Author Topic: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!  (Read 329230 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #100 on: July 04, 2011, 02:30:57 PM »
John,

I recall that another member made a similar observation about the crust after cooling, as can be seen at Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7770.msg66831.html#msg66831. Out of curiosity, in your case, does the chewiness appear whether you use a natural leavening system or not?

In light of your interest in Michael Suas' work with overnight autolysed dough, you might find the entire Overnight Autolyse thread of interest. It starts at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7770.msg66722.html#msg66722.

Peter


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #101 on: July 04, 2011, 02:51:39 PM »
John,

I recall that another member made a similar observation about the crust after cooling, as can be seen at Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7770.msg66831.html#msg66831. Out of curiosity, in your case, does the chewiness appear whether you use a natural leavening system or not?

In light of your interest in Michael Suas' work with overnight autolysed dough, you might find the entire Overnight Autolyse thread of interest. It starts at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7770.msg66722.html#msg66722.

Peter


Thank you for the links Peter. I have yet to figure out what scenario causes the chewiness, but it is definitely not all the time. One thing I can say, though, is that it goes away on reheat.

John

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #102 on: July 04, 2011, 03:45:31 PM »
Great post Chau - I wonder if the same principles apply to the "cooling" effect of neapolitan pizza, whereby the crust is tender and crispy right out of the oven, but becomes chewy after cooling down. Many people say this is the true test of whether or not you have properly developed your NP dough. I agree, high heat masks a multitude of sins (my own included).

John

John, as most on here know I am so new to the NP style so I really don't know much about it other than what I have read.  It's all mostly a mystery to me.  I wish more of the experts would put their reputation & credibility on the line and share what they know.  

All pizza and bread begin staling to some degree the minute they start to cool, that can be expected.  But it would seem that some do more so than others.  I think the correct gluten development is only one factor.  Obviously acids contributed by using a natural leaven also play a major role on the keeping qualities of bread, which can be translated to pizza crust as well.  

We read of world famous breads that have phenomenal keeping qualities for days on end.  Bread that is nearly as good the 2nd and 3rd day as the first.  Can this be done with pizza crust I wonder?

I can't recall where, but I do vaguely remember reading that if the dough is done properly, the crumb doesn't become tough or chewy after the cool down.  I think it's reasonable to expect the veneer to be initially crisp only to soften as the pie cools, but the crumb should continue to be soft correct?  Can someone in the know confirm or deny this? Have you notice this in your pies?  I'll make an effort to note this on the next bake.  I usually either eat the pie hot and finish it all or eat slices from other hot pies and not revisit the cooled pies to have paid much attention.  

Maybe this is a trivial point and doesn't deserve much attention, but I sure would like to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding NP pizza.  

Chau
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 04:05:54 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline RobynB

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #103 on: July 04, 2011, 04:05:59 PM »
Chau,  I can't speak to homemade yet but one of the times we visited Tony's in SF, we had a couple neapolitan slices that we simply could not finish.  I fully expected them to be dried out and awful the next day, but couldn't bring myself to leave them...  I was shocked that the next day, they were still really good, tender and fold-able and relatively moist inside.  His dough is not naturally leavened; I believe he uses CY.  It was definitely different than any NY-style leftover pizza I've ever eaten.   

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #104 on: July 04, 2011, 04:12:56 PM »
Chau,  I can't speak to homemade yet but one of the times we visited Tony's in SF, we had a couple neapolitan slices that we simply could not finish.  I fully expected them to be dried out and awful the next day, but couldn't bring myself to leave them...  I was shocked that the next day, they were still really good, tender and fold-able and relatively moist inside.  His dough is not naturally leavened; I believe he uses CY.  It was definitely different than any NY-style leftover pizza I've ever eaten.   


That is good to know Robyn.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the CY itself as well.   Tom explained how (older) CY is able to tenderize the crumb here...at Reply #21

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14060.20

That aside, I am impress to know that his crust was tender and moist the next day.  Thank you for reporting that. 

Chau

Offline andreguidon

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #105 on: July 04, 2011, 04:22:38 PM »
John, maybe its a mixture of a couple of things.... but i think that the most important step is no stressing the gluten wen slapping the dough open....
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Offline kiwipete

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #106 on: July 04, 2011, 04:38:29 PM »
According to Marco (user pizzanapoletana):

"The difficulty and superiority of real Neapolitan pizza, is the fact that is soft, light and “melting" even when cold. Trust me it is not hard to make crackers or gummy pizza. The difficulty is to make a traditional pizza napoletana. To understand what I am talking about, you have to taste it."

