Author Topic: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF  (Read 150946 times)

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Offline JimBob

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #100 on: June 08, 2005, 07:33:59 PM »
Hello Peter, here is the recipe I used:

1 1/2 lb    100%, Caputo 00 pizzeria flour
13 oz    54%, Water (100 degrees F)   
1/2 oz    2.1%, Sea Salt   
1/2 oz    2.1%, Extra-virgin olive oil   
3/4 tsp    0.52%, ADY   
 
 
 
1 Add ingredients into the mixer in the following order:
2 • WATER
3 • FLOUR
4 • SEA SALT
5 • OLIVE OIL
6 • YEAST
7 Set mixer speed to 1 and mix for 2 minutes.
8 Lightly oil a bowl with olive oil.
9 Roll the finished dough into a ball and place into the bowl.
10 Lightly oil the top of the dough ball and cover with plastic wrap making sure not to leave any air pockets.
11 Proof the dough at room temperature for 1 hour. Look for a rise of about 25%
12 Uncover the dough after the proofing period and fold a few times to knock it back down without over working it.
13 Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with the plastic wrap.
14 Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight (24 hours).
15 Remove the dough from the bowl and cut into correct weights. Roll dough into balls and make pizzas or wrap individually in plastic wrap and place back in the refrigerator until your ready to use.
16 Preheat oven to 550 degrees and place stone on bottom rack. Let oven and stone preheat for 1 hour.
17 Hand shape dough using hands only (no rolling pin).
18 Cook pizzas directly on stone until done.
 


I am shooting for a dough that I can use the next day so I am going to try a 2 to 4 hour room temp proof next time.  This dough cooked up just fine but I'm sure that a longer room temp rise will bring out the flavor a little more.   I'm sure this one would taste even better another day or two out.
JimBob


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #101 on: June 08, 2005, 07:54:37 PM »
JimBob,

Thanks for your reply.

As a point of clarification, do you put everything in the bowl at the same time (in the sequence stated) before starting kneading for the two-minute period, or do you start the kneading once the flour goes into the bowl and continue mixing until all the rest of the ingredients have been added? Also, do you proof your ADY yeast in water before adding or do you put it in dry?

Peter

Offline JimBob

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #102 on: June 08, 2005, 08:06:14 PM »
Hi Peter,

Interestingly enough I wrote down the recipe exactly as I made it, adding all ingredients in the order stated before mixing.  I had intended to hydrate the ADY in the water prior to mixing but forgot.  When the dough came out ok I decided not to change it.  I'm not sure what difference it would make other than increasing the amount of time it takes the yeast to activate.  Any input on this would be appreciated.  The dough did not have the slightest yeast taste in it.  The outside was crispy and the inside delicate and tasty.
JimBob

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #103 on: June 08, 2005, 09:06:49 PM »
JimBob,

If you look at a typical package of ADY, you will often see two recommended ways of using that form of yeast. The first, and most common, is to dissolve the yeast in 110-115 degrees F  liquid (usually water) before adding to the other recipe ingredients. The second method is to mix the ADY with half of the flour and other dry ingredients, heat the liquids to 120-130 degrees F and add to the dry ingredients. Even though I am aware that some bakers use the second method or one similar to it, I personally prefer the first method because it gives me a chance to see how viable the yeast is.

You are correct that adding the ADY dry as you did might delay the fermentation process and be harmless, but you want to be sure that the ADY is properly dissolved. When I once did what you did by putting the yeast in last, just to see what would happen, I could see and feel the specks of yeast in the dough, which suggested that the yeast had not completely dissolved. The results were less than optimal.

The thing that surprised me most about your recipe was the short knead time--only two minutes. I think that is the shortest total knead time I can recall, especially at speed 1. Even the Molino Caputo recipes put out by the miller call for far longer knead times with the Caputo 00 flour. Now that many more of our members have Caputo 00 pizzeria flour to work with, including for the A16 project, it will be interesting to see what their experiences are with the flour. I noticed also that you used a relatively low hydration percent. It's good to see that the lower hydration was successful for you, at a time where many have been going in the other direction and increasing the hydration levels.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 08, 2005, 09:10:24 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #104 on: June 08, 2005, 09:27:24 PM »
JimBob:

Great to hear the order of Caputo was worth it.  I noticed you used 53% hydration.  I have not gone below the 57% hydration mapped out by Christophe at A16 due to the less moist texture.  When I went above it, at 60%, it wasn't so great though.  The 57% was so good, I have not touched it.  It would be interesting to see what you find to be the difference when working with 57%.  Here is the recipe provided by A16; but revampled by Pete-zza for a larger pizza:   http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg13036.html#msg13036

The warmer water you used is why the instant yeast worked fine without first being placing in water by itself.  I keep the overall water cooler to keep the fermentation down to begin with, and therefore separate the yeast in a small bit of warm water by itself (1 TBL).  Like Pete-zza, I don't like the grainy feel to it.  I get a very slow rise in the dough because of the cooler overall water.  After 24 hours, I can separate the dough out and place it in separate bags.  Since I'm only working with 3 dough balls or so, it's no big deal to separate it earlier and work with it.  The flour is so good, it tastes great in cases where I have made the pizza without prolonged times beyond 24 hours.  Keep in mind that in Naples, same day is often used.  Now I know why, this crust is great tasting.

