Author Topic: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style  (Read 5819 times)

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Offline gator24

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #50 on: November 30, 2016, 08:20:50 PM »
Anybody get a good sauce recipe yet?

Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #51 on: December 05, 2016, 10:41:59 PM »
It's a mix of red pack and Bonta both extra heavy. The spices, salt and sugar are all minimal. I was speaking with on of the family members of bocce last week and they said originally the sauce was not spiced at all, it was simply cooked down tomato. I had some imperial yesterday and to be honest it was awful, could be due to the high volume of the Bills playing. I have a new set up for my home oven on the way and will be doing some trials over the winter.

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #52 on: December 29, 2016, 02:01:58 PM »
Ok I'm ready to get back into this Buffalo Pizza game. I'm going to use OG's bakers percents for the dough, although I'll use a 2 to 1 HG to AP flour ratio. I tried purchasing Bocce's specialty flour after seeing it in Latina's product catalog yesterday, but they unfortunately only sell to... Bocce's. But it was worth a shot.

FLOUR 100% - 1000g ALL TRUMPS/500g ADM ALL PURPOSE
H2O 58%      - 870g TAP WATER
SALT 2%       - 30g
SUGAR 1%    - 15g
YEAST 1%      - 15g CAKE YEAST

In lieu of traveling to beautiful Cheektowaga, NY to purchase RedPack and Bonta products, I did what O.G. mentioned in earlier posts and cooked down some good quality tomatoes, in this case Stanislaus tomato strips I had to use up anyway. I am currently bulk fermenting the dough in an air tight mixing bowl at ~90F for about an hour before I weigh and lay the skins on lard covered pans. I'll stretch the skins as much as i can and come back later for the second and final stretch. I will proof the stretched dough for 45 mins at ~90F, but one will be sprayed with water and the other with a thin layer of cooked tomatoes on it to see if there's anything to note there.

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #53 on: December 30, 2016, 12:10:26 PM »
Oh yeah ... The dough turned out great! I Used 22 ounces for a 16" pie, I'll try 20 ounces next time see what happens. The first pie was the sauce covered one that I let rise for 45 minutes and kept in the refrigerator until I was ready for the bake. I dissolved 165 grams of sugar into 100 grams of water and added it to the tomato puree. The first pie definitely could have used a little more sauce but it was a great place to start. I thought I poured a lot of oregano and basil on it but since I put no seasonings in the sauce, I could use a lot more next time. It was a little bland until I added a bit more salt and spices. I also used pre shred Sorrento full fat cheese and Battistoni pepperoni I sliced myself. Only other thing to note is if I were using a real pizza oven, I would have covered the pizza skin from edge to edge with sauce, but that's a dangerous thing to do in a home situation.

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #54 on: December 30, 2016, 12:23:01 PM »
Also for next time I will sprinkle romano cheese on top of the sauce, I forgot to buy some while I was out. It's been a while since I've been to Bocce's so I can't say how close it really is, but I will say with a few refinements these  pies would stand on their own regarless. The dough, however, is great. I will mess around with different flour mixes maybe do 2 to 1 AP to AT but other than that the bakers percents are excellent where they are, thank you OG. And I am a lard convert that soybean oil always leaves a bad taste. The lard is almost non exsitent to taste, and the pizzas release from the pans to the deck for a short kiss with ease. One last thing on these trials is to say, I did not ball the dough! Yeah you definitely do it for NYC style pies, but when it comes to Buffalo style same day dough, I don't think is does much but inhibit your ability to stretch the dough on the pans. These skins stretched with ease. I believe when you ball the dough it becomes to tight and it's nearly impossible to stretch to the full diameter of the pan. Maybe that's just me I'd like to hear what others think about that

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #55 on: December 30, 2016, 12:29:55 PM »
w/ shrooms


Offline TonyRicci

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #56 on: January 05, 2017, 07:19:18 AM »
Please keep up the good work,  pizza looks great

