I was AJ's last night and picked up a pizza to take home for dinner (I live about 12-miles from the store), when I got home withthe pizza we dived right into it. It is interesting to note that even after all that time in the box you could still eat the pizza with one hand, N.Y. style by slightly folding the crust (and I do mean only slightly). You have to keep in mind that this pizza is made using a very different process from what everyone thinks of when baking pizzas. To begin, we make a par-baked crust (hand tossed) with only a portion of the sauce on it. These are inventoried until needed. To make a slice, the crust is divided into equal size slices using an Equalizer from Lloyd pans, and a slice is removed, then dressed to the customer's order (this includes more sauce, any toppings desired, and cheese), the cheese is put on last to hold the slice together, this is baked on a non-stick Hex Disk (Lloyd Pans), but this is where it gets interesting, the pizza is now baked from the top down using a special top and bottom bake profile in an air impingement oven. This gives us a total bake time of just over 3-minutes for either a slice or whole pizza. I developed this procedure for them in response to the soft, soggy pizza slices that I was getting in New York a few years ago. It has everything everyone here in Manhattan wants, a New York presentation, and a crispy crust.
You can read more about AJ's at <www.ajsnypizza.com
>. That's the good news, the bad news is that we haven't yet been able to replicate this type of pizza using anything but a commercial air impingement oven. For a super crispy crust characteristic you might experiment using a par baked crust.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor