September 21, 2020

Making New York-style pizza at home

for ten years I've been trying to make real New York style pizza at home and I think that I've gotten as close as I'm ever gonna get at the very least this is a damn good pizza authentic or not for the dough start with a teaspoon of yeast

a teaspoon of sugar and a quarter cup of warm water and wait five minutes I have heard that blooming the yeast like this is not really necessary but I like to do it just to make sure that my yeast is still alive before I spend two days waiting

for a dough to rise that never will then put in two more cups of warm water a tablespoon more sugar and a tablespoon of salt and then a glug of olive oil that's like a quarter cup at most then bread flour high-protein flour five cups to start with

and then knead in the mixer with the dough hook attachment wait until it comes together into a reasonably smooth solid mass and then you got a pocket it should be only slightly sticky if it's really sticky add more flour 5 cups is conservative you'll know that you've kneaded

the dough enough when you can stretch out a little chunk of it so thin that you can see light through it now this recipe makes four pizzas of the maximum size that I can safely bake in my oven which is 12 to 13 inches in diameter so I

rip the dough into four chunks and then I roll each of those chunks into a smooth even ball their shape really matters which is why I rise each ball in its own oiled container toss the ball around in the oil and then use it to grease up the

sides of the bowl or the Tupperware or whatever it is that you're using that will allow the ball to rise and an even round shape cover them up and put them in the refrigerator a long slow rise in the fridge is what gets you the best flavor and

texture 24 hours is the bare minimum now when I mix my dough is when I make my sauce you need a 28 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes I really prefer San marzanos that's the expensive kind from Italy because they are really acidic they're very bright but no

matter what kind you get they will be packed in some kind of liquid I think the liquid is usually ground-up lesser-quality tomatoes that tend to taste pretty bitter so I fished the whole Tomatoes out into a bowl and I throw away the liquid you could just squish them

with your hand but I like a smooth texture so I use my stick blender and I put in a pinch of sugar a glug of olive oil that really improves the flavor of the olive oil and then I put in a lot of dried oregano which I think

is the defining herb of New York style pizza finally I put 2 or 3 tablespoons of tomato paste in without the tomato paste the sauce is never intense enough though if you put in too much it spoils that fresh raw tomato taste that you get from you know

the plum tomatoes tomato paste is of course just heavily cooked and reduced tomato sauce so I stir it up and I add more tomato paste until it looks just thick enough to me that is enough for four pizzas and I put this in the refrigerator with the dough

because I think it tastes better after it sits around for a few days like I said you got to age the dough for 24 hours at least this has been in for 48 hours which I really prefer though sometimes I ate a whole week it almost tastes like

sourdough when you age it that long this is my pizza stone you really need one of these and you should get the biggest one that'll fit in your oven in my oven I get the best results on an upper-middle rack position though that took some experimenting every oven

is different if you have a convection setting use that it'll help with the Browning of the cheese preheat to the highest temperature that your ovens got no matter how fast it comes up to temperature let it sit and preheat for one full hour because this is not just

about heating the oven it's about heating the stone the stone has got to get rocket hot and it's very dense so it takes a while preheat for a full hour time to think about cheese and yes I use string cheese it is ridiculous but where I live this

is the only form in which I can get whole milk low moisture mozzarella if it's part skim it won't taste right if it's not low moisture the pizza will be soggy now you can probably buy a block of whole milk low moisture mozzarella in your city I have

to make do with these stupid sticks but it's not so bad six of them is the perfect amount six ounces for a 12 inch pizza that's perfect and then I also grate up some Parmesan or pecorino to put under the mozzarella layer which i think is traditional in

the higher quality in New York style places when the oven is ready get your pizza peel yeah you really need one of these too then you have to dust it with something so the pizza won't stick semolina or cornmeal would be traditional I think that I have found

that coarse ground whole wheat flour works best it does the job without adding any greedy texture now get out your dough ball and smooth top is going to be the bottom of the pizza because it's more likely to slide off of the peel cleanly this rough underside will

be the top because it'll better adhere to the sauce and the cheese I start by just going around in forming the cornice that's the fluffy outer ring of crust never smash it down otherwise it'll never fluff up then I just stretch out the dough with my hand you

could toss it in the air like a boss but that takes skill it's risky it's messy and it really only saves you meaningful amounts of time when you're making a hundred pizzas a day for one pizza hand stretching is fine you'll know that you've got it thin enough

when again you can see light through it once you lay it down on your peel you have to work fast otherwise the dough will bond to the wood and you'll never be able to slide it off into the oven put your sauce on I like lots of sauce

then the parmesan layer this really improves the flavor of the pizza makes it much more rich then put on your mozzarella and really take pains to get it on evenly all over otherwise it won't melt or brown correctly when you're done pick up the peel and shake it

back and forth to make sure that the pizza is gonna release when you take it to the oven you got to be able to do this with some confidence like flipping an egg it should only take five or six minutes to bake the trick is waiting for the

cheese to brown but not so long that the cheese overheats and starts to separate and you get a lot of that orange grease layer using out some separation is inevitable but you can minimize it by not leaving the pizza in there for too long rather than use the

peel I like to pull the pizza out with a pair of tongs right onto a cooling rack resting the pizza on the rack helps keep it crispy but also will have tried resting a hot pizza on my plastic cutting boards the crust tends to take on the flavor

of the dishwasher which is gross when it's eating temperature you're safe to transfer to a cutting board now this pizza is only like 12 inches wide which is way smaller than traditional New York Pizza because we just have a normal little home oven right but to me a

defining feature of New York Pizza is big foldable slices so I just cut this pizza into quarters that's a nice big slice look how Brown the bottom is too by the way that's what you get from heating the stone for a long time so there you go I

really think this gets me very close to my favorite New York style pizzas if you think you know a better way seriously please tell me I'm sure that I will be working on this for a further 10 years hey here's a bonus hey wait cooking – cook okay

me what are we gonna make Pisa bread okay every time I make pizza I make a loaf of what my son here calls pizza bread it is his favorite food and grown-ups like it too I take one of these dough balls that I've aged in a wide container

so that it can spread out nice and flat and when you turn it around you see this spongy bubbly surface this is gonna get very crispy in the oven so I just gently stretch it out into a big oval and then the bottom becomes the top i smear

lots of olive oil onto that porous surface then I put on pepper coarse salt and garlic powder bake in the oven just like the pizza it's ready when the top is just starting to color garlic powder burns easily so very light brown is enough there that spongy surface

crisped up really nice I cut this into little strips you can do bigger chunks but these are just right for Freddy here

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