Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => New York Style => Topic started by: tdub154420 on August 16, 2015, 02:32:39 AM

Title: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: tdub154420 on August 16, 2015, 02:32:39 AM
I'm using 7/11 Stanislaus tomatoes.  I'm still trying to perfect the quintessential NY pizza sauce.  Right now that entails just adding sugar, salt, and oregano.  I cannot seem to get the ratios right.  Either my sauce is too sweet, too salty or too tangy.  I'm using a #10 can of tomatoes, but to be more specific I'm using about 8 oz sauce per 18" pie. 

For 8 oz 7/11, what do you think would be a good ratio of salt, sugar and oregano?

What's your NY sauce ingredients balance?
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Pizza Shark on August 17, 2015, 06:29:29 PM
Td...   If you are using 7/11 (as I do) you are already starting with a great product.  Too sweet or too salty... maybe think of not adding any sugar or salt to it at all.  7/11 is already quite sweet because the tomatoes are fresh packed when they already have developed a great deal of natural sugar as they are picked when ripe red.  When you add cheese (that has salt) pepperoni (loaded with salt), etc... You end up with a "sum of all the parts" and what sauce tasted great to you all of a sudden ends up with a cooked pizza that tasts too salty.  Just for kicks... I'd say take your 8 OZ of sauce and add 1/4 TSP oregano and 1 tsp EVOO and leave it at that.  Top it and bake it and see if everything cooked together doesn't get you where you want to be.  Walter on this forum has taught all of us that less is more as I used to tinker and tinker with sauce.  I believe some of the best pizzas I have made are the result of Walter's posts in which he uses 7/11 #10 cans and adds nothing more than a little olive oil, hint of garlic, light oregano and maybe a dash of salt.  Maybe he can share exactly what he uses and what he may add but generally that's it.  Personally I add a hint of this and that as well... some crushed red pepper flakes and some fresh basil if I have it.  Still, very simple and yet so great at the same time.  I've been making pizza for over 30 years and I've been there and done about everything.  In my opinion, simplicity is the secret all the great pizzarias don't want you to know.  I worked for Pizzaria Regina many years ago... what went into their sauce? A private label   Stanislaus product... Most likely a hybred of Full Red as it was dilluted 2 cans of base to 1 can of water.  The only ingredients... Tomatoes, oregano, citric acid and salt.  That's it. 
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: tdub154420 on August 17, 2015, 07:44:49 PM
Td...   If you are using 7/11 (as I do) you are already starting with a great product.  Too sweet or too salty... maybe think of not adding any sugar or salt to it at all.  7/11 is already quite sweet because the tomatoes are fresh packed when they already have developed a great deal of natural sugar as they are picked when ripe red.  When you add cheese (that has salt) pepperoni (loaded with salt), etc... You end up with a "sum of all the parts" and what sauce tasted great to you all of a sudden ends up with a cooked pizza that tasts too salty.  Just for kicks... I'd say take your 8 OZ of sauce and add 1/4 TSP oregano and 1 tsp EVOO and leave it at that.  Top it and bake it and see if everything cooked together doesn't get you where you want to be.  Walter on this forum has taught all of us that less is more as I used to tinker and tinker with sauce.  I believe some of the best pizzas I have made are the result of Walter's posts in which he uses 7/11 #10 cans and adds nothing more than a little olive oil, hint of garlic, light oregano and maybe a dash of salt.  Maybe he can share exactly what he uses and what he may add but generally that's it.  Personally I add a hint of this and that as well... some crushed red pepper flakes and some fresh basil if I have it.  Still, very simple and yet so great at the same time.  I've been making pizza for over 30 years and I've been there and done about everything.  In my opinion, simplicity is the secret all the great pizzarias don't want you to know.  I worked for Pizzaria Regina many years ago... what went into their sauce? A private label   Stanislaus product... Most likely a hybred of Full Red as it was dilluted 2 cans of base to 1 can of water.  The only ingredients... Tomatoes, oregano, citric acid and salt.  That's it.

