Author Topic: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!  (Read 498520 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #400 on: August 15, 2011, 06:56:55 PM »
Omid,

Thank you for the explanation. Where I live in Texas, just outside of Dallas, we just ended a string of 40 consecutive days of temperatures over 100 degrees F, just two days short of the all-time record of 42 days set in 1980. The only realistic option that I have, and others similarly situated may have, at least in summer, is to use some kind of temperature control unit and hope that it holds the amount of dough and number of dough balls that you have been making.

Peter


Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #401 on: August 15, 2011, 10:34:29 PM »
Omid,

Thank you for the explanation. Where I live in Texas, just outside of Dallas, we just ended a string of 40 consecutive days of temperatures over 100 degrees F, just two days short of the all-time record of 42 days set in 1980. The only realistic option that I have, and others similarly situated may have, at least in summer, is to use some kind of temperature control unit and hope that it holds the amount of dough and number of dough balls that you have been making.

Peter

Dear Peter, temperature control is indeed an obligatory art in respect to making dough. This is even truer when one, out of a spirit of identifying with the past traditions, commits oneself to preclusion from use of modern refrigeration, electric cellars, or other modern technologies, as can still be seen in a number of pizzerias and bakeries in Naples, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Right next door to Naples, the ancient Pompeians did not have the benefits of the modern amenities, yet they reportedly produced myriad of baked goods for the entire city to enjoy throughout summers, when the temperature was often infernal according to the historical records. Upon a visit to the ancient Pompeii many years ago, the guide, who was neither a scholar nor a baker, informed me that theoretically the Pompeian bakers controlled their dough temperature by using deep vats or vessels (sometimes half buried below ground) made out of volcanic or earthenware materials, as shown in the pictures I gathered from around the net below. (Again, please, keep in mind that this is all speculation. There are many other rival theories.) Hence I became inspired to construct my "marble chamber", which seems to have a peculiar heat-repulsion property, for dough fermentation. Sometime soon, I am planning to move and cement the marble chamber below the ground-level under the house, right below one of the rooms that already contains a hatch on the floor. It would be like a mini cellar where the temperature would be more stable than above the ground. As the ancient Roman poet Virgil elegantly stated in his Aeneid: Flectere si nequeo Superos, Acheronta movebo. ("Since I cannot move the gods above, I shall move the gods below.")

I think we have much to learn from the antiquity. The ancient bakeries and the telltale brick-ovens of Pompeii have already become a place for clue-hunting for some modern bakers and oven builders. I recently learned that one reason the Colosseum in Rome has well-survived centuries of erosions, arsons, vandalisms, and wars is because it was built of certain materials out of which they built their ovens. That is fascinating! Good day.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:43:44 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #402 on: August 15, 2011, 11:17:00 PM »
Omid,
This thread has been accessed over 13,000 times since your original entry, posted 51 days ago.  Perhaps you should start your own blog.

Chris

Dear Chris, I sincerely appreciate your comment, which is characteristic of affection and benevolence! However I feel right at home amongst all you impassioned pizza sectarians here in this wonderful forum, where I have been learning tremendously from both the absolute beginners  ??? and professionals :chef:. And, one crucial philosophical point that at times we may neglect: as true science and philosophy can never be individualistic pursuits, that they are inherently cultural and collective efforts, likewise culinary arts as cultural pursuits are cooperative efforts that can enrich the existence of one another. Thanks to the organizers and members of this forum. Good night friend!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 12:59:51 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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Offline wheelman

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #403 on: August 16, 2011, 08:55:37 AM »
Omid,

your thread has been an amazing eye opener for me and many others here.  your suggestions have led me into several uncharted alleys on my pizza trek.  one theme in particular has been especially facinating and i and others have experimented wildly over the last weeks to gain our own knowledge.  that is what you call effective hydration.  i was thinking that the masonry vats might have been a recepticle for hydrated flour....  anyway, i wonder if now that many of us have tried many different interpretations of EH, if you would tell us what that means to you and how your process achieves it. 
thanks again for this remarkable thread and good cheers to you!
bill

