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Cooking with Myhrvold and Migoya's Modernist Pizza


Chris Hennes
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Our Double-Crust Pizza (KM p. 233)

 

They do not have anything nice to say about the double-crust pizzas they ran across in their travels. It's apparently a variant on Chicago-style deep dish where there is a second crust atop the main toppings, which is then itself topped with tomato sauce. Popular at Giordano's, apparently, but suffering from exactly what's you'd expect: a gross, under-cooked, soggy top crust. Rather than just pretend it didn't exist, they riffed on it an ended up with this thing in its place. The key change is to put the tomato sauce under the top crust, rather than on top of it, and to slit the crust a few, but not too many, times.

 

For the fillings their recipe uses sausage crumbles, spinach, pizza cheese, and their New York-style pizza sauce. So obviously it's delicious, those are all excellent, alone and together. It tastes a lot like a classic American red-sauce-joint lasagna (and I mean that in a good way).

 

For me the big surprise here was the success of the crust(s). They use their Detroit-style crust in it -- IMO you're going to want the dough relaxer here for sure. This is rolled out to cover a 14" pizza pan, topped with the cheese, then the sausage and spinach (both cooked already), then dollops of the tomato sauce:

20211029-DSC_1805.jpg

 

A second, smaller crust is made the same way, layered on top, brushed with olive oil, and slit four times:

20211029-DSC_1807.jpg

 

Baked following the same instructions as for the normal Detroit pizza:

20211029-DSC_1808.jpg

 

Then sliced and served sprinkled with grated parmesan:

20211029-DSC_1813.jpg

 

I expected this to be a fork-and-knife experience, but actually it was completely edible sans utensils. The crust got crisp enough to hold its shape even against the fairly large filling quantity, and stayed that way long enough for us to eat the whole thing. The filling quantities they give were perfect: just barely below the "squeeze out when you bite it" stage. And brushing the top crust with olive oil and topping with grated parmesan after baking gave it a great flavor and texture. I'm sure there are some who will want to argue that this isn't pizza, but I don't really care: I'Il absolutely make it again.

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Chris Hennes
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10 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

I'm sure there are some who will want to argue that this isn't pizza, but I don't really care: I'Il absolutely make it again.

 

It actually reminds more of a rather giant calzone.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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@Chris Henneswhat dough do you think it equivalent to a cast iron pan pizza? Detroit style going to give the same results?
 

Also, and I may have just missed this, but for the NY Pizza it calls for shredded pizza cheese. What exact cheese are they referring to? Most shredded cheeses have a coating to keep them

from sticking together in the bag and it affects the way it melts. 

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58 minutes ago, Robenco15 said:

@Chris Henneswhat dough do you think it equivalent to a cast iron pan pizza? Detroit style going to give the same results?

I'd guess so: at least, Detroit is the dough I'd start with when experimenting.

 

59 minutes ago, Robenco15 said:

Also, and I may have just missed this, but for the NY Pizza it calls for shredded pizza cheese. What exact cheese are they referring to? Most shredded cheeses have a coating to keep them

from sticking together in the bag and it affects the way it melts. 

They mean low-moisture mozzarella -- they call it "pizza cheese" to avoid any ambiguity with fresh mozzarella. You don't have to buy it pre-shredded, though, it's sold in bricks, too. They have a page on the anti-caking agents in volume 2 page 302 -- the upshot is that cellulose works well and doesn't affecting the melting much, whereas cornstarch messes things up.

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19 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

I'd guess so: at least, Detroit is the dough I'd start with when experimenting.

 

They mean low-moisture mozzarella -- they call it "pizza cheese" to avoid any ambiguity with fresh mozzarella. You don't have to buy it pre-shredded, though, it's sold in bricks, too. They have a page on the anti-caking agents in volume 2 page 302 -- the upshot is that cellulose works well and doesn't affecting the melting much, whereas cornstarch messes things up.

Thank you! I have been buying Caputo Creamery Fior di Latte and their Fior di Pizzeria. Just don’t have a grater that gives those nice and large shreds. Highly recommend that cheese though. So far one time it shipped and got to me two days after ordering and most recently 22 hours after ordering. Incredible cheese and service. 

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I want to spend some time this week working on New York style crusts, since my last attempt was pretty miserable. Today I made the Direct New York Pizza Dough, which is a straightforward 70% hydration dough with a 3.4% olive oil enrichment. Basically the same as their standard New York crust, but without the poolish and multi-day cold proof. Tonight's failure is more due to my cowardice than any deficiency in the crust. I am simply failing to stretch it thin enough, so the dough is overall too thick, both in the center and at the rim. It really hasn't shown any tendency to tear, but still... when you get out to window-pan-test-thickness over large sections of the interior, it's hard to keep working on the other sections! At least, it is for me. So anyway, here's take two on New York style. Better than take one, but still a ways to go...