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9301.html#msg9301

In other posts, he cautions against using too much salt (like 60g per litre of water) because that contributes to gumminess.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #107 on: July 04, 2011, 04:48:01 PM »
According to Marco (user pizzanapoletana):

"The difficulty and superiority of real Neapolitan pizza, is the fact that is soft, light and “melting" even when cold. Trust me it is not hard to make crackers or gummy pizza. The difficulty is to make a traditional pizza napoletana. To understand what I am talking about, you have to taste it."

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9301.html#msg9301

In other posts, he cautions against using too much salt (like 60g per litre of water) because that contributes to gumminess.

Peter


I'm with kiwipete and marco on this one. Granted we rarely have pizza that isn't immediately gobbled-up :D, but when there are slices remaining, they remain soft and light if they are not over-baked.  

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #108 on: July 05, 2011, 12:17:27 AM »
Omid, your pies look so consistent, like copies of each other.  It makes sense that the higher hydrated pies are lighter.  Have you done a 66-68% hydration slow fermented dough? At what point is the hydration too high and the crust and crumb suffers?

Also do you mind posting pictures of the crumb for me?  I like to study the crumb.

The stone ovens that you posted with the floor made from river rocks.  Are the rocks cemented down or are they loose gravel?  Also how is the ash removed and the oven cleaned?  The floor looks so clean in there.  I would imagine all the crevices in the floor are good hiding spots for ash.

Dear Jackie Tran, yes, I have or used to make dough hydrated at 67% and using slow fermentation, with results that were not pleasing to me, for the crust—even with minimum handling—would be crispy and too thin in terms of flavor. Of course, keep in mind that those pizzas were not baked in a wood-fired brick oven. And, although my cheap gas oven does not burn as hot as a brick oven, it dehydrates dough discs more because of longer bake duration.

In regard to the traditional Iranian brick ovens, the rocks and/or pebbles are loose on the oven floor. However, in the US they have to be fixed to the oven floor if the state law or the health code requires it. These ovens are cleaned every so often by shoveling out all the pebbles and then reloading them inside the oven. Also, there are specialized rakes that can provide temporary relief before completely shoveling out the pebbles. Good night!
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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #109 on: July 05, 2011, 12:23:44 AM »
Omid, attractive looking pizza.  :-*

Color corrected it....lookatdat milky cheese!


Dear Pizzablogger, the color-corrected photo is impressive. Thank you!
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #110 on: July 05, 2011, 12:27:45 AM »
Omid, thank you for replying.  I'm a little confused though.  67% hydration left a thin crispy veneer but 55-58% does not even though you baked both pies in the same oven for about the same amount of time?

So it sounds like you are implying that an extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough or that it gives a different result?    Sorry I don't mean to add words to your post, just trying to make sense of them.

Chau

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #111 on: July 05, 2011, 12:29:53 AM »
Omid, what is the temperature of your 'fermented at 22 hours at controlled room temperature' ?  Thanks in advance :chef:

I too would like to see some crumb shots.  Maybe cut a couple pieces with scissors, so we can see what is inside. ::)

Dear Jet_deck, the ambient temperature, for the present climate here in San Diego, is about 64 to 70 degrees for the first 9 hours or so and about 70 to 77 degrees for the rest of the time. Good night!
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #112 on: July 05, 2011, 12:35:29 AM »
I would be interested to know if Omid's crumbs are tough or not considering he bakes in the home oven between 2.5m - 3m.  If he is developing the dough properly, which I suspect he is, his crumb should be soft and moist.

O yes, indeed!—even after all the dehydration in my oven.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #113 on: July 05, 2011, 12:42:34 AM »
O yes, indeed!—even after all the dehydration in my oven.

So my theories are correct?  Sweet  8)

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #114 on: July 05, 2011, 01:04:57 AM »
Please, let me insert some unorthodox thoughts, just thoughts that may or may not be of practical use here:

I think one should keep consciously asking oneself, “What am I really trying to accomplish by increasing or decreasing the hydration level?” Or, "What is the problem to which high, moderate, or low hydration is the answer?" When Michelangelo was commissioned to redesign the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica at Vatican, he was asked by the papal commission as to how high he intended to build the dome. His legendary response was: Not too high to make us hubris before God, and not too low to make us aweless toward Providence. It is interesting that he did not answer the question in terms of quantity of the dome’s height or its architectonics. Instead, he answered it according to his own peculiar character or temperance.

