Sir Lan flour and maybe that's why).   When I stretched it was a little tough and then when I tried harder it just ripped.  It seemed a little rubber-ry to me.

3) Although 'A' pizza tasted pretty darn good, the dough turned sort-of hard after 5 minutes of not having a slice...i.e., it was good just coming out, but was too hard after 5-10 minutes.

4) sauce - I'm still restling with the cooked vs. non cooked.  My sauce was too "liquidy".   Next time I'll try the cooked, but it seems like most pizza places don't cook their sauce???  I also want to try 6 in 1 and 7-11...suggestions?


Arthur.

Offline Steve

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Re:Help with Best New York Pizza recipe
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2004, 02:49:26 PM »
Try using more water in the dough. Use 10.5 ounces instead of 9 (I need to fix my recipe on the main site to reflect this)... 9 ounces is not enough water and causes to dough to be a little too stiff. NY style dough should be smooth, soft, silky, and elastic when properly kneaded (and not sticky). The dough's skin should be smooth without any texture at all when formed into a ball.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2004, 02:54:29 PM by Steve »
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