• #1 by canadave on 29 Nov 2005
  • Hi all,

    It's been a while since I've posted to the forum, but Peter talked me into posting my latest version of my NY style recipe.  It's based on lots of what I've learned here, and also based on member varasano's recipe as well (you can visit his page at

    I'm a long-time native New Yorker, so rest assured that the observations I make in the article about NY pizza are authentic, not just what I read out of a book somewhere :)

    Also, my page has a detailed introduction to New York pizza, as well as detailed step-by-step instructions for some of the more difficult steps in the recipe (like stretching dough with your hands).  Just about every step has an explanation as to why it's done that way and not some other way.  At the end is a "quick recipe" for people who just want to "cut to the chase" and get the recipe and directions with no explanations.

    For now, my recipe is at [ Anonymized URL Blocked ], but just in case that link ever goes down, I'll post it here as well (apologies if it's a bit long-winded).


    True New York City pizza is a special experience, a concoction that is often imitated but rarely gotten right. There are lots of recipes on the Internet that claim to produce a “New York-Style Pizza,” but mostly these come nowhere close to resembling an actual New York pizza (for a variety of reasons).

    There are really two types of authentic New York pizzas; I like to call them “street” pizzas and “elite” pizzas. A “street” pizza is typical of the myriad pizzerias that exist throughout New York (epitomized by the ubiquitous-yet-all-unrelated “Ray’s” which sit on seemingly every other street corner), where you can walk in and order inexpensive individual slices to stay or to go. These pizzas are characterized by a flexible, foldable crust that’s anywhere from ¼-to-½ inch thick; tomato sauce with some light spices; and a relatively thick layer of mozzarella cheese, cooked in a standard gas-fired commercial pizza oven.

    “Elite” pizzas in New York can be found at only a handful of famous pizzeria restaurants that have been in existence for decades. At these legendary establishments, individual “pizza masters” have passed along a tradition of high-quality pizza. Lombardi’s, Patsy’s, John’s, Totonno’s, and Grimaldi’s are examples of these pizzerias (Lombardi’s, which opened in 1905, was the first pizzeria in the United States). An elite pizza is generally more expensive, and can only be bought as whole pies, rather than individual slices (the pie itself is cut into slices of course). The pizzas themselves are usually slightly thinner and crispier; use a higher-quality cheese such as fresh mozzarella or bocconcino, placed sparingly on the pizza; feature very lightly-spiced sauces made from quality fresh San Marzano tomatoes; and—most importantly—are cooked in ovens that are either wood-fired or coal-fired to achieve extremely high baking temperatures (700 to 800 degrees), resulting in a dark brown or black char to the crust that is extraordinarily delicious.

    Which type of pizza is better? Although elite pizzas are almost always superb, there are many street pizzas that taste just as good, if not superior. In fact, a common New York pastime is arguing about which local neighbourhood pizzeria is the best. Conversely, I have tasted a few elite pizzas that were substandard. Yet some street pizzas are so bad that they barely qualify as pizza. Suffice to say, there are great examples out there of both elite and street pizza.

    The following recipe will give you something between a street pizza and elite pizza--probably closer to street pizza (baking a true elite pizza is impossible unless you happen to have a wood-fired or coal-fired oven at home that goes to 700-800 degrees). As a native New Yorker, I can tell you that this recipe will give you a pizza that is close (or at least, as close as a home baker can get) to how a real New York pizza would look and taste. One thing’s for sure—it’ll be delicious no matter what it’s called.

    YIELD: Two 16-inch authentic New York-style pizzas


    -- 16” diameter pizza stone, or unglazed half-inch-thick quarry tiles (four 8” x 8” tiles arranged in a square is perfect), in lowest rack of oven *
    -- pizza peel at least 16” wide (wooden pizza peels are generally better than aluminum)
    -- two cookie tins (each large enough to comfortably hold 1 pound of rising dough)
    -- pizza wheel or pizza cutter
    -- electric stand mixer (kneading/mixing by hand is not recommended)

    * If neither pizza stone nor quarry tiles are available, the pizzas can be made with a 16” pizza pan; see instructions following main recipe. A pizza peel is only needed if you have a pizza stone or quarry tiles. If using quarry tiles, make sure they are unglazed—glazed tiles have chemical coatings that are harmful to humans when used for cooking. Also, beware—quarry tiles of less than a half-inch thickness are almost certain to crack when subjected to the high heat of pizza baking.

