Author Topic: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza  (Read 488544 times)

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Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #380 on: April 03, 2006, 10:07:08 PM »
Here are two Lehmann long-rise (4 day) dough balls after warming on the counter for about 3 hours.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2006, 10:17:02 PM by Wallman »


Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #381 on: April 03, 2006, 10:15:37 PM »
Here are two cooked long-rise Lehmann pizzas.  They were baked on a screen and finished on tiles  The first is prosciutto di parma, sauted peppers and onions and fresh mozz.   The second is mushrooms, sauted peppers and onions and a mix of Polly-O whole milk and Kraft part-skim mozz.  As you can see, there is a strange hole in the second pizza.  I got a little carried away on the topping and the pie tore leaving a sticky mess on the screen (third photo).  Still, the pizza tasted good!  The rule less is more still plays!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #382 on: April 03, 2006, 10:41:20 PM »
Wally,

From what I have read from pizza operators who post on the PMQ Think Tank, it is best not to load down the center of the pizza. To begin with, the center is often the thinnest part of the dough. It's also often the last part of the pizza to cook and when things melt the direction of the juices and melting cheeses, floating pepperoni, etc., is toward the center of the pie. As a result of all these forces, the center of the pizza can get pretty messy and stick to a screen and be difficult to dislodge using a metal peel or other tool. Having experienced this phenomenon myself, I am now careful not to have the dough in the middle too thin and I keep the toppings away from dead center. It's also important to dress the pizza quickly before the sauce has a chance to migrate into the dough. If that happens at the center, there is an increased risk of the pizza sticking to the screen.

The pizzas look great notwithstanding the minor mishap with the second pizza. From the photos you have posted on the Lehmann pizzas, your results seem to be getting better with each pizza. Congratulations.

Peter

Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #383 on: April 03, 2006, 10:49:19 PM »
Thanks for the kind words Pete. I must say, I owe most of my success to your suggestions!  I was really impressed how good the pizza tasted after 4 days in the fridge.  The long-rise really made the dough taste good.  I had been making dough one or two days in advance, but I think I will back up to three or four days.

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #384 on: April 04, 2006, 11:49:29 AM »
Wally,

I'd like to make a couple of collateral points in respect of your extending the shelf life of your Lehmann dough by adding a bit of sugar to it. It is true that using a bit of sugar can extend the utilization of the dough but there is a practical limit to doing this and you can't simply add more and more sugar hoping to push the dough out farther and farther. The reason for this is that there are enzymes in the dough, mainly protease enzymes, that act during the fermentation of the dough to soften the gluten. At some point, the gluten will become so soft, and water can be released from the dough, that you can end up with a gummy and slack dough that will not bake well in the oven.

In theory, you could slow down the action of the protease enzymes by adding more salt, which degrades protease enzyme performance, but the Lehmann formulation already has 1.75% salt in it, which is fairly substantial. That is still less than the 2.5-3% levels common in room-temperature fermented Neapolitan doughs, but it is still high nonetheless. I would rather use less yeast, colder water and/or a lower hydration, along with a bit of sugar for insurance, to achieve a longer shelf life for the Lehmann dough. Even then, it's possible that you won't get an accompanying increase in flavor, especially if the biochemical activity doesn't result in materially more flavor-enhancing byproducts of fermentation. In other words, you could end up with an "older" dough but not a better tasting crust.

Peter

Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #385 on: April 04, 2006, 04:20:37 PM »
Interesting points Pete. It is facinating the the lower yeast makes the dough better.  I definitely don't want old, tasteless dough.  I'm going to try again with a 3-4 day cold rise, and see how it comes out.

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #386 on: April 05, 2006, 09:12:31 AM »
Pete,
I experienced the enzymes breaking down the dough problem many times. After leaving a preferment dough in the fridge for almost a week, it lost all strength and pulled like taffy once it hit room temperature. It's a complete useless mess. Other than throwing it out, the only way to salvage the dough is to use it as a starter. But make sure you use a disproportionate amount of fresh flour and water, or else it will just make more taffy like dough.