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #404 on: August 16, 2011, 11:13:23 PM »
Omid,

your thread has been an amazing eye opener for me and many others here. . . . One theme in particular has been especially fascinating and i and others have experimented wildly over the last weeks to gain our own knowledge. that is what you call effective hydration. anyway, i wonder if now that many of us have tried many different interpretations of EH, if you would tell us what that means to you and how your process achieves it. thanks again for this remarkable thread and good cheers to you!
bill

Dear Bill, I thank you for your generous remarks! What is mesmerizing about the baker’s marble (i.e., the wheat flour) is all the potentials that—lay hidden—within its grains! The longer one experiments with wheat dough, the more one realizes its multidimensional propensities. As such, effective hydration still remains a mystery to me!

Please, let me explain after making some preliminary remarks. First, this method is not prominent at all within the Neapolitan circle in Naples, and it is superfluously beyond what is sufficient within that context. In other words, there is nothing Neapolitan about this method of hydration as far as making pizza dough is the concern. Second, although effective hydration and “autolyse” seem to have certain characteristics and functions in common, I refrain from calling it “autolyse” insomuch as I do not know enough about it and its procedure(s). Third, this method is a hyperactively modified version of a hydration method that is still in use in different regions of the Middle East. (In Iran, they even hydrate rice grains for a period of time before actually cooking them, for they believe such hydration helps the rice to cook faster, better, softer, and tastier. Same principle!) Fourth, this method originally meant to be an alternative to using oil, milk, or the like in dough in order to make the crust moist and tender—particularly where there is no wood-fired oven that can generate high levels of heat. At last, effective hydration does not carry the implication that if you hydrate your flour differently, then you are ineffectively hydrating your flour.

Unfortunately, at this point in time, it is not easy and possible for me to compose a written description and explanation of effective hydration for several reasons. Doing so involves technical writing which is laborious and time consuming. Further, since the subject matter is multifaceted, with many variables and scenarios at hand, the end result of putting it down in writing is prone to being confusing and misleading. And, add to that the fact that dough is a territorial being, in the sense that it behaves, either slightly or substantially, differently in various environments, seasons, and atmospheric conditions. Not all dough mixers seem to work with this type of hydration method! Winters or cold seasons seem to be most instrumental in implementing the method, not so much the warm seasons. At last, most important of all, although I have been experimenting with this method for a long time, at times it fails me without any apparent reason. And, this indicates that I have not fully understood and mastered the method. Until then, please excuse me from answering your question, for which first I need to fully answer for myself. However, if it is of any help, let me quote some of the statements I have made about effective hydration in my previous posts in this thread:


Reply 28:
And, that is precisely my point: fluidity, making the flour fluid enough in order to be materially causative or creative. . . . The floured wheat endosperm is solid, not fluid. And, it has certain regulatory resistance to hydration, which, if I am not mistaken, flour scientists often refer to as “kinetics of water transport” or “hydration dynamics of endosperm”. This resistance barrier can be overcome “at some time and in some way”, which calls for a “methodology” or “methodic handling”. . . . A way is to get the flour’s own natural enzymes “to adequately turn the starch content of flour into sugar and to reconfigure the protein content of flour into gluten—after mixing, but prior to kneading. . . . By analogy, if your hair is not wet enough, shampooing your hair would not be effective. First, adequately (quantity) and effectively (quality) hydrate your hair, and then shampoo! Adequately (indicative of “quantity”) and effectively (indicative of “quality” or “how”) hydrating flour will beget dough of superior extensibility, flavor, sourness, texture, and aroma.” So, there are two distinct, but not separate, factors: quantity of hydration and quality (or how) of hydration.

Reply 56:
“Ockham’s razor”, a principle of simplicity, can definitely be applied to the situation at hand. According to the scholastic philosopher William of Ockham, Entita non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitate: “Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity” or “The number of entities used to explain phenomena should not be increased unnecessarily”. In other words, of two or more possible explanations for a phenomenon, choose the one that explains what is to be explained with the fewest assumptions and explanatory principles. And, of course, as the great Aristotle stated, this is a rational (ratio, proportion) process.

