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Offline Papa T

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My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« on: June 26, 2021, 02:14:51 AM »
A NY slice style pizza. Itís as on point as it looks, and tastes as good, too. As good as Iím ever going to do in a standard electric home oven.

Flour, water, salt, and yeast. Just the basics. The basics of a great pizza.

And, another TL;DR from Papa T except for the hardcore.

Less is more. Back to basics. The old way. Weíve all heard those things but do we really understand what they mean? We often complicate things more than need be. By adding more steps, or adding more ingredients to the equation. Trying to make it better. Trying to replicate something whose origin was simple. Along the way, we lose its history and what made it great.

We seldom remove things to see how that lands. Stripping it back to the way it was. Itís human nature to be additive, not subtractive. We feel more accomplished if weíve added more to something than if we take something away. We do it all the time trying to make things better. We nudge ingredient amounts, flour protein amount, use oil or sugar or malt or what ever we can to get that perfect pizza, when in fact, itís all about the flour, water, salt, and yeast.

Adding stuff comes across as inventive and wise. It begets praise. Subtracting stuff implies no effort, that weíre lazy or looking for the easy way out. In reality, itís usually more difficult to subtract or remove an ingredient or process for something that to add it. Being subtractive gets more blowback. Being additive gets praise. Most often though, being subtractive makes things better because over time, they have changed too much. Taking things back to what they once were. Flour, water, salt, yeast. Resist the desire to be praised for inventing and adding, and let the greatness of ďless is moreĒ shine through.

This pizza, this dough, is flour, water, salt, and yeast. No sugar. No oil. Just the primitive base of what bread, and pizza dough are. Simple, basic, primitive enough, that it can easily be made in a typical home kitchen and oven, using methods and tools that can be easily repeated, and donít set you back a grand. Methods that donít take a lot of time or effort, and produce great results.

This dough was made by hand, with no kneading, just stretching and folding a few times over a few hours, and left to rise at room temperature. Itís usually ready to use after five or six hours, but Iíve left it on the counter for 10 hours without issue. You can also put it in the fridge after three stretch and fold interval sequences, and it will be good for several days. Just take it out about three hours before you need it, shape it into a finished dough ball(s), and let them rest and rise and come up to room temperature before opening them to make pizza.

I have a 12 inch pizza peel. I have a 14x16Ē stone. I canít make a NY slice style pizza bigger than 12 inches, unless I get a bigger peel, and then Iím limited to 14 inches by the stone. I know Iím not a pro at using a peel, and the odd of me landing a 14 inch pizza squarely and exactly on a 14 inch hot stone are pretty remote. So, getting a 14 inch peel doesnít really seem worth it.

That got me thinking. I have a 15Ē aluminum cutter pan. What if I made pizza dough to fit the 15Ē pan, and put that with the pie on the stone in a preheated oven, just long enough to where the dough baked enough that I could slide it out of the pan and directly onto the stone? The thin aluminum would immediately transfer a lot of heat from the stone to the pizza. As we know, all pizzas shrink a bit when they hit the heat, so my 15Ē dough disc would shrink a bit. Sure enough it did shrink a bit by 3 minutes in, and to me that indicated that the pizza would be stable enough to slide off the pan and onto the stone. I gave the pan an easy shake, and it slid, so I knew it wasnít stuck. I know what you're thinking. He's talking about less is more and he added a cutter pan to the equation. Yes I did, but only to use an an alternative pizza peel. If I had a 16x16 inch stone and 15 inch peel, that's what I'd use, but I don't. Necessity is the mother of invention.

The pizza ended up being right at a 14 inch pizza to the edge of the stone, perhaps a tad over the edge. The cutter pan is 15Ē top edge to top edge, but the bottom is actually about 14.4 inches, so I stretched the dough up the side as much as it would stay when making it. Once I slid it off the pan to the stone, I moved it a bit to get is centered as much as possible on the width of the stone. It slid easily, but was quite molten, so no fast movements. I use Grill Armor gloves when baking every time I put my hands into the oven. Every time. They are heat resistant to 900F for up to 10 seconds, so I can do a lot of touching and moving things without getting burned. The best $30 I ever spent for a baking or grilling tool.

