Author Topic: Brick Pizzeria Napoletana - New Bedford, MA  (Read 2032 times)

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Offline dellavecchia

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Brick Pizzeria Napoletana - New Bedford, MA
« on: November 04, 2012, 04:51:28 PM »
I saw the write up in Slice yesterday and had to try this place out - I have no idea why it slipped under my radar. Long story short: sourdough pizza, perfectly cooked, perfectly topped, incredible flavor, light as a feather - just plain awesome. Just as good, and in some ways better than what I can make.

No fancy SF oven here, and coincidentally the same oven as Pizzeria Posto in Cambridge. I timed the bake at 1:40, and there was alot of doming going on. I talked with the pizza maker and he said the oven dome is too high, but just takes the time to dome. Caputo Red, 48 hours in the cooler, 58% hydration. I swear that hydration was higher, but that is what he said. There is a video on their site and you can see the dough and how it is baked:



There was a noticeable tang to the crust, and lower salt % than I prefer - maybe around 2.5% or slightly lower. Tomatoes had a bit of a sour note but still sweet. My only quip is probably attributed to the lack of top heat in the oven: the topping slid off the pizza too easily and there was a noticeable gum line. But that is just nitpicking, because the pizza was outstanding. The nicest staff and service you could want. What a joy to find this place.

John



Offline scott r

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Re: Brick Pizzeria Napoletana - New Bedford, MA
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 08:25:00 PM »
hey, this place is only 20 minutes from my house.  The bad news is that you might have gotten lucky, because its not always memorable pizza.   They have been open for many years, and when they first opened the pizzaiolo told me that he learned how to make pizza from jeff varasano's website!     Anyhow, back then the pizza was pretty amazing.  I know they were using the blue bag caputo pizzeria flour at that time, and must have been getting their flour etc from accardi since they were using La Regina tomatoes (which at that time were very popular on this site!).  The La Reginas, have changed over the years, and I don't even think they use them any more, but back then they were truly amazing, and the sauce kicked butt.   Unfortunately the sauce has changed. After taking to them and seeing what they were doing I could tell they had been reading  this forum, but I don't think they ever did any posting.   Things were good for a while, then it went downhill, then it got good again.  It has been mediocre for at least a few years, even at one point switching to grande diced mozzarella rather than fresh, which was something I have never seen in a WFO running high temps.  I understand it must be hard to make any money in a town like New Bedford, so I don't blame them for trying to just stay open in a climate like that.    I have timed dried out pies at 4 minutes, and I have had pies that were massively over soured.   Im really excited to hear that they are back on track again, because it is an amazing thing (A neapolitan pizzeria in a town with one of the most terrible dining scenes in MA), and they are very nice guys that deserve to have lines out the door when the pizza is great.   That city also  deserves a first class pizzeria.  
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 08:41:35 PM by scott r »

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Brick Pizzeria Napoletana - New Bedford, MA
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 06:35:03 AM »
Thanks for the follow up Scott. I was pleasantly surprised at the great pizza, so it sounds like they are back on track. My biggest reason for wanting to visit was sourdough in a commercial setting. It makes sense the dough is Varasano lineage since they cold ferment two days (sometimes three). I think the starter is Ischia.

I want to see room temp SD in a commercial operation though. Sourness is not what I want in my pies, and I believe it is a product of the cold fermentation (and length of time).

John

Offline corkd

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Re: Brick Pizzeria Napoletana - New Bedford, MA
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 09:29:53 AM »
great video-- the dough in the film looks much higher than 58% hydration?
I lived for a few years up the road in Onset working SE mass for a wine distributor, & can understand what Scott says about the
dining scene in New Bedford...

Clay

Offline JeffGoggin

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Re: Brick Pizzeria Napoletana - New Bedford, MA
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 02:55:23 PM »
     Hello Pizza People!  My name is Jeff Goggin and I own Brick.  Let me start by saying one of my goals when I opened Brick was to be found and written up on Slice and a close second was to be a post topic on Pizzamaking.com!  I am flattered!

     I wanted to address all the comments - which are GREATLY appreciated BTW

     @John - You sir are quite astute!  I'm not sure if I told you the recipe (I keep no secrets- and in fact am glad to share my exact recipe and process)  The salt is/was 2.5% on the nose! -I say was because we have recently upped the salt to 3% The tomatoes were (unfortunately) spot on as well- once in a while the LaRegina  DOPs are backordered and we do as best we can to always have enough on hand though storage space is very limited.  We will still get San Marazano just not DOP and will stretch our remaining DOPs with the non-DOPs 1:1.  It's an issue that comes up once or twice a year and are definitely looking into a way to never not have our DOPs- we are certainly aware of the difference in quality/taste.  As far as room temp ferment I agree- it is the holy grail and have been working on a dough schedule since we opened that would allow us to do this.  This is also the reason we switched over to red bag from blue as we still cold ferment the blue bag dough would break down on the third day if we still had some left and when we tested the rinforzato it held up so much better for the longer cold ferment- if we ever master room temp ferment we would definitely use blue bag.  Before I forget let me post our dough recipe... it is small and made in a Hobart on speed 1 but we will get a spiral mixer this year- we never stop trying to improve!