    Preparing dough: approximately 35-40 minutes
    Baking pizza the next day: approximately 10 minutes (not including 1 hour oven pre-heat)

    -- 2 pounds flour (best is a “high-gluten flour,” usually only available either online or in wholesale food supply stores. Here in Edmonton you can get some at Real Canadian Wholesaler on 149th Street and 111th Avenue. If you don’t have any high-gluten flour, use bread flour. If you don’t have any bread flour, use all-purpose flour)
    -- 2½ cups cool tap water
    -- 2½ tsp (or one package) instant yeast
    -- 2 tsp fine sea salt
    -- 1 Tbsp sugar
    -- 3 Tbsp olive oil (not extra-virgin—use a good-quality normal or mild oil. I use “Filippo Berio” brand.)
    -- cooking oil spray


    1. Combine water, yeast, sugar, and 2/3 of the flour (but not the salt) into mixer bowl. The water should be cool, although precision isn’t needed with regards to temperature. You do not have to pre-dissolve the yeast in the water.
    Mix on lowest speed for 2 minutes, enough to blend the ingredients into a batter-like mixture.

    2. Let the mixture rest 20 minutes (this long rest period is called an “autolyse,” which allows the flour to fully hydrate and the gluten to start developing).

    3. Add the salt and olive oil, then add flour gradually while mixing on lowest speed for no more than 10 minutes or so. Near the end of that period, the dough will start grabbing whatever loose flour remains in the bowl and form into a solid ball; mix another 2 or 3 minutes at that stage, slowly adding just enough flour so that the dough ends up as a soft, smooth, slightly-moist-and-sticky ball.

    (If it’s too wet and sticky and you come away with gobs of dough when your fingers touch it, you haven’t added enough flour. If it’s completely dry to the touch, you’ve added too much flour. The ideal texture is smooth and satiny, like a baby’s bottom).

    4. Remove dough from mixer and divide into two equal balls. Spray the inside of your two metal cookie tins with cooking spray, place balls in the tins, and then leave closed tins inside the refrigerator for at least 24-48 hours (a 4-6 day rise is ideal, to allow fermentation for fullest taste; however, dough can be used after a 24-hour rise with minimally acceptable taste results).


    1. When ready to prepare pizza, remove tins from fridge (or only one tin, if making only one pizza) and leave on countertop at room temperature for about 1-2 hours. A half-hour after removing the tins from the fridge, start to pre-heat oven (with pizza stone or unglazed quarry tiles on lowest rack) to highest possible temperature (usually 550 degrees). Oven should pre-heat at least 45 minutes to allow stone/tiles to fully heat—although a full hour’s pre-heat is preferred.

    2. Dust pizza peel with flour, then remove dough from tin and place on peel. Lightly dust dough all over with flour from the peel so it’s not wet or sticking—flip it over to dust both sides.

    3. Gently punch down dough into a flat circle about an inch high and about 8 inches in diameter (don’t hit the dough….just push down with your palm). As you do this, try to smooth out any “faults” or cracks in the dough (on both sides) so that the surface on both sides is as smooth and as unbroken as possible.

    4. Carefully stretch it into a thin disk approximately 16 inches in diameter. This might take some practice before you’re comfortable with the technique, but here’s how to do it:

    -- Hold your clenched fists together vertically out in front of you (thumbs on top and pinky fingers on the bottom).
    -- Lift your thumbs a bit, enough so that you can get your index finger knuckles underneath the edge of the dough closest to you; then grasp the top of the dough with your thumbs and lift the dough straight up off the peel.
    -- The dough should now be draped forwards and downwards from your fists, resting mostly on your index fingers, with your thumbs only gripping the outer inch or so of dough to keep it from slipping out of your hands. The bulk of the dough will immediately begin to droop from your hands due to gravity; rotate the dough smoothly and quickly with your fists so that the dough droops evenly on all sides.
    -- Your first few times doing this, it might be hard to guesstimate when to lay the dough back down (i.e. when it’s 16 inches in diameter). For your first few tries, your best bet is to underestimate; you can always pick the dough up again if you lay the dough down and find that it hasn’t stretched enough. Stretching the dough some more is a lot easier than trying to make an overstretched dough smaller.

