A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Author Topic: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style  (Read 2089 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline pizzaguy24601

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 57
  • Location: New Jersey
  • I Just Love Pizza!
    • My professional pizza page on FB
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #40 on: October 17, 2020, 09:12:29 PM »
Never done these challenges. Here's my take on a traditional NY pie!

Offline RHawthorne

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 241
  • Location: SW MI
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #41 on: October 17, 2020, 09:14:27 PM »
Never done these challenges. Here's my take on a traditional NY pie!
Good one, "pizza guy" ;) I'd recognize your pizza style in a second, no matter what name you go by!
If we're not questioning the reason for our existence, then what the hell are we doing here?!

Offline Jon in Albany

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2229
  • Location: Albany, NY
    • Jon In Albany Blog
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2020, 08:17:49 PM »
Made my NY slice today. This is from a 16 inch pie but cut like a 20 inch slice pie. Get's dark a lot faster these days....

Offline HansB

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5142
  • Location: Detroit, MI
    • 500px
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2020, 10:05:10 PM »
Made my NY slice today. This is from a 16 inch pie but cut like a 20 inch slice pie. Get's dark a lot faster these days....

Nice!
Hans

Offline Jackitup

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13891
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Hastings, MN
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2020, 11:21:55 PM »
Might be a bit thick for a NY Style but here it is anyway!
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=65845.msg644508#msg644508
Jon

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”            -Mark Twain

If you don't think you're getting what you should out of life.....maybe you're getting what you deserve       -the Root Beer Lady

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline Jon in Albany

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2229
  • Location: Albany, NY
    • Jon In Albany Blog
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2020, 08:55:00 AM »

Offline PizzaManic

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 633
  • Location: South Africa
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2020, 11:07:11 AM »
Hey Everyone

Pete-zza pointed me to this post from https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=65831.msg644522#msg644522. Just some NY styles I made yesterday in my Wood Fired Oven after 3 Years. 14 in total - only grabbed a picture of a few. Decided to stick with the traditional Margarita for all the Pizzas.

and.... a pic of a Pizza I made few months back in my Home Oven.

Regards Mo

Offline parallei

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2879
  • Location: Denver, CO
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2020, 08:49:26 PM »
Made my NY slice today. This is from a 16 inch pie but cut like a 20 inch slice pie. Get's dark a lot faster these days....

Very nice looking!

Offline Jon in Albany

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2229
  • Location: Albany, NY
    • Jon In Albany Blog
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2020, 10:12:02 PM »

Offline wb54885

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 131
  • provare per credere
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2020, 11:33:55 AM »
...but is it NY style?

These submissions come from last night, my second round of bakes with a 16”x14”x3/8” steel I just got for playing around with at home. This summer, my wife and I packed ourselves into a 1995 Camry and moved back to the NC mountains from Seattle, and as a result I haven’t had access to a deck oven in months. I’ve been getting the itch.

Our new oven barely fits the steel itself, and there’s only about a foot of space between the top and bottom elements (yet another studio apartment with a tiny kitchen we can’t both be in at the same time), but in experimenting with bread baking the last few weeks I noticed this little sonuvagun gets HOT. So steel it was, and steel it shall henceforth be. I can’t believe I waited this long to get on the train, but I’m not looking back now.

The definition of NY style must and should be loose, for reasons both historical and technical. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t have observable regularities that mean something. Where I fear I may be outside the lines here is with the size:  these are 270g dough balls and they each ended up at 11-11.5” in diameter. According to member norcoscia’s awesome TF chart (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=40354.msg402402#msg402402) I’ve come in just under the .1 wire and I feel good about that, but can you call a sub-6 inch slice NY style, no matter what else is at play? Slice a crunchy 11.5” pizza into 8 slices and you get no flop, no fold. On the other hand, if I’d cut a 10” slice out of the pie and none were the wiser, I wouldn’t hesitate to call it a NY slice. The mind reels at its own assumptions.

I’m basing the submission for NY classification here—in spite of diameter—on a few thesis statements:  1) the first pizzas in NYC were made by Italian immigrants who were accustomed to building pizzas with smaller-than-slice-pie dimensions, therefore we have ample historical, foundational precedent for smaller pizzas to be representative of NYC, and 2) at this point, expanding or adapting the definition of NY style, after the last quarter century’s worth of revitalizations and renaissance(s), can be seen as not only inevitable, but respectful and in fact a necessary component of the definition itself. This is simply because NYC serves as a hub of innovation for pizza just as much as it serves as a repository for tradition. The city’s/region’s “style” evolves. It always has. I think it not a contradiction, then, to call these “small NY style pizzas.”

