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Offline piesofsatan

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2020, 11:12:35 AM »
The Sicilian looks really good. Did you make any knots to go with it?  :chef:

Edit: also, call Sansone before you go to tell them what you want. They may need to run over to the warehouse to get it as the new retail shop has limited selection.

Thank you !! You know, I havenít made knots since before I had a steel, I should give it another go!

And good call about Sansone, will do - thanks again!

Offline Peter B

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2020, 11:23:11 AM »
Yep exactly, and she posts here! Did you hear her give the forum a shout out? ;)

Haha - you bet! 

I know I saw this video a few years ago, but I have been watching this series again since I started working on my pizza-making again.  My wife asked me the other day how I heard about this forum, and I wasn't sure.  My guess was that it is mentioned in The Pizza Bible.  But having re-watched this video, it is possible that was my source.

And I stumbled on this to help with the cheese / sauce question from above.  This is coincidentally posted by Norma:
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14822.msg147190.html#msg147190
I said to my little one, "come here so I can change you".
He said "change only comes from within".  :-/

Offline piesofsatan

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2020, 11:31:36 PM »
Tonight's attempt:

Made a 16" pie. Dough based on the Scarr's clone on this forum once again. Jersey Fresh Crushed, WM + PS mix (Cherry Valley / Galbani), Lioni Fresh Mozz, Fresh grated parm to finish. Came out looking pretty great to me. Think I maybe under-sauced this one. Still struggling with flavor overall.

I still have been dealing with WM / PS Mozz that is either Biazzo, Galbani, or various store brands as it is usually all I can find. I have used Bianco DiNapoli and Jersey Fresh for my sauce now and both have been great - maybe not exactly where I want the flavor to be but close enough that I don't think my sauce is the issue. My question to the pros here is this - I still haven't gotten my hands on Grande brand Mozz - could this truly be the missing link? I keep finding myself disappointed with the cheese flavor, though I've seen multiple people on the forum mention the brands I've used and have seemed to be okay with it. I need to bite the bullet and get out to Sansone's to grab some Grande but just haven't gotten around to it. Will I notice a big difference you think? Any guidance would be much appreciated.

All told, I've only been making my own dough from scratch since this July after years of using pre-purchased pizza joint dough, and the progress is visible, which is what keeps me going, and tonights looked great to me, though in my last few attempts the flavor keeps discouraging me.

Offline Peter B

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2020, 08:19:50 AM »
That does look good - especially sliced up!

I tried Grande once and I thought it was spot on for what I was looking for.  Having said that - more recently, we picked up some on our way back from a road trip.  It sat out (uncooled) for 2 hours.  When I went to use it, I didn't think it was that great.  I am chalking it up to my mishandling, because I had such a positive experience before.  Lately, I have been using the WMLM Mozz from Trader Joe's and I think it has been fine.  I also know a source for the deli size brick of Polly-o, but I just have not tried it yet.

Some things to try to goose the flavor just a tad: sprinkle a little fine salt on the pizza when it comes out, maybe try a drizzle of olive oil (small drizzle), I make a habit of grating some hard cheese over the sauce before I spread the mozz and some more after I pull from the oven.  To me - I think the cheese issue I had was an umami issue and those things were my attempts to address.  Lately - I have just been doing the grated hard cheese before and after bake.  I have not found a need for the salt, but I have been cutting down on my salt intake over the months and my taste buds may just be readjusting.

I would think you could pretty easily find the Polly-o Deli style brick somewhere that would cut a pound chunk for you.  If a Trader Joe's is within reach, I'd suggest that too. 
I said to my little one, "come here so I can change you".
He said "change only comes from within".  :-/

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2020, 08:18:40 PM »

I would think you could pretty easily find the Polly-o Deli style brick somewhere that would cut a pound chunk for you.  If a Trader Joe's is within reach, I'd suggest that too.
I also like Trader Joe's mozzarella pretty well, although it's not quite up there with the best I've used. And I don't know what it is about their other cheeses, but I find them to be really hit or miss. It seems like if it costs $6/lb or more, it's usually pretty good, but below that cost, it's a gamble. I've had a few varieties of their less expensive cheeses that I found to be very lackluster. However, another thing they carry that's totally killer, IMO, is their California plum tomatoes. Unfortunately, I haven't seen them on the shelf for a while, but they only cost something like $1.79 a can, and they're honestly among the best I've used for pizza sauce. I recommend them highly.
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Offline Peter B

