Author Topic: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!  (Read 375828 times)

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Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #420 on: August 25, 2011, 11:45:45 PM »
I have been around but preoccupied with things other than pizza, sadly.  I am whipping up a batch of dough right now as a matter of fact. I created a poolish this morning with the following ingredients:

400 grams pure spring water
100 grams high gluten flour
100 grams whole durum wheat atta flour*
100 grams all purpose flour
25 grams rye flour
25 grams spelt flour
15 grams wheat germ
a very small pinch of instant yeast

I mixed this up and left it on the counter all day. When I returned home this evening it had blossomed very nicely. I added about 300 grams of high gluten flour and 1.5 tsp of salt and did my best imitation of "effective hydration". I'm right now in the middle of a series of turns, every 15 minutes, after which I will put it in the fridge for an overnight rest.  I do wish I had a carrera marble vessel in which to store it.  Speaking of which, I am still hoping that you may provide some instructions on how one of those vessels is best constructed.  I am ready to head up to Anaheim to the marble yards to seek out some white marble as soon as I have my instructions in hand.  

*Durum atta flour, as you probably know, is an interesting ingredient for pizza makers. It is a very high protein flour, made entirely from hard wheat, and is classically used for making Indian breads. I find it very delicious when used in modest quantities in pizza dough.  

Regards,

Tin Roof
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 11:50:55 PM by tinroofrusted »


Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #421 on: August 27, 2011, 02:04:34 AM »
I am whipping up a batch of dough right now as a matter of fact. . . . I am still hoping that you may provide some instructions on how one of those vessels is best constructed.

Dear Tin Roof, your recipe sounds complex, yet fantastic. I have never crafted a dough of that stature. The final product must be delicious, with its own particular flavor and texture. Please, take some pictures of the final products and post them here.

In my previous post, I completely forgot to discuss the construction of the marble chamber. It is very simple and elementary. Below is a list of what you need:

1) Five 18×18 polished "bianco carrera" marble tiles. (The denser and thicker the carrera marble tiles are, the better they will sustain their cool temperature. Mine is slightly less than half of an inch thick.)
2) Clear, wide scotch tape of good quality. Alternatively, you can use silicon sealant.  

The pictures attached hereunder should be self-explanatory. Basically, you need to construct a topless cube with the tiles, and use the tape or silicon to conjoin the edges. (Sometimes I do use a top in conjunction with some frozen water bottles placed inside.) Take heed that the five carrera marble tiles together are quite heavy. So, I recommend not to cement or permanently join the tiles together (unless you would like to permanently situate the marble chamber below ground level under your house), or you will have a difficult time moving the chamber around.

Where in a room you place the chamber will have an impact upon the interior temperature of the chamber. Sometimes I place the chamber right below an open or closed window. For obvious reasons, make sure the bottom marble tile sits directly on naked floor, as opposed to on a carpet or rug. Also, make sure there is no hot water pipes running below the floor. On hot days, I use a small electric fan (positioned close to an open window) to blow air above the mouth of the chamber in order to gently refresh and keep cool the air inside, kind of like a heat sink on a microprocessor. (As you may know, many Pentium microprocessors would fry themselves within a short period of time without heat sinks.) If the temperature gets too hot, I place frozen water bottles inside the chamber, which work great. It is a good practice to keep a thermometer inside the chamber to be alert of the interior temperature.

I hope the marble chamber works for you. Again, make sure to pick a right spot for it. And, every season may require a different spot in your house. You may want to read my "reply #399" in this tread to examine my setup: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.380.html.  

By the way, you can use a single marble tile to ferment your dough balls on. There is evidence that the ancient Pompeians practiced this. There are some bakeries in Iran that place their dough balls on an overly large marble table. Try it and you will see the difference! Bianco carrera marble absorbs moisture relatively well; hence, making it easy to pick up a dough ball with aid of a spatula or dough scraper. Also, the marble can better regulate and sustain the internal temperature of the dough balls. Good luck!

Respetfully,
Omid
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 11:44:05 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Tman1

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #422 on: August 27, 2011, 08:33:18 AM »
Truly an abundance of info within this thread!! 

