Author Topic: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance  (Read 5738 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline s00da

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 468
18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« on: April 13, 2009, 03:49:04 PM »
I just received my 18" wood pizza peel and I hope I can get some guidance in the following points:

1- Do I need any preparation for the peel before I use it for the first time? Any treatments?
2- I calculated the dough ball for a single 18" pizza would be around 550g. Any idea how such a big dough is usually balled up after kneading? I already have difficulties balling up a 300g dough ball  :-[
3- I'm fitting my oven with firebricks, do the firebricks need any treatment before first time use?
4- I noticed most members use 1% oil in the dough to bake it at 600 F. What if my oven can go up to 850-900 F and can fit an 18" pizza? I think the question is at what temperature should I drop the oil for an NY pizza?

Thanks!


Offline tdeane

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 486
  • Age: 42
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
    • Pizzeria Barbarella
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2009, 04:17:16 PM »
I just received my 18" wood pizza peel and I hope I can get some guidance in the following points:

1- Do I need any preparation for the peel before I use it for the first time? Any treatments?
2- I calculated the dough ball for a single 18" pizza would be around 550g. Any idea how such a big dough is usually balled up after kneading? I already have difficulties balling up a 300g dough ball  :-[
3- I'm fitting my oven with firebricks, do the firebricks need any treatment before first time use?
4- I noticed most members use 1% oil in the dough to bake it at 600 F. What if my oven can go up to 850-900 F and can fit an 18" pizza? I think the question is at what temperature should I drop the oil for an NY pizza?

Thanks!

I think 550g is a little too low. I use a 22oz dough ball for an 18" pizza which is around 620g I think. I didn't treat any of my peels before I used them but with the next peels I buy I think I will oil them. Also, I use 20"x21" peels for my 18" pizzas. It may be difficult to actually get an 18" pizza on an 18" peel.  I never use oil in my dough and I bake at anywhere from 625-700F. I ball my 18" doughs the same way i do my 14" doughs.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21868
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2009, 07:07:19 PM »
saad,

According to Evelyne Slomon, who wrote the book The Pizza Book and who knew and worked with the old masters who made NY style pizzas with their coal ovens, the pizzas varied in crust thickness from one pizza operator to the other. However, I believe that the amount of dough that Terry Deane is using, 22 ounces, or about 624 grams, is a good value to use. It corresponds to a thickness factor of 0.0865. I think anything below 0.07 gets to be too thin. However, it is your dough, so you should feel free to experiment for yourself to find a value that works best for you in your particular oven.

As far as the crossover point for using oil in the dough is concerned, I would say that it is the temperature of a gas deck oven. According to Ron Molinaro (ilpizzaiolo), oil (and sugar, as well) was added to a NY style dough when gas deck ovens came into being, as he noted at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1053.msg9384/topicseen.html#msg9384. Today, most gas deck ovens have a maximum operating temperature of around 650 degrees F (see, for example, http://www.bakerspride.com/specs/superdeck/SDECK_D125_D250.pdf) but most operators don't use temperatures that high, although I understand that Dom DeMarco has an old Bakers Pride gas deck oven that appears to be an exception. If you will be operating at temperatures above 650 degrees F, you don't need to add oil although that is something that you might also want to experiment with.

As for your peel, you might at least smooth the surface with sandpaper. Like Terry, I also have a 20" x 21" wood peel and it nicely handles an 18" pizza. However, if you examine your 18" peel, you will see that the sides are tapered. In order to get a full 18" pizza skin on that peel, the skin will overlap the tapered part of the peel. You will have to test whether that impedes loading an 18" pizza into the oven. It might be close.

Please keep us posted on your progress on this project.

Peter

Offline tdeane

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 486
  • Age: 42
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
    • Pizzeria Barbarella
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2009, 08:15:24 PM »
saad,

According to Evelyne Slomon, who wrote the book The Pizza Book and who knew and worked with the old masters who made NY style pizzas with their coal ovens, the pizzas varied in crust thickness from one pizza operator to the other. However, I believe that the amount of dough that Terry Deane is using, 22 ounces, or about 624 grams, is a good value to use. It corresponds to a thickness factor of 0.0865. I think anything below 0.07 gets to be too thin. However, it is your dough, so you should feel free to experiment for yourself to find a value that works best for you in your particular oven.

