During the '70's, I spent nearly 4 years in foodservice working for 3
Greek families that were operating either a Sub/pizza joint or a commisary that served contract department store lunch counters, contract factory cafeterias, or their own restaurants which were Italian. During those years, I intimately know what goes into a NY pizza dough and the prep behind it. What's called Italian garlic rolls that are served by many pizza places didn't exist in the places I worked or in other Pizza parlors around here. There was Italian bread by loaf or slices, but nothing that by today's standards would be called Italiian rolls. Many indie parlors now offer both garlic rolls and garlic rolls with cheese. From what I see, they are made from proofed Pizza dough either in cut pieces or sheeted and rolled. Some of the places combine the unproofed rolls with finely minced garlic or powdered granulated garlic, others bake proofed dough on sheets, topping them later with seasoning and using a rocker knife and cut them into sticks like many of the chains.
This leaves me wondering just what would be considered classic Italian rolls served from an authentic NY pizza parlor. Just what is a classic NY style garlic roll? Is it the same as proofed high gluten pizza dough chunks with garlic and topped with mozzerella and baked in a deck oven or is it something else? From what my dad tells me who is a Brooklynite and Italian, he never heard of Italian rolls served in an Italian restaurant or pizziera, It was always Italian bread with butter,garlic, and seasonings.