Omid,

I wonder if you might have some more info (comments, web links?) on the 'old world vessels' used for proofing? I started another thread here to discuss, but I fear not many have knowledge.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15271.0.html
My internet searches have turned up mostly refrigerator methods, not the methods of old.

Good day!!

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #423 on: August 27, 2011, 09:38:21 AM »
Good morning Omid,

Thank you so much for the pictures of your marble vessel and instructions on how to make it. Simple and effective.  I am going to give this a try.  i have a nice quiet place under the stairs that should be perfect, and won't require me to move the vessel around too often. I wonder if I might be able to purchase slightly smaller marble tiles (12x12?) to make it a bit more manageable. Obviously I limit my ability to make larger batches but I rarely ferment more than a kilo or two of dough at a time.

My complex recipe is sitting in the fridge at the moment, hopefully gaining complexity in an extended fermentation. I will make some pizzas out of it later this afternoon and post a photo of the results if they are photo-worthy. 

I'm off to the marble store...

Regards,

Tin Roof

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #424 on: August 27, 2011, 03:14:07 PM »
I'm off to the marble store.... I wonder if I might be able to purchase slightly smaller marble tiles (12x12?) to make it a bit more manageable.

Dear Tin Roof, I have tried 12x12 marble tiles with not pleasant results. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that 12x12 marble tiles lack enough mass to sustain cool temperatures. In addition, they may not provide enough depth or height to trap and keep cool air at the bottom of the chamber.

Right now it is 12:12 PM here in San Diego. It is a hot day and will get hotter later! Right now, the temperature inside my 1000 square feet house, with 2 small fans running and 4 windows open, is 86° F. (It would have been about 92° F or more if the the fans were off and the windows closed.) Given the above conditions, the marble chamber is competently keeping my dough balls (see the pictures below) cool. Notice the frozen water bottle inside the chamber; it does wonders! The balls have been sitting inside the chamber since 11:00 PM last night. Good day!

Update: The frozen water bottles do not have to be placed inside the marble chamber; they can also be placed on the floor outside of the chamber, adjacent to the walls, which will absorb the cold temperature from the ice and distribute it though out the mass.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 07:01:07 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #425 on: August 27, 2011, 06:13:04 PM »
I'm off to the marble store...

One more point: The frozen water bottles do not have to be placed inside the marble chamber; they can also be placed on the floor outside of the chamber, adjacent to the walls, which will absorb the cold temperature from the ice and distribute it throughout the marble mass, which has good temperature conductivity.

Another point: Since carrera marble absorbs moisture well, the inside of the chamber is much less likely to sweat, even with a top on. When I used to use a coleman cooler, such as the one shown below, it would make its own interior and the dough balls very sweaty—probably because the plastic walls inside coleman do not absorb moisture. Right now (2:58 PM) the indoor temperature is 88° F and the inside of my marble chamber, not the walls, is 71° F. (The ice inside the bottle is fully melted.) As I touch the walls inside the chamber, there is no sweat. The same goes with the container holding the dough balls, which are hydrated at 60%. Good luck!
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 06:16:59 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #426 on: August 29, 2011, 12:14:01 AM »
Truly an abundance of info within this thread!!  

I wonder if you might have some more info (comments, web links?) on the 'old world vessels' used for proofing? I started another thread here to discuss, but I fear not many have knowledge. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15271.0.html My internet searches have turned up mostly refrigerator methods, not the methods of old.

Dear Tman1, the ancient baking methodology is a fascinating subject, but a subject with thorns! our knowledge of the ancient Roman bread culture is very scanty, fragmentary, and highly speculative. In an effort to research this subject, one needs to spread one's attention over manifold sources: historical records, archaeological findings, ethnographical accounts, doxographical reports, indirect accounts by ancient poets (such as Virgil and Martial), statesmen (such as Marcus Tullius Cicero and Marcus Porcius Cato), naturalists (such as Gaius Plinius Secundus), historians (such as Mestrius Plutarchus), travelers' diaries (such as Vincenzo Corrado's), gourmets (such as Marcus Gavius Apicius), and many more. Another great source, I should say "live source", is a traditional bakery that is still unspoiled by modernity. Such rare bakeries are extant in remote villages in Europe and Middle East. About six years ago, the Discovery Channel aired a documentary about a Bedouin tribe that is still manually milling grains of wheat and baking breads in hot ashes under sands. It was amazing to see them make dough, all by hands, in the heat of the desert, without any refrigeration.      

