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Everything posted by JeffV

  1. See for my list of best pizza places in the U.S. http://www.common-threads.com/jv/pizza.htm I went to school in New Haven and had a lot of Sally's. It's third on my list. #1 is right in Manhattan, but since it's in Harlem, few know about it and it never shows up on any lists. TRY IT. It's amazing. Totally amazing. I have taken MANY people to Sally's and Patsy's and ALL agree Patsy's is MUCh better. I like Sally's, but it's not Patsy's.... My take on the oven: I have been making pizza fanatically for years so I have worked through this oven problem personally. The oven has to generate more heat at the top of the pie than at the bottom. The bottom is dry and in direct contact with the stones so it cooks faster than the top which is wet and doesn't touch rock. So the blast of heat from the top is the key to even baking. So "retained heat" oven's work for bread but not pizza. By having the coal or wood off to one side the heat rises and makes the top hotter than the bottom by a LOT even though they are just inches from each other. I'm guessing 800 Floor / 950 ceiling is best. Also, the coal or wood pile radiates down on the pie. By spinning the pie you can cook the top of the crust from that heat. Most of the best places in the US use coal, in Italy they use wood. I can't say much about the wood cause frankly I've never personally had a good wood pie. As far as the door goes, all the places I can think of have a door on the oven to keep the heat in. When I walk in a pizza place and see a brick oven with no door, I get nervous because I think they have it for show, not for heat. It is possible to heat a doorless oven properly, but It's hard and thus rare. In Italy they pull this off, but they know what they are doing... The other real key is the yeast. I know this is an oven conversation, but the yeast is the other big thing. I use 2 yeast cultures from my top places. You cannot get close to these pizza's with yeast you bought in a little packet from the supermarket. I promise, it can't be done...
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