It looks like you do not knead it at all, but use the fermentation and later kneading to bring it together.  Most people don't realize that the less you knead, the better the airy results.  We used to have a thread under NY that showed the differences, and they were huge.  I do knead it a bit more by hand initially now (about 10 times by hand), as I detailed earlier. But then, I like to stretch the dough in the air when making the pizza, and the Caputo does not even tear when you throw it quickly (at A16, one guy throws it every now and then, so I knew they had the same strength without tearing it too; but he just does it to try to improve his throwing skills, and you will not see it often). 
« Last Edit: June 09, 2005, 12:13:50 AM by giotto »

Offline David

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #105 on: June 08, 2005, 10:14:25 PM »
After my initial question regarding the comparison of KASAO and Caputo OO ,which Peter quickly answered,I was looking at the numbers and trying to figure out what was what?I followed up by looking at "Bread-A Bakers Book of techniques + recipes" by Jeffrey Hamelman (Director of the Baking education Center at KA Flour).It discusses the Amylase activity and the addition of diastatic malt(.1-.2% of the flour weight).He advises that the addition of it may be beneficial to un-malted flours that are used in the production of doughs that undergo a long  slow fermentation and /or refrigerated retardation.This is because by adding the malt more starch can be converted to sugar during the long fermentation ,leaving enough food for the yeast to happily consume and there still be enough left to sufficiently provide a good crust color.I don't know that the Caputo is malted,and just a guess Cheesy,but maybe the home pizzaoli cooking at lower temperatures may benefit from that ?
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Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #106 on: June 08, 2005, 10:34:32 PM »
Malt is used in many applications and is much needed for some flours; various conditioners in general are used by some pros to produce better results. But the Caputo is so good in taste and texture, you may want to be careful.  Browning can easily be resolved by a little sugar without messing up the result.  1/2 tsp - 3/4 tsp per pizza is as much as I've tested.  Of course, we are moving from DOC standards; but as P. Reinhart would suggest, we aren't policed here and your free to get the results you're looking for. Even A16 stretched DOC by using a touch of oil in their dough.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2005, 10:59:08 PM by giotto »

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #107 on: June 09, 2005, 12:16:34 AM »
I spoke to Abatardi about his Caputo experiences.  The Caputo has worked out great; but only when working with a stone in the oven.  He had the same problem as I did when working with a screen out of the same batch.  I'll let him tell everyone about it.  He was also blown away at the charring that a fired oven could give when he went to Amici's, a NY style in Mountain View, CA.

The next time I am up at A16, I will take a picture of their slices, which are very similar to what I showed earlier.  The picture with prosciutto above reminds me when A16 cut our pizza before placing huge strands of prosciutto that crossed all the slices, making it impossible to eat.  The big question was, who's going to get all the prosciutto? Their crust as shown above is the typical white with char marks from their fired oven, no different than the Italian pizzas shown in the display case on the previous page. 

I'd be interested in more specifics on taste, texture (does your teeth meet when you bite into it, or is it seem condensed), does it crack or does it become soft with a light crispness, does it stretch without tearing, is it dry, chewy?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2005, 12:32:19 AM by giotto »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #108 on: June 09, 2005, 12:29:06 AM »
The Caputo 00 pizzeria flour is unmalted and has low enzymatic amylase activity. You can tell this just from its falling number of 340-360 (the degree of enzymatic amylase activity is inversely proportional to the falling number). By contrast, a malted flour with high enzymatic amylase activity, as is common with many domestic flours, will have a falling number in the range of something like 220-280.

Further, the Caputo 00 flour, being a blend of national wheat and a small amount (about 15%?) of imported Manitoba hard wheat, is less likely to have as much damaged starch as a domestic flour made entirely of hard red winter wheat which is more prone to starch damage. The lower level of starch damage means lower enzymatic amylase activity for the Caputo flour. This latter characteristic makes the flour good for long fermentation times since high levels of enzymatic amylase activity speeds up the rate of fermentation. So, to David's point, if one wanted to speed up the rate of fermentation for any reason, one way to do it would be to add a diastatic malt (or its fungal equivalent). Otherwise, one would leave the flour alone. This would be consistent with long, slow fermentations, especially where natural preferments are used for flavor and texture development.

Even when a diastatic malt is added, one must be careful not to overdo it. The recommended rate on a volume basis is about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon for every 3 cups of flour.  Any more than that can result in a slack, sticky dough and a gummy crumb in the baked crust. You may well get better coloration through the Maillard reactions, but at the expense of an inferior crust. The better choice might be to use a non-diastatic malt, such as a barley malt, that has no enzymatic activity but, as a sweetener, contributes to crust browning and to a more tender crumb. This is frequently done in making sourdough breads. Of course, one can just use some other form of sugar, such as table sugar.

Peter


Offline abatardi

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #109 on: June 09, 2005, 01:55:40 AM »
About my Caputo experience:  When making the dough based on A16 recipe (which I still cannot believe that giotto got as much info as he did just by asking, haha) I forgot to include the initial rise time before refrigerating it.  I'd like to know how much of a difference this makes and will be sure to include it next time...  Anyways, I left it in the fridge for 3 days before using it, then let it rise for an hour or so before shaping it. 

The first ball I tried on a screen with my oven pre-heated to the highest it would go.  That's 500 for me but it never seems to actually get that high... Anyways this one turned out kind of like crap.  It didn't really rise up much in the oven and I was disappointed.

2nd one I tried a technique giotto mentioned and just stretched it out and baked it for a minute or two in the oven and then dressed it and baked it again.  Again the same thing happened, and I was disappointed again.