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #387 on: April 05, 2006, 11:39:26 AM »
In thinking about the softness of the dough after 4 days, I'd say I may have been close but I was definitely not over the edge.  The dough was pretty soft and very extensible, but not taffy-like or hard to handle. I was able to toss it without any problem.  Now, I don't think I would go longer than 4 days because as you can see from the photos of the dough, the balls had risen pretty high (remember they had been on the counter for at least 3 hours at about 70-75 F room temp.) and I can easily see how they could get too soft.  However, the flavor, to my palate, was very good at 4 days.

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #388 on: April 05, 2006, 08:03:23 PM »
James,

I thought you might be interested in knowing that within the pizza industry in the U.S., a common practice among pizza operators for “old” dough, aka “scrap”, is to incorporate it into a new dough at a rate of 15-25%, with 15% being considered “safe”. If the dough has been refrigerated for its entire fermentation, for example, for a few days, and hasn’t “blown” (overfermented), then the 25% figure should work. If the dough has spent a fair amount of time at room temperature, then 15% is perhaps the better figure to use. If the dough has “blown”, even 15% may be too high. But it should still work and add a lot of flavor to the new dough. When I used to do this sort of thing with old dough, I used to refer to the process as “resuscitation” since the dough was just about on its deathbed.

If the above advice is followed for a Lehmann dough, which has only a small amount of yeast to begin with, then it may be prudent to use the normal amount of yeast in the “new” dough. This is one of those cases where you may have to do some experimenting. Other doughs with different formulations may require other kinds of adjustments.

Peter

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #389 on: May 24, 2006, 09:00:30 PM »
Recently, with temperatures hovering in the 90s in the Dallas area, I decided to attempt my first “summertime” version of the Lehmann NY style pizza. By “summertime version”, I mean a Lehmann NY style pizza that is baked entirely on a pizza screen rather than on a stone that requires a long preheat. As regular followers of this thread know, the Lehmann NY style pizza is intended to be baked on a hearth-like refractory (stone) surface, which is fairly standard for a NY style. However, when outside temperatures are in the 90s, I am not particularly anxious to preheat my oven and pizza stone for an hour at around 500-550 degrees F, and keep my kitchen hot for another hour or so as the stone cools down after the pizza has been baked. With a pizza screen, I only need to preheat the oven to the desired temperature (in my case, around 500-550 degrees F) and then bake the pizza. That preheat time comes to around 10 minutes with my standard kitchen oven. And once the pizza is baked, the oven cools down quickly (at roughly the same rate as it was heated).

With the above objective in mind, I took the following steps. First, as indicated above, I used only a pizza screen and a normal oven preheat. Second, I used a bit of sugar in the dough. Except where a dough is to last beyond 48 hours, sugar is not normally included in the basic Lehmann NY style dough formulation. The reason for this exclusion is because a dough with sugar baked directly on a very hot stone surface can prematurely brown or char on the bottom before the rest of the pizza has finished baking. However, even Tom L. acknowledges that this is not a problem when screens are used, particularly in a home setting, and, in addition, the presence of the sugar will facilitate and enhance browning of the finished crust, which is a desirable contribution. So, I decided to use 1% sugar. Third, I decided to pre-bake the crust before dressing it and finishing the baking. I took this step in the hopes of achieving a more crispy crust--which is difficult to do when a screen is used--by effectively extending the total bake time, allowing the crust to bake longer without fear that it will be done before the cheeses and toppings are finished baking. As part of the pre-bake step, I also docked the undressed pizza skin with a docking tool to minimize the formation of bubbles in the crust during baking. For those not familiar with what such a tool looks like, see the first photo below. I might add that it is not necessary to use a docking tool per se. The same effect can be achieved using a simple kitchen fork.