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2020, 07:39:02 AM »
I also like Trader Joe's mozzarella pretty well, although it's not quite up there with the best I've used. And I don't know what it is about their other cheeses, but I find them to be really hit or miss. It seems like if it costs $6/lb or more, it's usually pretty good, but below that cost, it's a gamble. I've had a few varieties of their less expensive cheeses that I found to be very lackluster. However, another thing they carry that's totally killer, IMO, is their California plum tomatoes. Unfortunately, I haven't seen them on the shelf for a while, but they only cost something like $1.79 a can, and they're honestly among the best I've used for pizza sauce. I recommend them highly.

Thanks for the tip on the CA plum tomatoes!  I foresee trying lots of different tomatoes in the coming months, and I would love it if a Trader Joe's product ended up working well.

Funny but I don't think I have ever seen a 'cheap' cheese at TJ's, but maybe those are just the ones I never even check.  Unexpected Cheddar is awesome.  I think the best cheddar I ever had is Beecher's (which is in Seattle and if you can get their frozen Mac and Cheese somewhere - GET IT), and I think the Unexpected Cheddar is not too far off.  For their WMLM Mozz, I would agree - it is not absolutely top shelf, but I think it is much better than average.  When I compare to what I checked the regular grocery stores here for (generally finding part skim), having the TJs at my disposal is always the safe option.   :chef:
I said to my little one, "come here so I can change you".
He said "change only comes from within".  :-/

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2020, 09:53:45 PM »

Funny but I don't think I have ever seen a 'cheap' cheese at TJ's, but maybe those are just the ones I never even check.
I guess I should say "cheap compared to regular grocery store cheeses", but even that is not always true. When you can get a full pound block of decent quality mozzarella cheese for $4/lb or less, that's a good thing, but it's not necessarily the norm when you take into account all the different types of stores that carry cheese.  Anyway, 18 years ago, I worked at a beer/wine/fine foods store for a few months, and I got really spoiled trying all kinds of imported and artisan cheeses and learning about them. Having had that experience, and being (I guess I have to admit) a bit of a 'cheese snob', I know what a lot of cheese varieties are supposed to taste like, and so when I see a variety of cheese that normally sells for something like $15/lb or more, priced at $6/lb or less (like Comte or Gouda or Gruyere, for example), let's just say I'm extremely skeptical, and I cannot help comparing it to other cheeses that are in those higher price ranges. And I do not spare the rod on my critiques just because a particular cheese happens to be relatively cheap. I judge by how it should taste, regardless of what price it's at. I have tried several varieties of TJ's cheese in the last couple of years since they opened up a store in my town, and there have definitely been some that have fallen short of the mark on flavor, by my standards, whether you might consider them 'cheap' or not.
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Offline quietdesperation

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2020, 02:04:04 AM »
hey, that looks like a good start! here are some ideas:
- to my eye, youíre over-baking your pies. the crust looks a little too dark and the cheese is oiling off. whatís your baking temp and time? pls post a pic of the undercrust of a slice.
- very few ny shops cook their sauce. try and find some scalfani crushed tomatoes, dump into a mesh sieve, drain well and then push the tomatoes through the sieve with the back of a wooden spoon into a bowl. at the end of the process, the sieve will have tomato skin and seeds which can be discarded, the bowl will contain a thin sauce. taste the sauce and add a dash of oregano and a pinch of salt. taste again and then use the sauce in the bake. from there you can vary the oregano/salt and try other ingredients like grated hard cheese, olive oil and sugar. we have a long thread around ny sauce: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=48058.0
- are you weighing your ingredients including sauce and cheese? how much are you using?
- on the grande, your best bet is to ask pizza shops to sell you some. i pay $5 a pound from my local shop.

good luck!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 02:09:44 AM by quietdesperation »
jeff

Offline radstronomical

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2020, 10:49:15 AM »
- on the grande, your best bet is to ask pizza shops to sell you some. i pay $5 a pound from my local shop.