Super helpful! Thank you!

I think I'll give the oregano and EV oil a try this weekend.

I don't think I've ever added EV oil to the sauce before though, what are the advantages?
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Essen1 on August 17, 2015, 08:04:35 PM
I have to agree with Pizza Shark, simplicity is the way to go. The tomatoes have already a great flavor by themselves, no need to mask that flavor with all kinds of herbs and spices.

I currently use the Sclafani Crushed Tomatoes and what goes into my sauce? Only a dash of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a dusting of oregano, that's it.

I have also a more robust sauce for my rustic pies and Sicilian which is Saporito Heavy Puree and crushed tomatoes mixed in a 3:1 ratio (3 units crushed tomatoes, 1 unit puree), with the same added ingredients as above.

Less is definitely more.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Pizza Shark on August 17, 2015, 08:36:56 PM
In the quantity of olive oil that that is added, it may perhpaps introduce a hint more flavor but the flavors in Oregano and many other spices are not water soluble.  You can stick all the oregano in a you want in a glass of water... let it sit and then take a taste of the water and it still tastes like water.  Put some Oregano in oil and let it sit and taste the oil and you taste strong oregano.  From what I've learned, the oils in the spices will only release to another oil which is why many add some oil to their sauce and mix it all up with the spices and then let it sit for 24 hours at a minimum so the oils in the spices are drawn out and merge with the oil added to the sauce.  I wouldn't have believed it myself but it is true.  The only other way to release the flavor in many spices is to place them in a small quantity of water and boil them which forces the oils to release into the water but when it comes to NY style pizza you never ever cook the sauce... it cooks on the pizza.  I'm not a rocket scientist but when something works, it works.  Give it a try... You may be very, very surprised.  Please do let all of us know how this works for you and if you are pleased with the result.                 
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Pizza Shark on August 17, 2015, 09:04:36 PM
Essen... Saporito Super Heavy?  As they say... it is STRECHABLE!  You can add all the water you want to that stuff and keep on whisking for maximum yield.  Saporito takes Full Red to a whole new level of concentration. Have to say... I tried it, played with it and went back to Full Red in my higher concentrate days.  These days I stick with 7/11 and when I don't have it I'll go to the Sclafini by B&G foods that is available here but at close to $3 a can... OUCH!  Great stuff but I can't stomach that price.  It's 7/11 all the way for me when I can get it.             
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Essen1 on August 17, 2015, 09:40:28 PM
Essen... Saporito Super Heavy?  As they say... it is STRECHABLE!  You can add all the water you want to that stuff and keep on whisking for maximum yield.  Saporito takes Full Red to a whole new level of concentration. Have to say... I tried it, played with it and went back to Full Red in my higher concentrate days.  These days I stick with 7/11 and when I don't have it I'll go to the Sclafini by B&G foods that is available here but at close to $3 a can... OUCH!  Great stuff but I can't stomach that price.  It's 7/11 all the way for me when I can get it.             

PS,

Seriously, though, give the Saporito another shot in the ratio I described above. It's a fantastic sauce, imo, very robust with excellent flavor. But like I said, I use it on my rustic and Sicilian pies only.

For the NY-style sauce I'm on Sclafanis at the moment. I also run a immersion blender through it and give it a few pulses, just enough to keep the sauce a little "chunky" if that makes sense.