At this point I'm on my last dough ball and fed up with Caputo.  So I did what anyone would do and tried to show it who was boss and loaded it up with about triple the cheese (by now I was out of fresh and using grande) and twice the toppings as normal.  YEAH! :-P  But before this I had put my oven on the clean cycle and by then the stone was in the 600-650 degree range (based on my trusty little infrared thermometer WITH the optional laser pointer for annoying the cats - oh yeah).  And... just to spite me / mock me, the last dough ball did beautifully in the oven at this temp and I was really happy with the result.  Probably one of the best crusts I've made so far.  Then I felt bad about putting so many toppings on it.  :-)  I'm anxious to see what will happen when I make a normal pizza next time with this.  And maybe I'll try charring the crust of one slice with a torch just for the hell of it.  Who needs a wood fired oven?  :-D

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Offline JimBob

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #110 on: June 09, 2005, 08:32:32 AM »
JimBob,

If you look at a typical package of ADY, you will often see two recommended ways of using that form of yeast. The first, and most common, is to dissolve the yeast in 110-115 degrees F  liquid (usually water) before adding to the other recipe ingredients. The second method is to mix the ADY with half of the flour and other dry ingredients, heat the liquids to 120-130 degrees F and add to the dry ingredients. Even though I am aware that some bakers use the second method or one similar to it, I personally prefer the first method because it gives me a chance to see how viable the yeast is.

You are correct that adding the ADY dry as you did might delay the fermentation process and be harmless, but you want to be sure that the ADY is properly dissolved. When I once did what you did by putting the yeast in last, just to see what would happen, I could see and feel the specks of yeast in the dough, which suggested that the yeast had not completely dissolved. The results were less than optimal.

The thing that surprised me most about your recipe was the short knead time--only two minutes. I think that is the shortest total knead time I can recall, especially at speed 1. Even the Molino Caputo recipes put out by the miller call for far longer knead times with the Caputo 00 flour. Now that many more of our members have Caputo 00 pizzeria flour to work with, including for the A16 project, it will be interesting to see what their experiences are with the flour. I noticed also that you used a relatively low hydration percent. It's good to see that the lower hydration was successful for you, at a time where many have been going in the other direction and increasing the hydration levels.

Peter
JimBob:

Great to hear the order of Caputo was worth it.  I noticed you used 53% hydration.  I have not gone below the 57% hydration mapped out by Christophe at A16 due to the less moist texture.  When I went above it, at 60%, it wasn't so great though.  The 57% was so good, I have not touched it.  It would be interesting to see what you find to be the difference when working with 57%.  Here is the recipe provided by A16; but revampled by Pete-zza for a larger pizza:   http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg13036.html#msg13036

The warmer water you used is why the instant yeast worked fine without first being placing in water by itself.  I keep the overall water cooler to keep the fermentation down to begin with, and therefore separate the yeast in a small bit of warm water by itself (1 TBL).  Like Pete-zza, I don't like the grainy feel to it.  I get a very slow rise in the dough because of the cooler overall water.  After 24 hours, I can separate the dough out and place it in separate bags.  Since I'm only working with 3 dough balls or so, it's no big deal to separate it earlier and work with it.  The flour is so good, it tastes great in cases where I have made the pizza without prolonged times beyond 24 hours.  Keep in mind that in Naples, same day is often used.  Now I know why, this crust is great tasting.

It looks like you do not knead it at all, but use the fermentation and later kneading to bring it together.  Most people don't realize that the less you knead, the better the airy results.  We used to have a thread under NY that showed the differences, and they were huge.  I do knead it a bit more by hand initially now (about 10 times by hand), as I detailed earlier. But then, I like to stretch the dough in the air when making the pizza, and the Caputo does not even tear when you throw it quickly (at A16, one guy throws it every now and then, so I knew they had the same strength without tearing it too; but he just does it to try to improve his throwing skills, and you will not see it often). 


Thanks guys,  I've got 12 lbs of Caputo left to use so the next batch will include the hydrated ADY and a 57% hydration level.
JimBob

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #111 on: June 09, 2005, 11:44:26 PM »
I found an old link that discusses the grave impact that short and long durations of dough mixing have on the airy texture, pigmentation, and ultimately the taste of the final product.  This is applicable to the shorter mix times that we are using here.  I believe that Pete-zza uncovered this when we were discussing this topic many months ago when people were enamored with longer durations.  To this day, when I see the picture of short and ultimate mix times, it reminds me once again of what I see every time I look into Acme bread, where the owner studied at a young age under Alice Waters, a foremost in out-of-the-box thinking in the culinary arts.

You'll want to click on the first picture to enlarge it:

http://www.progressivebaker.com/class/section5.htm

On another note, there is one area that I seem to still struggle with on the Caputo flour.  In fact, it's an area that I wondered about when working with pro dough.  When I used to find a pizza from a small mama papa operation that I really liked, I used to purchase their dough.  This gave me a chance to observe its weight, dryness, fermentation process, etc.  One thing I noticed every time was that the dough really never grew much in the refrigerator.  You'll notice the same from the fresh dough brought in daily to Trader Joe's from a rather well known pizzeria (guess what, Abatardi, I know exactly where it comes from... but best this one isn't posted). 

In time, as I was invited in the back, I would witness how little yeast was used.  And over time, Pete-zza and I have had our share of times that we needed to calculate the almost negligible amounts of yeast that result when calculating the amount used in 50 lbs of flour to the few pounds for us.  So between refrigerating the dough and thereby slowing down the fermentation process, knowing how to use salt to slow down yeast's appetite (e.g., you'll notice that A16 uses quite a bit of salt), and using less yeast, I've been able to re-create what I've seen time and again from many a pro dough.  And sure enough, despite the low amounts of yeast used, we can still get a decent rise in the crust... all the way around.

Okay, with that said, my concern is trying to get some consistency between the cornicione (outer edge) and the rest of the pizza when working with Caputo.  Although this happens infrequently with other flours, it has occurred before. 

While I can get bubbles throughout my pizza crust (in fact, sometimes I fork the inside before placing it in the oven to avoid big bubbles) sometimes the outside cornicione just sits there.  This happened with the Caputo on two occassions today.  It sat in the refrigerator for two days, and had about an hour to warm up (but the warm up time can't be it, I've seen pro doughs get almost no warm time after a couple of days of refrigeration).  Now I know that Neapolitan does not have a huge outer edge; but when the outer edge just sits there, it looks like that old liquor store cardboard pizza I used to get years ago.  And I know it has absolutely nothing to do with any of my toppings-- because I can see the inside bubbles when I pre-heat the crust.   