The final dough formulation I used, for a 16-inch pizza, was as follows:

100%, High-gluten flour (KASL), 12.65 oz. (358.39 g.), 3 c. plus 2 t. (spoon, scoop and level technique)
63%, Water*, 7.96 oz. (225.79 g.), a bit less than 1 c.
1%, Sugar, 0.13 oz. (3.58 g.), a bit less than 1 t.
1%, Oil, 0.13 oz. (3.58 g.), a bit more than 3/4 t.
1.75%, Salt, 0.22 oz. (6.27 g.), 1 1/8 t.
0.25%, Instant dry yeast (IDY), 0.03 oz. (0.90 g.), a bit less than 1/3 t.
* Temperature adjusted to achieve a finished dough temperature of 75-80 degrees F
Total dough weight = 21.11 oz. (598.51 g)
Thickness factor (TF) = 0.105
Note: all measurements are standard U.S./metric

The processing of the dough was accomplished using a standard KitchenAid stand mixer and the following basic sequence: Salt and sugar dissolved in the water in the bowl of the mixer; IDY mixed in with the flour and gradually added to the salt/sugar brine and mixed/kneaded at Stir speed until a rough dough ball is formed; oil added and kneaded in (about 2 minutes at Stir speed); dough kneaded for about an additional 6 minutes at 2 speed; a final minute of hand kneading; coat the dough ball with a bit of oil and place in a container (covered) and directly into the refrigerator. (Note: for beginning pizza makers, the procedures I followed are essentially those described at this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.0.html).

The dough remained in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. It was then removed, placed on a lightly floured work surface, covered with a bit of bench flour and a sheet of plastic wrap, and allowed to warm up at room temperature for about 2 hours. The dough was then stretched and shaped into a 16-inch round, docked with the docking tool, and placed onto the 16-inch pizza screen. Note that the docking is done before placing the skin onto the screen. Otherwise, the skin might stick to the screen by being forced into the crevices and/or scratch the screen itself. After 24 hours, the dough handled very easily, with a nice balance between extensibility and elasticity. The undressed/docked skin was placed in the oven, which had been preheated to around 500-550 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes. The higher temperature was selected on the theory that some of the oven heat would be lost once I opened the oven door to place the undressed skin into the oven. The skin was baked until it became firm and the rim of the dough expanded to the normal size, a period of almost two minutes. For purposes of the pre-bake, I used the lowest oven rack position.

I then removed the pre-baked skin, dressed it (with sauce, cheeses and pepperoni), and placed it back in the oven--without the screen this time--to finish baking. That took about 5-6 minutes, also on the lowest oven rack position. By the end of that time, the bottom of the crust had browned but the cheeses and the top crust needed additional bake time. So, I removed the pizza to the top oven rack position and exposed the pizza to about a minute or two of direct heat from the broiler element. That step also helped further brown the top crust at the rim.

The photos below show the finished results. I would describe the effort as a success, especially for an initial effort, although I believe that improvement is possible by modifying the basic dough formulation a bit and making a few changes to the baking methodology, as discussed below. The pizza itself was very tasty, with a nice open and airy crumb, and with the usual softness and chewiness characteristic of the NY style. I would have liked a bit more crispiness of the crust although there was some at the rim. Overall, however, I would say that the results were very good, and the total oven time, from start to finish, was less than a half hour. As an interesting side note, I might mention that I couldn’t tell from the finished pizza that the crust was pre-baked. The finished pizza looked and tasted like any other prepared in the standard way.

For my next “summertime” Lehmann NY style pizza, I plan to do the following: 1) reduce or eliminate the sugar, 2) use a lower thickness factor (e.g., 0.10), and 3) use the middle oven rack position and/or use a lower oven temperature (to allow a longer and slower overall bake and improve the chances of getting a crispier crust). I might even extend the fermentation time to 48 hours or more. The other steps would essentially remain the same.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 08, 2006, 05:17:56 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #390 on: May 28, 2006, 07:13:22 PM »
i too have long worried about the summertime downside after enjoying some pizza making... last yr bet. July and Aug. i barely made anything, losing out on two good months of basil season.  Today it was humid and 80degrees and I made a 16" from some old, perhaps 2 months in the freezer dough.

I had to keep the range hood on max to try and exhaust the hot oven heat...

your experiment w/ only having to use the oven for 30min is stunning.  but i'm hard pressed to consider having pizza done w/o a stone because after having discovered a stone yrs ago, how could i go back.

