The Pizza Lab: New York Style Pizza At Home Or How I Became a Food Processor Convert
New York pizza is my favorite style of pizza. Sure, I love me a new Neapolitan, sit down-with a fork and knife on the occasion, and great pizza is baked in the summer. Even tough, pizza bianca Roman has its place. But the pizza I find myself most often is craving, by the slice, style, thin, crispy and slightly chewy simple.
Fortunately for us, there is also much that seems easiest to use for the kitchen. Unlike, say Neapolitan cake requires fire wood, 1000°F oven (or at least should be a reasonable resolution), the New York pie* Modern gas kiln without regularly go north 500 to 550°F or the temperature ranges from pale not even the most bog standard oven equipped with a stone pizza.
So what is it that makes a single New York pizza?
First of all, it’s the sauce. This is emphatically tomato-ey with a balancing sweetness and acidity and the barest hint of herbs and alliums. I solved it in a front page article Pizza Lab (the secret is a combination of butter and olive oil, use whole tomatoes, dried oregano, a few halved onions that get eliminated, and a slow simmer on the stovetop). No problem.
Next, it was cheese. Unlike a Neapolitan, which uses fresh mozzarella, New York-style pizza using grated, dried mozzarella-type that you can get sliced into a meatball sub or wrap in Cryovac block near the milk. It is applied sparingly so that it melts into a loose matrix which, bathed in the sauce underneath, brown should never heat of the oven. The top of a New York style pie should look mottled red, white and brown, certainly not a solid expansion of melted white cheese.
“Your cheese will not get the goo-essentials”
With a few under your belt wheel, you’ll quickly discover two things about cheese: it must be full fat mozzarella (part skim or low-fat stuff just does not stretch to the right), and you have to grate it yourself. No matter how much you are tempted, do not buy before the shredded cheese. Shredded cheese covered with a dusting of potato or corn starch to keep it from clumping. What it ends up doing is preventing it melts properly. Your cheese will not get the goo-essentials. I’ve found that the best way to get good cheese for pizza in the supermarket is to go to the deli counter and ask them to cut you a pound or so straight off the cutting block in one piece. Crushed into large holes of a box extractor, it’s perfect for the job.
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Here is a problem I’ve ever had. Overbrown and cheese will burn before the crust is done cooking? This happened to anyone else I do not know if it’s because professional pizza oven with convection different models or some other kind of fantasy of thermodynamics go on, but the only solution I have found is to grate cheese on the plate, then pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes before applying. This slow cooking it just enough so that the shell can catch up before the cheese starts recording.
The final element that makes a great New York pizza and this is really important, is the crust. This is what separates the men from the boys. The New York slice from Sbarros. Ray’s actually from hordes of imitators. **
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Thicker than a thinner crust but a Neapolitan pizza pan, a crust of New York started with a sharp, well-browned bottom layer about 2 mm thick. It must be strong enough that a single slice of slightly bent vertically down the center will cantilever out straight with the support of his own, does not require the food to fend off with a second hand. There is nothing worse than walking on a paved street, with his head down as the deflection, and the cheese slid out into a greasy puddle on the sidewalk. Even thinking about it makes my eyes well up.
The crust can be strong enough, but-and this is important- just strong enough. Brittle, tough, or cracker-like is no adjective that can accurately describe a great New York pizza. Slice and bring gently to crackle when you fold it, crack or split never.
“It will not break off with no effort”
After the initial excitement, the next 3-4 mm for a thin layer of soft, slightly chewy, tender and cooked dough. This class is like bread taste best with a salty, wheaty, and complex aroma. Floury Never, never bland, the crust is absolutely not just a support mechanism for the cheese and sauce on top. It is this class gives the piece its special chewing. You have to pull your teeth lighter with a bite to separate from the rest of the slice. It should not break no effort. If that’s what you’re after, you should put Domino’s thin crust with matzoh like its base.
1-2 mm on the top of the crust-bits of closest approach and the cheese sauce should have a slick, almost pasty, although again, it should not taste raw. This interface-to-fever crust is one of my favorite parts about pizza, and should not be taken lightly.
Finally, we get to grow up the outer shell known as cornicione pizza snobs, or colloquially as bone. Unlike poofy, leopards edge detection of a Neapolitan, a pie with a crust of New York that is only slightly elevated. Indeed, the pie as a whole went from thick to thin at the edges than in the center, an artifact of the method most preferred toss and stretch piemen. The crust should be golden relatively uniform, with a couple charred bubbles here and there, and a wheel-like structure is open, although once again, is not entirely clear cool as a Neapolitan crust.
So the obvious question is, how to go about achieving a shell like this?
It’s all in the dough.
There are several important features that separate New York from flour dough classic Neapolitan.
- Flour in classical Neapolitan dough is a high protein, refined mill Italian Tipo “00” (referred to as “double-oh” of the cognoscenti). It absorbs water easily, and bakes to a crisp layer of ultra-thin surround a moist, airy interior. Pizza in New York, on the other hand, usually made from wheat flour of America. Also high in protein, it’s easy to develop gluten (the protein matrix structure provides bread). It is made from many different types of milling wheat and not as smooth. It results in a crust that is chewier, a little denser, and with more substantial structure.
- Road almost always added crust New York. Asides from adding a bit of flavor and a few activities for yeast-rising, it also aids in brown necessary if you want to get a nicely browned crust in a relatively low oven temperature.
- Olive oil is the latest addition. By coating particles of fish meal and oil will effectively reduce the maximum level of gluten in the flour certain image, makes baked crust slightly denser results and remarkable gentleness than a meal containing fat. Without oil, a pie and New York will be a tougher dry in 12-15 minutes in the oven operation time. Olive oil keeps it nice and supple.