    This drooping/stretching process should only take about 10-15 seconds or so; the dough should stretch well, and should not be too elastic (i.e. shouldn’t tend to spring back to its previous shape). NEVER use a rolling pin under ANY circumstances!!! Using a rolling pin will crush the gluten you worked so hard to develop, and will result in a flat, non-crumby, hard-to-chew pizza. Only use your hands—the key word here is “gentle.” If you find the dough so tough that it won’t extend without the use of a rolling pin, then you haven’t prepared the dough properly.

    5. Once the 16” disk has been formed, lay the dough back onto the peel—you might need to do some minor adjustments and/or hand-stretching on the peel to make it perfectly circular again. By the time you’ve stretched out a disk approximately 16” in diameter, the dough should be relatively thin, perhaps even almost paper thin in places (usually in the middle). If you can keep the outer inch of the pizza relatively thicker, that will give the final pizza a traditional New York look—puffy outer edge, flat inner crust.

    6. Slide bare pizza dough from pizza peel onto stone/tiles in oven with quick jerking movements (see Notes at the end for a hint on what to do if your dough is sticking to the peel) and bake for no more than a minute or so (just long enough to let the bottom of the crust sear and harden slightly, so you can easily get under it and pull it back out with the pizza peel). During this “pre-bake” period, watch carefully with a fork handy, and prick any ballooning air bubbles in the dough.

    7. Remove pizza with peel and apply sauce, cheese, and toppings; then slide pizza carefully back onto stone/tiles in oven (try not to tilt the pizza too much as it goes back into the oven, or you’ll be cleaning toppings and cheese out of your oven for the rest of the weekend).

    8. Bake pizza until cheese starts to melt a bit (usually about 2 or 3 minutes), then turn oven to “broil” and use the top element if possible (see tip below). The pizza is done when the cheese is fully melted and bubbling (perhaps even just starting to show signs of browning) and the outer edge of the crust has turned golden brown. This is where the “art” of pizza-making comes in. All ovens differ—my pizzas are usually done about three or four minutes after I turn to broil. The first couple of times you bake pizza, if it seems to be taking forever to bake the top of the pizza, you might want check the bottom of the crust to make sure it’s not burning or getting too crispy. Ideally, the bottom crust should become brown, or even slightly blackened with char, just before the cheese starts to brown and burn.

    TIP: if you want a burnt, darker, crispy crust, bake the pizza a little longer (baking the bottom of the pizza) before switching the oven to top-down “broil” (which bakes the top of the pizza). If you want a softer, more flexible crust, don’t bake the pizza very long before switching to “broil.”

    9. Remove pizza, let cool about three or four minutes (it’ll be really hot), then cut into 8 slices using pizza wheel or cutter, and enjoy! If making two pizzas, prepare second pizza while oven is still hot. If you’re only making one pizza and you realize you won’t be using the second dough for a while, you can freeze it and then thaw when ready to use; dough will generally be good in the freezer for a couple of months.

    ALTERNATIVE PREPARATION DIRECTIONS (for those who have just a pizza pan—no pizza peel or pizza stone)

    Follow all steps in above recipe, with the following exceptions:

    1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees, not 550.
    2. After dough is removed from fridge and warmed at room temperature for an hour or so, prepare 16” pizza disk on floured surface, then place disk into 16” pizza pan; apply sauce, cheese, toppings, then place pan onto middle rack of oven. Bake until cheese is melted and just starting to show signs of browning, then remove, cut into slices, and serve.