Reply 124:
The chief objective of “effective hydration” . . . , not disjunct from quantity of hydration, is to make flour fluid enough (notice the adverb "enough") in order to be animated. As I have used the following analogy before, your hair (cf. flour) would not be responsive enough to shampoo (cf. culture/yeast) if it is not hydrated or fluid enough. Just as we are not able to consume hard, raw pinto beans, I hypothesize, in light of my experiments, that the fermentative micro-organisms within dough tend not to uniformly ferment the dough if it is not effectively hydrated. Un-hydrated flour is of no use to bacteria and/or fungi; the more fluid the particles of flour are the more fluently the micro-organisms can ferment the dough. So, I use this peculiar method of hydration in order to copiously exploit (explicāre, “to bring out the best”) the flour.

In my estimation, which could be erroneous, the timing—not exclusive of temperature—is indispensably critical in carrying out effective hydration, which I view as a musical overture to the opera of fermentation! “Overture” because it significantly sets the mood for the opera to follow. A poor overture can jeopardize a good opera! In regard to timing effective hydration, one should not just haphazardly pick an amount of time, such as 20 minutes or else. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts in this thread, according to Aristotle such natural processes, e.g. hydration, are “rational” (derived from ratiō, "ratio" or "proportion"), meaning that one needs to proportionately ratio-nalize time, temperature, and portions of flour and water in relation to one another. With that in mind, the amount of time depends on the following factors:

1. Strength of flour (stronger flour needs more time),
2. Quantity of water (lesser quantity of water requires more time),
3. Absorbency rate of flour (less absorbent flour needs more time),
4. Temperature of water-flour mixture in relation to ambient temperature (enzymatic reactions need proper temperatures to be activated and maintained),
5. Native moisture of dry flour,
6. The rate at which the starch content of flour is enzymatically converted to sugars,
7. The rate at which the protein content of flour is enzymatically restructured as gluten strands, and
8. Etc.
 
While keeping the above factors in periphery of your mind, employ your senses of sight, smell, and touch as a trustworthy implement to alarm you as to when enough is enough. There is really no set time. When the water-flour mixture is inspired (īnspīrāre, “to breathe in”) enough, it is no longer a mere mélange of water and flour, but quasi-pasta which immanently percolates an implicit pasta-esque aroma, color, and corporeal constitution—that can be learned mainly by repeated trials. Also, make sure to watch the temperature!

If you add a factor to one side of a mathematical equation, then the other side of the equation will suffer if you do not add a counterbalancing factor to it. Likewise, effectively hydrated dough requires less kneading afterwards, for the pasta-esque dough has already generated amino acids or gluten strands that can be over-fortified by superfluous kneading, which can oxidize dough beyond necessity. Therefore, effective hydration not only contributes to the flour being more responsive to cohesive fermentation, but also it reduces oxidation and its unpleasant impacts on dough by reducing the kneading time.

Reply 206:
"Effective hydration" . . . is preoccupied with first [ratio-nally] hydrating the flour—without inclusion of salt or any fermentative agent—at the right mixture and room temperature and for the right amount of time [which does not always remain the same]. Thereafter, the salt and leaven [separately dissolved in water] will be added to the hydrated flour and kneading begins. Like the direct method, effective hydration does not employ bigga, poolish, or the like.

Reply 209:
[The following factors need to be regulated:]


1) . . . the temperature of water in relation to the temperature of flour;

2) . . . the temperature of the [water-flour] mixture in relation to the ambient temperature;

3) The amount of water . . .  should be a certain ratio in relation to the amount of flour;

4) . . . the amount of time [need to be] proportionate to the dough consistency that should be achieved, under the right temperature, by the end of the time period.


You need to be patient and do a number of trials until you discern the difference between each trial and learn by experience. I recommend that you accurately record all the details (periodic outside and room temperatures, periodic inner and surface mixture temperatures, type of flour and water, amount of time, season, mixture smells, colors, textures, transformations, and etc.) of every episode, and compare them with one another to understand the underlying principles. The temperature of your water (the hydrator), in relation to the temperature of your flour (the hydratee) which depends on the ambient temperature, needs to be tuned low enough for the enzymatic reactions to be minimally triggered and nothing beyond. You may want to commence with 60˚ F and keep reducing it by increments of 5 degrees per episode until you reach 35˚ F. (At 32˚ F water freezes.) To this end, mixing the hydrator and the hydratee should not take long enough to heat up the mixture. Further, at this point we are merely mixing, not kneading, to simply embody the mixture and nothing more. Start the ratio of the hydrator at 50% in relation to the hydratee. If you take it any higher, do not exceed 51% or 51.5%.