Now I do leave a little bit more density on the outside edge.  But then, if you watch A16 or look at one of the poster pictures above, you'll find they do the same thing.   So what the heck will cause the outside edge to behave so differently than the rest of the pizza.  The result is too much density on the outer cornicione.

The Caputo in general can be very sensitive to work with, as you also see with Abatardi's comment.  The effect of a stone vs. screen (which I have never had an issue with before Caputo) and heat levels have been addressed. And low hydration causes this crust to be dry when over cooked, and it does cook very quickly.  I left it in about one minute too long today (the whiter color still throws me off at times), and it was just too tough overall.  So that didn't help.  The other thing I'm wondering about is the effect on the crust when you take it out of the heat prematurely, add some toppings, and then put it in the oven again.  Since I kept the light on in the oven for the entire duration, I can tell you that today, the pizza got plenty of bubbles throughout its duration, except the outer edge-- which did nothing.



 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2005, 01:12:48 AM by giotto »

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #112 on: June 10, 2005, 07:13:26 AM »
giotto,
I have enjoyed reading your informative posts. Your most recent efforts around the A16 project are enlightening in many areas. I'm glad you are back. Knowing how advanced you are as a pizza maker, I am naturally hesitant to offer any advice on your Caputo rim issue. But perhaps some of my rambling thoughts may be helpful.

I too have experienced the vagaries of working with Caputo Pizzeria 00 based doughs. When they work they are excellent and when they don't they are truly horrible. The range of my experience has been from fishy tasting crusts to the best I've ever tasted. Still though, I have not yet perfected the crust texture. Regarding your particular issue, I have a sense a contributory factor may be found in one area which you probably already have considered. The stretching regimen employed.

I have been quite successful creating consistency between the cornicione and the rest of the pizza by using a stretching approach I witnessed in NYC at Patsy's Pizzeria. The pizzaiolo, Jose, has worked there since 1976. He allowed me to photograph his entire process. It is posted in the Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza thread in the NY section. I have since modified it for home use and have written extensively about it in the Pizza Raquel thread. I have used it successfully in my preferred Caputo based formulary, Pizza Sophia.

I hope this helps.

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #113 on: June 10, 2005, 11:16:23 AM »
giotto,

I think the problems you have been experiencing are quite possibly attributable to two things: the Caputo 00 flour itself, in terms of what it is capable of delivering in a home environment, and the regimen you, and many others of us, have been using in our efforts to adapt the Caputo 00 flour/dough for use in our standard home ovens.

I think it might be useful to put matters into perspective to understand how the Caputo 00 flour is used in Italy. Although not all Neapolitan pizzaioli follow the guidelines of the Italian ministry in the way they make their doughs, they do generally follow the practice of using long mix/knead times and long room temperature fermentations. The ministry document calls for 10 minutes of combining the various dough ingredients (flour, water, salt and yeast--and no sugar or oil), followed by 20 minutes of kneading at low mixer speed. The dough mass is then allowed to rise for 2 hours, following which it is divided and scaled into smaller dough balls and subjected to another 4-6 hours of fermentation/rising. After that, the dough can be used within the next 6 hours. According to an earlier post by fellow member Settebello, who studied dough making in Naples in preparation to opening a Neapolitan style pizzeria around Las Vegas, there is no autolyse or similar rest periods and no refrigeration under normal operating circumstances. The Caputo 00 flour, with its relatively high falling number (340-360), has low amylase enzyme activity that seems to be eminently suited to long fermentation times at room temperature--at least 8 hours and quite likely several hours longer.

Most pizzerias in the U.S. specializing in classic Neapolitan style pizzas based on the Caputo 00 flour do not use a period of retardation. Fellow member pizzanapoletana, an expert on the Caputo 00 flour and its uses, never uses retardation. So, it is not entirely clear why A16 is using it. It could be for flavor enhancement but it is equally conceivable that it is because it lends itself better to U.S. dough management practices and not having to be at the mercy of making and using the dough over an 8-plus hour time period. Whatever the reason, using retardation is, in effect, changing the rules of the game as practiced by almost all Neapolitan pizzaioli.

In trying to sort things out in my own mind, it occurs to me that the Caputo 00 flour may not lend itself well to retardation along the lines we have been pursuing in attempting to transform it for home use in our ovens. If we had high-temperature ovens, as does A16 and other similar pizzerias, I am quite certain that many of the impediments we have experienced with the Caputo 00 flour would largely disappear. The results achieved at A16 seem to support this conclusion.

Turning to the Caputo 00 flour itself, I think it is safe to say that it does not produce the "strongest" dough to begin with, at least in terms that we are most familiar with from our experiences in working with high-protein flours, like the KASL, that produce strong gluten networks with a high capacity to retain carbon dioxide and other gasses that give volume to a dough. The Caputo 00 flour has a relatively low P/L value--an indication its relative elasticity/extensibility characteristics. Lower P/L values typicaly indicate doughs that will be weak, too extensible, and difficult to work because they are often sticky. Also, the skin that results may not rise much because the dough cannot sufficiently retain the developing gases. Along with this, I suppose that it is quite possible that the rim of a Caputo 00 dough will not be as high as with stronger doughs.