As far as the crossover point for using oil in the dough is concerned, I would say that it is the temperature of a gas deck oven. According to Ron Molinaro (ilpizzaiolo), oil (and sugar, as well) was added to a NY style dough when gas deck ovens came into being, as he noted at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1053.msg9384/topicseen.html#msg9384. Today, most gas deck ovens have a maximum operating temperature of around 650 degrees F (see, for example, http://www.bakerspride.com/specs/superdeck/SDECK_D125_D250.pdf) but most operators don't use temperatures that high, although I understand that Dom DeMarco has an old Bakers Pride gas deck oven that appears to be an exception. If you will be operating at temperatures above 650 degrees F, you don't need to add oil although that is something that you might also want to experiment with.

As for your peel, you might at least smooth the surface with sandpaper. Like Terry, I also have a 20" x 21" wood peel and it nicely handles an 18" pizza. However, if you examine your 18" peel, you will see that the sides are tapered. In order to get a full 18" pizza skin on that peel, the skin will overlap the tapered part of the peel. You will have to test whether that impedes loading an 18" pizza into the oven. It might be close.

Please keep us posted on your progress on this project.

Peter

Yeah, Peter's right. A 17" pizza might fit better on an 18" peel. If I were doing a lighter topped style of pie, I would go with a lighter dough ball. But right now I am into a sort of Dom Demarco, slightly heavy handed on the toppings sort of thing. It's thin but if it's too thin it just won't stand up to the toppings. I do tend to overstretch my doughs a little and regularly end up with oversized pies that are hard to get into the box. So I am sure they are a little thinner than 0.0865. My oven is a 30 year old Garland gas deck oven and it gets over 700 F sometimes, but it doesn't hold the temperature well. I think I need to get thicker stones.

Offline s00da

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 468
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 02:48:16 PM »
Just a little update on my project. I know it's slow  :P but things been busy lately.

I'm attaching images of my oven after fitting firebricks in it. Now I have a 20 inch baking surface that's usable for NY style and Neapolitan pizza  ;D

Looking at the the first image you can see I have the flames from top and bottom evenly distributed that are controlled by valves. I can adjust the flames to the point that they hit the baking surface but I guess for NY style I will take it easy and settle for 650 F

One thing I noticed if I compare the firebricks to my previous 14 inch stone is that they take much longer to heat up but they retain the heat for much longer and I wonder how that will affect baking the pizza. I guess only a test drive tomorrow will tell as the dough is prepared and now fermenting at room temperature.

See you then...

Offline tdeane

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 486
  • Age: 42
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
    • Pizzeria Barbarella
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 02:52:08 PM »
Just a little update on my project. I know it's slow  :P but things been busy lately.

I'm attaching images of my oven after fitting firebricks in it. Now I have a 20 inch baking surface that's usable for NY style and Neapolitan pizza  ;D

Looking at the the first image you can see I have the flames from top and bottom evenly distributed that are controlled by valves. I can adjust the flames to the point that they hit the baking surface but I guess for NY style I will take it easy and settle for 650 F

One thing I noticed if I compare the firebricks to my previous 14 inch stone is that they take much longer to heat up but they retain the heat for much longer and I wonder how that will affect baking the pizza. I guess only a test drive tomorrow will tell as the dough is prepared and now fermenting at room temperature.

See you then...
Wow, that's pretty cool.

Offline JConk007

  • Vendor
  • *
  • Posts: 3649
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Lovin my Oven!
    • Flirting with Fire
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 03:45:33 PM »
I would assume they hold the heat longer as well no? great set up It looks like the flames are bigger and closer to the top than the bottom?
I am guessing it all goes off when you start cooking ? or can you leave bottom on alone.
Cant wait to see those babies.
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline s00da

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 468
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 01:58:55 AM »
I would assume they hold the heat longer as well no? great set up It looks like the flames are bigger and closer to the top than the bottom?
I am guessing it all goes off when you start cooking ? or can you leave bottom on alone.
Cant wait to see those babies.
John

Actually yes, they hold the heat much longer than my previous stone. As for the flames, the bricks are sitting on a sliding tray and there are 3 rails at different positions for different bake types  :D

I can leave both flames on or off when baking. I usually leave the flames on when I bake Neapolitan, I even let the flames touch the top of the pizza to get perfect leoparding.

Offline andreguidon

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1166
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Sao Paulo
  • Hot WFO always !!!
    • www.andreguidon.com
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 07:53:24 AM »
thats very cool !

how does the oven look in the outside ?
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline s00da

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 468
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 05:24:31 PM »
I made two 18 inch pizzas today and they came out amazing :D

Each dough was 614g so they ended up at 16.7-17 inches so I guess will need to improve one that.

