Author Topic: Geoffs pizza recipe and development  (Read 980 times)

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Offline zensation

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Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« on: August 18, 2016, 10:51:40 AM »
Hello all,

Im new to the forum here but have been making pizza as a hobby for about 6 years now, trying to perfect my own NYC style recipe.  Im creating this thread more or less to track all of my progress and development publically as prior to discovering this page I had been tracking in a notebook,  And Im hoping some of you will try my recipe and provide feedback.  I will start by post where I am now as well as give a brief synopsis of a few things I have experimented with in the past. 

Sauces:
This is where I have spent most of my time. To me,  I just enjoy the reating of a good sauce, and have gone through a ton of revisions to try practically everything, but in reality I have found a simple sauce is just plain better and  It just seems fresher.  I have found that a good sauce completely depends on the tomatoes and I have settled on my tomato of preference the Escalon 6 in 1 crushed product.  Products I have tried in some semblance of ranking include:

#1 by far: Escalon 6 in 1 - crushed
2: cento san marzano whole peeled
3: Hunts Whole peeled
4: cento Italian style whole peeled
Several others that just all seem to be similar in quality but again the real standout is the 6 in 1.  I order this on amazon prime in bulk for like $35 delivered 2 day and im pretty happy with that.

I have tried cooked sauces and heavily seasoned sauces, as well as lightly seasoned uncooked sauces and the latter is really my preference.  Uncooked lightly seasoned just have a much fresher taste which is more pleasing to my pallet.  I had a problem with the uncooked sauces being too watery when crushing tomatoes from the whole peeled products, but that has since been remedied by the thick crushed Escalon product.  My current sauce recipe is pretty simple:

28oz Escalon crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sugar
4 large fresh basil leaves chopped fine

Cheeses:
To me a good mozz is critical.  I have had 2 side by side pizzas otherwise identical besides the mozz, and one will clearly outshine the other.  My love for cheese took me to the world championship cheese contest in Milwaukee earlier this year and I had some excellent cheeses.  Some were auctioned off for upwards of $1000/lb!  I learned that cheese is very much a commodity and is treated as such.  Brand labelling can be very deceptive as to the supplier and quality.  But I digress. 
I have tried so many different mozzerellas in the past 6 years its crazy, and have discovered that a low moisture whole milk mozz is preferable from a melting standpoint and that pre shredded is generally no good.  I have found an absolute clear winner at this point and have to special order it at my local grocery store.  Its Galbani low moisture whole milk mozz.  Its typically $4-$5 per 16oz block.  The flavor is just incredible.  For a while I had been using polly-o mozz but it has taken a back seat to the galbani.  If you have never tried it I HIGHLY Recommend it.  Others I have tried include in ranking order:

#1: Galbani absolute best flavor on a pizza by far (IMO)
2: poly-o also good
3: Boars head low moisture whole milk -  a very distant 3rd I used some side by side with the galbani on some pizzas this past week just to try it out and hands down the galbani was preferred by everyone eating.
4: sargento fresh mozzarella
5: some other local store brands (publix, bi-lo, etc)

Right now I use 8oz grated mozz per 16 pizza and sprinkle with a blend of parm and romano prior to baking.  Also on top of the cheese just before going in the oven, I find that sprinkling a bit of oregano on top of the cheese (not a lot) gives a good flavor.

Dough:

Since Ive settled on my dough recipe, I havnt done a bunch of playing with it.  But its just asimple sour dough that people have responded well to.  I played around with sugars in the dough in the past with things like honey and plain white sugar but I have always come back to simple no sugar.  Eventually I plan on getting a scale to weigh my ingredients out instead of measuring but for now I get pretty consistent results with measuring by volume.  This recipe I have developed for  1 16 pizza but will also do 2 10-12 pizzas as well. 

cup water
tsp ADY
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups of sifted bread flower (I usually use king Arthur or white lilly)
1 tsp salt

I usually mix the yeast and a little of the flower with cup of water for about 10 mins,  then combine all ingredients into my stand mixer with a dough hook to combine for about 5 mins.  Then I pull it out form a ball and put it in a round Tupperware container that has been rubbed with olive oil and leave it in the fridge for a day or 2,  then on the day of baking I remove it from the fridge to rise on the counter for 3 hours or so. 

Baking:

I have found that baking on a stone is pretty critical for me.  I let the stone heat up at 550 in my convection oven for an hour to get nice and saturated with heat.  I have found the the very top rack in the oven works best. I feel that the 2 most critical modes of heat transfer in pizza making in a commercial oven is Conduction(stone to bottom of crust) and radiant heating (top of the oven to top of pizza).  When circulating the air in convection mode I find that the top of the pizza gets done a little too soon leaving the crust too soft.  This is just my oven so im sure others may have better results using convection.  And that is without getting too geeky over the heat transfer science.

I will post up some pics as well of some of the pizzas i have done in the past.

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 03:26:01 PM »
Hi Geoff and thanks for posting your dough and sauce recipes.  One thing that will help aid in any discussion about your process would be to weigh out your dough ingredients and express them as baker's percentages.  Most everyone reading this forum is used to seeing dough ingredients as percentages of flour (e.g., flour at 100%, water at 65%, salt at 2%, etc).  The volume measurements are subject to so much variation (at least as far as flour goes) it is much better and easier for us to understand using baker's percentages. 