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2017, 05:58:22 PM »
Happy Pizza Thursday to all you pizza freaks! Time once again to take another stab at the old Buffalo Style pie. This week I'm reversing my earlier flour ratio, using 1000g all purpose to 500g All Trumps. See if there will be anything to note. Also, the forces of nature kept me from traveling to my local Restaurant Depot but luckily I dusted off my last can of Alta Cucina's. I drained all the liquid and added the tomatoes to a couple tablespoons of evoo and dried herbs in an effort to season the sauce further. One thing that I am unclear on is the sauce. A couple posters before me simply say spices are added to the Redpack and Escalon products, I just wish this would be a little more clear. Maybe I missed something or whatever but for today we're going to cook the Stanislaus products down, add a little seasoning and go from there. Next weeks installment will feature O.G.'s recommended brands of sauce. Here's a pic of my sweet little Hobart baby that I believe is from the mid 40's going to work on this beautiful Buffalo dough!  ;D

Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #58 on: January 08, 2017, 10:46:58 PM »
Looks good! Sorry to be so vague on the sauce but it really is fairly un seasoned. Salt and sugar to taste will get you a long way. Once you get it on the pizza you will see what I'm saying. When  I spoke with someone who has been with bocce a long time hey said originally the sauce was un seasoned. Oregano over your mozzarella will help with the herbal note. When I recall making the sauce it was something like 6 #10 cans of extra heavy I think 3 Bonta 3 red pack than 3 cans water, a cup of the spice mix (probably oregano, basil, mostly) and in the range of a cup sugar and a cup salt but I can't be sure. The most important characteristic IMO is the concentrated and cooked down flavor of the suace which will come from red pack.

Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #59 on: January 08, 2017, 10:53:15 PM »
If you make an order from Latina they will let your buy their flour, they sell it to several places around town. If I had to guess its probably in the mid to high 13% range for protein. In the meantime I have been finding the best Buffalo style slices lately have been at Mattinas on Sheridan drive. Really an excellent representation of classic Buffalo Pizza.

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2017, 01:30:45 AM »
So glad to hear from you again OG! I stopped by your truck earlier this summer when it was at Dent Tower... Excellent stuff my friend. So, while my boss was on the phone with his Latina representative I had him ask about the Bocce flour, but was told he could not get it. Whatever. I got a bag of Tony's flour from Sysco I'm going to try tomorrow. It's not high gluten and it's definitely not all purpose. It is actually like 18 bucks for 50 pounds so that's kind of crazy, almost 5 dollars more than most flour I've seen. It's different because when turned into pizza dough it gives off a yellowish hue, so something makes this special, not Bocce special, but special nonetheless. Im going to prepare the dough a day in advance on Wednesday for use on Thursday. A first for these trials as I've been doing same day experiments these past couple of weeks. I'm gonna still do the bulk ferment, but I'm going to forget the rise on the pan when already stretched as last week's pies were a bit to thick. Basically after the bulk rise I will stretch, wrap, refrigerate, and bake on Thursday. I'm headed to the depot in the morning and will pick up some of your suggestions and figure out a ratio using just one 10 can of each product. And also a case of Margherita stick since I keep forgetting to order a case of the superior Batistoni brand. Ok I'm pretty excited!

Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2017, 04:06:40 PM »
I bought three cans just in case, I was sure about the Bonta, but I purchased two types of Redpack also. The only extra heavy they had was pizza sauce with basil. I'm assuming that's what we're talking about here but I got the concentrated tomatoes just in case. Also, stopped by Bocce's on Bailey. It was good, although the sauce didn't seem special at all. Last time I had it was about 15 years ago, and I remembered it being noticeably sweet. My mother also had a slice and recalled the same, and she grew up on it. Off to make the dough and see what we come up with tomorrow!


Offline pizzaman716

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #62 on: January 11, 2017, 07:17:52 PM »
Here's an ingredient listing on Tony's Flour which I'll be using. May not be able to read it but it includes malted barley flour. Interesting. I work at a Buffalo-style pizza joint whose previous owner claimed his recipe was based on Bocce's when he opened in the late 60's. He also claimed he was friends with the owners over there. How much of this is fact is up in the air, but knowing our operations back and forth, a lot of the components are similar. Our dough is similar , almost exact, minus the sugar OG suggests is in the Bocce dough formulation. The pans and even the par reheat instructions on the box are a mirror image.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 07:26:56 PM by pizzaman716 »

Offline Feelflows

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2017, 03:16:06 PM »
As regional cuisine and Pizza grows within our current state of food culture, I often wonder what happened to true Buffalo, New York style pizza. No, I am not talking about pizza with blue cheese, hot sauce and chicken but something entirely different that I grew fond of as a child. Nowadays, as a food truck owner that serves Neapolitan style wood-fired pizza, I rarely grab a slice of what I was once so find of. It's not that I don't like it anymore, it's just that owner/operators have taken so many shortcuts and ruined a product that was once something truly unique and amazing.

