After having made a Lehmann NY style pizza recently, and while it was still fresh on my mind, I decided to try Peter Reinhart’s NY style pizza dough recipe as set forth in his book American Pie at page 114. I wanted to see how that recipe compares with those I have been using to make Lehmann doughs for over a year.
According to the book, the Reinhart NY style dough recipe makes three 12-ounce dough balls. Since no baker’s percents are given, and since no pizza size (diameter) is specified for the dough balls, I decided to calculate the baker’s percents for the Reinhart recipe and to modify the recipe to produce a single dough ball sufficient to make a 16-inch pizza. To parallel the Lehmann NY style, I assumed a thickness factor (TF) value of 0.10, which is characteristic of a NY style and a common value I frequently use to make the Lehmann doughs. The baker’s percents I calculated for the Reinhart recipe are as follows:
100%, Flour (high-gluten)
1.75%, Salt (regular)
0.71%, Instant dry yeast (IDY)
6.58%, Oil (Bertoli light olive oil)
62.4%, Water (70 degrees F)
Just looking at the baker’s percents, I concluded that the dough would be on the sweet side and with a soft and tender crumb. By contrast, the basic Lehmann dough recipe uses no sugar (unless the dough is to be held beyond 48 hours) and the oil is at 1%. Once the oil gets above 6%, it will usually manifest itself as a soft crumb in the crust. Additionally, the yeast level of the basic Lehmann dough recipe is about a third of that called for in the Reinhart recipe. This is not per se a problem, although it will increase the amount and rate of fermentation of the dough. In other words, the dough will rise more and faster, even while in the refrigerator.
In making the Reinhart dough, I followed the Reinhart instructions exactly, including the specified mixing procedure (4 minutes at low speed), the 5-minute rest, the final kneading step (2 minutes at medium-low speed), and a one-hour rest before putting the dough (in a sealed storage bag) into the refrigerator. The finished dough weighed 19.90 ounces and had a finished dough temperature of 78.4 degrees F. The dough remained in the refrigerator for 24 hours. During that time, the dough rose substantially and spread out to fill the storage bag completely, as I expected it would do.
After removing the dough from the refrigerator, I placed it (covered with a sheet of plastic wrap) on my countertop for 2 hours before shaping. The dough was extremely extensible (stretchy), far more, in fact, than the Lehmann doughs. However, I had no problem shaping and stretching it into a 16-inch skin to fit my 16-inch pizza screen. The skin was dressed in simple pepperoni style, and baked in a 500-degree F preheated oven, at the second rack position from the top, for about 5 minutes. The pizza was then shifted off of the screen onto a pizza stone (a rectangular stone) that had been placed at the lowest oven rack position and preheated for an hour at the abovementioned 500-degree F temperature. The pizza finished baking on the stone for about 2 to 3 minutes.
The photos below show the finished product. As I expected, the crust was very sweet--far more than I personally like. Also, the crumb was very soft and tender rather than chewy. I attribute this to the high levels of oil in the dough. If these are characteristics that one enjoys, then the pizza will be satisfying. The crust did exhibit most of the characteristics of a NY style, including crispiness of the rim, drooping tips in the slices, decent browning (at the rim and on the bottom) and a good flavor. I am always hesitant to comment on matters of personal taste, but I personally prefer the Lehmann NY style. I guess that is to be expected. I have been making Lehmann pizzas for over a year, and my taste buds have been programmed and sensitized to the Lehmann style.
I will be happy to provide the specific ingredient list I used to anyone who would like it.