Author Topic: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!  (Read 339110 times)

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Offline DanielM

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2600 on: June 30, 2014, 01:01:35 PM »
That is strange. It's hard to imagine that the tannins transported from the bottom, through the dough, all the way to the top? And, a vomit smell makes me think biological contamination rather than chemicals from the wood. The tannins are acidic. Perhaps they were dissolving the dough - kind of looks like it in the picture of the underside; it kind of looks rotted too. Did you disinfect the wood before using it?

I made a pair of boxes using beech for the base and maple for the sides. I experienced something similar but am hoping it was due to over fermentation of my dough. When i went to stretch my dough balls they were what I would describe as "rotten". The dough had no structure left and basically fell apart when i tried to shape them into discs. My hope is that it was due to over fermentation as I was experimenting with a different method of mixing my dough. I'm hoping that the wood boxes were not the cause because they were quite costly to make!


Offline stonecutter

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2601 on: June 30, 2014, 01:22:04 PM »
Hydration doesn't matter. Its a function of relative concentration; a drop of water would draw out some amount of oil. It's the exact same reason why dough that is wetter than the wood will draw out the tannins.

That makes sense.
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2602 on: July 01, 2014, 04:52:40 PM »
Dear friends, thank you for all your contributions. Sometime today, I will make a couple of dough boxes, one with poplar and the other with pine. Unfortunately, I could not find any beech and birch in right sizes. Good day!
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2603 on: July 01, 2014, 04:52:50 PM »
A problem I have are the bubbles that keep popping up on my pizzas when baking. They tear easily. Another problem is my pizzas sometimes refuse to rotate on oven floor either clockwise or counterclockwise. Very frustrating >:(

How do you open your dough balls? This question, in relation to the above-referenced problems, deserves careful considerations. To the best of my knowledge, formation of the bubbles (which cause upward protrusion(s) on the face of a pizza being baked, hence, causing a wide gap/space between the oven floor and the protruded area(s) of the pizza base) is generally related to three factors that are often, but not always, interrelated. And, your second problem (i.e., arrested rotative movement of your pizzas on the turning peel) stems from one of the factors. But, before moving forward, let us regress as the previous stages of dough-making have lasting impressions on how your dough balls open and bake.

Indeed, various stages of producing Neapolitan dough and pizza are interconnected, meaning that the outcome of one stage substantially depends on the consequences of antecedent stages. Throughout the process, from the formation of the dough to molding and baking it into a Neapolitan pizza, the "dough strength" (along with other vital properties that will not be dealt with here) is of pivotal importance. (By "dough strength" I do not mean to maximize the gluten development/strength, but, briefly put, to procure an apropos/purposeful balance between "dough elasticity" and "dough extensibility" achieved through time as results of the proteolytic and fermentative reactions in a dough that had reached a proper degree of homogeneity, hence a proper degree of gluten development, after mixing.)

Without adequate strength, a Neapolitan dough can prove to be disastrous on the bancone and/or oven floor, especially in a high-volume pizzeria that uses high dough hydration and long warm fermentation. Even low-volume pizzerias that use lower hydration rates and cold fermentation often have problems with dough strength.  If a Neapolitan dough batch does not have adequate strength after conclusion of the initial fermentation, it may not be conducive to formation of wholesome dough balls. If the formed dough balls do not have sufficient strength, they may not be able to properly withstand the proteolytic and fermentative reactions during the final fermentation to reach proper dough maturation. If the dough balls are of poor strength when it comes to draft dough discs and garnish them with toppings, then the pizzaiolo may run into a host of problems. If the garnished dough discs are, lets say, too weak, then uncertainties will arise as to whether or not they will make it undamaged from the bancone to the pizza peel and from the pizza peel to the oven floor. At last, imagine simultaneously baking multiple pizzas that are too weak to carry their own weights. How is the fornaio supposed to simultaneously juggle multiple pizzas without burning and/or breaking them?

As indicated above, it is of foundational importance to have healthy dough balls of proper strength in order to pave the way for producing quality pizzas. I stated "pave the way" because healthy dough balls alone do not guarantee outstanding pizzas. From this point onward, it all depends on:

1. How skillfully the pizzaiolo can draft dough discs out of dough balls,
2. How skillfully the pizzaiolo can garnish the dough discs,
3. How skillfully the garnished dough discs are transferred onto the pizza peel and then onto the oven floor, and
4. How skillfully the pizzas are baked in a well-managed wood-fired oven.

