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Author Topic: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style  (Read 7738 times)

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Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2017, 01:30:45 AM »
So glad to hear from you again OG! I stopped by your truck earlier this summer when it was at Dent Tower... Excellent stuff my friend. So, while my boss was on the phone with his Latina representative I had him ask about the Bocce flour, but was told he could not get it. Whatever. I got a bag of Tony's flour from Sysco I'm going to try tomorrow. It's not high gluten and it's definitely not all purpose. It is actually like 18 bucks for 50 pounds so that's kind of crazy, almost 5 dollars more than most flour I've seen. It's different because when turned into pizza dough it gives off a yellowish hue, so something makes this special, not Bocce special, but special nonetheless. Im going to prepare the dough a day in advance on Wednesday for use on Thursday. A first for these trials as I've been doing same day experiments these past couple of weeks. I'm gonna still do the bulk ferment, but I'm going to forget the rise on the pan when already stretched as last week's pies were a bit to thick. Basically after the bulk rise I will stretch, wrap, refrigerate, and bake on Thursday. I'm headed to the depot in the morning and will pick up some of your suggestions and figure out a ratio using just one 10 can of each product. And also a case of Margherita stick since I keep forgetting to order a case of the superior Batistoni brand. Ok I'm pretty excited!

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2017, 04:06:40 PM »
I bought three cans just in case, I was sure about the Bonta, but I purchased two types of Redpack also. The only extra heavy they had was pizza sauce with basil. I'm assuming that's what we're talking about here but I got the concentrated tomatoes just in case. Also, stopped by Bocce's on Bailey. It was good, although the sauce didn't seem special at all. Last time I had it was about 15 years ago, and I remembered it being noticeably sweet. My mother also had a slice and recalled the same, and she grew up on it. Off to make the dough and see what we come up with tomorrow!

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #62 on: January 11, 2017, 07:17:52 PM »
Here's an ingredient listing on Tony's Flour which I'll be using. May not be able to read it but it includes malted barley flour. Interesting. I work at a Buffalo-style pizza joint whose previous owner claimed his recipe was based on Bocce's when he opened in the late 60's. He also claimed he was friends with the owners over there. How much of this is fact is up in the air, but knowing our operations back and forth, a lot of the components are similar. Our dough is similar , almost exact, minus the sugar OG suggests is in the Bocce dough formulation. The pans and even the par reheat instructions on the box are a mirror image.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 07:26:56 PM by pizzaman716 »

Offline Feelflows

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2017, 03:16:06 PM »
As regional cuisine and Pizza grows within our current state of food culture, I often wonder what happened to true Buffalo, New York style pizza. No, I am not talking about pizza with blue cheese, hot sauce and chicken but something entirely different that I grew fond of as a child. Nowadays, as a food truck owner that serves Neapolitan style wood-fired pizza, I rarely grab a slice of what I was once so find of. It's not that I don't like it anymore, it's just that owner/operators have taken so many shortcuts and ruined a product that was once something truly unique and amazing.

For this study I will focus on 3 establishments that I consider THE ONLY 3 pizzerias paying any respect to what was once truly great pizza. While nearly every pizzeria in the Buffalo area claims to serve authentic Buffalo Style pizza, it is a sad bastardized version of what it once was. The 3 locations that continue to pay homage to our beloved Western New York Pizza, which I will focus on to recreate original Buffalo style pizza, are Bocce Club, Imperial, and Leonardis.

The goal of this investigation will not necessarily re-create what current establishments are serving, but what once was, while we eliminate short cuts and convenience products used over time. I will use my connections in the local pizza industry to dig deep into the early days of Bocce Club which is believe to be the predecessor to both Leonardis and Imperial. 

Bocce Club Pizza: 3 locations, while only 2 are listed on the website there is a 3rd that is still run by family members but not recognized as an official Bocce Club. I have some ties to this location as I worked there many years ago and am hoping the owners will give me some inside information on the "older days"

Bocce Club is stated to have opened in 1946 by Dino Pacciotti and his sister Melvina Sacco who purchased a restaurant that served sandwiches and cocktails named the Bocce Club where Bocce ball was often played. The birth of what we now know as Buffalo style pizza came when Dino found an old pizza oven in the restaurant's basement and began attempting to re-create the pizza which he had grown fond of during World War 2 while in Italy.

There is little information about Imperial pizza available on its website. It is believed by many that the recipes were are similar to Bocce club and may have been a castoff from the original Bocce Club. Hopefully through this process I can learn more about Imperial pizza as it it considered the best of the best by many.

Leonardis is a traditional Buffalo Style pizzeria owned by the Leonardi family opened in 1972. It is also believed to hold similar recipes to Bocce club and again to be opened by a castoff from the Original Bocce Club. Due to the limited hours, this seems to be the least popular of the 3 establishments in this investigation but certainly has value in being looked into.

