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.
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
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.
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.
¾ cup water
¼ 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 ¼ 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.
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.