A side note/tip: When ever I put any dough, for bread or pizza, or batter like for cakes and brownies, into a baking pan that does not call for oil to be added to the baking pan, or say calls for parchment paper, I give a very light brushing to the pan and sides with GOOP, and yeah, I skip the parchment paper, too. And yeah, GOOP. Itís a homemade non-stick paste that prevents anything you bake from sticking, and a little goes a long way. I used a dollop bigger than a nickle, but smaller than a quarter to brush the entire surface and rim of my 15 inch cutter pan. Google goop and youíll know more about it than you ever wanted.

With goop, nothing sticks and never has for me. Goop is made up of equal parts by volume of any AP flour, neutral oil like canola, and vegetable shortening like Crisco. Whisk them together until homogenous and creamy looking. Store in an air tight container. I make a small amount using 1/8 cup of each ingredient, and store it in the container on the counter for months. You can also keep it in the fridge if desired, it will just be a bit thicker, like spreadable cream cheese. If left on the counter it will be thinner, and Iíve never had it go bad. Probably because the fat from the oil and shortening prevents anything from feeding off the 1 part flour. Just be sure to apply very thinly. A little goes a long way.

While my 12 inch NY slice style pizzas are on point by taste, they just are not going to even get close to the texture and feel of a larger NY style slice. The slice needs more size to allow the physics of baking things in larger sizes and volumes, to happen. Iím sure an 18 inch pie would be ever better, but thatís not going to happen in my home oven, and Iím not going to buy a bigger one either. Less is more and this size slice from using my 15 inch pan delivers that NY slice style quite well for a home oven and is discernibly more like the larger NY slices than anything Iíve made before.

I baked this pie at my max oven temperature, which is 535F in the summer here in Florida, and about 525F in the winter. Not a lot of difference, really. In my oven, an electric one now 31 years old, Iíve found that my stone on the bottom rack on max temp, makes the best bottom and top for a NY slice style pizza. No broiler, no rack above the pizza with a tray to trap heat. Just a one hour preheated oven at max temp with a stone on the bottom rack, then letting it bake.

I know that this will be controversial, but I am not a fan of pizza steels. I know people love them for their ability to brown pizza bottoms, but Iím not a fan. I donít like the texture of the browned pizza bottom made on a steel. While a steel gets and stays hot really well, it also traps moisture. That steaming between the bottom of the dough and steel gets trapped with no where to go. It may look more brown but it doesnít bite or chew the same way a pizza bottom browned on a stone or brick does to me.

A stone or brick, is porous. It allows that steam from that initial dough pop to go into the stone, to disburse, to dissipate, instead of being trapped. Sure, some gets trapped too, but not nearly as much as happens with a steel. For me, a stone makes the pizza bottom more traditional, and more what Iím used to, than what a steel offers. I donít recall any pizza maker in history ever using a steel bottomed oven. Stone and brick is what was used, and for me, thatís the way to go. Less is more.

Below is the dough recipe. Itís no knead. You can make one ball or it can be scaled to any size batch you need. It can be cut to size after folding and stretching it three times when making a large batch, to continue rising on the counter or in the fridge until ready to use.

I mixed all the ingredients (all 4 of them), in a bowl with a silicone spatula until all the particulate matter came together. I then used my hands to massage it for about a minute, until it looked mostly uniform in appearance throughout. I then covered it to let it set for an hour.

After the hour, I then did four stretch, fold, and quarter turns, and covered it to rise a bit more for between one and two hours. Itís not critical. All weíre doing here is letting it get comfy, and letting the gluten web form over time, so we donít have to knead it. We donít need a mixer, we're just giving the gluten a tug to strengthen, and letting time and yeast create the strength for us. The pull and stretch no only help the gluten strengthen a bit, but also redistributes the flour and yeast so the yeast has more food to eat. Itís the old fashioned way.