 

20211030-DSC_1821.jpg

 

Just for @rotuts, a glass of beer with tonight's pizza (still no salad, sorry @weinoo😞

20211030-DSC_1823.jpg

 

If I cherry-pick the best-looking part of the pizza, you can see that the interior crust is still quite a bit too thick:

20211030-DSC_1828.jpg

 

At least it still tasted good!

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Chris Hennes
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1 hour ago, Chris Hennes said:

I want to spend some time this week working on New York style crusts, since my last attempt was pretty miserable. Today I made the Direct New York Pizza Dough, which is a straightforward 70% hydration dough with a 3.4% olive oil enrichment. Basically the same as their standard New York crust, but without the poolish and multi-day cold proof. Tonight's failure is more due to my cowardice than any deficiency in the crust. I am simply failing to stretch it thin enough, so the dough is overall too thick, both in the center and at the rim. It really hasn't shown any tendency to tear, but still... when you get out to window-pan-test-thickness over large sections of the interior, it's hard to keep working on the other sections! At least, it is for me. So anyway, here's take two on New York style. Better than take one, but still a ways to go...

 

20211030-DSC_1821.jpg

 

Just for @rotuts, a glass of beer with tonight's pizza (still no salad, sorry @weinoo😞

20211030-DSC_1823.jpg

 

If I cherry-pick the best-looking part of the pizza, you can see that the interior crust is still quite a bit too thick:

20211030-DSC_1828.jpg

 

At least it still tasted good!

Chris, how are you stretching it?  I don't know how much NY experience you have, but a common sight here is pizza guys stretching the dough.  When I was a kid, we used to go to a place where they would stretch it on their forearms and knuckles most of the way, then toss it (while spinning) in the air.  I don't know how much the air toss was for show and how much was stretching, but for sure, the forearm/knuckle hang and stretch technique works really well.

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I need some handholding if anyone feels up to it.  Haven't attempted pizza for some few months, not since the incident.  For years my pizza has been made with 200g leftover poolish based bread dough, cold proofed for a day or three.  Sometimes it turns out great.  Just as often the center of the pizza remains on the peel and the remainder decorates the oven window.

 

My home oven goes to 550F and I bake on a (preheated for an hour) hard anodized aluminum sheet, one inch thick.  For anyone wondering, a one inch thick aluminum sheet is one inch thick.  Before I load the pizza I preheat the broiler, about two inches above the pie.

 

If the pizza actually makes it as far as the aluminum, I have about 90 seconds to two minutes before the bottom burns.  An inch of hot aluminum delivers a lot of energy.  In this time the top is often somewhat underdone, though this is a minor problem I can live with.

 

Given this information, what recipe should I be following, what hydration, and what flour should I be using?  I like a firm bottom crust with a large and chewy rim.  MP suggests ascorbic acid helps cold proofed dough from turning gray.  I have yet to try it, though I have ascorbic acid in house.

 

My flour inventory includes several kilos each of Molino Grassi 00 organic, Molino Grassi semolina, Antimo Caputo Chef's, KA organic French style, KA organic all purpose, KA organic bread.*  I don't feel up to stocking another flour.  My bedroom** is only so big.

 

 

*This excludes rye and specialty flours.

**Many of the bags are stored in the living room and some on the landing of the stairs.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I need some handholding if anyone feels up to it.  Haven't attempted pizza for some few months, not since the incident.  For years my pizza has been made with 200g leftover poolish based bread dough, cold proofed for a day or three.  Sometimes it turns out great.  Just as often the center of the pizza remains on the peel and the remainder decorates the oven window.

 

My home oven goes to 550F and I bake on a (preheated for an hour) hard anodized aluminum sheet, one inch thick.  For anyone wondering, a one inch thick aluminum sheet is one inch thick.  Before I load the pizza I preheat the broiler, about two inches above the pie.

 

If the pizza actually makes it as far as the aluminum, I have about 90 seconds to two minutes before the bottom burns.  An inch of hot aluminum delivers a lot of energy.  In this time the top is often somewhat underdone, though this is a minor problem I can live with.

 

Given this information, what recipe should I be following, what hydration, and what flour should I be using?  I like a firm bottom crust with a large and chewy rim.  MP suggests ascorbic acid helps cold proofed dough from turning gray.  I have yet to try it, though I have ascorbic acid in house.

