Friday, August 14, 2009

Perspective: Pizza (NY Style - Sort of)

Different parts of the United States have different
ideas on what different foods should taste like.

I suspect that many people favor the version that
tastes like "home." For me, one of those things is
New York City style pizza (which extends to Long
Island, and possibly parts of New Jersey).

I have tried pizza in other places, even some
labeled as "New York Style," and sadly it is nothing
like the pizza from home.

Since I look for recipes that could mimic what I like,
I found one that sort of resembles the version I love,
but since it still is not it, I decided to amend it in
a few ways.

This is my version of New York Style Pizza:

1 1/3c, warm water (110-115 degrees)
2t. sugar
1 pckg of yeast
2c. wheat flour
1 1/2c. bread flour
1t. salt
1T. basil
1/2T. oregano

Combine water and sugar in a bowl, stir until sugar
is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast on top, and stir to
combine. Leave ingredients for 5-10 minutes, or
until you see the mixture foam.

Combine the flours, salt, and spices, and mix into
the yeast mixture. Combine until mixture forms a
soft dough, adding any additional flour to get the
soft, elastic texture. Ball should be smooth and
elastic before moving onto next step.

Place ball on counter, or in bowl, place in a warm
place,and cover until doubled in size (approximately
30 minutes).

Punch the dough down (it will remove the air) and
then knead an additional few minutes. Cut the
dough in 1/2 (it will make two 12"-14" pizzas).

Let dough rest a couple of minutes, and then roll
out to the size of your pan (which should be coated
with oil to prevent sticking), and stretch to fit,
if necessary. (I find pans with holes - like this
- to be the best type to use, or a pizza stone).

Next layer with your favorite cheeses and
pizza toppings.

Layer 1: cheese
Layer 2: other toppings
Layer 3: cheese

Bake in a pre-heated 500 degree oven, on the bottom
shelf until you see toppings cooked, and cheese
melted. (Depending on the topping, you may want to
pre-cook before baking). Approximately 8-10 minutes.

(Best pan is one that has holes in it like this one,
or a pizza stone.)

Watch closely,
and then...


If there is left over pizza, you can freeze it, and
reheat to eat at a later time. I put individual
slices in aluminum foil, and when ready, bake it at
350 for approximately 45 minutes (if frozen).

In addition, the second crust can be frozen without
baking it, until you are ready to have your next
pizza. Just allow the dough to defrost before
attempting to roll it out.

PS If you ever get a chance to experience the real
thing, you might be amazed. There is a place in
NY that will actually ship you a NY pizza, You really have got
to want to splurge, cause it ain't cheap. But odds
are, it will be worth it. Just looking at the
pizza on the page, mmmmm.....

PS Need to do some cooking conversions? I have never
tried it, but this site might be helpful.

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