The style of pizza the East Coast is known for has more to it than meets the eye. Fans of this type of pizza will all have different aspects that make it their favorite, but they will all agree that one of the most important components of East Coast-style pizza is the crust. In order to achieve authentic East Coast pizza no matter where you are, there are a few key steps to take.
The first step, of course, is to make the dough from scratch. Those who have perfected this style of pizza will tell you there is nothing that can beat pizza dough that is made fresh daily. In addition, they will tell you the dough ingredients and method and means of cooking make all the difference in making a beautiful crust. Read on to learn more about what sets East Coast-style pizza crust apart.
There’s something in the water
Though you might think of water as a neutral component of any recipe, when it comes to dough it can actually influence flavor in a big way. In scientific terms, a “flavor” is essentially a chemical reaction. This means the various minerals and chemicals found in water have a role to play in building flavor. But the challenge of replicating a regional style of dough is that water varies in its mineral and chemical composition in different parts of the world. For sticklers who are looking for even the minute details to be authentic, they may want to import some classic Manhattan tap water or create their own mineral-water composite. For most other people looking to make and eat East Coast-style pizza in Walnut Creek, the water composition is not a deal-breaker for the dough, but the temperature is. Water that is too cold could shock and kill the yeast.
Quality ingredients are essential
Since pizza dough does not require many ingredients, it is important that the ingredients that are used are of the highest quality. There are many types of flours to choose from and each will have its own unique flavor profile. Traditionally East Coast pizza is made with wheat flour, but it is possible to experiment with gluten-free flours to achieve the same result. The next ingredients to consider carefully are yeast and salt. Fresh yeast is best for this pizza dough because it creates the volume and aeration required for an East Coast-style crust, and using the right salt ensures the chemical reaction that activates the yeast.
The right oven gives crust its character
One of the last steps in creating an authentic East Coast pizza crust is popping it in the right oven. When it comes to this style of pizza, not only does the oven need to be hot, many connoisseurs also believe it should be fueled by wood or coal to give the crust the perfect bake and additional flavor. Some will even go so far as to say the oven should have decades of the accumulated residue of pizzas past so it can circulate in the oven’s convection currents, dusting each pizza with the oven’s legacy to truly get the flavor just right. Don’t have an oven that has years of great pizza making in its bones? That’s okay – you can still get authentic East Coast pizza from the professionals like panCoast Pizza who do catering in Walnut Creek, or you can just stop by for a slice!