I'll look forward to reading more about your pizza recipe development! 

Regards,

TinRoof

Offline zensation

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2016, 04:24:53 PM »
yeah i agree it would make much more sense to go by mass and %..... i plan on doing that in the near future for sure. 

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2016, 04:44:04 PM »
You are largely wasting your time trying to develop a recipe without weighing the ingredients - and forget about someone trying your formula and giving you any useful information. There is no way to measure flour with enough precision or repeatability - particularly between different people. 
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline Ovenray

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2016, 05:32:06 PM »
Craig is right about the volume vs weight matter, small things can easily throw your formula off balance. For instance fill a cup with flour and gently smash it on a hard surface for about one or two times, you will see the volume decreasing dramatically while the weight stays exactly the same.


#1: Galbani absolute best flavor on a pizza by far (IMO)

Galbani cow milk mozz or the one made from buffalo milk ?

Online csnack

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2016, 03:21:28 PM »


Its Galbani low moisture whole milk mozz.  Its typically $4-$5 per 16oz block.  The flavor is just incredible.    .

I've been on the fence about this  Galbani cheese, previously a.k.a Precious. Can't make up my mind how I feel about it. For me it's the easiest LM WMM for me to find as Fred Meyer here has it for $4.99 16oz block. Grocery Outlet constantly has the 16oz blocks for $1.50 to $1.99 with the best by date about 10 days out, which is fine as it'll be used up before then. But this cheese.. I don't know, it's got this kinda creamy consistency when melted that I'm not sure I like compared to the Trader Joe's LM WMM blocks, which so far is my favorite for pizza and why I even started shopping at TJ's. Have you tried theirs? I'm gonna have to do a side by side with TJ and Galbani on a half and half cheese pie to make up my mind, because I get a great deal on Galbani, but Galbani seems creamy to me when melted whereas TJ's has the pizzeria type flavor and consistency to me that I seem to dig way more at $4.99 16oz block. When I first started making NY pizza at home about six pizza sessions ago it was Polly-O that I was looking all over for and never found. It scored #1 on some pizza taste test I read somewhere. The only other LM WMM block I can find around here is Frigo at QFC for $7.50 16oz. block. Anyone ever try that one?


Online csnack

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2016, 04:07:15 AM »
Where did all the replies go? There were like five pages worth..

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2016, 11:15:03 AM »
They were not relevant to the original post, so I broke it off into another thread which was then polluted, so I removed it altogether.

Offline zensation

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2016, 11:32:39 AM »
Craig is right about the volume vs weight matter, small things can easily throw your formula off balance. For instance fill a cup with flour and gently smash it on a hard surface for about one or two times, you will see the volume decreasing dramatically while the weight stays exactly the same.


Galbani cow milk mozz or the one made from buffalo milk ?

Its the cows milk lm wm mozz. 

Offline zensation

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2016, 11:37:31 AM »

I've been on the fence about this  Galbani cheese, previously a.k.a Precious. Can't make up my mind how I feel about it. For me it's the easiest LM WMM for me to find as Fred Meyer here has it for $4.99 16oz block. Grocery Outlet constantly has the 16oz blocks for $1.50 to $1.99 with the best by date about 10 days out, which is fine as it'll be used up before then. But this cheese.. I don't know, it's got this kinda creamy consistency when melted that I'm not sure I like compared to the Trader Joe's LM WMM blocks, which so far is my favorite for pizza and why I even started shopping at TJ's. Have you tried theirs? I'm gonna have to do a side by side with TJ and Galbani on a half and half cheese pie to make up my mind, because I get a great deal on Galbani, but Galbani seems creamy to me when melted whereas TJ's has the pizzeria type flavor and consistency to me that I seem to dig way more at $4.99 16oz block. When I first started making NY pizza at home about six pizza sessions ago it was Polly-O that I was looking all over for and never found. It scored #1 on some pizza taste test I read somewhere. The only other LM WMM block I can find around here is Frigo at QFC for $7.50 16oz. block. Anyone ever try that one?


I was using the poly-o cheese before i switched to the galbani but i like the flavor better of the galbani.  Thats good info on the trader joes cheese we have one somewhat close by.  I will try to also pick up some to do a comparison.

I also picked up a scale to start weighing my ingredients so i can post back with more accuracy.

Online csnack

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Re: Geoffs pizza recipe and development
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2016, 12:47:05 PM »



i like the flavor better of the galbani.  Thats good info on the trader joes cheese we have one somewhat close by.  I will try to also pick up some to do a comparison.

Yeah do a half and half just cheese pie with TJ' and Galbani I'd love to know what you think between the two. TJ's also has a smoked block of LM WMM there too, though I've not tried it nor would I know what it's good for.

Do you have a pepperoni preference for your NY? Currently I'm digging Hormel's "Natural Choice" pepperoni that comes in that little brown box. I was surprised to like it actually, because they have their other standard pepperoni that comes in that bright red package that looks like a kid snack and it's pretty lousy. I grew up on Gallo on Boboli, but it's really not earth shattering either. But Fred Meyer's store brand that's pre-sliced/vac-packed hanging in the deli is pretty good, though sliced as big as a pool ball and thin so no real cuppage if that's your thing, but it crisps nice and bacony.