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Thread: Authentic New York Pizza dough

  1. #1
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    Authentic New York Pizza dough

    My boyfriend is from NY, and no West Coast pizza is acceptable. So, we are trying to create our own home made pizza crust. His theory is it's the water. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Just what is New York pizza dough? I'm from the area but the only difference I see is in the seasonings in the sauce. The New York pizza is similiar to all the other Italian pizzas that I've tried as far as crust is concerned, usually on the thin side. The Greek pizza has a thick crust that is usually heavy on the olive oil. I don't think the water would have much of an impact but then again you never know! What do they put on West Coast pizza? I've never had it. I would assume it would be different toppings.

  3. #3
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    I was watching a show on Food TV a while ago, and there was a west coast pizza place that actually has their water formulated to be the same as the water at their NY store (I think it was in Brooklyn or the Bronx). I remember them saying that the success of their crust was the water, so you may be right there. I can't remember which show it was on, maybe "The Best of . . "

    However, I believe that most crusts cannot be duplicated at home because 99.999999% of us do not have pizza ovens at home. Even the best stones, cannot compare to a pizza oven/brick oven pizza.

    Do you use bottled spring water now? If not, you can probably try that.

  4. #4
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    Well, I don't have a recipe, but thought I'd respond to Leslie. There's definitely a big difference in pizzas from different regions. NY has the thin crust and lots of herbs in the sauce. Chicago pizza is deep dish (not necessarily thick, just deep) and the tomatoes go on top (cheese in the middle). The sauce isn't as spicy, but the sausage has a ton of flavor and herbs. West coast pizza is thicker and has a very bread-like texture. Plus, they're more adventurous with toppings (cold salad toppings, spinach, fruit....lots of things that Chicago-ans snub.) I love 'em all :-)

  5. #5
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    One big difference I noticed in my various pizza dough experiments, is that it's essential to knead the dough really, really well. I don't know if this will help create a more 'New York' style crust or not, but you might see what changes are possible with the dough.

    If, after kneading it really well, you take a small blob of your dough, flatten it out in your fingers and stretch it, it should thin out so you can see the light shining behind it, sort of like a window pane. If it doesn't stretch like this, but tears before it stretches, you haven't kneaded the dough completely enough and must knead some more.

    How anyone accomplishes this without a really good mixer with a dough hook is beyond me, but my Kitchenaid does a nice job.

    Alton Brown did a show on this topic in an episode of "Good Eats."

    You might want to take a look at www.goodeatsfanpage.com for a transcript of the episode, entitled "Pizza, Pizza."

    Also, the recipe for his dough is on the food tv website at www.foodtv.com , but I don't remember that it provides as much detail about handling the dough.
    Hope this helps.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  6. #6
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    I have a pizza cookbook called Any Way You Slice It, which I think is by a NY pizza chef about Neopolitan pizza. There are very few ingredients in pizza dough. Water, flour, salt, oil and yeast. The pizza dough I use does not have any oil in it - it's a lighter, crisper crust. I also use a mixture of unbleached all-purpose and bread flours, which apparently more resembles the protein levels of flour available in Europe.

    Here's the recipe from the book I mentioned:
    Pizza: Any Way You Slice It

    1 tsp active dry yeast
    2/3 cups warm water (105 - 110)
    2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tsp salt

    I've played with this and always add in whole wheat flour and perhaps some bread flour as I've mentioned above. Quality of the flour can make a big difference. When I started buy King Arthur flour, I could really tell the difference in my baked goods -- I'm just waiting for "baking season" to begin so I can get their bread flour locally again (and stock up).

    I always cook it on a hot stone or grill.

    Have fun experimenting.
    Kim

  7. #7
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    Little Bit, you hit the nail on the head. That's why my pizza dough tears sometimes, I must not knead it enough. I make it in my Cusinart and let it run for a min. but I should run it longer. Incidentally this CL Pizza Dough recipe is my favorite. It takes only 5 min. in the Cusinart - now 6 mins!