7/11 is a solid product, no doubt.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: tdub154420 on August 17, 2015, 11:20:31 PM
Pizza Shark, that was literally the perfect answer for me.  In almost everything culinary, if it's not explained to a near-science, I won't completely grasp it's culinary purpose.  I will definitely give it a try and will report my results following the weekend (Sunday is my pizza day)

Thanks guys!
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: vtsteve on August 19, 2015, 12:22:04 AM
I put down plain 7/11 tomatoes (sometimes hit them with a stick blender), then sprinkle with oregano, then the cheese. The oils in the boiling cheese do a good job of extracting the oregano's flavor.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Bobino414 on August 19, 2015, 12:45:15 AM
I include a splash of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: invertedisdead on August 19, 2015, 12:47:04 PM
I'm still on the fence of whether I want garlic in the sauce.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Pizza Shark on August 20, 2015, 09:26:15 AM
In my opinion, garlic is one of those touchy things... just as touchy as fennel.  Some like it... some hate it... and a little goes a long way.  I tend to use garlic and/or fennel when I want a change from the ordinary.  I have learned that I do not like fresh chopped garlic in the sauce or garlic powder or granulated garlic... all are too strong or far to bitter.  What I have found is perfect are the dried garlic flakes in the spice section.  The flakes look like finely chopped garlic that has been dried.  They give garlic flavor without being overpowering and without that horrible bitter taste.       
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: invertedisdead on August 20, 2015, 12:28:07 PM
In my opinion, garlic is one of those touchy things... just as touchy as fennel.  Some like it... some hate it... and a little goes a long way.  I tend to use garlic and/or fennel when I want a change from the ordinary.  I have learned that I do not like fresh chopped garlic in the sauce or garlic powder or granulated garlic... all are too strong or far to bitter.  What I have found is perfect are the dried garlic flakes in the spice section.  The flakes look like finely chopped garlic that has been dried.  They give garlic flavor without being overpowering and without that horrible bitter taste.     

Ah how risqué - I also like the fennel. Im making NYish pies tonight and trying to decide what to put in the sauce. Maybe I will do a little oregano, garlic, and fennel.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: tdub154420 on August 23, 2015, 11:39:03 PM
So here's the weekend pizza update.  I made an 18" cheese pizza, all trumps flour, 64% hydration,  21.6 oz, cooked on a screen on a stone at 500 and transferred to top rack for extra cheese melt. The cheese was Grande Italian Blend: 1/2 part skim, 1/2 whole milk mozz. I also sprinkled a layer of green can shredded parm before layering the cheese. 

And finally the sauce. 

About 8 oz of 7/11's. Half a pinch of kosher salt. Half a pinch of sugar.  1 tsp EV olive oil. 1 tsp dried oregano. 

The flavor of the sauce was great! Less certainly was more.  As far as I could tell, this was the NY sauce I've been looking for.  Was just enough to compliment the dough and the cheese.  I'm certain there are small tweaks that I could make to give it more "flare", but as far as basic NY pizza sauces, this nails it- and that's a hard thing to find.  Thanks for helping me out guys! 

(http://i.imgur.com/nCH5QQc.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/o74GKaC.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/7dn05oN.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/zzwOWzp.jpg)

Now I wish I could say I'm 100% happy with my NY pizza----but I'm not.  I'm still seeking the molten cheese effect.  NY slices seem to have the perfect mottled pool of yellow brown white cheese that sticks to the dough but tries to ooze off at the same time.  Now this time around, I used 1/2 skim and 1/2 whole mozz.  I have tried full whole  grande as well as the 50/50 grande blend of provolone and mozz but I have yet to find that perfect cheese render.  As you can see from a closeup of my slice, the cheese gets small little divots in it and it just doesn't have the molten quality. 

(http://i.imgur.com/VdKQwZr.jpg)

Compare that to this closeup of a legit NY slices cheese. So perfect!
Any idea what I can do different?