Anyway, my old freezer dough thawed over night and i let it sit 2 hrs this morning on my kitchen counter.  When i stretched it, it felt very very elastic and would have readily absorbed a lot of bench flour had i not resisted to.  I managed to stretch it out to a 16" pie, but this is not the dough feel I'd ideally have.

As usual these days, I parbake, and the end result charred very well and to my pleasure a thin delicate crackle (not hard crunch) still existed in the finished product.   Not too much rise in the dough, I noticed.  Though there were nice air pockets, tt was borderline dense in some spots on the rim.

fresh sauce from my freezer, fresh basil and garlic...  combo of fresh mozz and low moisture mozz, onions, mushrooms and black olives.


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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #391 on: May 28, 2006, 08:34:30 PM »
abc,

With temperatures recently close to 100 degrees in the Dallas area, my Napoletano and Genovese basil plants have seen their growth stunted, even when I have watered them regularly and kept them in the shade as much as possible. And summer has yet to arrive. It has occurred to me more than once that the summer months may better be spent trying out the pizzas from all the local pizzerias and letting them bear the burden of the summer heat. I may do some of that but I still like the idea of making my own pizzas from time to time. It's part of the addiction, I guess. And I remain confident that I will resolve the thermodynamic issues at some point and produce an acceptable "summertime" version of the Lehmann NY style using only a pizza screen and short bake times.

I am always intrigued to hear about pizzas made from frozen dough, as I was in your case, because I invariably learn something from such experiences. I believe that it is possible to make a decent frozen dough--if it is made with that intention from the start--but I am much less sanguine when the frozen dough is frozen leftover dough. Very little good--beyond convenience--comes from freezing dough. Freezing kills some of the yeast, which may already be in short supply in a leftover dough, and the defrosted dough may have a lot of glutathione (an amino acid released from the yeast cells) such that the dough is slack and gummy--and will tempt you to add more flour to overcome that condition--and result in a mediocre oven spring and a flat, somewhat lackluster crust. Unless the pizza is baked for a long time, it will often have a light finished crust. Moreover, during the freezing of the dough there is no fermentation whatsoever. So there are no compounds formed during freezing that can contribute to better flavor in the finished crust. My experience is that the older the frozen dough, especially in a home freezer that cycles on a repetitive basis, the worse the dough will perform when defrosted and used. Hence, a frozen dough is best used within a short time after being frozen.

Thanks again, abc, for posting your results.

Peter


Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #392 on: May 30, 2006, 09:40:50 PM »
Peter... with regards to your potential 'summer lehmann' dough... why not make it a 'summer 18" dough'?

Thought I recall that your trials with such a diameter required both screen time and stone time, screen time to set the crust, then finishing time on the stone, despite the pie extending beyond your 16" stone.

If you're aiming for a stoneless pizza, how about as well making it a 18" start to finish screen episode?


I know for me, I too did a screen to stone kind of deal when i made a 18" but more so only because I felt really dependent on stone time for my crust bottom.

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #393 on: May 30, 2006, 09:52:16 PM »
abc,

I hadn't thought of doing an 18" since the 16" has pretty much become my standard Lehmann size. However, if I can make a decent "summer" 16", I should be able to make an 18" also.

Peter

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #394 on: May 31, 2006, 01:16:05 PM »
Hey man, how much did they charge you for that 17x20 stone?


My oven thermometer that is placed on the stone indicated about 550.  My oven guage goes up to 500 then the next stop is broil.  I set the knob to almost broil to get to this level.

Also, my stone is from bakingstone.com and is custom cut to 17"x20".


Crusty

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #395 on: May 31, 2006, 03:43:23 PM »
abilak,

Crusty is not an active member and it is also possible that the charge for the 17" x 20" Fibrament stone has changed since Crusty posted on his stone. To get the latest price for a 17" x 20" stone, I called AWMCO and inquired (1-773-846-1760).

