Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => New York Style => Topic started by: canadave on May 05, 2003, 02:48:52 PM

Title: *authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: canadave on May 05, 2003, 02:48:52 PM
Hi folks,

I'm a born-and-bred New Yorker and pizza-lover who recently moved to Edmonton, and I've been on a quest to make myself the PERFECT NY pizza like I used to enjoy at home.

So far I've had what I'd say is "fair to middling" success.  I've done a lot of research on the Internet, found the standard "3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp yeast,1 cup water" types of recipes...but it doesn't seem to work QUITE right.  I mean, it comes out LOOKING like NY pizza, even feels a bit like NY pizza, but it doesn't quite taste like NY pizza.  I use the ceramic tiles on my oven floor, I let the dough sit overnight in my fridge, I form the disk with my hands rather than a roller, I do everything "right"; I know all the "basics" of how to do it.  It just doesn't seem to work quite to my demanding specifications  :)

So I have a few questions (unless someone wants to make it easy and say "Oh, I know what your problem is!"...) :

1. Does the quality of the given flour make any difference?  In other words, I use standard all-purpose flour from the local supermarket.  Do I need to go to a warehousing-type place and get "grade A" quality all-purpose flour?

2. Is it important how (in what order) the ingredients are mixed?  i.e., I see some people with specific instructions on things like putting the yeast into the water first, then mixing the flour, then putting the oil in gradually, etc etc, while some people say just dump the oil and yeast and flour in together, gradually add water, etc etc etc.

3.  I've heard all sorts of conflicting info about what temperature the oven should be.  I've tried everything from 500 degrees to 425.  Isn't it "the hotter the better", since those great coal-oven pizzerias are at 700-800 degrees?  And if so, since my oven goes up to 550, shouldn't I be using that?

4.  Anyone have any great sources for pre-made AUTHENTIC NY pizza sauce?  I use Unico brand pizza sauce, which is "okay", but not QUITE what I'm looking for.  I tried making my own, but I obviously am awful at that, so pre-made is the way for me to go for now :)

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Dave K.
Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: DKM on May 07, 2003, 11:51:09 AM
From my experience

1. Try using bread flour for bread machines.  They have the highest protein levels of flour sold to consumers and can affect the taste of the crust.

2. Order can depend on the type of yeast used.  I typically mix water, yeast and sugar.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  Add oil, 3/4 of the flour and salt and mix.  I then slowly add the rest of flour to see how much is needed.  On humid days it may take a little more flour, on dry days a little less.

3. I crank my oven up to 550.

4. Make my own sauce so can’t help you there

Something else that can affect the taste is the water supply.  Not really anything you can do about that one, but different water sources and treatment plants can result in different chemical levels in the water.  
Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: canadave on May 07, 2003, 01:41:36 PM

Thanks for taking the time to reply.  I'll try all your suggestions and see if it makes an improvement from how I've been doing it :)

While on the subject, you wouldn't care to share the sauce recipe you use, would you :o  I might try's just that the last time I tried to make my own sauce, it came out awful :)

Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: Steve on May 07, 2003, 06:15:46 PM
Try using "High-Gluten" flour ... this flour has more protien than "Bread" flour. You won't find it in any supermarket (unless you're lucky). I buy mine from King Arthur Flour Company ( Order their "Sir Lancelot High-Gluten Flour".

Use as little yeast as possible. Say 1/2 tsp. per pound of flour for a long overnight rise, or 1 tsp per pound of flour for a two hour rise. Adding more salt changes the flavor of the crust significantly. Experiment using as little as 1/2 tsp to as much as 1 tsp.

Use "regular" or "classic" olive oil in your dough, not extra virgin. Extra virgin is used mainly for salads and dipping... it has a very strong flavor which is not suited for pizza. I use Carapelli Mild olive oil with excellent results. Use 1 to 2 Tbsp. per pound of flour.

Here's my NY recipe as it stands now. The wife and kids love it.

1 pound high-gluten flour (Sir Lancelot)
9 fl.oz. warm water
2 Tbsp. mild olive oil (Carapelli Mild)
1 tsp yeast (active dry)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Put dry ingredients, including yeast, into bowl of a food processor. Process for 5 seconds to get everything mixed together. With processor still running, pour water and oil through feed tube. When dough forms into a ball, process for about 15 seconds longer. Finished dough will be slightly sticky to the touch, but will become soft and silky after a 60 second rest. Briefly knead into a ball and allow to rise. For quick pizza, let rise for 1 1/2 hour, punch down, let rise again for 30 minutes. For overnight rise, use less yeast. Stretch between your fists, etc..., add sauce, cheese, etc..., cook directly on pizza stone.
Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: canadave on May 07, 2003, 06:24:51 PM

Thanks...I *just* figured out the other day that extra virgin olive oil (which I had been using all the time) isn't the one to use!  I just tried a recipe very similar to yours (it also has shortening and cornmeal in it), and it's in the fridge "percolating" hehehe...I'll try it out tomorrow and post how it turns out.