    2 cups bread flour

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp sugar

    2 1/4 tsp yeast

    3/4 cup warm (110 degree) water

    1 tbsp olive oil

    Combine flour, salt, sugar, yeast in processor and pulse til combined.

    Add oil and water in a steady stream and pulse til ball forms

    Pulse additional min or two

    Let rise 45 min, punch down and form into a circle, apply toppings.

    This dough stretches well and rolls thin (when properly kneaded).

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Leslie w
    Little Bit, you hit the nail on the head.

    I'm very glad to have helped out a bit.

    Alton Brown's technique also suggests that you let the dough rest in a greased ziploc bag in the fridge overnight, or for up to 6 days. I find this useful, since I can mix up the dough, knead it like crazy, then put it away and not think about it until I need to start making pizza a few days later.
    I'm very much in favor of recipes that let you do things in stages.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all of your suggestions. They give us some different ideas to try. We are looking for a crust that is on the thin side, crispy on the outside, but airy on the inside. We have tried increasing the oven temp, it helped a bit. Bottled water is definately worth trying. I suggested we have his Mom mail us a quart of NY City water! We'll keep trying.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Little Bit
    Alton Brown did a show on this topic in an episode of "Good Eats."

    You might want to take a look at www.goodeatsfanpage.com for a transcript of the episode, entitled "Pizza, Pizza."

    Also, the recipe for his dough is on the food tv website at www.foodtv.com , but I don't remember that it provides as much detail about handling the dough.
    Hope this helps.
    I tried the dough from Good Eats -- I liked the way it tastes (although it was a little salty -- the next time, I might try AB's suggestion and reduce the salt)
    Little Bit -- AB did talk about handling the dough, and he said just what you said -- take some and stretch it out -- if you get the ''window pane'' effect -- that's perfect. If it breaks, you need to knead it more!
    And for anyone who tries the ''Good Eats'' recipe -- you definitely need the dough hook attachment for this recipe!!!!
    Good Luck!

  11. #11
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    Thhe California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook also recommends the refrigeration technique.
    ~Kim~

    Nashville Restaurant Examiner - check out my page
    Check out my blog: Zen Kitchen http://onehotkitchen-kim.blogspot.com/

    "Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
    Dave Barry

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by elnant
    Little Bit -- AB did talk about handling the dough, and he said just what you said -- take some and stretch it out -- if you get the ''window pane'' effect -- that's perfect. If it breaks, you need to knead it more!
    I knew I heard this description somewhere! Something tells me I spend far too much time reading cookbooks and watching cooking shows.

    I can hardly wait until Alton Brown's cookbook is published.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  13. #13
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    I think it is the water too

    Well, I am from the NYC area and I think it is the water. It is just NOT the same anywhere.

    I live in Washington DC now and even at the places that make "NY Style" pizza it isn't the same.

    To me, "NY Style" is very thin, crispy crusted pizza. Toppings, sauce, etc etc do not matter. NY Style is in the crust. Somehow in NY the crust is crispy even beneath all the cheese sauce and other stuff. AND the crust just tastes wonderful.

    I am convinced it is the water. Every time I go to NYC I eat as much pizza as possible.

    But keep trying, you never know! (I also agree that those pizza ovens have a lot to do with it...ya just can't get the same results at home.)

  14. #14
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    I've heard this about bagels too. I would think the high heat of the ovens would cook out most of the compounds in the water. I would think the atmosphere had a lot to do with it, as with San Francisco and their famous sourdough bread. I think that is more a result of the specific "micro-organisms" found in the area. However, has anyone actually tasted water from New York and spotted a difference in the water itself?

  15. #15
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    I have tasted the water in NYC and I don't notice the difference between it and my filtered water at home. I still have a hard time buying the whole water thing. How about the kind of bread flour they use? That can make a big difference in texture.

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