Author Topic: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)  (Read 13034 times)

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Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #75 on: May 29, 2010, 11:15:08 PM »
thanks for the links. i went with 1.8% malt powder because it worked out to a quarter teaspoon and it was the best crust i have made so far with the stone. i am not sure whether the malt powder was the reason, but it very well may have had something to do with it. the rim did not brown at all, but the bottom was browned fairly well.

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #76 on: June 12, 2010, 02:47:00 PM »
just an update and perhaps i'll posts pictures of the pizza i made tonight:

i've been having good success with the steaming the crust method to prevent it from being too crispy. when i take the pizza out of the oven, the crust is crispy and frisbee like, however after letting it sit on a metal pan for a few minutes (sometimes i cover it with tinfoil) it loses a good portion of the crispiness and becomes softer and chewier. i've been adding 1/4 teaspoon of malt powder to my dough now and i'm not quite sure what effect that is having. i would have to make two pizzas side by side one with and one without to be able to tell for sure.

i do feel like i am having a hard time getting the cheese cooked all the way before the crust burns and i'm not even sure if replacing the stone would solve that problem, but i am looking into getting a soapstone stone. i'm still not sure why my cheese and tomato sauce don't taste as good as new york cheese and tomato sauce even though i'm using grande cheese and full red. maybe it has to do with the temperature and bake time. i've also been using oregano i bought from thezaman. it's a lot better than the oregano i was using but still not quite as good as i have tasted on new york pizza. i'm curious how much oregano you all tend to put in your sauce.

despite those issues, my pizzas are better tasting and healthier than most of the pizza i can buy in my state so i plan to continue making pizza even if i never master the true new york pie. 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #77 on: June 12, 2010, 03:04:56 PM »
Pizzalogy, I was thinking about you today and was just going to PM you to see how your pizza making is going.  I'm glad you are making progress with your pies.

You are using great ingredients there so I'm not sure why it's not as good as NY pizzas you have.  If you are interested in duplicating or replicating exactly pizza from a certain place it will be very tough.  Unless you've worked there and know exactly what ingredients are used and in what manner. 

The oregano you are using is probably the best on the market and I doubt very many NY pizzerias are using it as it's cost is a bit higher than regular oregano.  It may be that you just need more of it.  I usually pull a small amount (about 1/2 tsp in volume) off the branch and crush it in my palm for a small bowl of sauce that will do 3 - 12" pies.  Sorry to be so vague, but I'm too lazy to go measure it out for you.  If I find that it's not enough oregano for me, I'll take another 1/2 tsp pinch off the branch and crush that in.  Usually that's enough for me.  You may try sprinkling some crush on the cheese after the bake.  This will give you the flavor as you are biting into the pizza.

To get the cheese cooked through, try using room temp cheese instead of cold.  Use less of it or get a top stone if you are not using one.  That will add some heat to the top of the pie.   Are you wanting to get spotting on the cheese or just melted or bubbly?

Do post some pics as we always like to see pizza pics.


Offline kross

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #78 on: July 12, 2010, 03:11:13 PM »
So the bottom is cooking faster than the top?  You could try moving the stone higher in the oven, so the stone isn't as close to the burner, and also the air in the oven should be hotter at the top than the middle. 

Another option is to preheat the stone less, not more.  Do you have an infrared thermometer?  I'm guessing no.  In my oven with my Fibrament stone, I cook on the self cleaning cycle so I can get oven temps over 800 degrees.  But I don't let my stone get over about 750 degrees.  If I do, the bottom of the pizza cooks too fast relative to the top.  You could try something similar in your oven.  Set the oven temp to 500 or 550, and throw the pizza on when the stone hits 450.

Also, from one of your earlier posts, it looks like your Fibrament stone is upside down.  The wider surface should be on top.  They make it angled like that to make it easier to pick up.  I don't know if that affects its performance or not, though.

Hope this helps!
-- Kevin

Offline jjdec05

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #79 on: July 19, 2010, 04:56:20 PM »
You have made a ton of progress from when you first started.  Congratulations!  If you really want to emulate the New York pizza from your childhood I would suggest reading Jeff Varasano's pizza recipe website( I cannot post links so just Google it, it should be one of the first hits).  He too was a NY local transplanted out of state to where the pizza was less than stellar.   It contains a lot of good information and is a must read for anyone looking to get serious about their pizza. 

While I believe he is right about the high heat, there are ways around it.  Most of the pizzas you remember  were baked in a deck oven running at about 500-550 degrees.  Not all great NY style pizza is baked in a coal or wood fired oven, so with a little oil in the dough, you can create a well browned delicious crust.  You have already made quite a bit of progress in that, so play with the amount of oil until you feel you hit it just right.

In terms of sauce, if you are still looking to improve that, when making NY style for my oven at 550 degrees, I use a slightly cooked sauce.  I pulse the tomatoes in my food processor, add a little bit of oregano, garlic powder, olive oil, and red pepper flakes and cook it until boils.  I prefer the garlic powder because fresh spices and aromatics tend to give a more marinara style sauce in my opinion.

Other than that, another good source of info is  PFTaylor's Raquel Thread on this forum.  That also contains tons of good information.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 01:19:01 AM by jjdec05 »

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #80 on: August 23, 2010, 12:15:31 AM »
hi everyone. sorry i've been away so long. i kind of took a break from making pizza for a little while in order to focus on other food but i've been at it again recently.

for the time being, i have pretty much given up on replicating NY style at home. my pizzas just don't taste like NY style even though i am using the grande cheese and stanislaus tomato sauce. instead i've been focusing on making a better 100% whole wheat pizza. on the last one, i tried topping with it veggies and it came out very well. the flavors from the veggies overpower the imperfections in my cheese and tomato sauce. i normally like plain cheese pizza, as i don't think a perfect NY style pie needs anything but since i can't achieve that, i can make a very flavorful and healthy pizza using vegetables, hot peppers and whole wheat dough. i've been steaming the crusts to make them softer and i want to experiment with another whole wheat recipe. i still haven't gotten the chordate stone, but it's still on my list of things i want to try. oh and kross, you are right! my stone was upside down. thank you for telling me, now i can make larger pizzas. i can't believe no one pointed that out to me before you did.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 12:17:45 AM by Pizzalogy »