What I do have going for me here is a bunch of other NY requirements being met.

The dough is KABF at 64% H2O, 2.5 salt, 2 oil, .25 IDY. Three full days bulk in the fridge and then balled and left to rise at room temp, about 4 hours until bake—a newer-school proofing schedule.

Sauce is Tomato Magic, roughly 1/4 of it cooked with onion and garlic, and then all of it pulsed in a food processor and seasoned with salt, minimal sugar and black pepper, basil, and onion powder, left for three days in the fridge along with the dough. Sauce secrets are plenty, and this recipe comes from fever dreams of Queens and Brooklyn slices.

Shredded cheese is a 50/50 mix of WM mozzarella and provolone, which I actually don’t love on its own (I miss Grande so much already), hence its light use has been supplemented with the addition of some Galbani fresh mozzarella as well. Topping style is minimal, with the sauce doing a lot of the work. Pesto is a personal favorite as both base and topping, and since I couldn’t buy less than a pound of basil at Restaurant Depot it had to go somewhere.

The steel got me into 5-minute bake territory, which is new for me but not new for NY (or New Haven) ovens. Steel as low in the oven as it would go, with the top broiler on for the whole bake (about 9” from the top of the pies). My cheap IR gun gave me readings of 530F (marinara), 550F (cheese) and 560F (pesto) on the surface before each bake. The crust on each was very good, and on the pesto it was fantastic.

So, all told we have miniature versions of hybrid classic/reimagined restaurant pies, cooked pretty fast and with puffy rims, with pm.com dough lessons, outer borough sauce influences, and some new-NY aesthetics. I’d like to think if you blew these pies up to 16”, they’d be approaching the characteristics of Walter or Norma pies, both of whom (I hope they don’t mind me saying) pay great respect to tradition while adding artful personal touches to their creations that come with untold hours of experience in search of excellence.

Being back in the south again, I’m a bit starved for excellent pizza. We have good pizza here, some quite good...but not much that is excellent. To reiterate what I’ve said elsewhere, to me, one of the defining features of NYC as a category of pizza is the concentration of talent in the workforce and taste in the population. We can define by exclusion when it comes to NY just as well as by inclusion—these are not Detroit, they’re not Neapolitan, they’re not California or Old Forge or Roman. They’re simple, and they’re motivated by finding perfection in their simplicity. That’s the influence NY pizza has had on me, to show me that there are a million ways to make a plain cheese pie and a million different ways it can taste. The practice of differentiating between very simple pizzas, I think it’s safe to say, is uniquely in debt to pizza makers and eaters in NYC (by way of Naples and other Italian cities and towns, of course).

So diameter be damned, here’s some pizza that wouldn’t exist without NY. Thanks to all here and beyond who’ve helped me get closer and closer over the years. Still and always, so much more to learn!
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline Peter B

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 170
  • Location: Central OH
  • Irish American Guy+Filipino Wife=Italian food??
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #50 on: October 21, 2020, 01:34:42 PM »
They look good to me!  You lose the perception of actual size in the pictures, of course.  But I know what you mean - my efforts up until recently were always in the 11" range, and I came to realize that I don't think I would ever be satisfied with those pizzas.  NY pizza has a strong visual component, and part of that is the dimensions of the pie.

Congrats on moving out of Seattle.  We recently did as well.  There are things that we miss, but I am very glad we made the move.  Let's just say that life is quite a bit more difficult there.  We did not completely fit in, and did not want to spend our lives feeling like rats on the wheel.
I said to my little one, "come here so I can change you".
He said "change only comes from within".  :-/

Offline Yael

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1717
  • Location: A French in China
  • French Pizza !
    • my Wechat page
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #51 on: October 21, 2020, 11:30:48 PM »
Here's my 2nd try!

F&P were almost the same as the previous one except that I added less water (62% HR), and 220g dough for an almost 12' (plate is 12').
I made a quick sauce using Mutti tomato paste, salt, pepper, sugar.
Cheese was mozzarella "fior di pizza" (joint-venture brand with Italian "Brazzale"). Taste is ok, a little bit chewy once cold though. And grana padano.

