Author Topic: NY pizza---near perfect!  (Read 3967 times)

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Offline canadave

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NY pizza---near perfect!
« on: May 27, 2004, 10:55:19 AM »
Well, guys, it was probably a combination of things, but I got a NY pizza procedure almost perfect.  Based on many of the suggestions I've read recently on this board, I made a batch the other day, and speaking as an ex-pat New Yorker, I can tell you that the result was about as close to the real deal as you can get....fuhgeddaboutit! :)

Here's what I changed to make it tasty:

--Weighed the ingredients with my new scale.  I can't thank you guys enough for this idea; not only does it ensure consistency, but it also made it easy to follow Steve's recipe exactly.  Thanks Steve!  Oh, I forget if Steve's called for sugar in any amount; on my own, I added about a half a tablespoon and dissolved it into the water prior to adding the yeast.

--I didn't dissolve the yeast into the water; I simply added the yeast to the water and stirred it in real quick, for about 30 seconds, just to get the water looking "brown".  Then into the flour it went, and the mixing was on!

--I mixed the dough until it was cohesive, which took a little under 5 minutes.  Then I let it sit and rest for 5 minutes (never done that before); then mixed again for another 5-7 minutes or so.  I let it mix longer than I normally do at the end; when I removed the dough, it was a bit sticky and wet, but after I rolled the ball around on a cutting board for a minute or two, the outer moisture wore off, and I was left with a nice smooth, satiny-feeling dough.

--Overnight rise in the fridge in plastic bags.

--For sauce, I took a can of 6-in-1, and mixed in a small can of "Unico" pizza sauce.  This, I found out, is what a guy who runs a long-time pizzeria in NYC does (although he probably doesn't use Unico brand or 6-in-1....but you get the idea; use the best store-bought pizza sauce you can get your hands on).  Then I mixed in a good bit of ground oregano (I didn't measure it, just stirred it in and kept smelling the sauce until it started to smell right to me).  And I didn't cook the sauce at all.

--In the recent past, I've always gotten the oven up to as high as it'll go.  But in my early days of attempts to duplicate a NY pizza, I used to do the oven at lower temperatures.  I wound up raising the temps back then because the resulting pizza didn't taste as good; but I figure that I erroneously blamed that on the oven temp.  On a hunch, this time around I put the oven at 475.  Sure enough, this seemed to be a better temp.  On higher temps like 500 or 550, the crust cooks too quickly, resulting in a crust that was too crisp; and the bottom burnt part of it tended to separate completely from the rest of the pizza.  Also the cheese wouldn't melt quite as well.  But on 475 it worked perfectly--the pizza cooked at just the right speed, without any dough separation, and it maintained that chewiness of the inner part of the dough that is essential.

One other thing I did, which I might not do next time, is add a pinch (a little less than 1/4 teaspoon) of garlic powder to the flour and salt at the beginning.  I could just taste a hint of it in the pizza dough.  I wasn't crazy about the result, since I'm not a huge garlic lover, but some of you might want to experiment with it--if you really like garlic, you might like it.

So, there you have it--the pizza was absolutely to die for.  My wife's eyes opened wide when she tasted it.  She simply said: "That's it--you've done it."  High-fives all around!

--Dave
« Last Edit: May 27, 2004, 11:02:50 AM by canadave »


Offline Steve

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2004, 11:02:20 AM »
Awesome!!  ;D

I'll have to try some of your suggestions (like lower oven temp).
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Offline canadave

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2004, 11:05:02 AM »
Definitely try the lower oven temp...it worked for me with my pizza stone (unglazed tiles).  If you experiment some more, let us know how it goes! :)

Steve, I forget now...did your NY recipe call for any sugar?

--Dave

Offline Pizzaholic

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2004, 11:56:15 AM »
I have been using 480 and getting good results too.
Thanks for the suggestions and will try em
Pizzaholic

Offline Randy

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2004, 01:22:36 PM »
It is then a good day in the neighborhood Dave, congratulations.
Stone or screen?
Randy

Offline Pierre

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2004, 04:05:56 PM »
Dave, glad to hear of your success! :)

Interesting about the heat. Our new oven maxes out at 245C or ~480F.  My New Yorker Crust has been better also. I've done some changes on my recipes lately, but maybe the somewhat lower heat may also have an influence on the better results the last months.....

Lacking higher possible Temperatures I can't confirm this though

Pierre

Offline canadave

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2004, 05:40:52 PM »
Stone, Randy, although one of these days I might spring for a screen and see what all the fuss's about :)

Dave

Offline RoadPizza

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2004, 07:44:41 PM »
So, there you have it--the pizza was absolutely to die for.  My wife's eyes opened wide when she tasted it.  She simply said: "That's it--you've done it."  High-fives all around!

Congratulations!  Here's another high-five!

Offline Pizzaholic

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2004, 09:13:48 AM »
Randy
I am gonna do  pizza this weekend.
Have a stone, just got the screens.
Anybody use the screen on the stone
Just the screen
with the screen do I use cornmeal on the bottom??
Little help here please
Pizzaholic

On another note ordered out last Sun from PH
Yuk----- I think I am happy with what I make at home
Thanks for all the help

Offline Randy

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2004, 05:53:19 PM »
Tips on using a screen.
1. use without a stone
2. spray with Pam
3. place on lowest rack in your oven or next to lowest
4. Just lay the dough on the screen do not press down.
Hope this helps.

Randy


Offline Randy

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2004, 05:55:42 PM »
Dave, stone, screen both bake great pizzas.  The hard part to learn is getting to the point you are at today.

Randy

Offline Wayne

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Re:NY pizza---near perfect!
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2004, 11:48:05 AM »
Great.  Now we just need to get all the tips compiled and put them in a single spot that will be easy to find, heh.  I'll try some of these techniques on my next NY pizza.
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Thick crust, or thin?