Wow, I love this idea. Going hunting this friday.

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2020, 11:32:56 AM »
suggest you call first to see who has grande, if they'll sell you some and the price. I worked through about 7 places in fl before I found someone that had it. My experience has been just about everyone is willing to sell mozz. In the end, it works out to less $ than our local grocery store mozz. See if anyone has east coast blend, that's my favorite.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 11:36:02 AM by quietdesperation »
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Offline piesofsatan

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2020, 02:26:23 PM »
Had a fairly successful pizza night last night!

Did a variation of the Baking Steel 72 hour dough (https://www.bakingsteel.com/blog/72-hour-pizza-dough) though I did 96 hours total, and added 1% sugar, 1% oil. I was a little worried as I've never gone as high as 70% hydration before, and I did have some snags opening the balls - a hole in pie #2, and $4, happened transferring from screen to steel, which hasn't happened to me before. Here was my workflow for four 16" balls:

Flour (100%):    1041.12 g  |  36.72 oz | 2.3 lbs
Water (70%):    728.78 g  |  25.71 oz | 1.61 lbs
IDY (.2%):    2.08 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.69 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
Salt (3%):    31.23 g | 1.1 oz | 0.07 lbs | 5.6 tsp | 1.87 tbsp
Oil (1%):    10.41 g | 0.37 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.31 tsp | 0.77 tbsp
Sugar (1%):    10.41 g | 0.37 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.61 tsp | 0.87 tbsp
Total (175.2%):   1824.03 g | 64.34 oz | 4.02 lbs | TF = 0.08
Single Ball:   456.01 g | 16.08 oz | 1.01 lbs

I was still very happy with how these came out, the dough had the flavor I've been looking for this entire time, I just never really had the patience to wait the 96 hours previously, tasted just like a crust from a good nyc shop.

My sauce was Sclafani crushed through a food mill with some salt, oregano, garlic powder, pepper and EVOO. My first time using Sclafani and I was pretty happy with the flavor, but will experiment with different spice amounts next time, maybe some onion powder in the mix? Dash of sugar? We'll see.

Cheese was Boar's Head WM Mozz, found it for 6 dollars a pound and hadn't used it before so figured i'd give it a shot! Really good flavor, best out of everything I've tried thus far, but still need to get me some Grande! Oh also used some fresh mozz on the pies too. Couple pies finished with Parm, couple with Romano.

I'm still eyeballing for sauce and cheese application, I know I probably should measure it out but I just do what looks right. Second and fourth pies had my favorite flavors which funnily enough were the two with the holes in 'em.

Used a proper screen for the first time to achieve a full 16" pie on my 16" round baking steel. Still want to find a mesh one but no leads yet. Also should probably just get a 16x20" steel to be able to launch 16" pies directly on the steel, but cant seem to find one of those either. Cooked at 510F for 6+ mins. Middle rack.

Can't wait for the next round. Feel like I'm finally getting closer to where I want my pies to be!

Offline Peter B

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2020, 02:55:52 PM »
Damn - those looks great!

Where did you get your round steel and do you know the thickness?
I said to my little one, "come here so I can change you".
He said "change only comes from within".  :-/

Offline piesofsatan

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2020, 03:07:45 PM »
Damn - those looks great!

Where did you get your round steel and do you know the thickness?

Thanks! Got this one - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MA356TX/?tag=pmak-20
1/4inch thick!

Offline nyMike

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2020, 06:58:56 PM »
I really need to upgrade to a steel from a stone,

those are some nice looking pies.

Are you hand mixing or using a stand mixer?

Offline jvp123

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2020, 08:02:31 PM »
Had a fairly successful pizza night last night!


Very nice pies! :chef:   
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Offline piesofsatan

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2020, 12:20:58 AM »
This was the one. Tonight was the closest Iíve gotten so far to what I grew up with in Valley Stream & Queens. Made me smile a lot.

