Author Topic: Shoot Out: Pete-zza Modified Lehmann vs. Steve's NY Style Pizza  (Read 1793 times)

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Offline pftaylor

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Shoot Out: Pete-zza Modified Lehmann vs. Steve's NY Style Pizza
« on: January 01, 2005, 01:27:06 PM »
It was almost a tie.

Santa put a Kitchen-Aid mixer and KASL flour under our tree this year so I decided to faithfully recreate the Pete-zza Modified Lehmann NY Style pizza recipe as well as Steve's NY Style Pizza recipe located on the main page. I had 8 adults and 9 children at my house last night for a New Year's celebration where the cook-off took center stage.

I used my TEC grill and the same sauce, spice, and cheese for all 8 pies and both recipes were deemed a big hit. In fact, everyone thought they were not only the best home-made pies they had ever eaten but they were the best pies they had ever eaten anywhere. Yeah, I know I know, alcohol may have had a lot to do with it. But great pies are really hard to come by in Tampa.

Here's what everyone thought the 16" pies shared in common:
Chewy crust with lots of bubbles, true NY style texture and feel. The slices were foldable and could be eaten with one hand without fear of the toppings sliding off at the tip.

Differences:
The modified Lehmann was much wetter and more difficult to handle. It had a bigger, thicker finished crust both in the middle and around the rim(which the kids preferred). Pete-zza's Modified Lehmann dough was also much softer to the touch than Steve's and displayed much more elasticity snap-back which made it somewhat more difficult to stretch. It also displayed a more cohesive, one piece appearance in the middle after cooking. Steve's bottom middle section seperated somewhat from the top but the taste was not much different in the end product.

In summary, both recipes tasted fantastic. Stupendous in fact. The Pete-zza Modified Lehmann pie was more difficult to make but the consensus was that it barely edged Steve's pie in taste and appearance. The bigger and slightly more puffy rim was the final tie-breaker.

However, I now find myself in a vicious cycle of attendees who claim that this morning they are having a really difficult time remembering which pie was better and they would appreciate another cook-off to settle the question once and for all...

Thanks for starting my new year off with a huge smile.

Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com


Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Shoot Out: Pete-zza Modified Lehmann vs. Steve's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2005, 04:20:54 PM »
I would have loved being at your place for the cook-off.  I was also the pizza chef last night, making 8 pizzas for over a dozen people (I'll be commenting on the exercise at other threads when I return home to Texas from Massachusetts).  

What I am curious about is whether you used the Carnation Original malted milk powder in either of the two dough formulations you used.  

I can't explain the degree of elasticity of the Lehmann dough you made.  I intentionally shoot for around 63% hydration, but usually I get more extensibility than elasticity.  I also strive for the big rim, which is where the high hydration is most noticeable--in the form of an open and airy structure.  Last night I made three high-hydration New York style pizzas based on Tom L.'s recipe, but using KA bread flour supplemented by vital wheat gluten, and the dough was very extensible.  I used a food processor for making the doughs and maybe that is a factor in the degree of extensibility or elasticity that is achieved.  

I got the same reactions to the pizzas as you did.  I also discounted the significance of the comments in direct relation to the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed.

In any event, I'm glad to get the feedback on the Lehmann recipe from your bake-off.  That was really great.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 03, 2005, 03:40:06 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline pftaylor

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Re:Shoot Out: Pete-zza Modified Lehmann vs. Steve's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2005, 05:07:33 PM »
Peter,
I did in fact add the malted milk - as you surmised. One tablespoon per every two pies. The taste wasn't as discernable as I thought it would have been. Could have been the 21 year old Single Malt Balvenie PortWood Scotch that deadened my taste buds. But I'm not really sure the malt added anything to be truthful. I'll have to do another cook-off with and without malt to be sure.

Also, since I added more flour to take some of the wetness out of the Lehmann dough, the Lehmann dough balls ended up weighing an average of over 21 ounces (for comparison, Steve's were right at 20 ounces each). So I may have taken the recipe out of balance by adding additional flour.

The other change was in relation to my normal cooking procedure. Since the TEC grill is not supposed to have the hood down on high heat (it never would of survived 8 pies), I opted to keep the hood open, remove the grates and place the stone in the grate position. This resulted in the bottom cooking in roughly 2 minutes with a slightly undone top.

I then transferred the pie(s) to our home's Dacor dual fuel range. The Dacor oven was ready and waiting with a setting of "high broil" from the top burner. I placed the pie(s) on the 2nd shelf from the top and less than two minutes later we were all in pizza heaven.

It was quite a site to navigate the sixty or so feet with a steaming pie on a peel through a group of onlookers who frankly couldn't believe the lengths I went to. That is, of course, until they took the first bite...
« Last Edit: January 01, 2005, 05:22:56 PM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com