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  #11  
Old 09-02-2006, 05:00 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: lindenhurst long island new york
Posts: 27
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Well from what i read alota people try to get there pizzas close to ny pizza, the only way to get pizza remotely close to new york pizza is get the water from new york, then also was told depending were you live elevation wize the rising of the dough. Why i say this is i live in new york ,long island, and work in nyc. So theres a pizza store just about on every corner, also i met and know a few people that tryied duplicating the pizzas elsewere on the east coast and that seems to be the problem .The differnce in water and rising of dough. I have heard of pizza places in florida gettin the water shipped south etc etc to try get the closest to ny pizza as possable.
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2007, 09:44 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MB, Canada
Posts: 2
Default Re: Just got my first stone... it's the start of a legendary addiction.

Hey! A fellow Manitoban!
I'm your neighbor to the west.. in Brandon.
Where did you pick up your peel? And where do you buy your ingredient's from?

I have to say I'm also working at seeing if I can get the funds together for a backyard oven .. hopefully soon that will be a reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevJToad View Post
Hey folks, as the topic says, I just used my first pizza stone last night, and I can already tell this is gonna get out of hand. It's a 15" round stone, which just fits in my oven. I commented to my girlfriend as the first pizza went in that I need a bigger oven, so I could fit an 18" stone in there, at which point she suggested a backyard oven, which led me here... as if I needed another obsession. :>

The root of the obsession is actually my desire to eat proper New York pizza here in cold and forlorn Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the acquisition of the stone and peel yesterday has gotten me closer than ever - I'm also getting pretty close on the dough recipe as well, last night was the first time I managed to stretch out a pizza the way I've seen them do it countless times on my visits to the big city. Well, my own somewhat lame attempt at doing that anyways, I'm a long way from tossing it up in the air and all that.

Anyways, I'm interested in any comments on my recipe and technique.

For the dough, I measured:

15 oz water
approx 2-3 tbsp olive oil
4 heaping tsp sugar
2 tsp instant yeast

dry mix:
approx 1 tsp salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
5 tsp vital wheat gluten

I mixed the sugar in the water, added the yeast and let it dissolve, added the olive oil and then about 4.5 cups of the flour mixture. kneaded that in a Kitchenaid mixer for 15 minutes and let it rise for an hour.

This got me a very stretchy dough that, in one case, pulled thin enough to see through - first time I ever had the problem of one of the pizzas coming out with too thin a crust, a failure that made me very happy.

The sauce was a can of tomatoes, drained, a head of garlic and a liberal shaking of italian seasoning, put through the blender. I don't say this very often, but I'll probably use a bit less garlic next time. :>

Anyways, I made the zzas on the flat side of the peel, with a liberal helping of flour underneath. I learned from my first pizza that just because the stretched dough slides around, that doesn't mean the fully loaded pizza will. I've read that it's better to use cornmeal, because flour can burn, but cornmeal on the bottom of a pizza just seems utterly wrong to me, and I didn't have a problem with the flour.

Aside from the first one, which I did manage to save (it came out a bit misshapen), I got the hang of working with the peel pretty quickly. I've been mentally preparing for this pretty much my whole life - since I was six and first visited my relatives in Jersey, and watched this gigantic smiling Italian man make a pie. I coulda sat in that little pizzeria all day. Probably still could, if he's still alive.

But I digress. The oven was set to 350, but I'm pretty sure that my oven is hotter than the markings, so I can't really say exactly what temp it was at. I had the stone on the bottom rack after the first pizza, in an attempt to cook the bottoms a bit more.

So, here's what needs work. First off, the top cooked a lot faster than the bottom. Not to the point inedibility, but I had to pull them out when the cheese started going brown, but the crust could still have used a few more minutes on the bottom to get that nice crispiness.

Anyone who's had zza in NY/NJ area knows that it's characterized by a thin but crispy crust (a lot of people fold their slice in half), and then the edge is chewy, kinda like a pretzel. My pizzas might only need to get the cooking evened out to get this effect (I don't know if it's the gluten or the long kneading or what, but I'm very happy with my results so far), but any suggestions, both in terms of recipe or oven technique, are appreciated.

I was thinking, after reading about the short cooking times in the outdoor ovens, that maybe a hotter oven is the way to go - if the stone is hotter, it'll cook the crust in a shorter time, and if the increase in speed in cooking the bottom is more than the increase at the top, it would even things out.

Thoughts?
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2007, 06:42 AM
Laborer
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 66
Default Re: Just got my first stone... it's the start of a legendary addiction.

In my family; polenta is yellow corn meal. Bolied..stirred constantly till thickened..poured in the middle of the table to cool a little. Then topped with red sauce...cooked greens...sausage..beef and whatever else the sauce was made with. Claim a terrotory and eat.
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2007, 05:05 PM
maver's Avatar
Master Builder
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Puyallup, WA
Posts: 571
Default Re: Just got my first stone... it's the start of a legendary addiction.

Vincent, that's so funny to hear that - I had never heard of that outside of our family. I have vivid memories as a child of my father serving us polenta that way when my mother was out of town. I repeated this for my kids when my wife went on a weekend trip a few months ago and they are now eagerly awaiting her next trip. Can't get much more simple than just setting the table with spoons.
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  #15  
Old 04-29-2007, 06:04 AM
Laborer
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 66
Default Re: Just got my first stone... it's the start of a legendary addiction.

Maver, isn't it funny how the simpler things in life are the most memorible; and the most pleasing to the palate
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  #16  
Old 03-23-2008, 05:04 AM
jabguit's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Raleigh
Posts: 6
Default Re: Just got my first stone... it's the start of a legendary addiction.

I've tried replacing cornmeal with flour, but the uncooked crust always stuck to the peel.

I don't mind the taste or texture of the very small amount of cornmeal, but I hate the taste of burnt flour.

I am going to try the rice flour next time.
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  #17  
Old 01-29-2009, 06:42 AM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: saugerties, ny
Posts: 193
Default Re: Just got my first stone... it's the start of a legendary addiction.

Corn meal: I would avoid it. It has no relation to tradition and you'll end up a better pizza maker in the long run if you accept the challenge.

As for stones in conventional home ovens, I have tried several and so far the FB stone I bought years ago is by far the best. It's the only one that held up to the heat as it lay on my (gas) oven floor. For a home oven, this altered radically how my pizza turns out.
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2009, 04:25 PM
Serf
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: pebble beach, ca
Posts: 5
Default Re: Just got my first stone... it's the start of a legendary addiction.

James knows his stuff. I'll be switching from corn meal to rice flour if it works for him. From my experience, the tips you've been given are the real deal!
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  #19  
Old 02-12-2009, 06:21 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Just got my first stone... it's the start of a legendary addiction.

One warning! In my experience New York style pizzas do better on stones in a conventional oven. I only tried to make thicker pizza once in my WFO. The top and bottom burned before the dough could cook through - which is why I only tried once. WFO lends itself to thin crust, relatively sparsely populated (with really tasty stuff) pizzas.

In my experience one can do great pizza in a conventional oven but I making New York style pizza in a WFO probably requires running the oven abnormally cool.

I use very course semolina on my peel. Corn meal is "weird" and burns too easy in my experience. Haven't tried rice flour. Look forward to a report.
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  #20  
Old 02-13-2009, 07:24 AM
Bob C's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cheshire, Connecticut
Posts: 93
Default Re: Just got my first stone... it's the start of a legendary addiction.

I use stones in the "off season". A few minutes under an infared broiler then into the oven...pizzas come out great...be careful...some stones strictly prohibit use under a broiler.
Bob
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