Flour 100%
Water (room temp 70 degrees) 58%
Salt 3%
Starter (100% hydration) 1.5%

We mix for about 10 minutes to just over 80 degrees, bench rest 2 hours, ball and into walk-in for 48 hours minimum- take out anywhere from 3-8 hours before using.

This is our current seasonal recipe as of December- though it has been mild

Also you were right on with the sourdough as it was started with Ischia- but by now it's definitely Coastal New Bedford Starter


     @Scott - Thank you so much for the input - I wish we got more constructive criticism than we do.  I would love to refute any of the things you pointed out but I know that those issues have come up before and still do.  If you read my above reply to John about the tomatoes for instance.  The 4 minute pie... trust me, it pangs me much more than it does you.  My goal with every single pizza I make is for it to be the best pizza I've ever made and for it to be the customer's best pizza they've ever eaten.  I'm aware that it's not possible to always hit that homerun but I think it's important to strive for it.  As far as quality going up and down over the years it certainly isn't the product or any result of trying to cut corners or make money.  I would never reduce the quality- passion is my business plan and quality makes our product since we've opened we've gone from ADY to starter (which takes work and love), we went from Sysco fresh mozz to hand stretching it every morning from local curd right out of Westport- were there some rough cheese days when we started doing that? Yes.  Is our fresh mozz now the best you can possibly get here or anywhere else?  I can honestly say I believe the answer to be Yes.  We went from pre-packaged prosciutto to getting the whole leg and slicing it daily and I'm not close to finished... there's so many more things we can improve...  which brings me to one last thing.  The passion for the art and science that is wood-fired pizza comes easily.  Finding people/employees that share that passion is difficult.  We have some really great people come and then they eventually go and as the turnover seems never ending it is in finding/training a great pizzaiolo that takes one thing I've grown to appreciate in this great pizza adventure- patience.  There is no hurry for me to achieve the goal I'm striving for- I'm enjoying too much the journey.

That was all probably a bit much but on a side note the struggle for consistency is one thing I'm not sure I will ever completely solve.  I can only hope to find the best balance of trusting someone to cook a pizza that represents Brick and cooking every single pizza- which wouldn't be the worst thing but it leaves no time to wonder about better techniques and products etc.

I hope you come back and try another pie... on me- if I'm not there just say "Jeff said"


What I was trying to say I will sum up as this:

     When you want to constantly change things to try to make a better pizza it is going to hurt consistency until you achieve the best that you can do... and I'm not sure I'll ever be satisfied.  I'm well aware of this trade-off and I hope our customers understand and appreciate every pizza will be different- there will be good dough days and bad dough days etc but its only because I'm doing my best to make sure if you have a wonderful pie at Brick luck has nothing to do with it :)


     @Clay - I didn't forget you!  Again very astute- the dough in the video was a higher hydration... probably around 61%  Hydration was the thing we experimented with most batch to batch.  We would take it up 1% at a time until it was almost unworkable and then back down.  All the time I wanted super high hydration then one day I thought "Why?".  Obviously a higher hydration is wanted for a nice oven rise but we realized between 57%-60% worked well for all purposed since if it didn't get in the oven or over proofed it didn't really matter about oven rise.  In the middle of summer we are usually around 56-58% and in the dead of winter we will be around 60%+ (if it ever gets cold this year)


You're Friendly Neighborhood Pizzaiolo,
Jeff Goggin


 
 

Offline corkd

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Re: Brick Pizzeria Napoletana - New Bedford, MA
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 04:15:59 PM »
Jeff,
Thank you for so generously sharing your info, & for including me in your reply. At home  I'm always amazed  how just a couple of % can make such a difference.
I'm impressed with how you welcome & handle feedback. Getting everything to fall in place cannot be easy. As a supplier to restaurants I have the utmost respect for my entrepreneur/customers who strive to put out excellent product.
I look forward to trying your pies someday-- It is clear that you have a real passion for the craft!

Clay

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Brick Pizzeria Napoletana - New Bedford, MA
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 05:25:29 AM »
Wonderful reply, if I am ever within 100 miles I will definitely be coming by. I think people like you deserve success and our support.

Offline scott r

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Re: Brick Pizzeria Napoletana - New Bedford, MA
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 01:48:55 PM »
Jeff, I went to visit brick last week, came on here to give an update, and what do I find.... YOU have been here!   Wow... I had a sneaking suspicion you were a reader of our forum, but I never knew the owner of Brick had been posing for years.     Well, there is no need to buy me a pizza, your prices are more than reasonable!

Great news.... dough wasnt too sour... perfect texture!   great pizza!    Glad to see you guys are in a good place, and im looking forward to returning.

Keep up the good work down there Jeff!    
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 09:25:40 AM by scott r »