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.
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.