    *** On Cheese ***
    The best cheese to use is fresh bocconcino mozzarella balls. This cheese is very moist; it comes in a clear plastic bag, marinating in its own moisture. It comes in small, medium, and large sizes—I’ve found that two large balls of cheese should be enough for two pizzas. The cheese should be sliced (not shredded like normal mozzarella) and placed strategically around the pie. Important Note: you should slice the bocconcino and leave it to dry on some paper towels for a few hours before using it, or else the cheese will become almost completely liquid on the pizza as it bakes, due to its high moisture content.

    If you have a favourite shredded mozza brand, feel free to use that. I personally like Lucerne’s mozzarella pizza cheese in the red ziplock bag. (Feel free to experiment with other flavours of cheese, bearing in mind that a true NY pizzeria typically uses only mozzarella).

    *** On Sauce ***
    An excellent sauce can be made by buying a can of Escalon’s “6-in-1” brand All-Purpose Ground Tomatoes from the Italian Market Centre, running the contents through a blender for a few seconds to smooth it out, and then mixing in table salt, olive oil, a bit of sugar, and pizza seasoning to taste before putting it on the pizza (the Italian Market Centre and WalMart sell a very good pizza spice called “Loretta’s Pizza Seasoning,” or you can get similar pizza seasoning from your local dollar store). One can of 6-in-1 will yield enough sauce for at least three pizzas. If you don’t have access to 6-in-1, you can simply use crushed San Marzano or plum tomatoes as a base for your salt, oil, sugar, and spices, but not any other types of tomatoes; regular North American tomatoes won’t do.

    Note that the sauce should NOT be pre-cooked under any circumstances; just spoon it directly onto the dough before baking. It’ll cook plenty when it’s on the pizza in a 550-degree oven; there’s no need to cook it twice, you’ll lose all the flavour that way.

    You can use whatever toppings you like, but be aware that although some New Yorkers like traditional toppings such as pepperoni, mushrooms, etc., a true classic New York pizza uses just sauce and cheese. Outlandish toppings like ham or pineapple or bacon are completely gauche on a real New York pizza. Also, be aware that the more toppings you put on, the slower the pizza will bake in the oven. This recipe assumes the use of just sauce and cheese; you may need to experiment with your prep and bake times if you use other toppings.

    *** On Oven Heat ***
    In baking this type of pizza, the key is heat. The hotter the stones get, the better. The best pizza cooks at 700-800 degrees, but of course home ovens can’t readily approach that temperature. However, there are some tricks you can do to get your oven to heat your stones even higher than normal. One trick is to wait until the stones have preheated fully, then simply open the oven door and let the hot air out. The oven sensor should then detect a lowered temperature, and kick in again. The stones, of course, remain pretty much at the same temperature as before, and will continue to get hotter once the heating coil kicks in again. Repeat this procedure a couple of times, and the stones should rise well above 550 degrees (although still not to 700-800 degrees).

    *** On Sliding Pizza From The Peel To The Oven ***
    Here’s a neat trick that will help prevent the dough from sticking to the peel if you’re having problems with that. When you’re ready to slide the pizza off the peel into the oven for the first time, lift the edge of the pizza closest to the peel handle slightly, blow under the pizza toward the middle of the pie, then drop the edge back down. This will create an air bubble underneath the pizza. Now when you try to slide the pizza off the peel, it will slide quickly and easily. Alternatively, of course, you could just put more flour on the pizza peel (remember, it should be at least lightly-floured to begin with).

  • #2 by Pete-zza on 29 Nov 2005
  • Dave,

    That's perfect. Thank you very much. The clear and well written instructions will be very helpful for those who decide to try your recipes.

    My standard NY style is the 16-inch, so your recipe is just right for me. However, since some of our members may not be able to handle that size, would you mind if I converted your recipe to baker's percents to allow downsizing (or upsizing) your recipe?

    Thanks again.


  • #3 by canadave on 29 Nov 2005
  • Quote
    My standard NY style is the 16-inch, so your recipe is just right for me. However, since some of our members may not be able to handle that size, would you mind if I converted your recipe to baker's percents to allow downsizing (or upsizing) your recipe?

