Author Topic: Reverse Engineering DiFara's Pizzas  (Read 73892 times)

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Offline wizarddrummer

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Re:Reverse Engineering DiFara's Pizzas
« Reply #200 on: January 06, 2014, 07:14:55 PM »
As those following this thread know, I recently tried to "reverse engineer" the DiFara pizza based on all the information that I could acquire through publicly available sources--and without ever having been in DiFara's pizzeria in Brooklyn.  By way of background and recapitulation, after I marshalled together all the ingredients for this exercise, I started with the dough, which included a 50/50 mix, by weight, of Delverde 00 flour and King Arthur Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour (the only high-gluten flour I have).  I used a 60% hydration, purely as a guess, and, based on that percentage hydration, I calculated how much of each flour I would require to give me a roughly 15 ounce dough ball (enough for a 14-inch thin crust pizza).  I used active dry yeast which I proofed in a small amount of warm water.  The temperature of the rest of the water was calculated to give me a finished dough temperature of around 80 degrees F.  I processed all the dough ingredients in my usual fashion, including a 10 minute autolyse.   I assumed that the DiFara dough was not refrigerated (later confirmed by a guest poster Ronnye), so I left the dough at room temperature for about 8 hours, at which time I proceeded to shape the dough into a dough round.  The dough was extensible yet with some elasticity, and handled very nicely. 

For toppings, I used canned, drained and crushed San Marzano tomatoes (DOP); some fresh tomatoes (East Texas) drained of excess water and crushed; a fresh fior di latte mozzarella cheese; an imported Italian bufallo mozzarella cheese; a high quality olive oil; freshly grated grana padano hard cheese; pepperoni on half of the pizza and the rest Margherita; and some fresh basil from my garden.   I also set aside some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to sprinkle on top of the finished pizza.  The dressed pizza was baked on a pizza stone at the highest possible temperature for my oven, about 500-550 degrees F.

The finished pizza is as shown below.  Maybe those of our members or guests who have seen the authentic Dom Demarco pizza can tell me whether the one I made bears any resemblance to his.

I may have a solution for you that raises your oven temp. I have an old Frigidaire Classic Series oven that has a digital electronic touch pad for setting the oven. It goes to 550. On back of the oven there's a thingy that you can insert a screw driver that will change the voltage of the sensor. It's a calibration device. I was able to turn the sensor calibration on the stove to where I now get a maximum temperature of about 620 degrees. My oven also has a broiler at the top of it. It has a self cleaning function that  have never used that I assume puts both the broiler and bottom section on full blast. If I'm not mistaken, self cleaning, gets close to 1,000 degrees.

I'd like to see if I can defeat the locking mechanism when the self cleaning is on. I might be able to exceed 800 degrees in the oven. I'm reluctant or hesitant to do it because the oven has glass in the oven door. I'd hate to spill something on that and have the glass go kaboom in my face or something.

Of course, I must mention that I have to adjust the temperature settings when I bake cakes or roast meat.

Hope that helps.