I liked the taste and texture better than the first try! The oven spring seemed to be also better, which was surprising because hydration was lower.
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” - Pablo Picasso

Offline foreplease

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6735
  • Age: 60
  • Location: St. Joseph, MI
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #52 on: October 22, 2020, 07:22:52 AM »
I always enjoy your writing, wb, your humble approach, and the effort you put into both your pizzas and their narratives. This was an example of when the photos would have sufficed but how much better it was with your thoughts. Beautifully done!
-Tony

Offline wb54885

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 131
  • provare per credere
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #53 on: October 22, 2020, 08:43:51 AM »
Yael, those look great, congratulations! I always admire your commitment to practicing and I learn a lot from your projects.
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

Offline wb54885

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 131
  • provare per credere
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #54 on: October 22, 2020, 10:02:11 AM »
Thanks for your kind encouragement Tony, whenever I think “gee this has gotten long and loquacious...” I remember so many of the posts I love on this site from 2005-2012, when members like varasano, Scott r and pftaylor were jumping into dumpsters and exploring old basements to try and reverse engineer Patsy’s dough, or I think of Scott123 viciously defending the bake qualities and physical characteristics of slice pies in the city pre-1990, and I think “ah screw it, it’s okay to be passionate..” It seemed appropriate to consider these bakes NY style not just in form, but also in the sense of New York pizza makers always adapting to the oven technology of the time in order to try and get the same basic harmony of simple ingredients to come together. There’s also a storytelling aspect to pizza obsession, and you can’t actually taste a picture. My favorite posts here always deliver the picture after a good story, and the buildup is key to the delivery (I think Greg/ member Icelandr is a great example of this, as are so many other active members, too many to list).

For my part, reflecting on my questions out loud here is always intended to be some small payback for what I’ve gotten from the community. And the more I think about it (and eat my leftovers), the happier I am with these “small” NY pies. With gas and electric home options so ubiquitous now for attempting Neapolitan bakes in a home setting—and I’ve used a roccbox and it impressed the hell out of me—I’m happy to be finally just coming around on the steel to explore hybrid NY style bakes. I think I’m in a territory that’s new for me and that doesn’t exist in most modern deck ovens anymore, at least not the beat up Bakers Pride ovens I’m used to. And the steel was way cheaper than a Marsal!

Since I can’t exceed very limited exterior dimensions in my home oven and make true slice pies, I’ll have to go inward on this next phase of experiments. Here’s a pie from Walter’s shop I got to try over the summer, as we drove down the coast before heading east again. I think with the steel, I can catch him  ;)  I’ve got a lot of practice to look forward to!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 10:06:14 AM by wb54885 »
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 29826
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #55 on: October 22, 2020, 10:29:29 AM »
...but is it NY style?
wb54885,

I agree with the others about the quality of your recent submissions to this thread. And I commend you on the attention you place on the quality of your writing. That reflects pride in what you do.

As for the size of your pizzas, I should note that when I started playing around with Tom Lehmann's NY style recipe (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=576.msg5303#msg5303), starting way back in 2004, I made pizzas using that recipe that had different sizes. I made all of the standard sizes, from 12" up to 18". But I also came up with a dough formulation for a 30" size that a member had requested. As you might expect, that was a size far too large for my home oven.

I also went in the opposite direction on size, as you can see from these two posts:

Reply 297 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=576.msg18918#msg18918, and

Reply 290 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=576.msg18395#msg18395

I will recuse myself from making a decision that the last two pizzas qualify for submission to this thread, but I would let others do so should they wish to make similar small pizzas. ;D

Peter

Offline Yael

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1717
  • Location: A French in China
  • French Pizza !
    • my Wechat page
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2020, 10:37:18 AM »
wb54885,

Thanks a lot for your kind message! Like you, I try to contribute as much as this forum and its members contributed to my pizza knowledge!
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” - Pablo Picasso

Offline wb54885

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 131
  • provare per credere
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2020, 12:53:14 PM »
Peter, the hot rocks pizza reminded me of stories about cooking on the uneven stones in Patsy’s oven  :-D. So I think you have to make the NY grade on that one!