    Not at all, Peter...feel free.  But of course (to any such members who might read this) it's a well-known fact that anything smaller than 16 inches isn't a *real* NY pizza ;) hehe

    Thanks for the complimentary review.  It took me quite a while to put together, so I hope it's of some use.


    p.s. It's quite possible I may continue to update the page, so I encourage interested readers to check back (I'll put a "last updated" date on the page) particular, I'd like to get some pictures posted once I get my new digital camera within the next couple of weeks (my old camera broke not too long ago).
  • #4 by Pete-zza on 29 Nov 2005
  • Dave,

    Thanks. I will start with the 16-inch, based on using the KASL (King Arthur Sir Lancelot) flour, which is one of the favorites of our members for the NY style.

    I noticed that your basic recipe is quite close to the one you posted at the Lehmann thread (Reply # 60, at page 4) some time ago. That was the recipe we came to refer to as Canadave's "Lehmann-inspired" recipe (it's also referenced in the Lehmann Roadmap). The main difference in the most recent recipe seems to be the preparation of the dough, specifically, to incorporate an autolyse and other techniques that member Varasano uses. Is that basically correct?

  • #5 by canadave on 29 Nov 2005
  • I believe that is basically correct, yes.  The main benefit of the link I just posted, in my mind, is the background of NY pizza that's included, as well as more detailed instructions.

    If I recall correctly, I think the amount of ingredients in my two recipes is also a bit different from one another.  I'll have to have another look.

  • #6 by PizzaBrasil on 29 Nov 2005
  • Canadave:

    Thanks by your recipe.
    The process that you use is too similar to I do.
    I had just learned from this site and I use the Varasano experience too.
    Since I do not know how much either in volume or weight 2 ½ cups mean, I am not sure that we are using exactly the same quantities (I will wait by the Petezza equations of your recipe. Thanks Petezza. As always).
    However I could say that I use 63% of hydration and I am almost sure that ours recipes are too similar.
    Well, I am happy to have a brick oven (Pompeii – 42 inches dia) and my mistakes are hidden by this.  *-)
    The main difference (if it is at all) is the kneading process, I am almost not kneading the dough, just folding and resting it, like I have posted:

    “The lasts attempts were the best results so far (both dough types) with very good oven spring and an open and airy crust and crumb and adequate crust color even without any sugar/milk in the dough.
    The dough was made in the usual fashion (using autolyse). The main difference at this time was that the dough was almost not mixed, just stirred by hand with a wood spoon a couple of minutes (after the autolyse process was finished) until the dough do not to stick to the bowl.
    When separated from the bowl the dough was placed on a floured counter and gently flattened to a near of a circle (maintaining the most of the air in it) and folded taking the sides to the center, flattened against and folded from top and bottom to the center as well.
    The dough rested by approximately 25 minutes and the folded was repeated. Rested and folded again by the third time.
    The dough was wet and sticking when first placed on counter, and seems excellent at the end of the process.
    This is a technique that Dan Lepard uses for bread.
    Finally, the dough rested by 10-15 minutes, divided and retarded 24 hours in the refrigerator.”

    I would like to much ear about your opinion and/or results about this technique.
    The final baking is like always 11/2 to 2 minutes at 700F directly on the hearth.
    This recipe is too nice! And so it is the Patsy´s Varasano recipe too!
    I like the sauce as prepared by Varasano.
    My family prefers the sauce pre cooked.

  • #7 by canadave on 29 Nov 2005
  • OK, I just had another look :)  Yes, the recipes are similar, but there are some subtle differences in the amount of ingredients, and also some preparation differences.  Definitely I would recommend this latest version over the version in the Lehmann thread.

  • #8 by canadave on 29 Nov 2005
  • Luis,

    Sorry about the lack of volume measurements for the ingredients...Peter will, as always, be on the ball with that :)

    Yours sounds like an interesting technique.  I must confess that I'm unsure how you achieve a good crumb without any real kneading.  Mind you, it does sound like your oven would make just about any pizza recipe taste excellent ;)  I'm sure we could just throw some flour and water on it, and it'd be fine.