After about two hours, I do another four stretch, fold and turns, and covered the batch. Then again in 1-2 hours, I do four more. I then portioned out the dough into the sizes I needed. I just roughly ball them, but no effort was put into that. I just wanted to give them some general round shape. Iíll make them look better later when itís time to use them, making them into a more proper ball to rise for final use. This dough it tacky at 62% hydration, but not sticky, and is easy to work with.

I was going to use one of the dough portions a few hours later, and the others in the coming days. I put them all in very lightly oiled bowls, left one on the counter to continue rising at room temp, and put the rest in the fridge for use over a few days. For the ball I was going to use soon, I made it into the nice, smooth tight ball we all know how to do, and back into the bowl on the counter until ready to use later. I left it in the bowl for six hours after shaping, and it opened and baked up quite well when the time came. For the dough balls I take out of the fridge, Iíll ball them properly when I take them out, put the put them back in the bowl to warm up and rise until Iím ready to use them. They will be fine whether you use them 2 or 3 hours later, or five. This is a forgiving, basic old time dough. You have to try really hard to break it and mess it up.

The flour I used is King Arthur All Purpose. Itís 11.7% protein, and that is good enough. It is consistently good enough for making a NY slice style pizza, and available most everywhere. I also use KABF at 12.7% when making other types of dough, but I havenít found a notable difference between the two when making this kind of pizza. I have used other brands of AP flour and they donít land the same. The few extra dimes it costs for bit higher and consistent protein level of the KAAP vs other brands on a 5 pound bag are minuscule. No need to be penny wise on saving a two or three pennies per cup (120g LOL) of flour. Experiment and find what works best for you in your kitchen with your oven. Nothing anyone says or does will be of as much benefit as you doing to and seeing what works best in your environment for you. All else from others is just a starting point reference for experimenting.

This is the basic dough recipe. I have no idea how much or what sizes of dough balls you want to make, or the thickness factor you prefer. Once you have that batch or ball quantity figured out, take the total weight, and multiply that by .608. That will give you the 100% bakerís percentage of flour, and you can then calculate the 62% water, 2% salt, and 0.5% yeast (IDY or ADY your preference) for the quantities of the other ingredients from that flour weight. For example, if you wanted to make four, 320 gram dough balls, thatís 1280 grams.

Multiply 320 by .608, and you will get 778 grams of flour needed. Then multiply that 778 by .62 for the amount of water, .02 for the amount of salt, and by 0.005 for the amount of yeast.

When ever I make a bulk batch of dough, I always increase the calculated amount by 5% to account for any residue, moisture evaporation, etc. That has always served me well. In this case then, instead of making 1280 grams of dough, Iíd make a 1344 gram batch (1280 * 1.05 = 1344), and then cut that in to four 320 gram dough balls when time to portion it out. Doing the batch that way ensures that youíll have enough dough to portion after any residual loss. With now using a 1344 gram starting point, Iíd then multiply that by .608 to begin the process with 817 grams of flour and calculate the other ingredients in bakerís percentages. After cutting the batch into the four 320 gram balls, that will leave 64 grams or less of residual dough. Pennies of waste, but good insurance.

Ingredients:
Flour 100%
Water, room temp, 62% (.62)
Salt, 2% (.02)
Yeast (IDY or ADY), 0.5% (.005)

I baked the pizza for 9 minutes, on a 535F preheated stone, on the bottom rack. I preheated for one hour. At the 3 minute mark I slid the pizza off of the cutter pan steadily and purposely, but not fast since it was molten. Then I let it bake another 2 minutes on the stone. Then I rotated it 180 and baked for 4 more minutes, then I checked the bottom and it was time. On to a cooling rack for about 3 minutes of rest before cutting. Good browning and crisp. Some flop at my TF of .09, which lessens a bit as it cools. For the record, I needed three 450g dough balls, which is 1350g. I increased that by 5% for a 1418g batch. When time, I cut that batch into three 450 gram balls to make three 15Ē pizzas. One to make today, two to make soon from the fridge.

