Star Tavern's "Bar Pizza"
In December, 201 there was a brief discussion of Star Tavern's thin crust Bar Pizza, both here and on some other blogs. "Phil" shared details, passed on from his Father and apparently obtained from a former owner of Star Tavern. The rest is history.
Since this is my Pizza Cognition Theory and Go-to pizza, I saved the details. I've spent the last six months experimenting with "Phil's" formula and notes. Some results:
Early on, many folks questioned the very high percent of semolina in the dough recipe. It is high and it is correct. This dough is not wasy to work with. To make this excellent thin crust pie, yo will use a rolling pin and you will let the dough rest and rise for a long time. Get used to it. Some important notes...
The rolling pin is not an accident or a convenience, it is necessary. You cannot stretch this dough by hand. Once thin and expanded, let it rest at room temperature for several hours. It really does take that long for this stuff to relax and to expand a little bit. It is very tight and takes a LONG time to relax and grow. Those specially cut pizza pans are nothing more that a custom peel. Do it or skip it. The important part is baking on pre-heated stone and using a peel (or?) lubricated with corn meal. Skip the custon pans!
You do NOT need 550-600F temps to make this pizza! Temps more in the 400F range are betteer as they won't burn the cheese. So help me... The most important part is to bake the SOB thoroughly. It cannot be over-stressed. That high-semolina crust, when rolled very thin, works just fine, but it simply must be thoroughly baked! Again, to avoid burning the cheese, use a well-pre-heated stone, a slightly lower temperature and as much time as is necessary to thoroughly bake that thin crust. When cooked, it is wonderful. When undercooked, it is a bit gummy and is sucks. Cook the SOB!
More mores about toppings etc. if I see any interest. This is Very Fine pizza, but attention to details is necessary. Anyone?