    I haven't checked...have you posted your exact recipe procedure on this forum yet?

  • #9 by Pete-zza on 29 Nov 2005
  • This is the formulation I have come up with for Canadave's NY style recipe for the 16-inch size, using the King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour (KASL):

    Canadave's NY Style Dough Recipe (16-inch)
    100%, High-gluten flour (KASL), 16 oz. (453.6 g.), 3 3/4 c.
    64.1%, Water (tap, cool), 10.25 oz. (290.7 g.), 1 1/4 c.
    0.78%, IDY (instant dry yeast), 0.12 oz. (3.54 g.), 1 1/4 t.
    1.31%, Fine sea salt, 0.21 oz. (5.98 g.), 1 t.
    1.32%, Sugar, 0.21 oz. (5.98 g.), 1 1/2 t.
    4.63%, Oil, 0.74 oz. (21 g.), 1 1/2 T.
    Total dough weight = 27.54 oz. (780.8 g.)
    Thickness Factor (TF) = 0.137

    It should be noted that the way I converted the flour to cups was to weigh out the flour first (on my digital scale), then to spoon the flour into measuring cups/spoons, leveling off each measure with the flat edge of a knife. The same approach should be used to practice the recipe, that is, spoon out flour from the flour bag into measuring cups/spoons and levelling each measure. I follow a similar practice for measuring out/leveling volumes of yeast, salt, and sugar.

    If someone desires a formulation for another size, the baker's percents can be used to downsize or upsize the above formulation. I can help with the exercise if requested.

  • #10 by canadave on 29 Nov 2005
  • Thanks Peter, I knew you'd come through with those :)

    For what it's worth, based on my experimentation, my personal feeling is that this type of exacting precision isn't really necessary when making the dough.  I basically rough it out (I just have a crummy analog weigh scale from WalMart), and I can't detect any taste differences in the various doughs that have emerged.  The great thing about this recipe is that as far as the flour and water are concerned, exact measurements don't really need to be taken, because the final dough (before it goes into the metal tins) is a result of touch and texture, not ingredient measurement--you add flour until it feels right, not until you reach a number.  In other words, the answer to "when is the dough correctly formulated" is more a question of touching it with your fingers rather than hitting a number on the dot.  You might end up with slightly more or less of the dough with this method, but the amount of differential won't be significant enough to notice.

    However, for those who like following such precise measurements, this is quite helpful I'm sure, and I appreciate your efforts in any event.

  • #11 by Pete-zza on 29 Nov 2005
  • Dave,

    I agree with everything you say about mathematical precision. In the real world, it is unattainable. However, I believe there are benefits to be gained from using an analytical approach.

    First, when I see what the baker's percents are, I can usually tell what the finished pizza will be like. In fact, when I saw how much dough was involved in your recipe for the 16-inch, I concluded that the finished pizza would quite likely be similar to a NY style pizza that I recently made based on a recipe from the pizza cookbook, Pizza, by Morgan/Gemignani. If you look at Reply #134 at,524.msg18820.html#msg18820, you might see some of those similarities, even though there are also some differences between the two recipes. I did not list the baker's percents in that post because of the newness of the book, but I did calculate the baker's percents and used them to make a 16-inch size pizza rather than the 12-inch size called for in the recipe. That allowed me to compare the pizza with the typical 16-inch Lehmann NY style pizzas I make.

    Second, I have discovered that when baker's percents are known, the recipe is opened up to many more people to try. A recipe can be scaled up or down and put within the reach of people who otherwise might not try the recipe because they are not equipped to make the particular size of pizza called for in the recipe. I give credit to baker's percents for the popularity of the Lehmann NY style dough recipe. Using baker's percents, I and others have posted recipes for pizza sizes ranging from 9" all the way up to 18", all with similar finished pizza characteristics. Several members, including me, have even come up with spreadsheets to be able to do the downscaling and upscaling quickly. Since spreadsheets are based on mathematical precision, without any reasoning capability, what you will get as an output is something rather sterile--like what I posted earlier as a recipe. In the real world, I, like anyone else, have to make the adjustments to get the recipe to really work. That is where the touch and feel come in that you talked about in your last post. It's just as important to report on the adjustments as on the recipe itself.


