Author Topic: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance  (Read 8146 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2009, 07:40:07 PM »
One thing though is that I found them too chewy or leathery to my taste. Even others commented on them that they taste good and provide a good jaw exercise  :D I wonder if they were too thick and please let me know how can I better adapt bread flour to NY style so they won't end up being too chewy or leathery...or that's how it's supposed to be?


Pretty much by definition, a NY style pizza will have a chewy crust. It is also sometimes described as "leathery". Usually the first line of attack to reduce the chewiness in a finished crust is to use a weaker (lower protein) flour. In your case, in lieu of moving down the protein scale to all-purpose flour, you could combine some all-purpose flour with the bread flour to achieve a final protein content that is somewhere between the two flours. A handy tool to use for this purpose is November's Mixed-Mass Percentage Calculator at You don't have to limit yourself to using all-purpose flour to soften the bread flour. You can also use pastry flour or cake flour. However, the more of these flours you use, there will be some loss of overall crust color and flavor.

You can also soften a NY style crust by using oil and/or sugar or honey in the dough, albeit at the expense of moving away from the NY style, which classically uses no sugar or oil, to arguably some other style. But, if oil is added to the dough, depending on its amount it can help retain moisture in the dough during baking, thereby leading to a softer crust and crumb. Sugar and honey, by virtue of being hygroscopic in nature, will help retain moisture in the dough, even while the pizza is cooling after baking, and thereby contribute to a more tender eating characteristic. Both of these options (oil and sugar) are commonly used with pizzas described as being "NY style" even though that characterization will be contested by some. A point to keep in mind when using sugar or honey is that if the dough has too much sugar (or honey), you perhaps don't want to bake the pizza on a very hot stone surface. You might be able to use a pizza screen on the stone surface to raise the pizza above the baking surface during baking and thereby help minimize excessive bottom crust browning. You can see some examples of NY "thin"/American hybrid pizzas at this thread:,1707.msg15310.html#msg15310.

A still further way to soften a finished crust is to cool the pizza on a substrate that will force some of the moisture escaping from the pizza back into the pizza. For example, if you cool the pizza on a metal serving platter, instead of on a metal grid or insulative cardboard round, some of the moisture trying to escape the pizza will go back into the finished crust and help keep it soft. I often experience this effect while I am trying to take photos of pizzas cooling on my metal serving platter.

Depending on the dough formulation, no doubt there are baking methods and temperatures and bake times that can help produce a less chewy crust.

There is no reason why you can't use your Ischia starter culture with a bread flour, or even a high-gluten flour. I did some experiments along these lines with the basic Lehmann NY style dough formulation and got good results.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 07:16:08 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline s00da

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Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2009, 03:41:57 PM »
I hope someone would check this thread as it's too old now  :P

I tried using bread flour, both the Gold Medal and Pillsbury but I think I haven't been lucky. Something went wrong with the dough and I think it's because I treated them as I was treating my AP flour. My mixing method is pretty simple; room temp. water, dissolve salt, add starter and then start mixing(slow) and adding the flour slowly over a 30 minute period. I use a Kitchen Aid like mixer and I use the beater and then switch the C-hook when the dough is spinning doing nothing. I give a 20 mins riposo and then a 2 mins hand kneading.

I noticed that both flours are slightly lumpy during mixing, specially the Pillsbury. When it's time for baking, I'm unable to stretch a 630g ball beyond 16 inches and I can see the stretched dough having uneven thickness all over. Once the dough reaches 16 inches, it starts tearing at the edges and showing a strands kind of effect.

Nonetheless, I can see how bread flour would change a 18 inch pizza. The flavor and the crunchiness would perfectly suit such big sized pizza.

For my next attempt I will try to improve the dough by sifting the flour and increase kneading time by 10-15 minutes. I wouldn't worry about the dough reaching 85 F or beyond as I'm not using IDY/ADY.

Hope someone could through in more hints.

Offline tdeane

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Re: 18" NY Pizza Preparation Guidance
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2009, 05:27:54 PM »
My mix procedure is like this, mix just water and 75% of the flour with paddle attatchment on low speed for one minute. Rest for 20 min. Then add the starter and mix for 6 minutes with spiral hook( I add the the salt and idy/ady, if you are using it, at 4 minutes). Then I add the rest of the flour. Not too slowly, i usually have all the flour incorporated by the 11 minute mark or so. Then I mix for another 9 minutes.