Cheese was 50/50 blend of LMWM and LMPS mozzarella at around 10 ounces. Pepperoni was ordinary and from the grocery store. Sauce was about 7 ounces and a simple classic. I used a 28 ounce can of high quality crushed tomatoes, and added 1 table spoon of Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Mix and itís ready to go and enough for about four 15 inch pizzas. Sauce too can be great with less is more. Once the pizza was topped, I added a bit of fresh ground black pepper, some sprinkles of dried oregano, and a dusting of fresh grated but common Romano cheese.

Legend to photos:
1, pizza when first put in the oven on the pan.
2, pizza at 3 minutes.
3, pizza removed from pan and on the stone after about 1 minute of being stoned.
4, finished pizza on the cooling rack, pulled at 9 minutes baking time.
5, cut into 8 slices.
6, bottom view.
7, cornicione view.
8, dangling slice, bottom edge view
Everything sounds better in latin.
Omnis pizza 'est bonum.
Every pizza is good.

Making good pizza is not that hard, unless we choose to make it that way.

The best pizza you'll ever make for someone is making the one they ask for instead of making it the way we think it should be made.

Isolating a year from C-19 made me a better baker. Unfortunately, it did nothing for my typos, LOL.

Offline loch

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2021, 12:34:28 PM »
That's as good a looking pie as I've ever seen!

Thanks for sharing your process. Great write up.

Dave
"As long as when she takes me out she buys me pizza and beer!"

Offline communist

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2021, 03:26:20 PM »
Papa T, that is a great pie.  I like your simple approach.  Almost a decade ago I worked with Scott 123 developing the pizza steel approach.  I did this for a reason.  When the dough hits the stone and your electric oven is at 535, the dough will puff up over a minute or two.  When the dough hits a commercial oven at 650, the dough will puff up quicker and a bit higher. ( oven spring )  So if your home oven max is 535, and you use steel, which transfers heat faster, you will get the puff advantage.  Yes, a NY slice is thin, yet some of the best have a light puffy thin dough.   After 2 minutes of steel, I transfer to a stone on the shelf below.  That is my routine and the reason behind it.  Now I have to admit I have baked on stone only and have had really good pies.  Good work and good pics!  I visit my son in Gainesville several times a year.  The pizza chains in Gainesville ( Blaze, 1000 degrees ) are unimpressive.

Offline Papa T

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2021, 08:45:19 PM »
I totally see how the hitting the steel for the first couple minutes would do that, but I don't think I'd like the juggling I need to do with two heavy objects in the oven to contend with. I use the oven a lot for other things besides pizza and at times need to remove the stone so I can have all shelves available. Good idea though, and if I can borrow someone's steel, I will definitely try that technique.

I've been to Manhattan many times and have talked quite a bit with the slice shop folks. Their oven temps are all over the place. Some use 450-500, and some closer 700F, but the 600F range is most common. One of the shops told me that they set their ovens around 650, but keeping them there with the volume moving at busy times doesn't really happen. Even with the commercial ovens, they are opened so much during busy periods, that they're doing good if they can keep them at 550F. They have to move a lot of pizza at the cheap slice shops to keep the small profit margin that comes with cheap slices.

I'm not fond of Blaze either, but it's the go to place for the younger crowd. I've only eaten there twice and that was enough for me. Also, 1000 Degrees closed down here. They never did really draw a crowd, but I liked them better than Blaze. 1000 also had a beer wall. Maybe that's why I liked them a bit better.

Actually, I'm not fond of any commercial pizza. Not that I won't eat them if someone orders them, but with it being so easy to make a good home pizza, I see no need to order them. If I had to pick a commercial pizza locally, it would be Five Star Pizza. They have about 20 stores now in Florida and started in Gainesville. It's probably not going to win any contests, but it's better than the big chains imo. It's your basic, late night after party, and football game-day style pizza. Tastes good, lands a bit hard, but does the job.