Good night!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 05:48:47 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #405 on: August 18, 2011, 02:19:02 AM »
Pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia of Napoli makes some crucial points in respect to spiral, fork, and kneading arms mixers:


"There are several models of mixers, but because the technique of mixing is very important, not all are suitable for the Pizza Classica Napoletana. Before the biological rising there is a physical rising, which is an increase in the volume, caused by a mechanical action, i.e. by blowing air into the dough.

The spiral mixer is characterized by a main body where there are a basin (rotating) housing the dough and the spiral (the mixing organism) rotating during the mixing phase on its own shaft to help the dough making. The spiral rotates along its axis, generating an stretching and extension action in the gluten net. With this mixer it is possible to knead for a maximum of 20 minutes and is not recommended for beginners because, causing a friction, unless you have a great experience, it causes heat in the dough.

With the fork mixer, thanks to the unique shape of the mixing body and the natural movement, it is possible to achieve not heated and well-oxygenated dough, to a very high quality final product. The system of dough making with the fork is ranked as one of the best, second only to the system with the kneading arms [cf., the diving arms mixer].

In fact, this last model [the kneading arms], with its operating system, which reminds of the typical movements of human being arms and hands, is the most tested and efficient model existing to work the dough. The product obtained is very homogeneous, well oxygenated, without any heat in the dough, ready for a perfect, slow rising, the only problem is that you have to work with medium or large amounts of dough." (http://www.blogpizzanapoletana.com/en/pizza-and-equipment/)


His statements bring to my mind the fast speed, not the physical design, of the Santos mixer's fork which over-oxygenates and heats up (not as much as many other mixers such as the Kitchen Aid) the dough—which in turn results in a crust that is not tender enough for Neapolitan pizza. In addition, the fast speed buttresses the gluten network throughout the dough mass.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 09:12:24 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #406 on: August 18, 2011, 10:38:21 AM »
To follow-up on the preceding post, per Mr. Marco Parente (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.0.html Replies 14, 16, 17, & 22):

By the way this is a fork mixer, which gives the best results for pizza dough: http://www.yourdelight.com/santos.htm
I am not sure about the producer, but the technology is no1

I would like again to point out that I do not know the brand. However I do know for a fact that some fork mixers are passed on in the testament of some families back in Naples. I have also seen a 40 year old fork mixer working as if it was new... The best are Pietroberto's, but it is like the Bentleys or Ferrari of the brands. Anyway, the fork mixer action incorporate a lots of air in the dough, and does this very slowly without overheating the dough (virtually no heating is caused my the mixing action). This also allows you to work high hydration dough very easily. The good thing about the Santos, seams to be the low capacity (commercial models like Pietroberto are much bigger), and the relatively low cost (Pietroberto's mixers cost around $10,000). If you are considering a serious mixer for home use, the Santos would be the No 1 choice.  The only question is if the bowl does rotate...

. . . the Fork mixer is superior. The dough get folded over and over again incorporating a lot of air. As you may know, the yeast then just works on this air and makes the bubble bigger... The whole happen very slowly, so you can control the mixing and doesn't heat the dough.

For professionals, the best option would be a double arm diving mixers. . . . The Positive side is that it gives you the best oxygenation into the dough. The negative side is that it heat up the dough too much too quickly...
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 11:11:50 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline scott r

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #407 on: August 18, 2011, 12:58:09 PM »
Another thing to take into consideration is the hydration of the dough you are looking to make.   Once you start getting into very high hydrations the spiral mixer can actually handle the dough better, and on the other side of things I know a pizzeria with a pietroberto diving arm mixer that has trouble getting it to do full batches of 60% hydration dough with a high gluten flour.... even with an autolyse.    Mixers need to matched to the style of your pizza.   There is no clear "best" for all hydrations/flours.   This may account for maco's conflicting advice.... once saying the fork is best, than another time saying the diving arm mixer is the best.