In respect to level of hydration of Neapolitan dough, what is construed as too high and what is construed as too low? While the ancient Neapolitan tradition provides us with a framework in regard to making pizza, does it offer an objective measure of hydration so we all can adhere to? But that would be absurd if, as some aestheticians argue, art is not a realm of objectivity, neither of right or wrong in its total scope. From a classical point of view, art is a matter of imposing form upon formless, not irrationally, for the sake of man finding her or his place. Then, if not an objective measure, is there a temperate criterion, such as the one used by Michelangelo, obviating “hubris” and fostering “awe”?

Whatever criterion a pizzaiolo employs (for example a criterion motivated by the four gastronomical virtues—flavor, sourness, texture, and aroma—peculiar to the Neapolitan crust), I would add to it the inevitable artistic temperance of the pizzaiolo. Ultimately, the pizzaiolo has to be the poet of his own life, including his own pizzas!
 
According to theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg, increasing the accuracy of measurement of one observable quantity (cf. quantity of hydration) increases the uncertainty with which another conjugate quantity may be known. In other words, the more precisely one property is measured, the less precisely the other can be controlled or determined. This principle is knows as “uncertainty principle” in quantum mechanics. Of course, it is meant to be applied to the world of subatomic particles, yet many philosophers, poets, and artists have enthusiastically applied it to the macrocosm. Science is preoccupied with measuring and quantifying physical properties. However, once science rich the un-measurable, then art seem to be a possible resort!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 12:38:11 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #115 on: July 05, 2011, 10:05:59 PM »
So it sounds like you are implying that an extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough or that it gives a different result?

Dear Jackie Tran, yes, that is a sound conclusion: extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #116 on: July 05, 2011, 10:48:51 PM »
Dear Jackie Tran, yes, that is a sound conclusion: extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough.


Thanks Omid.  Even if both are divided and balled late in fermentation (close to bake time) ?  On my next bake or 2, I'll do both side by side to see the difference.   Member wheelman recently did this test and he noted a meaningful difference.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.0.html

Did you add something to that picture above?  And if so what is the significance?

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #117 on: July 06, 2011, 12:07:06 AM »
Thanks Omid.  Even if both are divided and balled late in fermentation (close to bake time) ?  On my next bake or 2, I'll do both side by side to see the difference.   Member wheelman recently did this test and he noted a meaningful difference.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.0.html

Did you add something to that picture above?  And if so what is the significance?


Dear Jackie Tran, at this point, I am not sure if I fully understand your question or aim. Going back to your initial concern (i.e., "you are implying that an extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough. . . ?"), I maintain that "effective hydration" (in certain ancient Roman texts referred to as animationem) is different than and should preferably take precedence to "extended fermentation". First hydrate your hair and then shampoo, as opposed to first shampooing your hair and then hydrating it! The hair, first, needs to be made responsive to what shall take place next.

In re Michelangelo's fresco entitled "The Creation of Adam", it is about the myth of creation of "Adam" (in Hebrew אָדָם, meaning "man" or "human"). As illustrated in the fresco, God's right arm is outstretched in order to impart the spark of life from His own finger into that of Adam. So, I placed a piece of dough in Adam's hand so that the finger of God would also animate it into life! This is of metaphoric significance to me.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 07:09:35 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #118 on: July 06, 2011, 12:47:25 AM »
Omid thanks for the explanation of the picture.  It is as loaded as your posts!

I'll see if I can explain my thoughts or aim a bit better.  I understand that effective hydration and prolonged fermentation are 2 separate/different techniques with 2 different goals.  However my original contention is that given enough time during a long fermentation, the dough will become sufficiently hydrated regardless.  I say this because I've noted that during a long fermentation (without proper hydration) the dough becomes noticeable softer and much more fluid.  To the point that a much lower hydration can be used, even without "proper" hydrating first.  When this has happened in the past, I typically do more folds during the late reball to help the dough regain it's strength.  I have an idea that the same dough can be made with varying techniques as long as one knows how to make the adjustments.  It's just a silly idea and I could be wrong, so I'll do some tests to confirm it for myself.  It sounds like you are a believer of both techniques.  Thanks for the help.