There used to be a pretty good indie shop here downtown called Big Lou's that was as close to NY slice style as you're going to get here, but it closed forever due to covid.

Satchels in the NE part of town is also popular, though a bit different in NY style than what Big Lou's offered.

Blue Highway pizza here is is NP style, as is V Pizza downtown. I'm not a big NP style fan, so while both are good, I only eat them when eating with out others, and if I had to pick one, I'd go Blue Highway.

Leonardo's Millhopper still uses their original deep dish dough and sauce recipe that originated at the off-campus shop when I went to UF in the 70s. The owner sold the shops back in the 80s, and the off-campus shop changed recipe, but an employee bought the Millhopper shop in the NW and was allowed to keep using the name and recipes, and still uses the original recipes from the 70s. It rocks pretty hard for deep dish in its own way. It's really the only good deep dish in town, imo. Not like Malnati's, but very good in its own style. Definitely a fork and knife kind of deep dish. The off-campus Leonardo's closed up when the property was sold to the university a couple years ago as they slowly turn several block directly east of campus into a technology incubator zone. Slowly but surely, it's all being gentrified by the university east of campus.

So if your home oven max is 535, and you use steel, which transfers heat faster, you will get the puff advantage....
After 2 minutes of steel, I transfer to a stone on the shelf below. That is my routine and the reason behind it....
The pizza chains in Gainesville ( Blaze, 1000 degrees ) are unimpressive.
Everything sounds better in latin.
Omnis pizza 'est bonum.
Every pizza is good.

Making good pizza is not that hard, unless we choose to make it that way.

The best pizza you'll ever make for someone is making the one they ask for instead of making it the way we think it should be made.

Isolating a year from C-19 made me a better baker. Unfortunately, it did nothing for my typos, LOL.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2021, 08:55:36 PM »
Papa T,

I also enjoyed your post. In retrospect, I had similar experiences with my oven and pizza stone, which is also 14Ē x 16Ē, but I found that I was able to make up to 18Ē pizzas by using an 18Ē pizza screen on my stone. I would bake the pizza until it set and then remove the screen. I tried a lot of other things with my oven and stone so if you are interested you can read about them at Reply 45 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2223.msg20965#msg20965

You will notice that I have edited the above post to add even more oven and baking tips and methods.

I had to laugh when you talked about not adding things. I once volunteered to adapt the late Tom Lehmannís commercial recipe for the NY style pizza to a home setting. Once I started I couldnít stop. I did so many things with his recipe that I ended up composing a roadmap for everything I did, at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=1453.msg13193#msg13193

Peter

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2021, 09:03:39 PM »
Papa T,

As you were liking my post, I was editing mine. I think you will get a kick out of my edit.

Peter

Offline communist

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2021, 10:11:55 PM »
Papa T, thanks for the overview of the pizza options in Gainesville.  I have had Sachtelís and also was not impressed.  The ambiance is eclectic & one again, it draws the young crowd.  I started out with NY pizza, but have developed a love of Neapolitan also.  That took me to Italy to sample their pizza.  I have also got into Sicilian - check out the Victory Pig thread in that sub forum.  I bought my son a pan & that is what I usually bake for my son when I visit Gainesville.

Offline Papa T

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2021, 09:20:21 AM »
I have friends that have been to Italy and they have said that they really haven't found an NP pizza in the states that can match what they had in Italy, though many they say are close. Since I've never been to Italy and tried it, I'm not in the position to opine on that one.

I make a few different styles. I first started posting using my recipes for the 1970s era Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy, and Thick & Chewy styles. I worked at The Hut off and on for about 2 1/2 years while going to college in the 70s, and we made the dough for each style every day in the store. An older friend of mine lamented about how the PH Thin & Crispy isn't like it used to be. I figured it out from what I could recall and research of the dough recipe, and how to get it super thin with a hand roller since I don't have a sheeter. My friend raved, so I made it again for my brother who is close to my age and remember it well, and prefers cracker style pizzas. Now he asks me to make it for him about once a month, which I will as long as he comes to get it. I don't do delivery, LOL.