In regard to the vats or "old world vessels", what I know is very elementary and frequently dubious, often relying on inductive inferences that are based on parallel occurrences. For instance, many traditional bakeries in modern Iran employ similar deep vessels, which the bakers use for hand-kneading and/or proofing dough. (See marks 2:15, 3:26, and 5:40 in the following video: .) Some of these vessels are so unusually deep that the baker inserts his full-length arms inside the vessel to reach the bottom. (Think about all the air that gets incorporated inside the dough when it is repeatedly picked up and let down to the bottom of the vessel. This is very much a philosophy underlying the fork mixers and diving arms mixers. I presume that without such method, the highly hydrated dough in the video would be runny and hyper-sticky. I have tried this method—which is specifically meant for highly hydrated dough—in a deep clay pot with outstanding results. Basically, you let the gravity do the work for you! However, it does take some practice to refine the rhythm and motion of your hands and arms.)

Perchance, the ancient Pompeians used the deep vats for the purpose of employing the same method of kneading dough. And, the thickness of the vats probably has to do with controlling the temperature inside the vats for the purpose of fermentation. I can only speculate! And, if you are using sourdough culture to ferment your dough, this method of incorporating air inside the dough will optimally animate the bacterial and fungal micro-organisms in the culture.

I had complied an extensive list of books and websites on ancient baking; however, my hard drive crashed a year ago and l lost them all. By the way, have you heard of the first bread museum in the world? It is known as "High 5 Bread Town Museum". And where is this museum? Malaysia. Here's the website: http://www.high5breadtown.com/. Good night!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 09:32:19 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline jasonjamie

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #427 on: August 29, 2011, 09:17:13 AM »
Hi Omid, Do you have any pictures of your pizzas? I've read your great postings, but would love to see the outcome. thx

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #428 on: August 29, 2011, 10:32:40 AM »
Scroll back through this thread. He has posted many pictures of his beautiful pies here.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #429 on: August 29, 2011, 07:06:53 PM »
Thus far, having been in this forum for the past couple of months, two happenings have really enchanted and transfixed me: (1) Mr. Craig's spirited audacity to house an Acunto oven inside his garage and (2) Mr. Scpizza's tantalizing experiment with his Santos fork mixer. As to the latter, while it is not a miracle, it is miraculous nonetheless! View for yourself and take a walk to the dark side of the moon:

« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 08:00:31 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #430 on: August 29, 2011, 09:38:24 PM »
Needless to say I'm very proud to be on that short list!
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #431 on: August 30, 2011, 12:13:32 AM »
A gentleman sent me a message and asked me to describe the kneading method used in the video above about the Iranian baker. Here is a link to the video: . (See marks 2:15 and 5:40.)

Since it is difficult for me to describe the kneading method (known as "varzidan" or "varz daadan"), I decided to express it pictorially below. (The images are chronologically ordered from top to bottom.) As I mentioned in my previous post in this thread (reply #426):

". . . The air . . . gets incorporated inside the dough when it is repeatedly picked up and let down to the bottom of the vessel. This is very much a philosophy underlying the fork mixers and diving arms mixers. . . . Without such method, the highly hydrated dough in the video would be runny and hyper-sticky. I have tried this method—which is specifically meant for highly hydrated dough—in a deep clay pot with outstanding results. Basically, you let the gravity do the work for you! However, it does take some practice to refine the rhythm and motion of your hands and arms. . . . If you are using sourdough culture to ferment your dough, this method of incorporating air inside the dough will optimally animate the bacterial and fungal micro-organisms in the culture."