  • #12 by canadave on 29 Nov 2005
  • Peter,

    All very good points :)

  • #13 by PizzaBrasil on 30 Nov 2005
  • Canadave:

    I was surprised too by the excellent (in my point of view) results obtained without (almost) kneading.
    However they were there, with similar results either NY or VPN (Varasano). Repeatedly consistent results in the last opportunities.
    I only know the basis (six months of real experience, it is not a lot) and I am sure that the brick oven has big contribution to transform any kind of flour, yeast and water in a tasting pizza.
    In fact, it is possible that the best pizza that I bake do not pass any test by you or any other ‘pizzaiolo’ in this site.
    Is the lack of opportunities of share your flour, muzz and tomatoes brand, that impels me to write here, in hope to have back your experiences and increase my knowledge (and the pizza taste, of course)  ;-p
    I will be happy if anyone of you could give a try to this un-kneading method and return back your experiences.
    However I classified my results by comparing with the old ones and by remembering the lot of pictures in this site. The last ones were the better.
    Otherwise, I agree with you and Petezza about feeling versus analytical approach.
    I am reading this site a long time ago, too much before I built the oven. And I am an engineer, too. Consequently, I follow the baker´s percents as nearly as I can.
    All the used recipes are scaled in 2 to 6 pizza dough sizes (280 to 1700g) to easily prepare the exact quantity that could be needed.
    The oven temperature is always registered and graphics are computer filed.
    Normally, when using the recipes with baker´s percents I do not need to change it by feeling (when changed, it is a little change, and I do not take note of it).
    And when looking at baker´s percents in a recipe I could know if this dough could turn good.
    I agree with Petezza that the introduction of baker´s percents make easy to open a pizza recipe to a lot of people to treat it. I feel that without this tables/spreadsheets my learning curve could had been more difficult to follow.
    Could be possible that this next weekend I will try your recipe with the Petezza baker´s percents (that came as fast as usual, thanks Petezza) and I will post the results.
    Thanks you both again
  • #14 by Wallman on 01 Dec 2005
  • Dave,
    How important is the autolyse stage? I have KASL flour which is high in gluten, so what do you think about skiping that step?
  • #15 by canadave on 02 Dec 2005
  • Wallman,

    Well, I'm sure Peter or someone else will be happy to weigh in with the science of the autolyse and its usefulness/necessity.  Personally, I just go by the taste results I get.  To me, autolysed dough tastes better than non-autolysed.  If you skip the autolyse, your dough won't be ruined, if that's what you're asking :)  But I personally would recommend the autolyse period, as it seems to make a difference--although to what degree, I'm not quite sure.

    The big thing that I would say MUST be done is the long rise in the refrigerator.  There's a dramatic taste difference in dough I've made that's risen for 1 hour, 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, 4 days, and 5 days.  I've tried all those rise periods in the fridge.  It's only after at least the 3rd day that the dough's flavour really starts to shine--and I'm pretty sure it's even better after the 4 or 5 day rise.


  • #16 by Wallman on 02 Dec 2005
  • Thanks.   I just finished making dough for 6 pizza's for a party tomorrow night but I used Pete's recipe.  Next week I'll give your recipe a try and make the dough earlier in the week.
  • #17 by Pete-zza on 02 Dec 2005
  • My personal view on autolyse is simply to try it and see if you like the results. There are no absolutes in pizza making. We don't all like the same things. I have tried autolyse with Lehmann doughs on several occasions and found that I liked it for doughs that used natural preferments but less so for those that didn't. I have no good explanation for the difference other than to say that using a natural preferment seems to produce a very nice crumb that is both elastic and springy without being bready. But to know what specific role the autolyse played in the final results, I would have to make a lot more pizza doughs to see if there is a detectible pattern.