 

My flour inventory includes several kilos each of Molino Grassi 00 organic, Molino Grassi semolina, Antimo Caputo Chef's, KA organic French style, KA organic all purpose, KA organic bread.*  I don't feel up to stocking another flour.  My bedroom** is only so big.

 

 

*This excludes rye and specialty flours.

**Many of the bags are stored in the living room and some on the landing of the stairs.

 

 

 


 

KA Bread Flour. At least 70% hydration, if not more. Since you’re using an aluminium sheet that gets crazy hot, 450 or 500 may be better and the boiler could help even it out. Absorbic Acid is used to keep black spots from developing in long cold ferments so I wouldn’t worry about using that. 
 

Here’s a recipe from Elements of Pizza. Ignore the 00 flour thing. You don’t want that for a home oven. 4D3F6E82-005E-436E-B046-C61D51520085.thumb.jpeg.fe04c7323012391b5d48ce808684c6f2.jpeg

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54 minutes ago, KennethT said:

they would stretch it on their forearms and knuckles most of the way, then toss it (while spinning) in the air

 

That's the technique I'm using: like I said, I'm just a coward :) -- I'm stopping too soon, before the dough is really as large and thin as it should be.

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9 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

 

That's the technique I'm using: like I said, I'm just a coward :) -- I'm stopping too soon, before the dough is really as large and thin as it should be.

You want to push the gas to the edges, while leaving the middle somewhat thick. Then when you stretch and open it the middle doesn’t get to thin. It’s not easy. 

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31 minutes ago, Robenco15 said:


 

KA Bread Flour. At least 70% hydration, if not more. Since you’re using an aluminium sheet that gets crazy hot, 450 or 500 may be better and the boiler could help even it out. Absorbic Acid is used to keep black spots from developing in long cold ferments so I wouldn’t worry about using that. 
 

Here’s a recipe from Elements of Pizza. Ignore the 00 flour thing. You don’t want that for a home oven. 4D3F6E82-005E-436E-B046-C61D51520085.thumb.jpeg.fe04c7323012391b5d48ce808684c6f2.jpeg

Joking aside, we bake in a wood oven in which floor heat registers 900F.    I have two suggestions: dust your peel with rice flour, aka bakers' teflon.    And use a hook device for immediately turning and repositioning your pizza on your aluminum sheet.    Husband made such a tool by screwing a sharp cup-hook into a broom handle.   Simple and brilliantly useful.   

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eGullet member #80.

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18 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Joking aside, we bake in a wood oven in which floor heat registers 900F.    I have two suggestions: dust your peel with rice flour, aka bakers' teflon.    And use a hook device for immediately turning and repositioning your pizza on your aluminum sheet.    Husband made such a tool by screwing a sharp cup-hook into a broom handle.   Simple and brilliantly useful.   

Who’s joking and why are you replying to me?

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1 hour ago, Robenco15 said:


 

KA Bread Flour. At least 70% hydration, if not more. Since you’re using an aluminium sheet that gets crazy hot, 450 or 500 may be better and the boiler could help even it out. Absorbic Acid is used to keep black spots from developing in long cold ferments so I wouldn’t worry about using that. 
 

Here’s a recipe from Elements of Pizza. Ignore the 00 flour thing. You don’t want that for a home oven. 4D3F6E82-005E-436E-B046-C61D51520085.thumb.jpeg.fe04c7323012391b5d48ce808684c6f2.jpeg

 

To which MP recipe does this equate?  Caputo says their Chef's 00 is for a home oven.  Whereas their blue 00 is for a commercial gas or wood fired oven.  I don't have their blue.  My understanding is the Chef's is higher protein than the blue.

 

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10 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

To which MP recipe does this equate?  Caputo says their Chef's 00 is for a home oven.  Whereas their blue 00 is for a commercial gas or wood fired oven.  I don't have their blue.  My understanding is the Chef's is higher protein than the blue.

 

Chef’s is higher than blue, but I’d use a bread flour in a home oven over it. 
 

This equates to the Neapolitan dough recipe, but with bread flour and a home oven it won’t come out like a true Neapolitan, but it’s still stupid good. Here’s a pic from my home oven before my Ooni came in. It’s great, just not quite the same. 
 

9F108A3A-9DDA-47D4-8DE6-E9DC8F2CD25F.thumb.jpeg.bc15a6707c5c5ffab2aab16c937c7436.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Robenco15 said:

You want to push the gas to the edges, while leaving the middle somewhat thick. Then when you stretch and open it the middle doesn’t get to thin. It’s not easy. 