(http://i.imgur.com/RIQrBoO.jpg)
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Pizza Shark on August 24, 2015, 01:27:20 PM
That looks pretty much like a NY Street Pizza to me!  With regard to the cheese... I am just guessing but maybe ditch the screen and slide the pizza directly on the stone to drive more heat up through the dough/crust/sauce,  increase melt on the cheese & evaporation of liquid from the sauce?  Maybe increase to 550 degrees?  Maybe reduce the amount of sauce you are using further if you want more of the cheese-stuck-to-the crust feel?  I've seen many NY Pizzerias use less sauce than you.  I know they use less than me but I like a bit more sauce on my pies as the overly lightly sauced NY Style Street pizzas lack flavor compared to a one with a bit more sauce.  Remember... just because it's what you remember doesn't mean it's better!  Also, looking at your cheese it appears to be more diced than shredded.  I've never used diced cheese (only shredded) so I can't say if there is a difference in the end result (maybe others can comment).  Was that Grande mix you used their shredded or their diced version? 
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: invertedisdead on August 24, 2015, 02:03:05 PM
I've been thinking of getting a pizza screen after finding an old thread from user Chickenparm. He's doing 18" NY on a screen and they look great. Thinking of getting one to try making a big pie. My stone is only 15"

Here's the thread http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13648.0.html
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: tdub154420 on August 25, 2015, 04:09:22 PM
That looks pretty much like a NY Street Pizza to me!  With regard to the cheese... I am just guessing but maybe ditch the screen and slide the pizza directly on the stone to drive more heat up through the dough/crust/sauce,  increase melt on the cheese & evaporation of liquid from the sauce?  Maybe increase to 550 degrees?  Maybe reduce the amount of sauce you are using further if you want more of the cheese-stuck-to-the crust feel?  I've seen many NY Pizzerias use less sauce than you.  I know they use less than me but I like a bit more sauce on my pies as the overly lightly sauced NY Style Street pizzas lack flavor compared to a one with a bit more sauce.  Remember... just because it's what you remember doesn't mean it's better!  Also, looking at your cheese it appears to be more diced than shredded.  I've never used diced cheese (only shredded) so I can't say if there is a difference in the end result (maybe others can comment).  Was that Grande mix you used their shredded or their diced version?

Thank you for the compliment! I'm very happy with the look of the pizza and nearly completely happy with the taste- I'm so close!

And I think all of those are great suggestions- I just looked at pictures from the pizza from two Sundays ago and noticed it had a slightly better melt on the cheese.  The pizza from two Sundays ago was directly put on the stone- it still wasn't completely molten though.  I figure if I ditch the screen, go easier on the sauce and crank the heat up more- that just might do it.  One big problem is I have an awful LG oven.  I don't have an IR gun, but it's not getting the stone to acceptable temps.  This oven will say it's at "550" but if you quickly turn it off and back on the ovens preheat temp will reveal its at something like 465. I think if I keep preheating it continuously I can get a more consistent temp and can hopefully hold it at 550.  I also do want to switch back  to a blend of Whole Mozz Grande and Provolone.  I bought a giant bag of the Grande Italian Blend and you're correct, it all comes diced.  It's a bit harder for me to get a hold of grande loafs so I'm stuck with this in the interim.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Pizza Shark on August 26, 2015, 07:38:20 PM
With regard to ovens I will assume your LG oven is electric as mine is in my work apartment and at home.  My oven in the work apartment has the electric elements above the oven floor and my oven at home has the elements below the floor.  In the work apartment I place my stone on the lowest rack and at home I place it directly on the oven floor.  I then heat to 550 for an hour.  The idea is while the oven is heating, all that heat coming from the lowest elements and has to pass through the stone.  If you have a pre-heat setting don't use it as that turns on both the lower and upper elements.  Just turn it on to "bake" and set the temp which should only heat the lower element.    While the oven will click off at 550 degrees the stone is searing hot as all that heat had to transfer through the stone to get the air temp in the oven to 550.  I used to have an old gas fired home oven in Boston that had a burner right under the oven floor... Man I miss that cheap ole gas oven as I could lay the stone directly on the oven floor and by the time the oven it hit 550 degrees my stone was probably 600.  Anyway, if you give the above a try and make the changes you are thinking about please let all of us know how it turns out.     
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: tdub154420 on August 31, 2015, 11:23:58 AM
So this last weekend I did try repositioning the stone. My LG oven only has a top heating element, one that is wildly inconsistent.  I've tried the stones on the bottom before, which ended with a very poor cheese melt so this time I decided to put the stones on the very top rack, closest to the heating element.  I heated for an hour at 550, and even cooked with broil while on the top rack.  It gave a pretty good cheese melt, but it really toasted the back end of the crust (not photographed), i think next time I'll take it easier on the broil and turn the pie sooner in the bake. 