    I am always on the lookout for a new NY style dough recipe to compare with the Lehmann dough recipe. So, when I find one, like Canadave's recently posted recipe, I tend to follow the recipe as exactly as I can. What I look for when I do that is the character and nature of the finished crust, that is, its texture and color, and the tightness and openness of the crumb. I pay a lot less attention to whether the crust is too sweet or too salty, or too soft, since I know that I can change those parameters the next time I try the recipe. Similarly, autolyse can stay or go based on the results. And if I want a thinner or thicker dough, I know how to change that too.

    At his point, just from looking at Canadave's formulation from a baker's percent standpoint, I know that the crust will be thicker than the ones I usually make (based on the weight of the dough for the size of pizza) and it will have a softer and more tender crust and crumb (because of the amount of oil used). Because of the high hydration (a bit over 64%), and assuming that the dough is not overkneaded and the dressed pizza is baked as Canadave has instructed, there should be good oven spring. What I would be looking for is the effects of the autolyse, that is, whether it contributes to a tight, bready texture or a more open and airy one. I would not want to rush the dough, however. As Canadave suggests, the dough should be given as long a fermentation as possible without having the dough overferment and become difficult to handle. In this vein, it may be useful to note that Canadave is in Canada, where it is quite cold. That alone can slow down the rate of fermentation and prolong the useful life of the dough. Even here in Texas, where it has been getting cooler, I am noticing that my doughs are cooler than normal. At some point, I will most likelly start using warmer water and/or increase the amount of yeast a bit to compensate.

  • #18 by canadave on 02 Dec 2005
  • And when Pete says "it's cold in Canada," he ain't kidding--it was something like -27C with the windchill last night!  :o

    Oh, and we're at altitude here in Edmonton--half-mile up.  Not sure if that would throw anything off....
  • #19 by Pete-zza on 02 Dec 2005
  • Dave,

    With much higher home heating costs on the way, many people will be reacting by lowering the thermostat by a few to several degrees. That will have an effect on dough temperature unless steps are taken to compensate, like using warmer water and/or more yeast (or using longer counter warmup times). My room temperature is down about 15 degrees F since summer, and my refrigerator compartment is running about 8-10 degrees F cooler since summer.

    As to potential adjustments because of altitude, if memory serves me correct, earlier this year you posted that you did not experience problems with altitude in making pizza doughs and that you found no need to adjust recipes because of altitude. Depending on which experts you listen to, the altitude cutoff range that is most often mentioned as calling for recipe adjustments is around 3500-5000 feet. Edmonton, at half a mile elevation, would be below that threshhold. However, as recently pointed out by our esteemed member DINKS, a baker by training, if altitude is a problem, then the yeast should be cut back about 10-12%, the hydration should be reduced a bit (by adjustment of the flour/water ratio), and high-gluten flour should be used (or the flour should be supplemented by vital wheat gluten). I personally don't see any need to make any of these adjustments at this point unless someone is operating at really high altitudes. Cooler temperatures may also make yeast adjustment unnecessary.

  • #20 by pyegal on 09 Dec 2005
  • Hello, long time no post - it's cold again in the South, so I cranked up the home oven today and made Canadave's NY Style recipe using the formulation put forth by friend Pete-zza.

    I forgot the autolyse, so I gave it a rest midstream of adding most of the flour - 15 minutes rest.

    As I am still a wimpette when it comes to stretching dough out to 16" pies, I made two 12" pies with Pete-zza's formula that uses 3 3/4 cups flour. I'm still in the habit of adding some vital wheat gluten when I make pizza because I haven't found a convenient source for high gluten flour.

    My sauce was uncooked, but thawed from frozen and a little watery. Next I will try a sauce with a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste added to see if it can thaw out just a little bit thicker.

    This baking day I par-baked the crusts (on parchment, on oven tiles) for about 2 1/2 minutes, then removed them, added sauce, cheese, and toppings. I then put the pizza back onto the tiles sans the parchment paper. This method worked for me until one pie got away from me at the very back of the oven. I fished it out with tongs and retrieved it with only a little pinch of dough lost in the rescue.

    I took two pies to the hair salon that I frequent and they seemed pleased at the surprise lunch.

    Here is a pic of the sausage and mushroom; the other pizza was pepperoni.