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4 Helpful hints and information!
#1
If mixing with a stand mixer, (like a Kitchen Aid) don’t make more than a double batch unless you have the 7qt or 8qt model with the all metal gears and DC motor. Also, use half cold water from the refrigerator and half room temperature since the mixer will generate heat. You can skip the stretch and rolls, just use the mixer. About 6-8 minutes is all it will take. If using a food processor — same thing, start with half cold water and only process for 30-45 seconds. For both the KA mixer and food processor about half way through the mixing process check the dough’s temperature. If it goes above 78 degrees stop mixing. Better to under mix - if you overheat the dough it will rise too quickly and cause more problems than under mixing a bit. You can always finish up with a few stretch and rolls if you feel like the dough needs additional mixing time. (Kitchen Aid 7qt HD Pro Line mixer)

Instant Dry Yeast (IDY) is also called rapid rise yeast - they are the same thing. Remember if you use regular Active Dry yeast you will need to add more as explained in the dough recipe section.

For the home pizza maker sourcing good tomatoes is one of the harder things to do - I have tried dozens of brands and the three I have found to always be very good for a NY style pie are, Jersey Fresh, 6 and 1 and Sclafani Crushed Tomatoes.

If you can get into Restaurant Depot pick up #10 size cans of 7/11 tomatoes - they are my favorite but almost impossible to find outside the food service industry. Whatever I don’t use I transfer to small 16 oz plastic containers and freeze. They last a long time and the price is great for the larger cans.

If you are making the dough in a very warm environment (over 80 degrees F) then store the bowl in the refrigerator between mixing cycles.

Use bread flour or, as an alternative, all purpose flour (bread is better for the NY style we are making but if all you have is all purpose it will get you 90% of the way there and will be fine for a first pie, (the crust texture will be slightly different). The rest periods between mixing cycles in the recipe give the flour time to fully hydrate, that helps produce a smooth finished dough that will open easier.

Read the flour ingredient list - make sure the flour you are using includes malted barley. Most bread flour and all purpose flour sold in the US will contain this ingredient - some organic flour will not. Without a malted flour your pizza crust may not brown properly in a home oven. This is important!!!! If you only have access to un-malted flour you can add in ~ two teaspoons of table sugar to help with the browning but this is not recommended for your first pie!

Use a non-flavored oil like vegetable or canola oil. The flavor of extra virgin olive oil can overpower the subtle crust flavors developed during fermentation.

Italian Oregano is best but any will work (Yes, Italian Oregano tastes very different than Mexican Oregano or some random Oregano that does not specify origin).

Sheep’s Milk Pecorino Romano will be sharper than Cow’s Milk Pecorino Romano - pick whichever you prefer.

If any of this needs additional explanation just ask your questions below and I’ll answer them as soon as possible :-)
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