Chau

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #119 on: July 06, 2011, 11:22:58 PM »
I understand that effective hydration and prolonged fermentation are 2 separate/different techniques with 2 different goals. However my original contention is that given enough time during a long fermentation, the dough will become sufficiently hydrated regardless.

Dear Jackie Tran, hoping that I have understood your concern, let us briefly consider your assertion, “I understand that effective hydration and prolonged fermentation are 2 separate/different techniques with 2 different goals. However my original contention is that given enough time during a long fermentation, the dough will become sufficiently hydrated regardless.” (I have added the italics to your statements, not knowing if you used “effective hydration” and “sufficient hydration” identically.) My knowledge of chemistry is very limited, but I am going to make a very crude attempt to construct the formulas for (1) chemical reaction of mixing flour and water together on one hand and (2) chemical reaction of mixing flour, water, salt, and lievito madre or yeast together on the other hand. Again, I am not a chemist or flour engineer, but I will try my best.

1. The two principal chemical constituents of wheat flour are starches (about 68% to 76%) and proteins (about 7% to 18%).

2. The starches are a division of “complex carbohydrates” whose molecules are chemically made up of several atoms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen: CXHXOX.

3. The proteins are chemically composed of several atoms of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen: CXHXNXOX.

4. Water molecule, used in hydrating flour, is chemically made up of two atoms of hydrogen and 1 atom of oxygen: H2O.

5. Accordingly, hydration of flour can be represented in the following formula:

CXHXOX + CXHXNXOX + H2O

6. Next, if you skip direct hydration of flour as demonstrated above, and instead opt for "prolonged fermentation" of flour by adding salt (made up of 1 atom of sodium and 1 atom of chloride: NaCl) and lievito madre or yeast (which produces ethanol CH2CHOH, carbon dioxide CO2, lactic acid C3H6O3, and etc.), then you will effectively change the chemistry of the flour-water mixture from this:

CXHXOX + CXHXNXOX + H2O
 
to this:

CXHXOX + CXHXNXOX + H2O + NaCl + culture/yeast + CH2CHOH + CO2 + C3H6O3

The outcome of these two chemical reactions may look the same to the naked eyes, but not to the deliberating mind because of the following pre-suppositions:

1. Addition of salt to the flour-water mixture seems to cause premature rupture of some organic cells within flour. Ingestion of salt molecules by the cells seemingly causes osmotic pressure/stress which prematurely ruptures the cells. Conversely, some other cells may undergo shrinkage because of osmotic pressure/stress or inequality of pressure outside and inside of the cell membranes. And, these reactions seem to interrupt consummate hydration and autolisi of flour. (Have you noticed that after intake of salty food, your body demands to be hydrated by intake of water? Bodily cells become dehydrated because of salt in food.) Further, autolisi is supposed to promote self-digestion by enzymes that are produced within the cells—not premature self-rupture or shrinkage by salt molecules.

2. Addition of lievito madre or yeast to the flour-water mixture generates alcohol that can further interrupt autolytic hydration of the organic cells within flour. (Have you noticed that after intake of alcoholic beverages, your body demands to be hydrated by intake of water due to diuretic reactions? Bodily tissues are dehydrated because of alcohol.)

3. Salt and alcohol are dehydrators. In case of alcohol, it causes what cellular biologists call “dehydration reaction”, which is, if I am not mistaken, deprivation of water molecules from cells for the sake of generating carbonic gases and hydroxyl-carbonic compounds.

Therefore, based on the above presuppositions and the results of my empirical experiments, I tentatively conclude that “extended fermentation”, regardless of the duration of time up to about 24 hours, does not yield the same results as "sufficient hydration" (used identically with “effective hydration” which is as same as autolisi—only in principle, but not in execution) as far as the formation of gluten and texture are concerned. However, if by "sufficiently hydrated" you do not mean "effective hydration", then that is a different issue, and the above argumentation would be probably moot. If by "sufficiently hydrated" you mean the quantity of water, then it would not be identical with "effective hydration", which is a modality or a way of effecting hydration.

You drive me nuts, making me examine my long-cherished beliefs!
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