To clarify some of the nomenclature a bit, the “Lehmann NY style dough recipe” designation was derived from the PMQ Think Tank Recipe Bank at http://www.pmq.com/Recipe-Bank/index.php/name/New-York-Style-Pizza/record/57724/
and also from this forum at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_recipes.html.
scott123 is correct that there is no such thing on the NYC scene known as a “Lehmann” NY style pizza. It is a designation that has been used on this forum to distinguish Tom Lehmann’s NY style dough recipes from other NY style dough recipes. But I would say that the Lehmann NY style dough recipe is fairly representative of commercial recipes for making doughs that can be cold fermented for up to about three days.
I volunteered to try to adapt Tom’s recipe to a home setting back in September, 2004. For my purposes, I started out with a thickness factor of around 0.10-0.105 (the recipe did not specify dough ball weights and corresponding pizza sizes so I decided to use the above value). That is a value that I still personally like but I eventually asked Tom Lehmann himself for some typical dough ball weights and corresponding pizza sizes for the NY style. From the numbers he gave me, I calculated a thickness factor of 0.0870 for a 14” pizza and 0.08829 for a 16” pizza. Both of these pizza sizes are ones that can be made in most standard home ovens.
As far as what qualifies as a NY “street” style, I have seen several recipes that are held out to be NY street style with thickness factors across a fairly wide range. A good example is Bruno’s NY style dough recipe as described in the video at
As the video notes, Bruno uses eggs (which he considers an “essential” ingredient) and, by my calculation, he is using a thickness factor of 0.0995. I think most people familiar with the NY pizza scene would not consider Bruno’s pizza to be an authentic NY street style. But far be it for me to tell an Italian guy from NYC with the name of Bruno that he is using a thickness factor that is too high, and that he shouldn’t use eggs and he shouldn’t call his pizza a New York style.
Since the term “elite” has been bandied about on this forum for several years, including by me, I went back into the archives to see where I picked up the term. As best I can tell, it was member Arthur (from Brooklyn) and member canadave (originally from NYC) who were the ones who started using that term to describe the pizzerias that used coal-fired ovens and in some cases wood-fired ovens. See, for example, Arthur’s post in August, 2004 at Reply 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,534.msg4640/topicseen.html#msg4640
and canadave’s post in November, 2005 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.msg19124/topicseen.html#msg19124.
You will note that in the INTRODUCTION section of canadave’s post, he essentially defines the terms NY “street” style and the NY “elite” style and how they differ and how both can have their pluses and minuses. But he wasn’t judgmental in favoring one style over the other.
With respect to your question about where the Lehmann NY style ends and the Reinhart “American” style begins, I would say that the separation between the two styles turns mainly on the amounts of oil and sugar, and the thickness factor. As you will see from Tom’s recipe at http://pmq.com/tt2/recipe/view/id_151/title_New-York-Style-Pizza/,
there is only 1% oil and no sugar (although Tom recommends a bit of sugar if the dough is to be held in cold fermentation beyond about two to three days). As noted earlier, the thickness factor is below 0.09. By contrast, if you look at the baker’s percent versions of two of Peter Reinhart’s NY style dough recipes that I set forth at Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=8100.msg69678#msg69678
, you will see that the oil and sugar/honey quantities are much, much higher and the thickness factor is around 0.117-0.119. If you would like to see the dough recipe that Peter Reinhart holds out as an “American” style, see Reply 45 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6758.msg63672#msg63672
. If you compare the three Reinhart dough recipes against the Lehmann dough recipe, you will see that the Reinhart dough recipes are quite similar and far apart from the Lehmann recipe.
EDIT (3/22/13): For the updated link to the PMQ recipe, see http://www.pmq.com/Recipe-Bank/index.php/name/New-York-Style-Pizza/record/57724/