For this study I will focus on 3 establishments that I consider THE ONLY 3 pizzerias paying any respect to what was once truly great pizza. While nearly every pizzeria in the Buffalo area claims to serve authentic Buffalo Style pizza, it is a sad bastardized version of what it once was. The 3 locations that continue to pay homage to our beloved Western New York Pizza, which I will focus on to recreate original Buffalo style pizza, are Bocce Club, Imperial, and Leonardis.

The goal of this investigation will not necessarily re-create what current establishments are serving, but what once was, while we eliminate short cuts and convenience products used over time. I will use my connections in the local pizza industry to dig deep into the early days of Bocce Club which is believe to be the predecessor to both Leonardis and Imperial. 

Bocce Club Pizza: 3 locations, while only 2 are listed on the website there is a 3rd that is still run by family members but not recognized as an official Bocce Club. I have some ties to this location as I worked there many years ago and am hoping the owners will give me some inside information on the "older days"

Bocce Club is stated to have opened in 1946 by Dino Pacciotti and his sister Melvina Sacco who purchased a restaurant that served sandwiches and cocktails named the Bocce Club where Bocce ball was often played. The birth of what we now know as Buffalo style pizza came when Dino found an old pizza oven in the restaurant's basement and began attempting to re-create the pizza which he had grown fond of during World War 2 while in Italy.

There is little information about Imperial pizza available on its website. It is believed by many that the recipes were are similar to Bocce club and may have been a castoff from the original Bocce Club. Hopefully through this process I can learn more about Imperial pizza as it it considered the best of the best by many.

Leonardis is a traditional Buffalo Style pizzeria owned by the Leonardi family opened in 1972. It is also believed to hold similar recipes to Bocce club and again to be opened by a castoff from the Original Bocce Club. Due to the limited hours, this seems to be the least popular of the 3 establishments in this investigation but certainly has value in being looked into.

Going off of the story listed on the Bocce Club website, it can be assumed that Buffalo style pizza has roots to the pizza Dino Pacciotti enjoyed while in Italy during World War 2. While I have yet to gather any information about Dino's whereabouts while in Italy, I am for now going to assume it was not Naples as there is little resemblance to Neapolitan Pizza. Dino himself was a 2nd generation immigrant whose parents came directly from Italy. While I cannot say for certain, a quick Google search provided that the surname Pacciotti is most common among Northern and Central Italian Immigrants; perhaps this has some influence on the style of pizza as well. While I have yet to find any factual information that supports this, I have long theorized that Buffalo style pizza is a descendant of Roman style and Italian Grandma style pizza which has slightly morphed over the years. The moderate thickness of the crust is the first direct relation to roman style pizza as well as the technique of cooking in a pan. I could easily imagine an early American pizza maker learning techniques from a pan style roman pizza but adopting to what had become the norm in America and shaping it round even though situated in a rectangular pan.

In more recent times it seems nearly anything passes as "Buffalo" style pizza. People often say the medium thickness of the crust is due to Buffalo being located in between New York City and Chicago; quite frankly this has nothing to do with it. Years ago the crust on Buffalo style pizza was significantly thinner and toppings less; as time has passed, it seems to be a more loaded up pie that after eating you feel like you were punched in the gut. This is not what I remember or what it was intended to be. Many modern places use round pans, frozen dough, cup and char pepperoni and very sweet sauce. While these characteristics slightly resemble what once was a closer look reveals this is an imposter.