In this undertaking, both the banconista and fornaio work in tandem like a pilot and copilot. The better the banconista performs his tasks of forming and garnishing dough discs, the better the fornaio will be able to fulfill his tasks of launching and baking the pizzas on the oven floor. Again, if, in this whole undertaking, the dough balls are of unfit quality, both the banconista and fornaio may find themselves struggling to keep their heads above the water during rush times.

Several factors (of which the banconista is in charge) commonly contribute to pizzas being difficult to handle on the oven floor, making the job of the fornaio strenuous. Some of the common factors are as follows:

1. In drafting a dough disc, the banconista neglects to uniformly smooth out the margin/region between the fleshy base of the dough ball and the dough skin encircling/bordering the fleshy base. (See the 1st picture below.) This assumes that the bottom surface of the dough ball will be used as the bottom of the pizza. Basically, when the division between the dough flesh and dough skin is not properly smoothed out throughout the circular perimeter of the dough disc, it may form pockets/folds/dents/obstructions below the pizza cornicione while being baked on the oven floor. If so, the curved edges of the turning peel can get caught, while rotating the pizza on the oven floor, inside the pocket(s), possibly causing tears or damages to the pizza. Alternatively, sometimes a rough, non-smoothed out margin turns into an obstruction of some sort that can bring to a halt the clockwise or counterclockwise rotation of the pizza on the turning peel. In the process of opening a dough ball, sometimes the dough skin may overlap the dough flesh. If excessive amount of bench flour is caught inside the gap, then it might be almost impossible to seal it. As you can imagine, these problems can frustrate the efforts of the fornaio to bake multiple pizzas simultaneously. Using wooden, as opposed to plastic, dough boxes may have a mitigating effect on these problems.

2. In drafting a dough disc, the banconista unduly over-stresses, hence overstretches, some surface areas more than other surface areas on the dough disc. Consequently, there will be a lack of uniform density throughout the disc, which causes some surface areas to become thinner and weaker. In turn, during baking, the thinner and weaker areas may trap the generated steam below the dough disc and protrude upward, making the task of rotating the pizza difficult or risky. There is a chance that the turning peel may tear through the bubbles or weak areas.   

3. In launching a raw pizza on the oven floor, the fornaio repeatedly shakes the pizza peel forward and backward in a manner that the front edge of the peel causes dents or folds under the dough disc. If the turning peel gets caught inside the fold, it may tear the pizza on the oven floor.

4. The banconista neglects to clear the workbench surface of foreign objects such as cheese. If a piece of cheese somehow ends up on the bottom of a pizza being baked on the oven floor, it may act like a glue, gluing the pizza to the oven floor. Detaching the pizza from the floor may cause the base to break. Alternatively, sometimes a piece of cheese may fall off a pizza during the launch and land on the sideline, possibly gluing the pizza rim to the oven floor. At last, depending on the state of your dough and how hot the oven floor is, excess flour under a pizza may have nearly the same effect, besides making the turning peel sticky.

As I mentioned above, the protruding bubbles on the face of your pizzas during baking are usually related to three factors that are often, but not always, interrelated:

1. Poorly drafting/stretching a dough ball into a dough disc,
2. Lack of enough strength in the gluten matrix and/or over-maturation of dough balls,
3. Excessively hot oven floor

In many cases, factor No. 1 is probably responsible for the bubbles, and this problem is further aggravated when it is accompanied by factors No. 2 and 3. Basically, when some areas of a dough disc unduly receive more physical force/stress/thrust than the rest of the areas  in the process of stretching, the over-stressed areas (which are usually thinner and weaker) are more likely to trap the steam generated below the pizza base and expand upward. The protruded areas of the crust may easily break when rotating your pizzas on the oven floor.