Going off of the story listed on the Bocce Club website, it can be assumed that Buffalo style pizza has roots to the pizza Dino Pacciotti enjoyed while in Italy during World War 2. While I have yet to gather any information about Dino's whereabouts while in Italy, I am for now going to assume it was not Naples as there is little resemblance to Neapolitan Pizza. Dino himself was a 2nd generation immigrant whose parents came directly from Italy. While I cannot say for certain, a quick Google search provided that the surname Pacciotti is most common among Northern and Central Italian Immigrants; perhaps this has some influence on the style of pizza as well. While I have yet to find any factual information that supports this, I have long theorized that Buffalo style pizza is a descendant of Roman style and Italian Grandma style pizza which has slightly morphed over the years. The moderate thickness of the crust is the first direct relation to roman style pizza as well as the technique of cooking in a pan. I could easily imagine an early American pizza maker learning techniques from a pan style roman pizza but adopting to what had become the norm in America and shaping it round even though situated in a rectangular pan.

In more recent times it seems nearly anything passes as "Buffalo" style pizza. People often say the medium thickness of the crust is due to Buffalo being located in between New York City and Chicago; quite frankly this has nothing to do with it. Years ago the crust on Buffalo style pizza was significantly thinner and toppings less; as time has passed, it seems to be a more loaded up pie that after eating you feel like you were punched in the gut. This is not what I remember or what it was intended to be. Many modern places use round pans, frozen dough, cup and char pepperoni and very sweet sauce. While these characteristics slightly resemble what once was a closer look reveals this is an imposter.

Preparation- Buffalo style pizza is made in a rectangular sheet pan coated with lard and sometimes olive oil. The dough is stretched and topped with sauce, then a hard aged cheese, shredded whole milk mozzarella, oregano, then toppings. The pizza should be made right to the edge. There is no crust or cornicione, the entire pizza is the same thickness. This is the preparation I learned and seems to be consistent with the information I have available.

Dough/Crust- it seems that this is most certainly one of the characteristics that has evolved the most over time. Today it seems all locations making this pizza use some form of high gluten flour and it states the same in a 1972 article I found about Bocce Club. The article states that high gluten flour is used to obtain a crisp bottom crust, I don't necessarily find this to be true and it is unlikely Bocce Club was using high gluten flour in 1946. When I learned to make Bocce style dough, I recall the hydration to be in the high 50s, salt was around 2%, sugar around 1% and IDY around 1% as well. The desired end product should have a crispy bottom and light and airy body. I have found the desired texture to be very spongy on the top, cooked and not doughy. I believe the route I will take in the re-creation is through a bread flour, cake yeast and combination of refrigerated and unrefrigerated dough. In my recreation I will look into Italian Grandma style recipes as well as roman style recipes to develop the desired characteristics.

Sauce- Modern day Buffalo style pizza most commonly uses Red Pack sauce with water and a blend of spices, sugar and salt. The only other sauces that are commonly used seem to be Full Red and Bonta brand (Escalon). In the article I found located in Bocce Club, it stated that either seasoned crushed tomatoes or cooked down whole peeled tomatoes were used. Characteristics of a typical Buffalo style sauce are often a rich cooked down and sweeter sauce, so it seems the cooked down version may be the way to go in re-creating original Buffalo Style pizza

Cheese- Cheese seems to be the most straightforward of the process. Shredded whole milk mozzarella seems to be the norm. I'm not sure if at one point fresh mozzarella was used but it seems unlikely. For the layer of hard cheese that goes on top of the sauce during preparation I will use Parmigiana.

Toppings- While it seems most toppings are typical, pepperoni stands out to me as being special on this style. Modern pizzerias often use pre-prepared cup and char pepperoni in a a collagen casing which causes the pepperoni to "cup and char". Some of the better places locally use a combination of cup and char pepperoni and pepperoni sliced right off the stick. The best places use strictly pepperoni sliced off the stick, which is what I will use for this re-creation.
 
Cooking- In my experience most pizzerias producing this style pizza are now cooking in the 450-500 range. The article I have found from 1972 states pizzas were cooked between 600-630 degrees with a cook time under 10 minutes.

For this experiment I will start with several types of fermentation and a dough with bread flour that will start at 60% hydration; I believe they may have cut hydration for ease of use over time. The initial sauce will be a heavily cooked-down sauce of peeled Italian tomatoes with traditional seasonings of Buffalo style pizza. Cheese will be hand shredded whole milk mozzarella and imported Parmigiana hand grated over the sauce. For quality reasons, Sicilian oregano will be used over the top of the cheese layer. Pepperoni will be hand cut on a bias off of the stick of locally produced Battistoni meats.

