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stuck on pizza

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
ok, so i've been making pizza at home religiously for the past 5+ years and i have almost mastered every technique except cheese. my sauce is good, my dough is good (i think) but i think my cheese is what's holding me back. i goto a pizzeria (i live in ny) and eat at pizzeria's all the time but my new york style pizza i make at home tastes very different. ok maybe not drastically different but it's not the same? i'm really a pizza fanatic and will take any tips to make it taste the same? is it the cheese? is it the herbs? is it something i need to add to the dough? what is it? or am i insane? i've tried maybe a little less than 50 dough recipes and have stuck to one which i customized myself because it was the only one that closely modeled the ones i would buy at the pizzerias. please help. and if you work at a pizzeria, please let me know what i can do to make this a real new york pizza and not a half *** new york pizza?
post #2 of 18
Knowing what you already do will make it easier to determine what you should do.
You said you think maybe it's the cheese, but don't elaborate as to what cheese(s) you use, or in what ratio.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #3 of 18
A good pizzaria with a wood burning brick oven would produce a taste you'd struggle to copy in the home...sometimes it's the equipment that holds you back.:(
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UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
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post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
i see, is there a way to produce that flavor at home without breaking the bank? is anyone familliar with home techniques to improve the flavor of pizza instead of adjusting ingredients?
post #5 of 18
So are you just looking for a pizza recipe?
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
well, if that's what it takes to reproduce a ny style pizza, so be it. i thought i had it down but i guess not..
post #7 of 18
aside from making a brick oven in your back yard (something I long to do) you can use a pizza stone. It will help with the crust and may even impart a seasoned flavor after enough use, that last is a bit of an assumption.

when it comes to cheeses I hear that there are a few ways, pure fresh mozzarella, fresh mozz, parmesan and asiago or just a light smattering of parm/asiago. While not a New Yorker, I too take pizza seriously and feel that the first and second are truer to a real New York. I am sure someone will be along to tell us more.:D
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
thank you so much for your help. i really do appreciate it. hopefully there will be someone with bags of experience to shed some more light on this subject in the next few hours/days or so.

i heard 70% mozz and 30% provolone is the right way to do it but asiago doesn't sound too bad either..hmmm?

what do you think is the best tasting ratio of different cheeses?
post #9 of 18
I've had a similar problem making pizza at home, and found that a pizza stone is really the way to go. It won't get you 100% there, but if you can finagle it into a BBQ you get closer to a proper brick oven result than a cookie sheet in the oven.
post #10 of 18
Speed mate; a pizza stone will give you the "stone-baked" effect, but what's important in good pizzaria pizza is the temp: Pizza ovens can (although not always are) hit 500degC! (Try getting that in your oven!)

Well actually here's a technique which works very well for home ovens created (or publicised) by Chef Blumenthal:

Take a thick-base CLEAN heavy cast-iron frying pan and place on a maximum heat for at least 20 minutes to absorb as much heat as possible,

Heat your broiler up on your oven to get it as hot as you can and place a tray underneith that could hold the frying pan and the pizza, and leave about an inch and half, to two inches of free space- if you have one and there's room- but your pizza stone on here too (but give it longer to get to the right temperature)

Make the pizza on something that's light enough to move easily (eg. A plastic chopping board) and line it with cornstarch or flour to lubricate it, which means you can move the pizza without it sticking.

Slide the pizza on the BACK of the hot frying pan (that means your pizza size is limited to the size of the base of the frying pan) and place immediately under the grill.

It will take between 2-4 minutes to cook.

If you have a pizza stone slide on to it for the last 30 seconds of cooking.

Hope this helps.
post #11 of 18
Provolone, of course. Ever get stuck forgetting something till your reminded? that blend sounds good. or knock off 10 percent mozz and add the parm or asiago in there.
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #12 of 18
60% Moz, 30% white cheddar, 10% Romano. That's the Papa Gino's ratio if anyone wants to know. Haha
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I marinade to the beat of a different drummer.
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post #13 of 18

Pizza cheeses

the cheese different places use, vary as much as the people who make the pizzas do. The US, more than most other countries, is well known for processing almost everything, including cheese. This might mean, that your favorite pizza place, uses a cheese that is more synthetic, than dairy fat.

This clearly won't apply to every pizza place, but from my understanding, the large majority of US pizza, as it does here in Australia. Italians, or at least the places in Italy that make real traditional pizzas, (becoming increasingly rare) use different cheese based on whatever the topping may be.

Provolone, mozzarella, tasty, emmental (swiss), asiagio, taleggio, gruyere all have made appearances on pizzas. I guess if you experiment with both processed and pure cheese, you may find what you're after.

I use a pizza stone at home, heating the stone in the oven (from cold start) to get the base to about 200 degrees C. I just slap the pizza down on that stone, and wait 10 to 15 mins.

I start by putting tomato on the base, little cheese then the other topping, and finally, more cheese (but lightly) to hold it all together when cutting.

Good luck!!
post #14 of 18
everything tastes different if you cook it yourself :peace:
we're as good as our last meal.
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we're as good as our last meal.
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post #15 of 18
I don't know what about the cheese your trying to change, but a quick tip I learned early in my pizza making efforts is that whole milk mozzarella is a lot different than the more common skim variety.  I used to use skim (what commercial brands all are) until our cheese guy recommend I try whole milk.  It's made a huge difference, while not as stringy, makes a more creamy and bubbly (and tastier) top.
post #16 of 18

 Bon journo , Mabey it is not the right cheese and anyway they may have cooked it differently there are all different types of cheeses to go with different sauces a i can not help because i am not as much as a strict pizza chef i just make it really simple toss the dough you know put some cheese sauce yada yada yada. Ciao

post #17 of 18

 Bon journo,This is kinda stupid but i notice it with my pizza , you gotta form the dough how you like it with the cheese because they have to cordinate more than anything else because you do not want all dough and mabye the dough is to thick for the kind you are having at this pizzeria Ciao

post #18 of 18

I made pizza at a tiny, busy, by-the-slice mom and pop pizzera.  It was west coast, not NY style, but we had a lot of ex-New Yorkers as regulars.   To me, the balance of cheese to fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce is import to keep in mind.   Are you using a tomato sauce?  What's in it?  Everyday NY pizza (standard Ray's type) tends to have a thin, mildly seasoned sauce and pretty simple cheese, often just mozzarella or mozz and some parm.  

 

Pizza stones and the cast iron skillet make a good crust.  At home I crank up my oven to 500 with the cast iron skillet in it (right side up, less spills), then drop the pizza in it.  (I keep breaking pizza stones).   I stay away from strong flavored cheeses, but I'll use mozzarella with some provolone or fontina.   If your quest to duplicate NY pizza makes you weary, you might just try to make a pizza that tastes good to you.  Whole milk mozzarella with some parmigiano reggiano sprinkled on top makes a mighty fine pizza.

 

 

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