And for the mini pizzas, what is the experiential difference between a bite of that pizza and a bite I might cut for you from a 20” pizza made with the same dough, that would have the same ratios of crust and toppings? Playing devil’s advocate on questions of categorization always brings assumptions to light, and lets us ask whether we believe those assumptions stand up to scrutiny. This is one of my favorite things about pizza, the debatability of demarcating lines for what counts vs. what does not. Personally, I believe there are things that matter with a lowercase “m” and things that matter with an uppercase “M.” With NY style, pizza diameter certainly matters, but maybe not as crucially as thickness factor, which seems to really Matter.

I think it’s by pushing gently and respectfully against prevailing wisdom that we create space for innovation. Who knows what will count as NY style 20 years from now? Two years ago, most of us still believed Lombardi owned the first US pizzeria as of 1905, and that knowledge has been upended. Maybe there are truths about what’s come before yet to be discovered that will tell us more about how the first US pizza makers themselves thought about their “style,” and maybe the city’s modern pizza makers will have invented something five years from now that hasn’t been imagined yet that takes the city by storm. NY style isn’t on the periodic table somewhere waiting to be properly identified, it’s an ongoing human conversation between cultures and technologies. We do it best justice by clarifying definitions and supporting historical arguments with evidence. Beyond that, I think the pizza gods still want us to have fun and experiment. I think they probably approve of your mini pizzas, but I’m sure they’re still arguing about why.
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 29826
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #58 on: October 22, 2020, 01:45:40 PM »
wb54885,

After my last post, I got to thinking about some of the issues you raise. Both of the examples I cited used the basic Lehmann NY style dough formulation. Shouldn't that be enough to be able to say that the 9" and 2 1/2" pizzas are NY style? If you go to the Roadmap I created at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=1453.msg13193#msg13193, you will see that I did a ton of different things with Tom's basic dough recipe. Among them are a few pizzas that used a sourdough starter as well as preferments based on commercial yeast. I also tried using the autolyse method. Should these pizzas also be deemed NY style, even though there are likely to be only a few pizzerias in NYC that do something similar?

It also occurred to me that the NY style of pizza is a moving target. And that there are also factors that have little to do with the pizzas themselves but that will dictate the future of that style. For example, before Covid-19 rents of pizza places had been rising for years. Wages for pizza workers had also been rising. It seems to me that pizza operators in many cases would be forced to make changes to their doughs and pizzas to be able to cover the increased costs. And I suspect that many of such changes would mean a lower quality finished product. Yet, to the public, the pizzas will still be called NY style. If it turns out that rents go down because of the impact of Covid-19, then the lowered costs may also be reflected in the quality of the finished product, maybe even favorably. I also envision many changes in the pizza business itself in NYC that will transform just about all aspects of the business.

Peter

Offline wb54885

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 131
  • provare per credere
Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenge--New York Style
« Reply #59 on: October 22, 2020, 03:45:42 PM »
I don’t want to derail the challenge thread completely, but I’m with you on all these questions and more. Fried pizza was an early product sold in the US, why don’t we commonly think of it as NY pizza? Are the folks at Mama’s TOO not making NY style pizza because of the high oil % in their dough? Is even really, really bad pizza NY style if it’s made within the city limits?

If you charted the statistical distribution of qualities of every pizza made in the city for the last 130 years, obviously you’d get a big ol’ pile of data points right on top of each other in the middle, because a lot of NY pizza stays comfortably within recognizable parameters. It’s the outliers where the question of “does it count?” gets interesting.

If Sicilian pizza remains Sicilian even when it lands in NYC, and NY pizza becomes California pizza when it gets topped with barbecue chicken, then what defines the boundary within which NY style is born and remains self-identical? I think you have to go with 1) the adaptation of the Neapolitan dough formula to New York’s coal bread ovens, and later gas powered deck ovens, and 2) the Italian palate’s understanding of what goes with the dough. None of this is new or original thought, but it helps to redo the exercise with new candidates for the category. And on that front, I think if your 2.5” mini pizzas are baked on Lehmann doughs, with recognizably traditional toppings, and they eat like a bite from an 18” pie would, then you got yourself NY style pizza. The things that enthusiasts recognize as immediate affronts to the NY style usually fail to satisfy one of these two requirements. And the more ethereal, transcendental feeling of satisfaction that people usually associate with the style when it’s executed well is attributable to the simplicity and provable efficacy of those two factors working together. All said, I feel pretty good about establishing that NY style pizza can exist in 2.5-11.5” diameters.

And you’re 100% correct about the future—2021 should be a very interesting year for pizza.
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


 

wordpress