I am hoping for any input which may be available on this forum as I continue to re-engineer great Buffalo style pizza. This is a fluid recipe and the more information I obtain from research and sources the better.

Great article Og!!!!

The threads are huge, and will take my time reading about the tips you and others have recommended.

Living north of the border, my go to place for pizza is Buffalo.  I have not tried the three places you've recommend, but will do so the next time I'm down.  For what it worth, I'd like to recommend a pizzeria for you that I thought was amazing, and may fit your buffalo style criteria or at least their own take on it.  It's called La Hacienda in Niagara Falls NY.  I'm curious what you think. 

As for sweet sauce, I enjoy Santora's sauce, but the pies are over priced. 

Finally, is there a cheaper place the Wegmans to buy cap and char pep in Buffalo?   
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Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2017, 07:24:21 PM »
Hi there and thank you! Yes I've tried la hacienda it's kind of a mix between NY and Buffalo style but I thinks it's kind of cool, definitely an establishment in the falls. There's 2 different Santoras owners but I'm very familiar with both. If your looking for cheaper cup and char try to find a deli that sells it, I know guercios on the west side has it and Division market will give you a good price in North Tonawanda.

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Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #65 on: March 08, 2017, 07:49:26 PM »
Stopped at Bocce on Bailey a few weeks ago, ordered it light well done and pretty much got a textbook Buffalo style pie IMO. If it doesn't look like this, it's not Buffalo style.

Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #66 on: April 12, 2017, 10:50:17 PM »
Pizzaman 716,

I just revisited this post and was reading your most recent post, don't know how I missed them. In regards to the flour Iam almost certain the ADM pack for Bocce is just a re label and nothing special, I would bet it's dominator or commander which you can get locally. Most pizzerias in Buffalo will say they were some spin off of the original Bocce and in some way they probably all are or wanted to be since Bocce was the first Pizzeria to gain real traction in Buffalo (santoras was the first Pizzeria) but to me me the the biggest thing is the pans. For some reason being a bit of a purist I always want to see my Buffalo style made in a rectangle pan and believe all the best places are doing this. In your picture the 2 cans on the left are commonly used in Buffalo style pizza, I kind of like the Bonta. Pretty much all the flours you will use to make Pizza (non Neo) will have Malted barley flour it helps with oven spring and Carmeliztaion. Sorry I missed this post in January. I really hope to get a chance to make some Bufflao style pizza soon but am super slammed with the food truck and opening a restaurant, who knows maybe Buffalo Style pizza will be my next venture. If you see us out and about this year feel free to stop by and introduce yourself.

Jay
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 10:54:44 PM by Ogwoodfire »

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #67 on: April 20, 2017, 07:25:26 PM »
will do jay. i've been taking time off buffalo style focusing on nyc style. just purchased a blackstone and a 50 lb bag of 00 so i may stop down and get some pointers on your specialty... neapolitan. keep reading about you in the buff news, congrats and good luck on your endeavors. truly inspiring to see someone care so much about doing pizza right. there's an ever dwindling list of joints in the area that i actually have interest in returning to bc no one seems to care anymore.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 07:26:58 PM by pizzaman716 »

Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #68 on: May 02, 2017, 10:28:52 PM »
Thank you pizzaman. And I agree, even the places I used to love no longer interest me much and you really can't get more than a decent slice of NY style in the area unless you make it yourself. It's really sad the poor ingredients and techniques most are using yet these places are romanticized locally like they have the best pizza in the country, which they do not. I find myself traveling more and more just to get some good pizza, oh well. Best of luck with the blackstone (Neo/NY is my favorite style not Neapolitan) have fun,  and hope to see you sometime.

Offline AnotherOneBitesTheCrust

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #69 on: May 15, 2017, 09:54:31 PM »
Made this last night.  I need to work on the dough thickness but I knew that would be trial an error.  Made 2 identical pies,  it was everyone's favorite by far.  The biggest test was taking the second pie to work for all the Native Buffalonians to try.  Word spread quick and before I knew it other crews were stopping by to grab a slice. (I brought two left over Detroit pies too) They all said it tasted like the real deal. Everyone was going nuts over it.  However to me, it's still a work in progress

(sorry no bottom shots, too busy with the family)

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Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #70 on: May 15, 2017, 10:42:49 PM »
Nice work. Beautiful looking pizza.

Offline AnotherOneBitesTheCrust

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #71 on: May 16, 2017, 07:21:07 AM »
Thanks, I'm back working in Buffalo so I'm hoping to find your truck soon so I can get a pie.

Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #72 on: May 17, 2017, 12:29:21 AM »
Oh nice. Make sure you tell me who you are if you can make it.' The schedule is at www.facebook.com/ogwoodfire or you can follow the link at www.jaysartisan.com

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