ALso, I have worked with a few spiral mixers now, and while I highly respect Enzo, I have to say that 20 minutes in a spiral mixer would probably turn any dough into a tire.  They are meant to develop dough faster than a fork or diving arm mixer.   Of course it would heat up the dough too much if you are mixing that long in a spiral!  The more typical mix times I see with a spiral are closer to 7 minutes, and one highly respected pizzeria I know of is mixing for under 5 minutes in their spiral with a VERY wet dough.  
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 01:14:46 PM by scott r »

Offline chrisgraff

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #408 on: August 18, 2011, 01:08:16 PM »
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« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 05:16:49 PM by chrisgraff »


Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #409 on: August 18, 2011, 01:47:26 PM »
Another thing to take into consideration is the hydration of the dough you are looking to make.   Once you start getting into very high hydrations the spiral mixer can actually handle the dough better, and on the other side of things I know a pizzeria with a pietroberto diving arm mixer that has trouble getting it to do full batches of 60% hydration dough with a high gluten flour.... even with an autolyse.    Mixers need to matched to the style of your pizza.   There is no clear "best" for all hydrations/flours.   This may account for maco's conflicting advice.... once saying the fork is best, than another time saying the diving arm mixer is the best.

Dear Scott, I think you eloquently expressed a pragmatic point: "Mixers need to [be] matched to the style of your pizza." In respect to Mr. Marco's statements, when he asserted "the fork mixer is superior" and "for professionals, the best option would be a double arm diving mixers", it seems to me that he spoke of them in superlative terms (e.g., good, better, best). Accordingly, I think, he made a distinction, however awkwardly, between "superior" (referring to fork mixers) and "for professional, the best" (referring to double diving arm mixers). So, he may not had contradicted himself. Incidentally, I doubt it if he was cognizant, back in 2005, of the fast kneading speed of the Santos mixers that are customized for the US consumers. Perhaps, that is why he wrote, "I am not sure about the [Santos] producer, but the technology is no1." Good day!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 05:52:52 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #410 on: August 18, 2011, 06:40:41 PM »
..... I have to say that 20 minutes in a spiral mixer would probably turn any dough into a tire....  

I would have agreed with you until I watched this the other night.  Start at 4:00 if you like. 


There is a part 2 of this video also.  The dough balls in part 2 look suprisingly perfect.
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Offline JConk007

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #411 on: August 18, 2011, 10:03:35 PM »
This debate could go on for many many pages. However I agree with scottr about the Knead to know what type of flour hydration and style of pizza you want to make. I have been blessed, using the diving arm mixer at Vesta Pizzeria shown here, for my Caputo 62% hydration dough for all my dough for my events. Frank has been very kind to me. I have made many batches now from 8 lbs of flour to 26 lbs (max for this machine) of flour and the dough does NOT heat up and comes out identical each and every time. I do 5 min mix/kneed rest a few minutes and 2 , 1 minute quick kneed to build the gluten. So I guess what I am trying am saying that the quantity? of dough you are wanting to make is also important. Amano uses a fork mixer that takes one full bag and There are spiral mixers that make 100's of pounds of flour in one shot. Is there a diving arm that will do that much.? I am eying this mixer http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330594974654&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT on ebay and feel it would be a great addition to my Neapolitan garage (sorry Craig) affordable and perfect for Neapolitan dough I would appreciate any feed back on such a mixer as I have 0 experience with a spiral But I have heard they also do not overheat the dough at say a 6-7 minute mix. Maybe Omid or someone else in California would be kind enough to go have a look at the machine before I "Dive" in  ;) thanks John
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« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 10:05:08 PM by JConk007 »
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #412 on: August 18, 2011, 11:47:49 PM »
John I have no experience with spirals either but I did read that Italian mixers run slower than others like french mixers. The santos is a french mixer and runs faster than what you would see in normal Italian forks. Same with the SP5 mixer Matt has, runs faster than Italian spirals. I tried finding who makes the Sinmag mixer but their site is down.

