I was looking through the NY style pizza recipes on the forum looking for an easy approach- one that didn't use exotic ingredients or equipment, and couldn't find one that I felt covered all the bases. So, here's my contribution to the easy equation (note: this is easy, but not fast).
An important caveat: This is very far from the 'perfect' pizza. This is only for people that don't want to spend a great deal of time or money on special hearth materials and flour. This will make a good pie, but not a truly great one. It will be better than anything most people can get locally, though. If you think you might ever take NY style pizza seriously, then go here instead (the payoff is gargantuan, imo, for a little added complexity):http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20732.msg206639.html#msg206639
Step #1. Order this:http://www.axner.com/cordierite-shelf-18x18x1square.aspx
or, if you're oven isn't large enough, one of these:http://www.axner.com/cordierite-shelf-16x16x34square.aspx
Makes one 16" pie (use the dough calculator
for scaling up):
|King Arthur Bread Flour (100%):|
Water (room temp) (61%):
Soybean Oil (3%):
|289.69 g | 10.22 oz | 0.64 lbs|
176.71 g | 6.23 oz | 0.39 lbs
1.45 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.48 tsp | 0.16 tbsp
5.07 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.91 tsp | 0.3 tbsp
8.69 g | 0.31 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.93 tsp | 0.64 tbsp
2.9 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.73 tsp | 0.24 tbsp
484.51 g | 17.09 oz | 1.07 lbs | TF = 0.085
Measure dry (no yeast). Measure wet (+ yeast). Mix to dissolve yeast. Dry into wet. Stir with a metal spoon until it's too stiff to stir, then knead, by hand or by machine, until the dough is just about smooth (3-6 minutes). Ball and place in lightly oiled, large round disposable covered containers
. Refrigerate 2 days. Remove from fridge 3 hours before baking.
Pre-heat stone for 60-80 minutes at the highest setting your oven goes to (using convection, if your oven has it). Stone should be positioned on an oven shelf that's about 6-7" from the broiler.
Dust wooden peel
Stretch skin to 16" and place on peel
Quickly dress the pizza, shaking between each topping to make sure the skin doesn't stick
Turn pizza every couple minutes with metal peel
Bake until pizza top and bottom are well colored
Use broiler if top needs more browning
Retrieve, using metal peel, onto cooling rack
Allow to cool 7 minutes
Transfer to 18" metal pizza pan
Slice and serve
Here's a video on stretching (ignore the rolling pin and tossing parts)
While I believe I've made this as simple and easy as possible, there's a couple aspects that can't be simplified. First, the dough should be between 2x and 3x the original volume before stretching. If it's overblown, next time, dial back the yeast. If it hasn't expanded enough, next time, use more yeast. Tweak the yeast in small increments (such as round/scant). Secondly, stretching and launching skills aren't going to happen overnight. Start off by using lots of flour- both on the skin as you're stretching it and on the peel. As you get more comfortable, dial back the flour.