And I will definitely try to get ahold of the Lancelot high-gluten flour from King Arthur.  It's interesting...I just went to their website and to their Baking Catalogue....they have a number of pizza-specific items.  Did you see the "Pizza Dough Flavouring" and "Italian-Style Flour" under the "Pizza and Pasta Ingredients" section??  I wonder how those would work *drooool* lol

Thanks again,

Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: Steve on May 07, 2003, 09:15:24 PM
The Italian "00" flour is excellent for making pizza Margherita ... I haven't tried it for making a NY style pizza. I haven't tried their pizza dough flavorings either. Let me know if you try these and let me know how your pizza turns out!  ;D

Regarding the olive oil... I did the same... I used "the best" thinking it would make a better pizza. The extra virgin oil would impart an off flavor making it taste less like pizza. I then switched to "classic" olive oil had had much better results!
Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: canadave on May 07, 2003, 09:32:07 PM
Well...doesn't look like I'll be ordering anything from King Arthur anytime soon.  It's about $18 to ship to Canada!!!  grrrrrrrrrr.....I can't STAND when that happens!!!

Yeah, who knew (about the olive oil)??  Amazing.  I always read things like "use the good stuff" and I assumed it meant extra virgin.  Guess not!

Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: Steve on May 07, 2003, 09:37:51 PM
There are other sources for high gluten flour.

Visit a local bakery and ask if you can buy a bag from them (it'll probably be a 25 lb. bag, though!).

You're looking for a flour with ~14% protein content. You'll need to use a mixer or food processor to knead this dough.

Good luck!
Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: DKM on May 08, 2003, 02:46:02 PM
I remember learning that olive oil trick.  I think everybody who is just starting out makes that one.

Per request, my current pizza sauce

1 28 can whole peeled tomatoes
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced onion
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Drain the tomatoes and save the juice.

Open the tomatoes and remove the seeds, set aside.

Over medium heat a non-reactive sauce pan.  Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan and sweat the onions and the garlic.  Add the tomatoes let sit for about 2 – 3 minutes, turn them and let sit for another 2-3 minutes. Add juice, sugar, oregano, basil, salt and pepper and reduce heat to a low simmer.  Do not cover.

Let reduce by half or until juice has a loose syrup consistency.  Let cool.  Place in a blender a blend to preferred consistency.
Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: DKM on May 13, 2003, 11:34:02 AM

Tried your recipe above yesterday and it went over big with everybody.

I used Pillsbury Flour for Bread machines which is 13% protien.

Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: canadave on May 13, 2003, 11:41:21 AM
I tried it too; I also did some tweaks.  I put some cornmeal in, and some milk (per another recipe I found on the Web).  It was great!!!  Much better than I've been able to achieve until now.

The one problem I had was this.  I heated the oven to 500, got the pizza stones nice and hot, put the dough into the oven.  What started to happen was that huge bubbles in the crust started to form.  In fact, it seemed like the top of the dough physically *separated* from the bottom part; when I ate a slice, I noticed that the crust was separated into two pieces.

I had pricked the dough first in numerous places with a fork.  Is there anything else I should be doing to prevent the humongous bubbles in the oven?  This happened twice....

Other than that, the recipe was great.  Thanks for all the tips!!!

Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: Steve on May 13, 2003, 12:21:44 PM
Glad everyone liked the recipe. I too have made it using regular bread flour and it's excellent. I still don't think the recipe is perfect, but it's getting close.

Regarding the air bubbles... I've never really had a huge problem with them... I dock my dough before I put it in the oven, then use a fork to pop any bubbles that form while it's cooking. Have you tried my recipe as-is (without adding milk, etc.)?

And here is my sauce recipe, for those interested:

28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (RedPack brand)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper to taste (I usually skip the salt)

Puree tomatoes in a blender. Add oregano, thyme, and garlic. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Note regarding tomatoes: I've tried RedPack whole peeled tomatoes, and RedPack Italian Style whole peeled tomatoes. There is a huge difference in taste, with the "regular" tomatoes having much more flavor than the "Italian" style. Not sure why.
Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: canadave on May 13, 2003, 01:00:56 PM
Nope, Steve, I didn't try your recipe "standalone" without the milk, etc....I'll try that.  Also (actually, now that I pose this question, I suspect I know the answer already)...does it make a difference that I didn't allow the dough to come to room temperature, after removing it from the refrigerator, before baking it?

Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: Steve on May 13, 2003, 01:31:08 PM
I just re-read my last message about docking the dough... I do not dock my NY style pizzas (hand tossed/hand stretched)... the only dough I dock is my thin crust pizza. Again, never had a problem with my NY pizzas developing air pockets.

Regarding the cold dough... I believe using cold dough produces less "oven spring" than room temperature dough. I like to use cold dough for thin crust pizza, but always allow my NY pizza dough to warm up for several hours before use.
Title: Re:*authentic* NY pizza recipe?
Post by: DKM on May 15, 2003, 05:16:24 PM
I didn't have any problem with bubbles, I only had a bubble form between the two pizzas I made which I took care of with a fork.

I didn't tweak it because I wanted to try it as is at first.  Since I only did a room temp rise,  I want to try it again with the over night rise since I prefer the flavor when left over night. (Still really liked it though)

I typically let my New York and Chicago doughs come to room temp, but find the thin crust easier to role when cold.