Unless you buy a standard size stone such as set forth at http://www.bakingstone.com/order.php, there is a custom cutting charge applied. In the case of a 17" x 20" stone, AWMCO would have to cut it from an 18" x 24" stone, which is one of the standard size stones and retails for $80. The custom cutting charge would be an extra $10, for a total of $90 (shipping included). It sounds like the $10 custom cutting charge is fairly standard, but to be certain in any single instance it is perhaps wise to call or email AWMCO to get an actual quote.

If you are thinking about a stone for a home oven, you will want to be sure that the stone will fit your oven, with the door shut, of course (some oven doors protrude into the oven space). Usually you will also want to allow a bit of space around the stone for the oven air to circulate. This is less of a problem for a round stone rather than a rectangular stone, especially one that uses up a lot of oven space. An advantage of a large rectangular stone is that you can also bake things like long breads (e.g., baguettes) as well as pizzas.

If you are serious about a stone and plan to do a lot of baking using it, my personal advice is to get a size that will allow you to bake the largest size pizza you plan to make. If you have read some of my posts on this thread, you will see that I often use both a screen and a stone when I want to make the larger size pizzas--16" and above (with a max of 18"). I do this because my stone alone is not big enough to accommodate anything larger than 14". It wasn't until I decided I wanted to make larger pizzas--like the 16" and 18" Lehmann pies--that it occurred to me that a larger stone would have been better.

If price is an issue, then you might want to investigate using unglazed quarry tiles. If you do a search on the forum, using the search function, you will find a lot of information on that choice. There are also other types of stones that are cheaper than the Fibrament stones but the size options will usually be a lot fewer.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 31, 2006, 03:54:28 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline abilak

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #396 on: June 01, 2006, 02:46:31 PM »
Thanks Pete, I ended up ordering the following from restaurantsource.net :
Huge pizza's are cool and I may get a larger 17-18" screen in the future.. for now, 15" pizza's are fine for me!

Quantity       Price    Description
--------------------------------------------------------------
     1        $28.80    American Metalcraft - Pizza Stones - 15-3/4" round dia. x 7/8"  thick - PS1575
     1        $17.40    American Metalcraft - Standard Pizza Peels - 16" x 17" blade   18" handle   - 3616
--------------------------------------------------------------
Subtotal:     $46.20
Tax:           $0.00
Shipping:      $9.95    Smallware Shipping - from Restaurant Source Equipment &
Supplies
--------------------------------------------------------------
Total:        $56.15

Offline abilak

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #397 on: June 02, 2006, 10:06:20 AM »
Here is one I cranked out last night

3 3/4 cu Pillsbury "Better for bread" flour
slightly more than 1 cu water
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fleishmann's "rapid rise" yeast

Made dough in cuisinart mixer, all dry ingred. then water slowly (room temp).  added oil half-way through.
seperated into 2 balls, hand kneaded each for 2 mins.
placed in stainless bowl tossed w/ OO in frig for 48hrs.
let sit a room temp for 1 hour before using.

here is the finished product.  tasty.


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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #398 on: June 02, 2006, 10:07:59 AM »
Oh yeah, pre-heated 14 3/4" stone for 1 hour, each pizza was about 14" or so
Cooked for about 7 mins, give or take.
I like a crispy crunchy crust.

I was just using stuff I had around the house.
I plan on getting some KASL flour and Fleishmann's IDY soon.

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #399 on: June 02, 2006, 10:38:03 AM »
abilak,

Very nice looking pizza. The Pillsbury bread flour is one that Tom Lehmann himself recommends to people who do not have access to higher-gluten flours. I am also pleased to see that the food processor approach worked well for you. I think the food processor is an underappreciated machine for making pizza doughs, especially for small batches. The key things to keep in mind is to use cold water (to offset the heat produced by the whirling blade) and not overknead the dough.

If you plan to make a lot of pizzas you might want to invest in a 1-lb. bag of IDY, either the Fleischmann's or the SAF Red. These brands are often sold at the big-box places like Sam's and Costco. The prices there are far lower than elsewhere and you save on shipping charges, which can sometimes be as high as the cost of the IDY itself.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 03:15:13 PM by Pete-zza »