I also wonder whether it's possible that something happens during retardation that prevents sufficient residual sugar (whatever is left over after all the fermentible sugar has been fermented) in the dough to contribute to the tenderness, color, taste and crumb of the baked crust. By U.S. standards, I suspect that millers would consider the Caputo 00 flour to be too low in the amylase enzyme department, with too little resulting residual sugar, and might be inclined to supplement the flour with additional amylase enzyme in the form of a barley malt (or a fungal equivalent). The Caputo 00 flour is less susceptible to starch damage than our domestic flours, so it is not entirely clear whether amylase enzyme supplementation is indeed necessary. But I wouldn't quite rule out yet fellow member David's proposition that we consider adding a diastatic malt to the Caputo 00 flour. It can't hurt to try. Since I have diastatic malt, including one I made myself from sprouted wheat berries (barley is used by millers because it is cheaper), I plan in due course to use some in my next Caputo 00 dough. If that doesn't work, I plan to try dairy whey and/or non-diastatic malt (barley malt syrup) to see if either of those will at least help improve the coloration of the crust. Beyond that, everything is fair game, from autolyse, to new and better yeast management, to new and improved mixing/kneading practices.

Peter

« Last Edit: June 10, 2005, 02:59:17 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline scott r

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #114 on: June 10, 2005, 02:22:49 PM »
just in case anybody here has not seen Marco's side view picture, you should check it out.  If I am understanding him correctly I even think that in another post he said that when this pizza was made the corniacone was flattened while shaping. 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2005, 02:27:24 PM by scott r »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #115 on: June 10, 2005, 03:17:09 PM »
scott,

I believe you are referring to Reply #4 (Settebello) and Reply #5 (Marco), at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1350.msg12332.html#msg12332.

Peter

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #116 on: June 10, 2005, 04:50:49 PM »
According to a recent guide to Campania, the chef at A16 has had some training near Avellino (which is 45 minutes from Naples and they have never made pizza until recently). If this is true or partially true, is still not really important to me. What it's important is that with a week or two week course, you do not study the true pizzamaking. The disciplinare methods is just a recipe that is easy to follow. I have withness even VPN members not mixing in that way, "10 + 20 minutes", this is crap. You keep adding flour all the way until reaching the desired consistency and then 1-2 minutes later you stop mixing. I have already said that depending on the mixer, the whole process can take anything from 10 minutes to 3o minutes.

Ciro Salvo, Da Michele's Condurro, Brandi etc, have been following the same method for generations, and that is nowhere close to the indicated mixing time.

Ciao


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #117 on: June 10, 2005, 05:29:38 PM »
I have already said a lot. It is up to you to understand between the lines. I do not believe that anyone else has ever said so much about true neapolitan pizza. Now, if you do not even appreciate the informations I have given, and others on this forum agree with you, I can stop writing at any time. I am not earning anything from this.

I would also like to add that if I do publish all my book online, the publisher will not be interested in printing the book anymore. That is the reason for not going into too much details.

One more thing: It is not possible to bake an outstanding neapolitan pizza without having a proper neapolitan oven. It is nor worth the effort with an home oven. Most probably, your strong flours dough with bread structures, work much better in an home setting.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2005, 05:33:20 PM by pizzanapoletana »

Offline scott r

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #118 on: June 10, 2005, 06:13:41 PM »
Marco has helped me SO MUCH with my Neapolitan doughs, not only that, in personal emails he has helped me to plan my trip to the Campagna region this summer with many pizzera and restaurant locations. We can all thank him for the Italian sourdo starters that Ed Wood sells, he gave them to Ed.  I always hope that he has posted info when I log on each day.  Marco, keep helping us..........I know I need it!

Also, two other WELL RESPECTED Neapolitan masters that own very famous restaurants have told me the same thing.  Caputo will only perform correctly in a Neapolitan oven.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2005, 06:39:35 PM by scott r »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #119 on: June 10, 2005, 06:20:27 PM »
Marco,

I'd like to get discussion back on what A16 is doing. As I mentioned earlier, from what I know, many of the highly-regarded pizzaioli in the U.S. that use the Caputo 00 pizzeria flour tend to use long, room-temperature fermentation. A16 doesn't. Without revealing information that you'd rather not disclose at this time, what would be the reason that A16 would use retardation of the dough as opposed to room-temperature fermentation? Also, is there something that happens to a retarded Caputo 00 dough that you would consider to have negative effects on the resultant crust, in terms of things like flavor, texture, color, crumb? Or anything else for that matter. I am thinking mainly of home oven applications but I'd also be interested in your answers as they might apply to high-temperature oven applications, such as a wood-fired oven which some of our member have.

I appreciate your contributions to the forum, and look forward to the release of your new book.

Peter


Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #120 on: June 10, 2005, 09:07:31 PM »
First and foremost, I totally disagree about what CAN'T be done.  I have thoroughly enjoyed moving forward in this forum, despite what many excellent professionals have told me personally about making pizza at home, especially NY style where pro ovens are far beyond what we have at home.  I was told to stay away from high-gluten flour as well.  I remained steadfast, of course, as did so many at this site, and listened to every secret from the PROs. I included the incredible research done here at this very forum.  In time, many of us experienced results that dominated past preferences, and I thank this forum for the results.

Just because something has been done a certain way for 100's of years does not mean that it CAN'T be done any other way, or that it can't be bettered.  In America, we simply can't help ourselves-- we were born to modify and push the button.  Are these words meant to negate information developed over 100's of years?  OF COURSE NOT-- we strive to develop the past with what we know today.  Impossible... no; but definitely probable.

Regarding delayed fermentation, where did Reinhart learn of it?  Did Reinhart not say that every restaurant he visited during his visits in Italy mixed American flour... could it be that the best of the best are experimenting as well?  Based on Reinhart's comments of Bianco's in Arizona (of all places), the best of the best is certainly experimenting. 

Do you remember, Pete-zza, what Chris Bianco shared with you?  He said "sometimes it just doesn't come out right!"  I remember this one comment well... I have one heck of a memory bank, and I was so impressed with the distance that you went in calling Chris Bianco up.  Do you also remember his comment that he "mixes" flours, including the use of Giusto's flour?  I do. 

