Author Topic: Not Rocket Science. Just Plain Fun.  (Read 971 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BobBill

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 64
  • Location: MN
  • Pies since 1972
Not Rocket Science. Just Plain Fun.
« on: January 03, 2011, 07:50:43 AM »
Posted this in another thread, but got to thinking it does apply in general...

Below two basics will work for most pies, with slight alterations, no magic scales needed, just common sense and diligence. I am no pro, but have been doing 40 to 70 or so pies a year since 1975...always learning, always keeping it as simple as possible.

A. Neapolitan. Prep time, 20 Minutes, all purpose flour, bread or 00, stand time 2hrs, rest time 8 hours. (From Chi Trib accounting of Neapolitan dough used by Johnathon Goldsmith at Spacca Napoli, Chgo, IL, USA. One of city's best, if not the best pie parlor. I have eaten at all of the decent ones. And that includes Great Lakes, which is not that good. In fact it is hyped media-driven BS for really bored and boring people, who like to hang in my old neighborhood. (There is not a za in the universe worth a two-hour wait.)

Stone or no stone? Up to you, pan or stone, pie will be fine...but if pan, it is good to lay out dough in pan, prick with fork and bake for 6 minutes or so, remove, add (thin) cheese, and let sit a bit, before adding your preferred toppings. Will seal dough for freezing and let is crisp in pan bake.

As to oven temps...fresh, crank it up to 400 450 pan or stone. If stone, let oven heat for 30 minutes, after it gets to 450 or 500. With pan, ready to go as soon as it gets to preferred temp.

Dough? Bread/all purpose or 00 dough? Up to you. Bread dough works just fine...

Neapolitan Dough Recipe via Chicago Trib piece on Spacca Napoli restaurant and Mr. Goldsmith:

5C flour,
1.75t salt,
1t instant yeast
(Dry Mix with dough hook or by hand)

Using mixer with dough hook on low,

Gradually add 1.75C water, plus 2T cool (65*f)water to dough and mix at low until loose/course ball forms - about 4 minutes.

Let dough rest 5 minutes or so.

Mix or knead about 2 min or until dough is sticky, soft, supple (has "life") or clears sides of mixing bowl. It should just hold its shape.

Place round ball in bowl with olive oil coat and and flip to cover dough with light coating of oil.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and seal or towel topped with dinner plate.

Let sit at room temp for 30 minutes.

Then let rest in refrigerator at least 8 hours. I have let it sit for two days...

NOTE - if you must use dough same day: Let dough sit at room temp for 90 minutes, punch down, reshape to ball, cover as above and let rest in refrig for 2 hours...if you forget to punch down, it will be fine.

In either case, remove dough from refrig 2 HOURS before baking. (You can divide dough into say 4 balls and cover and let rise covered or wait - until bake time to divide as pies need to be baked.) I have completed both and seems to make no difference.

Use cornmeal on pan or peel to keep dough from sticking...pan or stone.

You can do toppings as you or guests prefer, sparse or loaded. Does not matter, you will love it.

Not rocket science like some here would make it out to be.

This is just a well constructed dough and toppings...

B.  Plain 'ol Recipe: Also, you can use the above 5C build and add .25C white cornmeal (or leave as is) with full pack of yeast for 1-hour rise for immediate bake to make deep dish or plain thin crust, whatever. If you do not add meal, you can make very very thin dry dough pies.

Like I noted, not rocket science, but fun and good eating, which is what home baking zas are really about.

You can see pies here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9342.0.html

And, to add, have not seen a bad pie on this site yet. Fun food for all the world.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 02:39:58 PM by BobBill »
Welcome to our round playground called Earth
Where the greatest cause of death is birth! Lucas, Winona
All you gotta know - JD Winona


buceriasdon

  • Guest
Re: Not Rocket Science. Just Plain Fun.
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 03:14:00 PM »
I guess the science or math part kicks in if someone whats to use something other than your universal recipe of five cups of some unknown flour and baked in some oven others than yours. It's all in the details. I derive lots of enjoyment in learning about the details of pizza making.
Don

Offline chickenparm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1786
  • Location: Back in Indy...Making New York Style Pies
  • Oh No,Not Pizza Again!!!
Re: Not Rocket Science. Just Plain Fun.
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 09:53:08 PM »
While some of the info people share and post here may seem a bit overkill,I love it.I'm learning alot all the time.

I know most pizza places,I could walk in and ask what their hydration is and they would probably look at me like I had 4 heads.

They don't worry about that kind of thing,they already know how much flour water and yeast and etc to dump into a mixer and divide later.Sort of like your recipe you posted above.No need to learn anything more about it eh?Just mix it up and it make dough for pizzas.

While thats cool in itself,its bit BORING in the end.
 :-D

I have been really enjoying learning all the different aspects of pizza making.I'm also enjoying the company of you all as well,sharing knowledge,info,ideas and mistakes even!Alot of the pizza makers go on to experiments with breads and etc as well.It opens up alot more doors.

It is also true,there is not one universal recipe for all the different ovens,temps and etc used today.If so,all pizza crusts would look,taste and be exactly the same.That too would be BORING.Imagine if we could only get one type of bread in one shape and form?

As I said,I do like your simple basic approach that works for you and could work well for others.I still want to learn to make different doughs and different styles over time.I found the best place for that is here.
 :)










-Bill

Offline BobBill

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 64
  • Location: MN
  • Pies since 1972
Re: Not Rocket Science. Just Plain Fun.
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 12:25:57 PM »
I do not bake all that many pies a year and for me simple is best. Cups verses weighing, and so on.

Of course, I mess around with cornmeal in dough and semolina, deep dish, etc, but always come back to the sparse Neapolitan version cause it seems to delight guests the most.

But, really, they love it all, don't we...?
Welcome to our round playground called Earth
Where the greatest cause of death is birth! Lucas, Winona
All you gotta know - JD Winona

Offline thezaman

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1935
  • Age: 61
  • Location: ohio
  • I Love Pizza!
    • lorenzos pizza
Re: Not Rocket Science. Just Plain Fun.
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 12:37:24 PM »
 not rocket science,but ingredients are not universal especially flour.

Offline BobBill

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 64
  • Location: MN
  • Pies since 1972
Re: Not Rocket Science. Just Plain Fun.
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 12:54:52 PM »
not rocket science,but ingredients are not universal especially flour.

Maybe that is why I like simple. I figure newbies might like it simple also...and I have enough going in life that needs some simple to make it smooth. (Occam's Razor is a fine theory.)

When I first began baking pies around '74, I would have problems and being somewhat meticulous by noting every effort and ingredient, things would go awry and I would blame me...before I figured out how things can vary by humidity etc, and talking to a few boyos who did it for a living.

They basically did not worry if something was a bit off or different, as "it happens!" They had a process and even then it varies. Simple is frequently not so simple.

Then I began to settle for for what happened and did not get hyper about what did or did not happen, compared to last bake, experiments notwithstanding.

When I picked up on Goldsmith's dough recipe, I altered it with two or three formula and quit the worry, baked with abandon, going outside, wood fire, deep, flat whatever, and it all works fine.

But simple seems best. I tend to use the same flours and so on, but now know what to expect and do not get nuts if it varies a bit. And, like it was noted, those at the trough do not know the difference and love it all, which is the point to me.
Welcome to our round playground called Earth
Where the greatest cause of death is birth! Lucas, Winona
All you gotta know - JD Winona