I did not expect that such big pizza will consume lots of cheese so I will make sure I'm prepared to load it up next time  >:D

The crust was amazing, thin, good crunch and appropriate chew.

What I learned from this pizza is that NY depends more on the crust texture rather than the flavor because of how thin it is. Also, the pizza cooled pretty fast because it lacked a good amount of cheese on top.

So on my next NY pizzas I will increase ball weight and go heavier on the toppings.

Thanks for the help everybody!


Offline Deacon Volker

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 52
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2009, 12:04:31 AM »
Just to tag on the 22oz. question, that's the weight Tom Lehman is using when teaching his 18" NY style pies.  If it's good enough for the "Dough Doctor" I'd consider it good enough for me!

Offline JConk007

  • Vendor
  • *
  • Posts: 3649
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Lovin my Oven!
    • Flirting with Fire
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 10:37:33 AM »
Nce work sOOda
Looking close to  the Original TDeane
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline tdeane

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 486
  • Age: 42
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
    • Pizzeria Barbarella
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2009, 03:46:56 PM »
Just to tag on the 22oz. question, that's the weight Tom Lehman is using when teaching his 18" NY style pies.  If it's good enough for the "Dough Doctor" I'd consider it good enough for me!
My dough balls are 22oz but I recently measured a few of my stretched doughs and realize I have actually been stretching them to about 19" and my 14" dough balls to nearly 15".

Offline s00da

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 468
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2009, 10:05:14 AM »
As I reported in my last post. In today's pies I increased dough weight to 642g and that stretched easily to 18 inches so that will probably need to be dropped down to 630g.

I have also increased toppings and cheese to be more specific but I will probably go with 25% less next time.

What's worth mentioning is that I found the temperature of 725-750 F as the optimum for my pies.

I made 2 pies, one was half (mushrooms, baby red onions and green peppers) and half (turkey sausage, green onions, fresh garlic and a squeeze of lemon). The other pie is a tribute to Difara's and I used all the following cheeses:Fior De Latte, Full fat mozzarella, Buffalo mozzarella, grana padano, romano and reggiano.

Special thanks to Peter and Terry for guidance on this project and everybody else for their supporting comments.

s00da

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21868
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2009, 10:50:26 AM »
Saad,

It looks like you are becoming Kuwait's preeminent expert on pizza making. Some time, I'd love to hear about the popularity, or lack thereof, of pizza in Kuwait and how you source all of your ingredients. I assume that many of the big pizza chains in the U.S. have outlets in Kuwait. Is that correct?

For the pizzas shown above, did you use natural starters?

Peter

Offline s00da

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 468
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2009, 11:40:39 AM »
Peter,

I'm honored by your kind words. From this forum I've learned many things...your posts contribute greatly into my experience.

I like to learn things the hard way and Yes, I used the Ischia starter. I forced myself to learn to use the same type of flour to make a Neapolitan and NY pizza. From my other post, I indicated that the local AP flour I use is very similar to 00 but with adjustment to my Neapolitan recipe I managed to pull it for an NY pizza like this:

Decrease hydration to 62%->60% to easily handle the dough
Increase starter 5%->6.5% and increase fermentation time 16 hours -> 21 hours to improve the strength of the gluten

I will try to use bread flour the next time and see how different that would be.

As per the rest of the ingredients, we actually have two up-scale grocery stores that offer good quality sausage, vegetables and cheese. All three hard cheese types I used (romano, padano and reggiano) are real but for the mozzarella, I had to use those imported-italian wannabe fresh mozzarella types with 2-4 weeks expiration dates. This is one reason that's making me work on my own fresh Fior de latte as we have abundance of fresh raw cow milk around and I'm making good progress.

Regarding pizza in Kuwait...it's been introduced initially by the big chains, pizza hut to be more specific and then followed by domino's and papa john's. To people here, American style pizza is the default type. To them, it is what pizza is. Currently, pizza hut has gone down the hill in terms of quality and domino's hasn't been doing well since the start. Papa john's has been taking over the market for the past couple of years. Other types of pizza are very rare; I know Neapolitan and NY do not exist. I don't even bother informing others about them because they won't accept the idea of a charred pizza to start with. I just know there is only one American franchise restaurant that offers Chicago deep dish but it is not popular, at least not yet.

