NY Style Crust, in Florida?

I am a couple weeks away from opening my own Pizza shop in Florida. I am originally from NY and spent quite a few years working in Pizza places on Long Island.

I recently refreshed and trained with a place on Long Island and have the recipes for dough and everything else I need.

Now, the question.

I have not tried the dough recipe yet and I am a little nervous. I see a lot of NY Style places nearby that just dont have the right crust. Is the legend of the water true? Is there something I can do to this water here in Florida to make it more like water in NY?

My brother-in-law told me a story about a guy he knew that consulted out to places in the south and western states to “dirty” up their water to be more like NY water. This was mainly for bagel places but worked the same for pizza.

Any help or insight that anyone has on this subject would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

Louis T.

I don’t know about the legend of the water being true or not, but I do know that what is in the water can have a huge impact on the final result of your product. The impact is huge in something like brewing, but I am not sure how large an impact it has on dough, it does have an impact though. That being said you can mimic any water profile you want. You need to get lab results on the water in both places, you may even be able to get it from the water companies, and then all you have to do is figure out how to get from point a to point b. You may be able to start with the water you have, but it might be easier to start with water that has been run through a reverse osmosis filter and start from pretty much a blank slate. Then you just have to tweak it by adding things like gypsum to add permanent hardness, epsom salts to add sulfates and magnesium, calcium carbonate or calcium chloride to add hardness without the sulfates, phosphoric or lactic acid to lower the ph. Then there are things like chlorine and flouride that get added to our water by utilities. This is just the tip of the iceberg! I think you could come pretty close without too much trouble though. I wish you the best of luck!

It’s NOT the water.

While it is true, NY water is a ‘hard’ water, and this can contribute to crust characteristics, it is not true that only NY water can make NY crust. Things like humidity, proofing, recipes, and forming methods effect the dough. I have traveled all over the country for trade shows and people like Chef Bruno and others make NY style pizzas using water right out of the tap in whatever city they are in. While Scotch can only be made in Scotland, the myth that NY pizza can only be made in NY is not true.

Sorry guys, it ain’t the water. Water quality, aside from hardness and pH (acidity) has very little impact on the quality of the finished pizza. Water hardness will contribute to a SLIGHTLY firmer or softer dough. Soft water makes for a slightly softer dough and hard water makes for a slightly harder/firmer dough. As for water pH (acidity) water that is ever so slightly acid is good for the dough as it promotes good yeast fermentation, but water that is alkaline (high pH) has just the opposite affect, it slows the fermentation rate slightly. There is also a flavor issue with water and this is largly influenced by the water distribution system that your city or town has in place. The good news is that the funky taste (in some cases this might be a stagnant or swamp water taste) isn’t very stable and it is soon lost during the fermentation process, the bad news is that when you use this water to make hot drinks the aroma is driven off only to be enjoyed by the recipient of the drink. This is why we use activated charcoal filters on out water lined that are used for the drinks.
Truse me…the quality of the water, so long as it is “potable” doesn’t have a great influence on the finished product, but if you insist, I will be glad to provide for a shipment of genuine New York City water for a bargain price of only $15.00 a gallon, tank car quantities only. LOL.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks for all the replies, makes me feel better about how the crust is going to come out. Now if only my dough boxes would get delivered I could start getting to work :slight_smile:

Sorry, but any crust made in FLA is FLA dough. There is something special about NYC pizza that just can’t be duplicated anywhere else. It should be everyones God given right to eat NYC pizza at least once in your life. A warning though, Tony’s Pizza in Brooklyn, NY serves slices bigger than your head. So don’t hurt yourself if you get the chance to try it.

NYC pizza in FLA… FOOOOoogeeet aboooudddit !

I think the biggest myth about NY crust is the addition of sugar and oil.
This makes a fine italian bread, but it is my experience that the NY pizza crust is made somewhat stiff with salt, yeast, water, and flour. & Oil by absorbtion only.
A lower yeast percentage, than most doughs gives it a sturdy and crispy finish to support an abundance of toppings.

The Baking process has also been varied by conveyors and pan cooking.
Pizza cooked directly on the hearth has that true artesan texture, that just cant be acheived on a screen.