Constant speed and rhythm are important in carrying out this method, just as machine mixers maintain the same factors. In addition, the dough needs to be picked up and let down in a way to trap air beneath it on the way down, akin to a parachute that traps air inside its canopy. Good night!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 09:49:56 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #432 on: August 30, 2011, 12:14:44 AM »
Continuation:
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

http://pizzanapoletanismo.com/2011/09/27/a-philosophy-of-pizza-napoletanismo/

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #433 on: August 30, 2011, 12:18:23 AM »
Hi Omid, Do you have any pictures of your pizzas? I've read your great postings, but would love to see the outcome. thx

Scroll back through this thread. He has posted many pictures of his beautiful pies here.

Dear Jasonjamie, I thank you for your interest! As Mr. TXCraig kindly pointed out, the pictures are spread out throughout this tread. I'll repost some of them below. And, keep in mind that none of the pizzas were baked in a wood-fired oven; they were baked in my humble, modified, home, gas oven which I purchased for $99.00 from Sears! And, "00" grade flour was used in all of them. If I am lucky enough, one day I will own a real Neapolitan oven like Mr. TXCraig's. (Make sure to check out his photos and the story behind his Acunto Classico. Look for "Craig's Neapolitan Garage" in the index.) Good night!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 09:40:00 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline jjdec05

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #434 on: August 30, 2011, 07:19:34 PM »
Pizza Napoletana,

A while ago you said you were thinking of getting a Forno Classico oven.  Did you ever go through with it?  If so I can't wait to see the results.

JJ

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #435 on: August 31, 2011, 09:36:33 AM »
Pizza Napoletana,

A while ago you said you were thinking of getting a Forno Classico oven.  Did you ever go through with it?  If so I can't wait to see the results.

Dear JJ, I have asked the builder to put the brick oven on ice! There is a possibility that I may move to a house with a real backyard as opposed to the small, enclosed patio that I have now. If that materializes, then I would want a larger oven. Have a great day!
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Offline jjdec05

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #436 on: August 31, 2011, 07:35:01 PM »
Thanks for the update!  Best of luck if you decide to  move.

JJ

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #437 on: September 03, 2011, 04:59:30 AM »
Last night, I went to Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano, San Diego County's very first Neapolitan pizzeria which was established in 2009. The pizzeria, which is within walking distance from my house, was quite busy. There were over fifty patrons, one Stefano Ferrara Neapolitan oven, and only one pizzaiolo. The pizzaiolo, Mr. Peter, is a humble, generous, and passionate man. He literally pours out his whole being into every pizza he crafts! The pictures posted hereunder do not really do justice to what my eyes laid upon. I wished I had my good camera with me.

I normally order a Pizza Margherita at Bruno; however, this time I ordered a Blanco (fior di latte, gorgonzola, fresh garlic, roasted onion, pancetta, and arugula) and my wife ordered a Quattro Formaggio. Both pizzas were divine. (At Bruno the dough is naturally risen.) Nicely polka-dotted with chars, the puffy cornicione characteristically crowned the crust—which was as tender as Da Michele's. The crust was so light and soft that my knife cut through it with ease. With every bite the exquisite crust announced its presence and subtle flavors to my taste buds. The toppings were well in harmony with one another and with the crust. Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano is definitely driven by the virtue of excellence. In conclusion, I wished you guys were there!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 01:49:34 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #438 on: September 03, 2011, 08:02:42 AM »
RE: Using a cooler and the walls sweating.  Was the lid closed all the way or tight?  What if you try cracking the lid with a spacer to allow the moisture to escape.  Would that work? 

Amazing looking pies Omid.  Did you take any pictures of the crumb?  Can you do that next time you are there?

Any guesses at their hydration level?  Thank you for sharing your experience.

Chau
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 08:44:57 AM by Jackie Tran »

Online Matthew

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #439 on: September 03, 2011, 08:18:36 AM »
Omid,
Pete is a friend of mine.  We corresponded quite a bit during the early stages of Bruno (named after his wife's grandfather).  He a super guy and very passionate about what he does.  That is the reason why he is the lone ranger behind the oven. 

Matt


 

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