I hope that helped :)

s00da
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 11:45:10 AM by s00da »

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21868
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2009, 12:18:06 PM »
Saad,

Thank you very much.

I give you a lot of credit for your tenacity and persistence in learning how to make quality pizzas with an artisanal flair when it would be so much easier to just use commercial yeast and other off-the-shelf ingredients. If your bread flour is anything like the U.S. bread flours, I think you should see an improvement in your NY style pizzas. An 18" NY style pizza is a thing of beauty.

It is always interesting to see how pizzas are made, perceived and accepted in other countries and how pizza operators have to adapt their products and practices to conform to local tastes and customs. We have members from all over the world, so that is perhaps a sign of the increasing popularity of pizzas in places where pizza is a relatively new thing. I suspect that this forum has enabled people to make pizzas in places where commercial pizza is not readily available or just starting to make an appearance. Maybe I am a bit provincial, but it is hard to imagine that there are a lot of people in Kuwait making pizzas in their homes.

Peter

Offline s00da

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 468
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2009, 03:23:12 PM »
Peter,

Unfortunately we do not have local bread flour. The flour I'm using now is what everybody uses for bread. The reason for this is that we only use pita bread and other flat breads and these don't require stronger flours. Nonetheless, we have some stores selling Gold Medal and Pillsbury bread flour so I will be trying these. But what kind of improvement should I anticipate? I hope you can elaborate in terms of specific characteristics so I can pay attention to the details as I work on it.

Believe it or not, pizza has been in Kuwait since the early 80's and since then nobody introduced anything other than American style pizza. In the past 2 years, some places tried offering embarrassing products as "authentic Italian pizza". What's interesting is that customers are willing to try something different but having a hard time accepting a bad product eventhough they don't have a reference to the real thing. I have invited some friends and family a couple of times and it makes me happy to see empty plates and pizzas eaten all the way to the rim  ;D Then I knew that good pizza is good even to people who never tried it before. I got used to the comment "Why is it burnt?" and "There isn't much cheese on top..." for my Neapolitans but I also know they need time to understand it.  So not everything can be adapted to people, I think people need to adapt to the real thing sometimes.

And yes, I'm probably the only one in Kuwait making pizzas at this level.

More images from today's pizzas...check out "The Garden Pizza" haha

Saad
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 03:26:04 PM by s00da »

Offline tdeane

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 486
  • Age: 42
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
    • Pizzeria Barbarella
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2009, 04:19:06 PM »
What is the protein % in the flour you are using now? I wouldn't expect too much of a difference. Technique makes more of a  difference than the flour does, but it will char more than the AP flour. I think 12.5%-13.5% protein is the goal range for a good NY style pie. I personally don't like high gluten flour like most do. A good bread flour makes a better crust in my opinion.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 04:25:18 PM by tdeane »

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21868
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2009, 04:32:28 PM »
Saad,

I can see why your guests have been snapping up your pizzas. It looks like you have a full meal in every slice :-D.

I think I have the right dough formulation for you to use for your guests who like a pizza that is not "burnt". It is one that I came up with with the help of scott r and a few other members. It is a clone of a Papa Gino's pizza. I can assure you that you won't find a Papa Gino's in Kuwait. I described my efforts to make a Papa Gino's clone at Reply 79 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8167.msg71404.html#msg71404 and also at Reply 94 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8167.msg71789.html#msg71789. In one case, I supplemented the bread flour with semolina flour and in the other with vital wheat gluten (VWG). John Conk and zalicious also make significant contributions to the effort, in the same thread. Unfortunately, you won't be able to crank up your oven for a Papa Gino's pizza. It will be like running a Maserati or Lamborghini at 30 miles per hour. Forgive me if I have gotten the name of your car wrong. I assume that everyone in an oil-rich country such as yours is driving such a vehicle.

With respect to the bread flour, what you can expect to find is that the bread flour, because of its higher protein content than weaker flours, will have a higher gluten formation characteristic, which should help better retain the gases of fermentation and for a longer period of time. You should also get more crust coloration and flavor. You should also get a slightly chewier crust. If you can locate a source of vital wheat gluten, you can increase the protein content of the bread flour even more--up to around 14% if you'd like. That value is typical of most high-gluten flours in the U.S. Not everyone likes using VWG, but I have gotten fond of using it, especially if I am using a dough formulation that calls for high-gluten flour. Like Terry Deane, I happen to like a good quality bread flour pretty much by itself, and that is what I use most of the time.

Peter