Fortunately I have their normal dough cold-proofing right now, so it's NY pizza for at least the next two days. I'm going to get some more practice!

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Chris Hennes
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38 minutes ago, Robenco15 said:

Chef’s is higher than blue, but I’d use a bread flour in a home oven over it. 
 

This equates to the Neapolitan dough recipe, but with bread flour and a home oven it won’t come out like a true Neapolitan, but it’s still stupid good. Here’s a pic from my home oven before my Ooni came in. It’s great, just not quite the same. 
 

9F108A3A-9DDA-47D4-8DE6-E9DC8F2CD25F.thumb.jpeg.bc15a6707c5c5ffab2aab16c937c7436.jpeg

 

 

OK, I've started a poolish with KA organic bread flour.  We'll see where this goes.

 

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55 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Fortunately I have their normal dough cold-proofing right now, so it's NY pizza for at least the next two days. I'm going to get some more practice!

Stupid question, but what about starting with a smaller dough ball?  

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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11 hours ago, weinoo said:

Stupid question, but what about starting with a smaller dough ball?  

I used a 400g dough ball because that's the size they say to use for a 14" NY pizza, and I don't know any better (yet) :) . I'm going to give the 400g ball another go tonight, and if it's still too much crust I'll scale back then.

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Chris Hennes
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18 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

I want to spend some time this week working on New York style crusts, since my last attempt was pretty miserable. Today I made the Direct New York Pizza Dough, which is a straightforward 70% hydration dough with a 3.4% olive oil enrichment. Basically the same as their standard New York crust, but without the poolish and multi-day cold proof. Tonight's failure is more due to my cowardice than any deficiency in the crust. I am simply failing to stretch it thin enough, so the dough is overall too thick, both in the center and at the rim. It really hasn't shown any tendency to tear, but still... when you get out to window-pan-test-thickness over large sections of the interior, it's hard to keep working on the other sections! At least, it is for me. So anyway, here's take two on New York style. Better than take one, but still a ways to go...

 

20211030-DSC_1821.jpg

 

Just for @rotuts, a glass of beer with tonight's pizza (still no salad, sorry @weinoo😞

20211030-DSC_1823.jpg

 

If I cherry-pick the best-looking part of the pizza, you can see that the interior crust is still quite a bit too thick:

20211030-DSC_1828.jpg

 

At least it still tasted good!

 

Dumb question du jour (I have little experience making pizza dough). Is it even possible to consider rolling the dough, instead of stretching it?

 

Don't ask. Eat it.

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13 minutes ago, kayb said:

Is it even possible to consider rolling the dough, instead of stretching it?

You can roll it, but you'll get a different texture. I haven't tried rolling this particular crust, but both of their thin-crusts are rolled, and the double-crust pizza rolls the Detroit dough.

Chris Hennes
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Third try at a New York-style crust... Now with Less Cowardice!! I felt pretty good about my shaping of this crust: this is their "real" New York Pizza Dough, with one day of cold proofing. It's very easily workable, has really strong gluten, and I was able to stretch and toss it out to a solid 14". I'm always nervous catching a toss that I'll just put my fist straight through the dough, but it was never an issue tonight (and the dough never hit the ceiling or the floor, which is also good :) ). So everything was going swimmingly, until I had to slide the peel under the pizza to do the transfer. And suddenly my mostly-round 14" pizza was an oblong shape about 8" wide. Well, crap. So if it just give the peel a little wiggle it will... nope, now there's toppings all over the counter, and none on the pizza. Sigh. So on the plus side I'm getting better at recovering from enpeeling failures, I guess. I sort of recircularized the dough, put the toppings back on (maybe slightly less artistically than the first time), put some semolina on the counter, and shimmied the peel under again. My 14" was now a less-that-lovely 12", but whatever, it moved on the peel, it was going in the oven! So, that's a long-winded story of why tonight's pizza is only marginally better than last nights. Practice, practice, practice!

 

Looks great!

20211031-DSC_1840.jpg

 

If I carefully choose my camera angle, it still looks pretty good:

20211031-DSC_1845.jpg

 

The cutter sort of crushed the crust tonight, so it doesn't show that well, but the rim was pretty good-looking (I thought) and also delicious, while the center was thinner than last night, but still too thick.

20211031-DSC_1847.jpg

 

(Toppings were sausage, kale, and black olives... delicious!)

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Chris Hennes
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