My assumption is that, when you open your dough ball, you treat it as though it were a New York-style pizza dough, which is akin to treating a katana like a French foil, or a classical guitar like an electric guitar. A New York-style pizza dough can endure much more stress than Neapolitan dough because it is a much stronger dough. Moreover, the former is not manipulated and baked on the oven floor the same way as the latter. If opening a dough ball on your knuckles is your method, then you need to perform it with more finesse. The better a dough ball is opened and topped with toppings, the easier it will be handled on the oven floor. Good day!
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 02:41:31 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Serpentelli

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2604 on: July 01, 2014, 10:43:51 PM »
 I cannot help but share this totally clean joke, in light of all the discussion about wooden dough boxes:

Two tall trees, a birch and a beech, are growing in the woods. A small tree begins to grow between them. The beech says to the birch: "Is that a son of a beech or a son of a birch?"
The birch says it cannot tell. Just then a woodpecker lands on the sapling. The birch says, "Woodpecker, you are a tree expert. Can you tell if that is a son of a beech or a son of a birch?"
The woodpecker takes a taste of the small tree and replies: "It is neither a son of a beech nor a son of a birch. It is, however, the tastiest piece of ash I have ever stuck my pecker into


John K
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Offline Tonio

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2605 on: July 01, 2014, 10:50:18 PM »
LOL  :-D  Good one !

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2606 on: July 02, 2014, 03:59:17 AM »
I cannot help but share this totally clean joke, in light of all the discussion about wooden dough boxes:

Two tall trees, a birch and a beech, are growing in the woods. A small tree begins to grow between them. The beech says to the birch: "Is that a son of a beech or a son of a birch?"
The birch says it cannot tell. Just then a woodpecker lands on the sapling. The birch says, "Woodpecker, you are a tree expert. Can you tell if that is a son of a beech or a son of a birch?"
The woodpecker takes a taste of the small tree and replies: "It is neither a son of a beech nor a son of a birch. It is, however, the tastiest piece of ash I have ever stuck my pecker into


John K

Thank you for the joke, but I do not understand the significance of the "ash" tree. Too bad that the new dough boxes I built yesterday are neither beech nor birch. The first one, below, is made out of pine, and the second one is made out of poplar. Each of the dough boxes is much lighter than the red oak dough box I built last week. Unfortunately, my new dough boxes somehow ended up being longer in length (by one inch and a half) than what I had intended. I must have made a mistake in my measurements. Sometime soon I will put them to test. Good day!
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2607 on: July 02, 2014, 01:00:24 PM »
 :-D
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 07:01:44 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline Serpentelli

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2608 on: July 03, 2014, 12:34:54 PM »
Thank you for the joke, but I do not understand the significance of the "ash" tree. Too bad that the new dough boxes I built yesterday are neither beech nor birch. The first one, below, is made out of pine, and the second one is made out of poplar. Each of the dough boxes is much lighter than the red oak dough box I built last week. Unfortunately, my new dough boxes somehow ended up being longer in length (by one inch and a half) than what I had intended. I must have made a mistake in my measurements. Sometime soon I will put them to test. Good day!

Omid,

The use of the "ash sapling" in the joke is just a means of using something that sounds like "a$$".  The  bird describes putting his beak into the small tree (his "pecker" since he is a woodpecker) and he therefore tastes a "piece of ash". As you are probably aware,  the term "pecker" may have different meanings depending on the context in which it is being used. The joke here is contingent upon both the understanding of the "pecker" innuendo, and the "piece of ash" innuendo.

John K

PS Your boxes look great! Did you construct them like the Franco Manca boxes with the bottom NOT flush with the sides?
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 12:37:44 PM by Serpentelli »
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Offline Pizzaioli

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2609 on: July 06, 2014, 06:01:48 PM »
Wow , I am most impressed with all the love and passion for Neapolitan Pizza .. I have been studying the art and craft immensely and have become a self taught Pizzaioli , still hope in due time too attend some formal classes but in the end I am proud of the Pizzas that come out of my oven and I have taken people back to Italy one Pizza at a time :)


Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2610 on: July 06, 2014, 06:05:54 PM »
Wow , I am most impressed with all the love and passion for Neapolitan Pizza .. I have been studying the art and craft immensely and have become a self taught Pizzaioli , still hope in due time too attend some formal classes but in the end I am proud of the Pizzas that come out of my oven and I have taken people back to Italy one Pizza at a time :)

Very cool. Let's see some pictures.

Omid definitely has a passion for pizza, and he is also a great guy.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2611 on: July 07, 2014, 09:26:40 AM »
Omid, the dough boxes you see at around 1:55 in this video of Ciro Salvo certainly appear to be pine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2q3LnoOLTc


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Offline cervicornis

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2612 on: July 07, 2014, 01:03:59 PM »
I had the pleasure of meeting Omid at Pizzeria Bruno yesterday afternoon.  Omid, it was great meeting you and tasting your pizza!  Thank you for showing me the oven and taking the time to chat.  I recently discovered this forum and it has ignited a real passion for learning the art of making pizza.  Until yesterday, I had never tried a real Neapolitan pizza.  Delicious.  I was really impressed by the tenderness of the dough and the freshness of the flavors.  I have much to learn!