Preparation- Buffalo style pizza is made in a rectangular sheet pan coated with lard and sometimes olive oil. The dough is stretched and topped with sauce, then a hard aged cheese, shredded whole milk mozzarella, oregano, then toppings. The pizza should be made right to the edge. There is no crust or cornicione, the entire pizza is the same thickness. This is the preparation I learned and seems to be consistent with the information I have available.

Dough/Crust- it seems that this is most certainly one of the characteristics that has evolved the most over time. Today it seems all locations making this pizza use some form of high gluten flour and it states the same in a 1972 article I found about Bocce Club. The article states that high gluten flour is used to obtain a crisp bottom crust, I don't necessarily find this to be true and it is unlikely Bocce Club was using high gluten flour in 1946. When I learned to make Bocce style dough, I recall the hydration to be in the high 50s, salt was around 2%, sugar around 1% and IDY around 1% as well. The desired end product should have a crispy bottom and light and airy body. I have found the desired texture to be very spongy on the top, cooked and not doughy. I believe the route I will take in the re-creation is through a bread flour, cake yeast and combination of refrigerated and unrefrigerated dough. In my recreation I will look into Italian Grandma style recipes as well as roman style recipes to develop the desired characteristics.

Sauce- Modern day Buffalo style pizza most commonly uses Red Pack sauce with water and a blend of spices, sugar and salt. The only other sauces that are commonly used seem to be Full Red and Bonta brand (Escalon). In the article I found located in Bocce Club, it stated that either seasoned crushed tomatoes or cooked down whole peeled tomatoes were used. Characteristics of a typical Buffalo style sauce are often a rich cooked down and sweeter sauce, so it seems the cooked down version may be the way to go in re-creating original Buffalo Style pizza

Cheese- Cheese seems to be the most straightforward of the process. Shredded whole milk mozzarella seems to be the norm. I'm not sure if at one point fresh mozzarella was used but it seems unlikely. For the layer of hard cheese that goes on top of the sauce during preparation I will use Parmigiana.

Toppings- While it seems most toppings are typical, pepperoni stands out to me as being special on this style. Modern pizzerias often use pre-prepared cup and char pepperoni in a a collagen casing which causes the pepperoni to "cup and char". Some of the better places locally use a combination of cup and char pepperoni and pepperoni sliced right off the stick. The best places use strictly pepperoni sliced off the stick, which is what I will use for this re-creation.
 
Cooking- In my experience most pizzerias producing this style pizza are now cooking in the 450-500 range. The article I have found from 1972 states pizzas were cooked between 600-630 degrees with a cook time under 10 minutes.

For this experiment I will start with several types of fermentation and a dough with bread flour that will start at 60% hydration; I believe they may have cut hydration for ease of use over time. The initial sauce will be a heavily cooked-down sauce of peeled Italian tomatoes with traditional seasonings of Buffalo style pizza. Cheese will be hand shredded whole milk mozzarella and imported Parmigiana hand grated over the sauce. For quality reasons, Sicilian oregano will be used over the top of the cheese layer. Pepperoni will be hand cut on a bias off of the stick of locally produced Battistoni meats.

I am hoping for any input which may be available on this forum as I continue to re-engineer great Buffalo style pizza. This is a fluid recipe and the more information I obtain from research and sources the better.

Great article Og!!!!

The threads are huge, and will take my time reading about the tips you and others have recommended.

Living north of the border, my go to place for pizza is Buffalo.  I have not tried the three places you've recommend, but will do so the next time I'm down.  For what it worth, I'd like to recommend a pizzeria for you that I thought was amazing, and may fit your buffalo style criteria or at least their own take on it.  It's called La Hacienda in Niagara Falls NY.  I'm curious what you think. 

As for sweet sauce, I enjoy Santora's sauce, but the pies are over priced. 

Finally, is there a cheaper place the Wegmans to buy cap and char pep in Buffalo?   
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Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Re-Engineering Buffalo, NY style
« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2017, 07:24:21 PM »
Hi there and thank you! Yes I've tried la hacienda it's kind of a mix between NY and Buffalo style but I thinks it's kind of cool, definitely an establishment in the falls. There's 2 different Santoras owners but I'm very familiar with both. If your looking for cheaper cup and char try to find a deli that sells it, I know guercios on the west side has it and Division market will give you a good price in North Tonawanda.