Dough is Chris Graffís from this forum as I just got my hands on some LDM and the dough came out great, flavor was incredible for a same-day dough (5hr RT ferment here), imagine its the LDM? Sauce was Bianco DiNapoli Crushed Tomatoes with some salt, oregano, granulated garlic, EVOO, pepper and one basil leaf. WM LM Mozzarella (Wegmans brand) + got my hands on some fresh Buffalo mozz to crumble on & finished with some parmigiano reggiano post-bake. 16 or 17Ē Baked at 510F on a Baking Steel for 4-5 mins on a screen + 2 minutes directly on steel.

STILL have not gotten out to Sansone to grab some Grande, but this was so good. My roommates and friends have witnessed me time and time again take a pie out of the oven excitedly, and then bite into a slice only to be disappointed in the flavor, they all enjoyed every one I've made thus far and have told me I'm crazy multiple times, but I'm sure many here can understand the frustration of trying to hit that specific NYC taste. I was always under-saucing and over-cheesing, and over-baking, and I feel like I finally am starting to hit the sweet spot. Can't wait to do another round. Think i'll do Chris' dough again next time.

Last week I used Sclafani, does anyone prefer Sclafani to Bianco DiNapoli? I think I might honestly - is that a strange opinion?

Having only started doing this for real in July of this year, I'm very proud of this bake!

Thanks as always for all the encouragement and tips along the way!

Offline Peter B

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2020, 08:09:35 AM »
Last week I used Sclafani, does anyone prefer Sclafani to Bianco DiNapoli? I think I might honestly - is that a strange opinion?

So I figured out that the Don Pepino I mentioned uses "Jersey Fresh" tomatoes.  My theory as to why I liked it so much is because the NJ pizza places I went to used those tomatoes as well - since it would be a local product for them.  I saw someone mention on this board that they thought "Jersey Fresh" were the best American tomatoes.  I remember that Pizzeria Beddia (sp?) uses that as well, and has a really good reputation in Philly.  Anyway - when I was doing some research, I found that Scalfani is a sister product to Don Pepino.  So no - I don't think it would be unusual to prefer it.  In fact, I want to get my sister to stop by and pick up some cans for me the next time we plan to get together.

Again - your pies looks awesome.  Funny, as I am right there with you re: being a perfectionist / disappointed in something you did and having others around you look at that response to your work as weird.  The family and I went to a sort of famous wood fired pizza place near here for my birthday, and both my wife and I thought my pizza was better - even though I am always critical of something in my own creations.

I started taking more notes and measuring more things to help me refine.  I used the toppings chart from this board as a starting point, and am making revisions as I go.  I figured I could use the "Pie of the day" board to post my pics and jot down my notes (how much of this and that I used, what went wrong, what went right, what I tried to do differently) so I could search them later.

You are lucky to have some people to be able to feed.  I don't have many people right now, as we just moved here maybe six months ago and it is super hard to make friends because of the covids.  But getting the chance to make more and more and not have to eat ALL of it, not to mention getting feedback from folks, is really helpful in my mind.

Oh and with regard to Grande, I saw 5 pound bags of pre-shredded East Coast blend at a Gordon Food Service store here the other day.  I never heard of that store before moving here, but if you have that sort of place, give them a try.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 08:11:59 AM by Peter B »
I said to my little one, "come here so I can change you".
He said "change only comes from within".  :-/

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2020, 07:17:54 PM »
This was the one. Tonight was the closest Iíve gotten so far to what I grew up with in Valley Stream & Queens. Made me smile a lot.
piesofsatan,

Maybe you have not seen the new thread at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=65664.msg642396#msg642396 but I think your latest pizza would fit in well with the other posts in that thread, so you might consider putting a photo and related details in that thread also so that other members can see what a nice a job you did.

Peter

Offline piesofsatan

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2020, 04:21:42 PM »
piesofsatan,

Maybe you have not seen the new thread at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=65664.msg642396#msg642396 but I think your latest pizza would fit in well with the other posts in that thread, so you might consider putting a photo and related details in that thread also so that other members can see what a nice a job you did.

Peter

Thanks for the tip and kind words!! Done :)

Offline hammettjr

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Re: NYC guy makes NYC pie
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2020, 08:53:46 PM »
I only tried Bianco a couple times, but wasn't thrilled with it. If you get out to Sansone, make sure you get some cans of Stanislaus (Alta Cucina and/or 7/11).

Matt

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