Do you remember what Reinhart said was Bianco's secret?  Was it the oven?  Absolutely NOT.  Oh, I am so thankful for my photographic memory.  I don't have the book in front of me; but I know the secret-- it was within HIM!  And my best moment was when I heard Abatardi mention it as well.  YES... thank you Chris Bianco for passing on your propensity to experiment and your most important secret of all-- the power of one's passion and the result that develops from one's heart!  Oh and then there's Einstein... Imagination is the most important thing!  Ah, what did he know, right? I never confuse technique with wisdom, nor should anyone ever try to negate it with emotion.

Is it so bad that someone has found good fortune out of Neapolitan here in San Francisco at a reputable pizzeria like A16... and I'm not referring to just money?  Did not Reinhart say that at times he felt guilty knowing he could do it better?  How dare him... Yes, how dare him for being so daring... I thank him for his propensity to push the button.

As far as making excellent pizza in an oven, did I not say earlier that I made an exceptional pizza out of Caputo in my near 600F oven?  And I mean it was excellent.  Is it worth paying 5x more for a 50lb bag vs. other excellent flours I have enjoyed? Not sure; I'm not finished EXPERIMENTING.

I have no issue of working out a kink that shows an irregularity in a batch-- but to say NEVER, is to say GIVE UP, and the world would NOT be what it is today if we gave up so easily!

Regarding what Pete-zza suggested as far as how to exactly mix dough DOES not apply to A16, and shots should not be taken accordingly.  Regarding Pete-zza's research, I applaud him as always.  We have all made our way through many limitations in the past, and I will stick by that track record at this site.  The bar has been raised world-wide because of a similar propensity to share and exceed.  To say we don't listen... is just the opposite of the truth.  We listen, except when it comes to CAN'Ts based on only the past, opposed to experimentation with new methods and new learnings that are available today.  To say STOP, HALT, YOU"RE not doing it the one and only way I'm telling you is to merely hold back one's abilities-- there is NO one way, anywhere!  There are preferences in every place in the world, including Naples.

Christophe has an EXCELLENT pizza.  HOW can this be possible?  Afterall, he has DEVIATED from practice, much as many ITALIANS have in their very homes.  I still remember the experience that Tyler Florence had in Italy-- it was made in a square pan from home and I believe from Caputo.  Tyler said it was the best pizza he had ever had.  Living in NY, maybe he's never had great pizza before... now that's IMPOSSIBLE.  

I THANK YOU PFTAYLOR for your suggestions and I thank you as always, Pete-zza, for your research.  Please do not every hesitate in passing along your insights.  I am one that will never stop learning.  I will definitely look more closely at the details you have shared because I have made excellent pizza crust from Caputo that I described in detail earlier using the fermentation steps mapped out at the time.  If the problem was fermentation, I would have had problems with the Cornicione earlier as well.  I can easily summarize that experience according to Reinhart's statement "excellent crust does not get in the way... if it stands out, that may be a bad thing."  Well, let me tell you, when I did it right, it did not stand out-- it was one with the pizza, hard to describe as suggested by another (see I listen to what's really important) and it melted.  It was a Zen thing.

I was planning to show you the pictures from my wonderful experience at A16.  And I was also hoping to share with you some additional insights that were willfully given to me regarding their process and interactions of salt and other ingredients. 

As you suggest, Pete-zza, this session is about re-engineering A16's pizza, which is a version here in America of making Neapolitan pizza, and one that Abatardi and others have had a good fortune with and that I continue to look forward to.  One thing is for sure, I don't expect to point out a one-time weakness, only to hear one person try to blow it out of proportion, and lose perspective of the many fine work others have done! 

For NOW, I'll come back another time when I'm over this and we're ready to move FULL STEAM ahead.

Okay, I'm over it.  This is not from a brochure; but instead, it sat at my table.  Let me me begin with my appetizer.  These meatballs are NOT made from a few minutes in the oven.  They follow a process that takes 2 days to ensure full taste and it was all their, made from pork and other fine ingredients. 
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/meatballs.jpg)

They have a very unique stretching process.  I will cover this at another time.  But I can tell you that even when a person being trained deviated and stretched in the air, the result looked magnificient.  I was happy to witness the flexibility of the Caputo flour at this stage.  Although, on more than one occassion, I watched a dough get tossed out by the trainer.  But this usually occurred because toppings were seen as too heavy.

Here's one in the making, as it takes on the traditional color of the Italian flag:
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/create-marg.jpg)

Even with a wood fired oven, steps are taken to get that personal presentation. You may remember in American Pie that Reinhart mentioned a tendency to get that sudden spark of fire with a flick into the wood by one pizzeria.  That along with some levitation in the air was used.

And here's what sat before me, a bianco with some Arugula I requested:
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/neapolitan-pizza.jpg)

ONE of the more difficult things to accomplish is to develop a crispy crust that can be bent without breaking.  It's a matter of timing.  IF I were in NY, I would have eaten it bent, side to side as with the bottom piece here:
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/Neo-NY.jpg)

BUT since I wasn't in NY, I rolled it up and ate my last piece like this:
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/neo-eat.jpg)

In my last batch, I added less salt than usual because I tried to do my own calculation for more pizza doughs.  As we all know, salt impacts yeast during fermentation and slows it down as I was reminded today.  I'll tell you later how this pointed out a flaw in my process after I go back to using the amount of salt that I should have been using, and apply the process suggested accordingly.  The cornicione at A16 was excellent, despite nominal size.  And I look forward to constructively moving forward to re-create it as I've done successfully before at home with the Caputo flour, as have many others.