Ultimately I was happier with the cheese melt, but I think I need to switch to a long shred whole mozz, provolone mix.  I'm happy with the top rack for the stones- I think it's just a matter of manipulating the radiant heat and compensating uneven heat by turning the pizza.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: hammettjr on September 04, 2015, 07:34:30 AM
Ultimately I was happier with the cheese melt, but I think I need to switch to a long shred whole mozz, provolone mix.

You are making beautiful pizzas!

What is your thinking in wanting to add provolone? That's something I haven't tried (yet).

Matt
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: clarkth on September 05, 2015, 11:43:00 AM
I just use Cento crushed tomatoes right out of the can with just a touch of McCormick Italian Seasoning. 

My oven is only 16" deep, so I got a 16"x16" stone and use a 16" screen right on top of the stone and take it off after a couple of minutes and finish directly on the stone.  Great oven spring and browning.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: tdub154420 on September 06, 2015, 03:02:17 PM
You are making beautiful pizzas!

What is your thinking in wanting to add provolone? That's something I haven't tried (yet).

Matt

Thank you!

I could be wrong about this, but I've heard that most provolones are pretty high in fat content- maybe it can help my melt on my pizza.  One of the reasons I've liked using provolone in the past was because it added a very nice bite to the cheese flavor - which is something I can remember tasting from some NY pizzas.

I'll probably try 25% provolone and 75% mozzarella.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: norcoscia on September 06, 2015, 04:46:08 PM
A very, very long time ago (mid 70s) one of the pizza shops I worked in used blocks of cheese that were labeled 20% provolone. Those were great pies but I think provolone is a hard thing to add. I have tried it and to be honest, I was not happy with the resulting flavor profile.

If you plan on using it I would stay away from sharp provolone since it can quickly push the flavor balance out into left field (IMHO). I also think there is a large difference (taste wise) between brands of provolone cheese. Maybe the ones I have tried were just not the right ones. Good luck, and if you find something that works please post about it!
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Ave Maria on September 06, 2015, 06:15:22 PM
Newbie here....what do you mean by 7/11??
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: caymus on September 06, 2015, 06:32:40 PM
Newbie here....what do you mean by 7/11??

It is a brand of canned tomatoes that a lot of pizza shops use.  It is very good, but can usually only be purchased in large cans (#10).
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: Ave Maria on September 06, 2015, 06:35:39 PM
Ok thanks for clarifying that for me. Any suggestions on tomatoes for making the sauce?
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: parallei on September 06, 2015, 06:47:43 PM
Ok thanks for clarifying that for me. Any suggestions on tomatoes for making the sauce?

There are 4 or 5 brands mentioned in this thread alone.  If you use the search function, or look at the ingredients threads, you find many, many more.
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: caymus on September 06, 2015, 07:04:06 PM
Ok thanks for clarifying that for me. Any suggestions on tomatoes for making the sauce?

At the newbie stage, I wouldn't worry too much about the tomatoes.  I use Sclafani crushed tomatoes but even Walmart Great Value tomatoes are fine. 
Title: Re: What's your ingredients ratio for NY sauce?
Post by: NepaBill on May 03, 2021, 07:31:03 AM
I know this is an old thread that hasn't had any activity in a long time..  I have been revisiting NYC Pizza..  I am doing some research on the cheese blend and sauce..  While I haven't used any of these Grande cheese blends, I would think they'd have some good insight to what their customers are using..  I prefer to grate and blend my own..  Just thought I'd share for the next person looking at this..  https://www.grandecheese.com/products/italian-blends/