I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I decided to post a quick and dirty summary of my NY pizza recipe and methods. The individual posts describe in detail why I do each step.


Dough Recipe for 1 12 inch pizza
Gold Medal Bread Flour 194 grams
Sea Salt 4.3 grams
Red Star instant yeast 1.5 grams
Kansas City tap water 122 grams

Preparing the Dough
1) Take a bowl and put tap water in it. Next float a bunch of ice in the water and let it sit until it cools down. Measure out 122 grams of the ice cold water and put it into the mixer.
2) Measure out 100 grams of Gold Medal Bread Flour and put it into the water.
3) Using the paddle attachment, stir the mixture at the lowest speed for 2 minutes.
4) Immediately cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
5) Meanwhile combine 4.3 grams of sea salt with the remaining 94 grams of flour and 1.5 grams of yeast.
6) After the 20 minute rest, slowly add the yeast/salt/flour mixture to the autolysed dough, stirring with a spoon. When the ingredients are well combined, transfer to the kneeding surface. In my case I use a well floured couche. You used to be able to by these through the Baker's Catalogue, but I wasn't able to find one on their site.
7) Kneed dough until it is smooth, satiny and elastic. Time will vary but should be fairly short because you took the trouble to include an autolyse step.
8) Form the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled container. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil to prevent a crust. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 72 hours.
9) 2 hours before you are ready to bake the pizza, remove the bowl from the fridge. Carefully transfer the dough to the counter (in my case to a floured couche on the counter. Do not squeeze the dough as you do not want to disturb the delicate bubbles which have formed. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to warm for 2 hours. The dough temperature should be about 60 degrees by that time.

Preparing the Oven
1) Place a baking stone on the lowest rack in the oven.
2) Place another baking stone (or some unglazed quarry tiles) on a rack 3 notches above the first. Notches vary from oven to oven so shoot for 7.5 inches.
3) Turn the oven to the highest possible heat and preheat for 1 hour.
4) While the oven is preheating you will hear the gas turn off. When this happens open the door until the gas kicks back on.


I start with fresh Roma tomatoes. The DOC specifies that they have to be San Marzano, but unfortunately I don't live in Naples so I can't get fresh San Marzano tomatoes, only canned. A couple years ago I grew a strain of tomato in my garden called Super San Marzano. They were amazing. I canned a bunch of them up but they are all gone now. When I can't get vine ripened garden fresh tomatoes I settle on vine ripened store bought roma tomatoes. If you can't get vine ripened, oh well, you'll just have to make do with regular plum/roma tomatoes. Let them sit on the counter for a few days ripening.

To process my tomatoes I preheat the broiler. I take the tomatoes and wash them and put them on a cookie sheet. I then broil the tomatoes under the broiler for a few minutes, turning occasionally, so that the skin blackens a bit on all sides. There are usually a few spots of skin that stay red. After the tomatoes cool, I peel most of the blackened skin off, leaving a little behind. Then I run the tomatoes through a food mill to grind them into a thick chunky sauce.

The next part of my sauce making involves a little tasting to get the flavor right. If I used 4 plum tomatoes, I add a teaspoon of sea salt to the ground tomatoes along with 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 t very finely ground fennel seed. After stirring for a while, you have to taste the sauce. The flavor that you will be adjusting for will be the saltiness. BE VERY CAREFUL. You don't want the salt to be too overpowering. Add just a little at a time. 4 plum tomatoes makes more than enough sauce for a 12 inch pizza. You can serve the remainder as a dipping sauce for crusts.

I am going to use 2 cheeses for my pizza. I am going to put down a layer of low-moisture part skim mozzarella. I am planning on using the store brand at the Kansas City Hen House Grocery stores - Best Choice. That is the cheese I use for my deep dish and I have had some success with it on thin crust as well. I like it because it has a lower moisture content than Kraft.

The other cheese I will be using is fresh buffalo mozzarella. There is a little Italian grocer in Kansas City that I get mine from. It has worked out very well in the past on pizza Margherita. I usually put a few slices, about 1/8th to 1/4 inch thick, on top of the shredded mozzarella.


1) Carefully press the dough down once, without degassing the dough, to a diameter somewhere around 6 to 8 inches.
2) Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles in flour and lift 1 piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it.
3)Once the shaping is done, place the dough on a floured pizza peel.
4) To top, put down a thin layer of sauce. NOT TOO MUCH. Then I put down a thin (by deep dish standards) layer of shredded mozzarella. Next I put a few thin slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella. Next put down some pepperoni and sprinkle with some freshly cut basil. To finish the pizza sprinkle the top with a small amount of sea salt. The last thing to do prior to placing on the baking stone is to swirl a little olive oil over the top circling from the center outward.

Slide the pizza from the peel directly onto the baking stone. Let it cook about 3 minutes and then slide the pizza peel back under the pizza to turn it 180 degrees. Close the door and let the pizza finish cooking.

Just Prior to Serving
Brush the outer rim of the crust with just a touch of olive oil.