 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2005, 11:02:03 AM by giotto »

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #121 on: June 10, 2005, 10:40:09 PM »
Giotto,
I loved your most recent post.  Your writing style and insight is exemplary in every way.  You are such a valuable asset to this A16 experiment, particularly because of your close proximity to A16 and your willingness to make regular visits there.  Your pictures are phenomenal and bring back fabulous memories of my one and only visit to A16 just a month or so ago.  Like you, I could care less if Christophe Hill's techniques duplicate exactly how it was done 100 years ago in Naples, or if he didn't train in the exact right location of Naples.  All that matters is that he is producing one of the finest pizza products, if not THE finest, in America today.  NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

I certainly hope you plan to share every juicy detail and every single tidbit possible from your latest visit to A16.  You are clearly one of the main drivers in making the A16 experiment go.  I look forward to helping and contributing as much and as often as I can.  In the meantime, more details from your latest visit are enthusiastically welcome.  Were you able to confirm, as I did, that they first "hydrate" the yeast in the mixing process?  Pieguy mentioned this earlier and I was told of the same technique by one of the pizzaiolo's at A16 the day I visited there.  I'm still curious as to how/why this has an impact on the dough.
Friz
« Last Edit: June 10, 2005, 10:44:28 PM by friz78 »

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #122 on: June 10, 2005, 10:56:06 PM »
Giotto,
Those meatballs look awesome as well!!  I would love any more information you have on how they do their meatballs at A16.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #123 on: June 10, 2005, 11:09:11 PM »
giotto,

Like you, I'm reasonably confident that in due course we will find ways to improve our Neapolitan pizzas using the Caputo 00 pizzeria flour in a home setting. What I am most interested in seeing us achieve is a dough formulation and procedure that will produce high quality pizzas on a consistent basis.  Not a good one on one day, and a lousy one on another. How to do this is the challenge.

Having researched the Caputo 00 pizzeria flour and having experimented with it, as well as with other 00 flours, I think I have a pretty good understanding of what the Caputo 00 can can do and what it can't do. For example, I know that the Caputo 00 flour, and other 00 flours as well, can be used to make a room-temperature fermented dough over the course of say, an 8-12 hour period, and yield a good end product. This is the classic approach and it is well proven. I also know that a Caputo dough can be leavened with a preferment as well as with commercial yeast, or even a combination of both.  You were away, giotto, when I did a lot of experimenting with the use of different preferments and the Caputo flour, but if you go to the Caputo 00/Caputo Biga thread where I reported on my many experiments, you will see some interesting facets of the Caputo flour and its many capabilities. I was especially impressed with the intensity of flavor that can be achieved from a Caputo dough leavened solely with a natural preferment and fermented/ripened for long time period (over 40 hours in some cases) entirely at room temperature. Were it not for Marco's contributions on this formulation and technique, I doubt that I would have found it on my own, and I am grateful to him for having shown me the way.

I also know that the a 00 dough can be retarded. I haven't had as much experience in this regard with a Caputo dough, but I have had a fair amount of experience with other retarded 00 doughs. When I last used this approach, it was because I had to make several dough balls to make several pizzas, and retardation was a convenient way of organizing and orchestrating things from a dough management standpoint. This is what prompted my question about why A16 does it. I'd like also to know more about what happens in a Caputo dough during retardation in order to identify potential problems and, armed with that knowledge, look for potential solutions. I know that the color of a crust shouldn't be all that important, particularly when everything else is in good order, but I'd like to look for ways to solve that "problem" also. I'd also like to find ways to make a more tender crust and crumb--a problem that seems to plague many of our members, who bemoan the cracker-like crusts that sometimes emerge from their ovens.

I tend to be conservative in nature with modest expectations and I know that there are not a lot of silver bullets in life, and that includes pizza. Yet I saw pftaylor make great strides with his breakthrough Raquel dough--breakthrough because it was done in the home with standard equipment, not the highly specialized, high-cost commercial equipment used by professional pizza operators. And I thought that a Lehmann NY style dough I made using a natural preferment, an autolyse, and a long room-temperature fermentation produced one of the better NY style pizzas I have ever made--maybe because I had doubts that it could even be done. So, this leads me to believe that we will collectively find a way to unlock some of the mysteries of the Caputo flour/dough and produce high quality pizzas that can be reproduced reliably and consistently by our members in their home ovens. I think we have the basic framework. We may never achieve the distinction of a true Neapolitan pizza as emerges from a high-temperature wood-fired oven, but I think we will be pleased with our results nonetheless.

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #124 on: June 11, 2005, 02:00:39 AM »
I'm very happy to see the conviction to move forward.  Like I said before, you guys are great, and I feel fortunate to part of a group that shares your desire to take on this endeavor.

First Pete-zza, let me say that I'm truly amazed at how often you have called 00 flour "retarded". That's just mean, mean, mean.. just kidding.  On the serious side, I am the kind of guy who researches as well.  While I happened to find A16 as a very interesting point of re-entry in hopes that I could help at the time, I was tracking many many parts of this site over time regarding Neapolitan before re-entering with comments regarding A16.  I can also say that A16 can do it right consistently, and that is why they are in business.  As I mentioned above, even Chris Bianco mentioned to you that he had his days when he was unable to get his results.  And while you and I both experimented a great deal with NY style, I'll tell you right now, we don't do it exactly the same, including the baseline.  But we have learned from all the information how to meet our taste buds.

Without a doubt, we all want more consistency and we will get there.  But please keep in mind that I am a perfectionist.  I will say something isn't right, and nobody, and I mean nobody else seems to catch it.  I believe this applies to so many in this session (and this site as a whole) who become the author of what they eat, especially to this level.  And when we experiment, as I did in this last batch, it makes it all the worst.  But that should not prevent or preclude ingenuity or genuine interest in deviating from the norm.  A16 has proven, as we have witnessed in the past, delayed fermentation at non-room temp definitely works.  And it ain't a once-in-a-while thing.  And when you read my notes below regarding my impression for their desire to meet the tastes of where they live, as well as their incredible passion to make their meatballs just so with another form of delay, I think you'll start to get them-- sort of like Chris Bianco says in American Pie that you can get him.

