Thursday, June 19, 2014

The New Yorker

Now that I've shared Ken Forkish's recipe for Same-Day Straight Pizza Dough from Flour Water Salt Yeast, it's time to make his version of a classic New York pizza, which he calls "The New Yorker"! This fabulous pizza is topped with red sauce (I use my easy Homemade Marinara), grated fresh mozzarella and provolone cheese (which I request an un-sliced chunk of from my local deli), pepperoni, and finished with fresh basil and chile flakes. Delicious! As Ken notes in his book, because this is baked in a home kitchen, the pizza will only be about 12 inches diameter. He suggests compensating for the lack of size by cutting the pizza into no more than four pieces. This allows you to fold it, if you want to be authentic!

While Ken's adapted recipe for Same-Day Straight Pizza Dough makes enough dough for two pizzas, I use one to make a Margherita Pizza (which my kid's love) or a White Pie (which I find most women love and often call a "girl pizza"), and the other dough for my new favorite, The New Yorker. Although this may seem like a lot of effort for making homemade pizza, I promise you won't be disappointed! *Note: Check my Gadgets to find out my replacement for inferior pizza stones! Brilliant!

Look at that crust! Yummy!

The New Yorker

Makes one 12" pizza

Ingredients:
1 dough ball from Same-Day Straight Pizza Dough
White flour for dusting
3 ounces Smooth Red Sauce (I use my easy Homemade Marinara)
3 ounces fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese, grated
2 ounces provolone cheese, grated
4-6 whole basil leaves (optional)
12-15 slices of pepperoni (optional)
Chile flakes (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the Pizza Stone (or tiles!)
Put your pizza stone on a rack in the upper portion of your oven so the surface is about 8 inches below the broiler. Preheat the oven to 600 degrees if your lucky enough to have an oven that goes that high: otherwise, simply preheat to the highest possible setting. (My oven's highest setting is 550 degrees.) Once the oven is preheated, continue heating the pizza stone for another 30 minutes, for a total time of about 45 minutes.

Set up your Pizza Assembly Station
Give yourself about 2 feet of width on the counter top. Generously flour the work surface. Position your peel next to the floured area and dust it with flour. (If you don't have a pizza peel, a flat metal baking sheet also works well.) Have the sauce, cheese, basil, and pepperoni prepared and at hand, with a ladle or large spoon in the sauce.

Shape the Pizza
Remove the dough ball from the refrigerator, put it on the floured work surface, and gently pat it down a bit to coat the bottom with flour. Turn it over and repeat on the other side. Leaving about 1 inch of the outer rim undeflated, punch down the middle, then flip the dough over and repeat.


Using both hands, grab the rim and lift so the dough hangs down vertically. Let gravity pull the rest of the dough down and stretch it. Run the rim between your hand, working all the way around the circumference of the dough several times.

Next, make two fists and position them just inside the rim, with the dough still handing vertically. Gently stretch and turn the dough repeatedly, still letting the bottom of the dough pull down, expanding the surface. You want it thin, but you don't want it to tear or develop holes. If you end up with a small tear, don't panic-it's okay to patch it.

Spread the dough on the floured peel and run your hands around the perimeter to shape it into a round and work out the kinks.

Superheat the Pizza Stone
About 30 minutes after the oven has reached its set temperature, switch to the broil setting for about 5 minutes to saturate the pizza stone with heat.

Top the Pizza
Spread the tomato sauce over the dough to within an inch of the edge, smoothing and spreading it with the back of the ladle. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the pie and distribute the basil leaves and pepperoni evenly over the top.

Bake
Turn the oven setting back to bake. Gently slide the pizza onto the pizza stone.

Bake for 5 minutes, then switch to the broil setting and broil for 2 minutes, keeping a close eye on the pizza. Bake until the cheese is completely melted and bubbling, with a few spots of brown and a few small charred spots. If the oil separates out of the cheese, it's overbaked. Use tongs of a fork to slide the pizza from the pizza stone onto a large plate. (I just slide it onto a nice cutting board to serve.)

Slice and Serve
Transfer to a large wooden cutting board. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil lightly over the top if you like. Slice and serve immediately, passing the chile flakes at the table.

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