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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2613 on: July 08, 2014, 07:21:05 AM »
Your boxes look great! Did you construct them like the Franco Manca boxes with the bottom NOT flush with the sides?


Dear John, the bottom of the walls and the bottom of the base board are all on the same plane. Sometime in future, I will make one like Franco Manca's. By the way, thanks for explaining the joke. You are funny! Have a great day.

Wow , I am most impressed with all the love and passion for Neapolitan Pizza .. I have been studying the art and craft immensely and have become a self taught Pizzaioli , still hope in due time too attend some formal classes but in the end I am proud of the Pizzas that come out of my oven and I have taken people back to Italy one Pizza at a time :)


Dear Pizzaiolo, thank you! I wish you the best in your pizza quest.

Very cool. Let's see some pictures.

Omid definitely has a passion for pizza, and he is also a great guy.


Dear Jefferey, thank you for the kind words. Good day!

Omid, the dough boxes you see at around 1:55 in this video of Ciro Salvo certainly appear to be pine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2q3LnoOLTc

Best regards.


Dear Craig, thank you for the information. Have a great day!

I had the pleasure of meeting Omid at Pizzeria Bruno yesterday afternoon.  Omid, it was great meeting you and tasting your pizza!  Thank you for showing me the oven and taking the time to chat.  I recently discovered this forum and it has ignited a real passion for learning the art of making pizza.  Until yesterday, I had never tried a real Neapolitan pizza.  Delicious.  I was really impressed by the tenderness of the dough and the freshness of the flavors.  I have much to learn!

Jason


Dear Jason, it was a pleasure meeting you and your family at Bruno. I wish you success in your new undertaking. Have a great day!
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2614 on: July 08, 2014, 07:21:24 AM »
Here is an interesting article about Raffele Condurro and his pizzeria known as "Pizzeria A' ddo Figlio e Michele".

http://www.lucianopignataro.it/a/grandenotizianapoli-pizzeria-a-ddo-figlio-e-michele-qui-raffaele-condurro-fa-ancora-la-pizza-a-quasi-90-anni/73601/

Raffele (who is reportedly almost 90 years of age) and Luigi Condurro (who is 92 years old and has been making pizzas since age 13) are two of the seven sons of the founder of L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele, i.e.,  Michele Condurro, who learned the pizza art from his father, Salvatore Condurro, and "the famous masters in Torre Annunziata". (http://www.damichele.net/index.php?section=storia) According to the article, Raffele [like Da Michele] uses old dough (pasta di riporto) in making Neapolitan dough. In visual terms, there are also some similarities between the pizzas of Raffele and Da Michele. Blessed be they!

http://figlemichele.altervista.org

<a href="http://youtu.be/MHW39JANdPc" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://youtu.be/MHW39JANdPc</a>
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 03:37:38 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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Offline stonecutter

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2615 on: July 08, 2014, 07:29:34 AM »
The olive oil cruet in Raffele's restaurant is beautiful!  The pizza looks good too :)
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Online Mmmph

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2616 on: July 10, 2014, 12:57:49 PM »
I'm going to try to use this wine crate/box that I've had for years.

It's 20"x12.5"x 4.25". Should hold six dough balls handily.
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Offline stonecutter

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2617 on: July 10, 2014, 01:28:34 PM »
I'm going to try to use this wine crate/box that I've had for years.

It's 20"x12.5"x 4.25". Should hold six dough balls handily.

Great idea!
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Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2618 on: July 10, 2014, 03:14:59 PM »
I'm going to try to use this wine crate/box that I've had for years.

It's 20"x12.5"x 4.25". Should hold six dough balls handily.


I believe I have a couple of those in my garage. I'll dust them off and see how they work. I wonder what kind of wood that is? 

Also, I did a bit of research and found that there are actually websites that sell used winecrates.  Who knew? 
http://wood-wine-crates-and-boxes.blogspot.com/2011_07_01_archive.html
http://www.winepine.com/
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 03:20:53 PM by tinroofrusted »

Offline stonecutter

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #2619 on: July 10, 2014, 03:20:00 PM »
The one above looks like pine.
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