As usual, I very much look forward to all the permentations of tests, including room temp.  I think it's great that some try it one way, while others try it another.  This tends to increase our awareness.  But please do not dismiss the fact that I made some deviations, and I need to find out exactly which one caused the problem.  I added 1 tsp of sugar to 22 oz of flour.  I made multiple 13 oz doughs, while cutting back the salt significantly-- a big mistake in fermentation.  I also used active yeast, and I treated it quite differently than A16, as I learned this time around.  I have no problem admitting to my screw ups (for sake of a better word). But I will keep my options open.

Friz, I am so happy you ask about the yeast.  I have to admit, it was difficult for me to comprehend hydration of yeast in this environment.  It just seemed to me that this would be an extra step that could definitely cause some delays in productivity.  Cutting corners is what companies do best, sometimes, despite the end results.  But then, I still remember how I reacted the first time I learned that Bianco made his entire batch of dough by hand.  YES, A16 does indeed use hydration.  I'm fortunate that I checked again.  And now I can share a more granular set of steps with you:

1) The entire liter of water is warm (not hot).  Less than 100F. 

2) The yeast is added to the liter.  Hmmm... I have always separated mine, keeping the larger body of water cool while I bring a tablespoon or so of it to a higher temp.  Then I asked a really bad question... is sugar added FOR THE YEAST?  I think that was the first time that I ever received that particular look-- you know, the one that says "are you going to ask me if I throw in some whisky too... how dare you?".  So the answer on that one was emphatically NO.  BUT I was told that they allow it sit for about 15 minutes.  Your past notes are haunting me on this one.

3) So now I wondered about the salt.  Normally I add salt to the bulk of cool water to mix it thoroughly.  I mentioned that salt must be kept separate from the yeast.  So did they add it directly to the flour?  The smile was back.  I was wrong; but hey, I was back in business.  The reason they let the yeast go so long is to ensure that it shows this level of fermentation.  BUT with the warm water, they need to initiate a delay; but only after the yeast has illustrated its initial development.  SO they add the doggone salt to the water, after the yeast has showed that it is alive and well, to ensure that they get a thorough mix (can you see him tapping me on the head).  I had the desire to thoroughly mix it  partially right;  but my overall temp was much different, and now I understood their strong interest in salt.  

As to why do they delay their fermentation in the refrigerator?  I was so enthusiastic with the last pat on the head, I forgot to ask.  Hey, there's nothing like getting a 1/2 credit for the wrong solution.  Based on what I've seen, however, it can be this... Yeast activity is further delayed with colder temps; and even as good as Caputo is, you can see their propensity to keep the fermentation down to modify the taste even further.  You ask why... well, it isn't just the sugar that comes out of delayed fermentation-- it's the bacteria, the acids, the very stuff that helps derive a sour taste. This is San Francisco, and we love any bit of sour taste in dough that we can get, even if it's just a small taste (and hence why Christophe suggests 3 days is even better).  He knows his customers.  Oh, that's right, this is just a guess.  FURTHEMORE, it comes at a higher cost to make the dough wait several days; but as you'll see with the meatballs, these guys don't cut corners.  Is it likely to taste different than Italy.  Yep.  Do we care?  Nope.  Is it consistent?  Yep.  Do we still want to know all the secrets of how they do it in Italy?  Yep.  For now, though, I need to experiment with the tune that I get.

4) The whole thing is then added to the flour.  They start with only about 1 kilo (just over 2 lbs) of flour, and then move their way up by hand of course.

I think you know the rest concerning the dough... except the part where you gotta get some Hoaagarten beer on tap-- I'm sure they have other kinds of brewski (oopps, their goes my upbringing again) to follow suit to their Italian style, along with an incredible list of wines; but this beer has a suitable ending (that's better). 

Okay, here's an even more suitable ending.  You ask about the meatballs.  It's really cool.  Hmmm... Is anything sacred?  Not here, these guys must have been the drivers of open code (be prepared to be surprised again, Abatardi).  The least I can do though is bury this stuff here, so unless someone is willing to read to this level, they ain't going to get it.  I'm sure you are all aware of a triple bock beer by the monks.  Well, these babies follow a triple bock meatball process, with another delayed fermentation.  First, you take some pork and whatever grabs your interest... this week it happened to be lamb.  Add your dry ingredients (I'm going to focus on the process; but I'll mention parsley as a good addition, with basic seasonings).  Once you put them together, place them in the oven.  At our measly amounts, 15 minutes was suggested for 500F.  Next you steep them for (ready for this) 1 1/2 to 2 hours in tomato sauce (when you read my original notes, you'll know some good tomatoes to start with).  Then they go through a delayed process.  I don't think I'll get any arguments why a time delay requires the refrigerator on this one.  Yah wanna know why they delay it though?  If you've read this far, you're as sick as I am.  They literally want to get the entire taste through the meatballs.  Like it wasn't good enough to let it meander in the sauce.  This relates to Grandma's good ol' saying that "it's always better the next day."  Then they put it back in their fire pit to warm it up, and then (and only then) do I finally get to taste these delectable meatballs.  Man, and at lunch, you get it for just a few bucks.  They are going the distance beyond what a vast majority would go at home. 

Okay, I need to break the meatballs out so everyone can see it.  For now, I'll just put a reference to it above, and maybe some will read this last sentence.  These guys deserve so much attention.  I feel good though, because on the bus today, I convinced a noble woman who lived in the area to try A16 out.  This is a restaurant that really gives a hoot about every cranny.  They have a lot of heart and they go after perfection-- this I believe is the secret to really great food.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2005, 02:41:16 AM by giotto »