Author Topic: My New York Style Pizza = flop  (Read 1409 times)

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Offline Teddy Ballgame

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My New York Style Pizza = flop
« on: March 28, 2012, 03:30:16 AM »
I used Varasno's recipe to a tee for 3 pies and had zero dough spring although taste was good (I thought his amount of salt would be too much):
3 day cold ferment & Sourdo Italian starter. After the cold ferment I let the dough sit at room temp for a good five hours hoping to see some life..
600 degree on pizza stone for 6-7 minutes gave me a chewy yet under-cooked flat dough. Could the issue have been that I did not "activate" the starter at room temp long enough? It is not old so I just used it out of the fridge figuring the cold ferment would allow for the rise (not sure that makes sense anymore). Just looking for some suggestions. I also found the dough VERY difficult to work with (sticky).
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 03:37:22 AM by Teddy Ballgame »


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Re: My New York Style Pizza = flop
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 07:30:21 AM »
If you haven't had a whole lot of experience making NY style pizza, it's best not to start working with starters, as it's pretty advanced pizzamaking.

It's also important to keep in mind, that, while Jeff's recipe page has a lot of useful information (like the importance of the hottest oven possible/fast bake), it stems from a time when he was still learning how to make pizza and is a bit dated.  There's much better recipes here.

Here's my recipe:


66% can be difficult to work with for beginners, so you might want to drop the water to 63%.  This is really not that different from most NY style recipes you find on the forum. The biggest difference is the specific baking directions.

If you're 100% certain that your oven can maintain 600 degrees for an extended period of time, then you might be able to get away with a cordierite-mullite kiln shelf or possibly even 3/8" steel plate, but I still think that 1/2" steel plate is the way to go- assuming, of course, you have a broiler element/burner in the main oven compartment.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My New York Style Pizza = flop
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 09:58:21 AM »
Teddy, if you are going to use a starter, I'd stop using the cold ferment.

Getting a starter wight takes a fair bit of experimentation with the quantity used and the time/temp of fermentation. I like small amounts (1.3-1.7%) and long fermentation time (~48 hours) at around 64F.

"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline censored

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Re: My New York Style Pizza = flop
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 04:22:58 AM »

Stick with it, it will only go better as you learn. I would be willing to bet that if you used Varsano's recipe to a T and got bad results, it is probably a temperature issue. Jeff's recipes are made to cook in very high temp ovens, approaching 900-1000 degrees and they cook in about 90 seconds. Try playing around with the Lehmann calculator on this site to figure out the cause and effect of different ingredients and volumes. It is a very fun learning process, but going for a Varsano in a home oven is not a good place to start.