PH discontinued the Thick & Chewy when they finally got done their testing rollout for the pan pizza decided. The Thick & Chewy was pretty much a typical American style doughy pizza, and it died on the vine once the pan pizza hit the stores. For their original pan pizza, which isn't the same today as it was back then, they had different versions of it being tested around the country and finally settled on one in 1980. That one back in the 80s became their best seller. I'm not a fan of any PH pizza anymore, but many I know like them. I think the fact that PH had different version of the new pan pizza in testing around the country back then, is why there are often debates as to how the pan dough from back then was made. PH began the testing in the summer of '79 and ended in the spring of 80. All of those recipes are different, so the cooks in those various stores that were part of the testing all remember different recipes. Only those that made the dough for the pan pizza at PH after spring of 1980 could know the recipe that became the best seller. That dough was also made in the stores every day.

My Detroit style pizza posts were in the Sicilian section, but got moved to the Detroit section when that was created recently. I haven't made any Sicilian posts, but will down the road when I make them. I've also made posts on bar pie/South Shore styles, and of course the NY slice style. I've made dozens more of pizzas in those styles since originally posted, tweaking here and there. For a while, the bar pie and Detroit style were about equal in requests from my friends, but the Detroit style has now pushed ahead. I don't always make it Detroit style, and often more Sicilian style, but they are similar in dough hydration. I haven't tried the Victory Pig style or any Old Forge types, but the VP seems like an interesting one to attempt and see how my friends like that one, since they favor the Sicilian styles more than the others that I make.

Papa T, thanks for the overview of the pizza options in Gainesville.  I have had Sachtelís and also was not impressed.  The ambiance is eclectic & one again, it draws the young crowd.  I started out with NY pizza, but have developed a love of Neapolitan also.  That took me to Italy to sample their pizza.  I have also got into Sicilian - check out the Victory Pig thread in that sub forum.  I bought my son a pan & that is what I usually bake for my son when I visit Gainesville.
Everything sounds better in latin.
Omnis pizza 'est bonum.
Every pizza is good.

Making good pizza is not that hard, unless we choose to make it that way.

The best pizza you'll ever make for someone is making the one they ask for instead of making it the way we think it should be made.

Isolating a year from C-19 made me a better baker. Unfortunately, it did nothing for my typos, LOL.

Offline 9slicePie

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2021, 10:31:32 AM »
I enjoy your posts.  Will read the OP now.   Just wanted to say that 1st  :D

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2021, 09:24:44 PM »
that's a nice looking pie, I wonder if you are edge stretching?
jeff

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Offline jkb

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2021, 10:27:03 PM »
Google goop and youíll know more about it than you ever wanted.




You can say that again.   :o


John

Offline Papa T

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2021, 04:24:09 AM »
Yeah, Paltrow trademarked the name for her "personal enrichment" products. Perhaps searching for "baking goop" will work better for those that are faint of heart.

You can say that again.   :o
Everything sounds better in latin.
Omnis pizza 'est bonum.
Every pizza is good.

Making good pizza is not that hard, unless we choose to make it that way.

The best pizza you'll ever make for someone is making the one they ask for instead of making it the way we think it should be made.

Isolating a year from C-19 made me a better baker. Unfortunately, it did nothing for my typos, LOL.

Offline Papa T

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Re: My go-to NY slice style pizza method. Less is more.
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2021, 04:28:02 AM »
Once I open the dough ball a bit on the dusted counter, I stretch it to the approximate needed size using the knuckles of my hands, then lay it out, and tidy up the circle a bit with a lift and pull of the edges as needed.

that's a nice looking pie, I wonder if you are edge stretching?
Everything sounds better in latin.
Omnis pizza 'est bonum.
Every pizza is good.

Making good pizza is not that hard, unless we choose to make it that way.

The best pizza you'll ever make for someone is making the one they ask for instead of making it the way we think it should be made.

Isolating a year from C-19 made me a better baker. Unfortunately, it did nothing for my typos, LOL.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T