Fortunately for me, there was a pretty great recipe for New York-style pizza dough Peter Reinhart’s out there in American Pie, a new classic on pizza, but if you do not already own, you should. His method is to mix together flour, yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil and warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer, knead it slowly for a few minutes, then let it rest for a few minutes in a step called a autolyse. Autolysis allow time for the water-absorbing powder, and for creating protein to reduce its gluten through enzymatic action, allowing them to be easily fit over and lasted for the next mix.
Then the dough is molded until gluten is developed enough to pass the test window, windows, gives rise overnight in the refrigerator, then shape, resistance, rolling, and baking.
The result is quite good. Texturewise, they are spot on. It’s the taste that’s always seemed to me to lack. It’s not bad per se, nor underseasoned, just a little … off.
Just recently when I had my consideration McGee that I came up with a theory as to why. Here’s what he had to say on the subject of kneading:
“As oxygen from air and oxygen compounds derived from the yeasts in dough, the gluten molecultes start to bond and end-to-end to form a long chain. A too [contact with air and oxygen] bleached wheat pigments rest and alter the taste.”
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So here is my theory: to get a ball of pizza dough to pass the test window, the window, it needs to be molded in a relatively long period of time. In a large-scale operation in New York pizza, the dough is made in large batches 30-40 pounds. With such a large amount of powder, there is significantly less when exposed to oxygen while kneads dough, as only powder on the surface is of a rather large ball is exposed, the rest is protected by the edge the mixing bowl, and by the dough itself. With a small ball of dough in a mixer housing, on the other hand, a much higher proportion of the powder is exposed to the effects alter the taste of the air as it mixes.
Result? A dough made in small batches in a more oxidized, and therefore can never taste as good as a dough made in large quantities in a pizzeria.
“It will give you a window pane deserved meal in a fraction of the time”
McGee went on to suggest that mixing dough in a food processor may actually be a better approach than the stand mixer, something unusual for me, as the mixer stand seems like those actions of hands gently kneading more accurate. The idea is rapidly rotating blade of a food processor and reorganization will beat in the flour proteins more efficiently than the slow moving mixer stand. It will give you a window pane in a meal worthy of the short time period. Less time means time kneading less oxidation, and thus better taste.
To test this, I decided to establish a three-dimensional baking-off.
- Powder mixed in the mixer stand for a full 7 minutes autolyse all (until it passes the test window, the window).
- Powder mixed in the mixer stand for only half the time (it does not pass the test window, the window, but will show improved flavor).
- Powder mixed in food processor.
I was frankly shocked at how quickly food processor dough comes together. Within about 30 seconds, I had a powder that easily passed the test window, the window with a smooth, soft feel that you only get with many minutes of kneading after a toxic mix autolyse time. I packed away 12-ounce three balls of dough in my deli liter container size used for proving me overnight (I highly recommend them for this job!) And wait until the next day, another where a surprise awaits me.
The full standalone version kneading mixer, as well expeced increase – to 3-cup to mark in my container. The standalone version just-kneading mixer showed significantly less, up to about 2 1/2 cups line (left, above). The food processor version kneading, on the other hand, almost blew the top off of the cap. Of all this mean?
Well, dough yeast bread as the consumption increase due to the natural sugars in the flour, they released both alcohol and carbon dioxide. This gas trapped within the structure formed by the protein gluten flour. The stronger this structure, the better the trapped air bubbles, and the more the dough is leavening. Therefore, the fact that food processing has increased my flour or dough stand mixer is a good indicator that the high gluten flour sported formation, and therefore will have a better complete structure.
Even form them into balls showed a good structure. The standalone version just-kneading mixer tear as I formed it, ending with a surface roughness increases translated into a ball of dough that was far more fragile as I tried to stretch it before head. The well stand mixer and dough handling food powder, on the other hand is a dream to work with. Smooth, supple and elastic, they were easy to shape and lasts just as easy to head.
So there will be a better feeling powder produced an outstanding final product? As they say in the industry, as evidenced in the pie.
After application of the sauce and cheese, I baked all three different types of pizza in the oven after a similar, identical temperature (I use his laser thermometer to ensure that the stone wheel pizza has returned to temperature before the next baking). Each furnace can vary, but in my own oven, I have found that placing the stone grill directly in the middle is the best way to get started and undercarriage to cook at once. If your bottom is cooking too fast, improve your rock or a process. Top Bottom brown burned before? Just down the pizza stone (or take it to the extreme and put it directly on the floor of the oven).
As expected, the bottom crust dough out to an average disastrous texture (pictured above). Dense and almost like bread, it still has a decent, wheaty flavor.
In the two remaining crust, baked on both the perfect New York style pies at least in appearance. The standalone version familiar mix of off-flavors that I noticed with my NY wheeled past. Only crust food processors are manufactured to create a dough that is excellent in both texture and flavor. Tender, chewy and crisp at the same time with the smooth layer at the interface coveted sauce and a thin crust of melted cheese in brown only indirectly, is the archetypical New York cake, and it just comes out from my own oven!
You’re surprised? Is it really true that, at least as far away small batches of flour, a food processor can produce a crust better and faster than a stand mixer can?
I am a convert, and as a devout atheist, converted me is not an easy task.
* I say “modern” because traditional New York pies are cooked in coal ovens, but the vast majority of corner-slice joints these days use gas, even the best ones.
** In New York, there are a half dozen or so “Famous Original Ray’s” pizzas, all of them unrelated, and few of them any good. Prince Street Ray’s is the original, and the 6th Avenue Ray’s is the best.
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