Offline scott r

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #413 on: August 19, 2011, 02:48:07 PM »
I would have agreed with you until I watched this the other night.  Start at 4:00 if you like.  


There is a part 2 of this video also.  The dough balls in part 2 look suprisingly perfect.

Thats a planetary, not a spiral mixer.  Its normal to go 15- 20 min in a planetary, especially with gradual addition of flour like this guy is doing.    
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 02:52:16 PM by scott r »

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #414 on: August 20, 2011, 06:17:27 PM »
Maybe Omid or someone else in California would be kind enough to go have a look at the machine before I "Dive" in.

Dear John, if the place was near San Diego, I would have been happy to inspect the mixer for you. La Habra is a 2-hour drive or more from where I live. Have a great weekend!
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #415 on: August 20, 2011, 07:10:24 PM »
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Dear Chrisgraff, I went to make some comments about your yesterday post re your experimentations with "effective hydration", but the post is gone! I do remember that you refrigerated the dough for about over 12 hours or more in the process of effectively hydrating it. I would personally avoid any refrigeration, which can cause the dough itself to toughen and, hence, not to be conducive to kneading afterward. Also, 12 hours or so is quite excessive. Have a great weekend!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 07:18:47 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #416 on: August 24, 2011, 10:15:17 PM »
Most of the posts regarding the Santos mod have been moved to a new thread in a more appropriate forum:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15282.msg150154.html#msg150154



Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #417 on: August 24, 2011, 10:46:23 PM »
Most of the posts regarding the Santos mod have been moved to a new thread in a more appropriate forum:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15282.msg150154.html#msg150154

Dear bill, five minutes ago, I received an email from a youtube member who asked me, "What happened to all the posts on Santos?" Hence, with your permission, I added the Santos picture below as an attention-catcher for the non-members who have been following the development from other websites. I thank you for all your great service!

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15282.msg150154.html#msg150154
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 10:48:30 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #418 on: August 25, 2011, 12:20:56 PM »
Hello Omid and other pizza friends. I have been offline for a while and seem to have missed a lot with respect to this thread and others.  I, like others, am fascinated with the tantalizingly enigmatic discussion of effective hydration.  It seems to be somewhat mystical, and I find myself wishing for more concrete instructions even as I read why they cannot be more clearly set forth.  Something like the Tao.  So I will continue to read and learn as the experiments unfold.

I am particularly drawn to Omid's idea of a roomy "marble chamber" for fermenting dough.  It seems fitting that Omid, a classicist, would favor such a vessel. He mentions that it was constructed of five 19x19 squares of Carrera marble. Omid, would it be possible for you to (a) post a photo of your marble chamber, and (b) to provide some instructions to those who might be interested in constructing one of their own.

Best regards,

Tin Roof

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #419 on: August 25, 2011, 10:57:03 PM »
Hello Omid and other pizza friends. I have been offline for a while and seem to have missed a lot with respect to this thread and others.  I, like others, am fascinated with the tantalizingly enigmatic discussion of effective hydration.  It seems to be somewhat mystical, and I find myself wishing for more concrete instructions even as I read why they cannot be more clearly set forth.  Something like the Tao.  So I will continue to read and learn as the experiments unfold.

I am particularly drawn to Omid's idea of a roomy "marble chamber" for fermenting dough.  It seems fitting that Omid, a classicist, would favor such a vessel. He mentions that it was constructed of five 19x19 squares of Carrera marble. Omid, would it be possible for you to (a) post a photo of your marble chamber, and (b) to provide some instructions to those who might be interested in constructing one of their own.

Best regards,

Tin Roof

Dear Tin Roof, welcome back! Indeed, a couple of days ago I was thinking about you. Where have you been?

In re the effective hydration, I will restart my experiments once the warm season is over here in San Diego. I will share my results. For now I am preoccupied, as you probably have noticed, with taming the shrew, my new Santos mixer. Also, I have been getting many job interviews for the pizzaiolo and pizza maker positions in and out of San Diego. Last week, I had to fly all the way to New York for that purpose!

Fortunately, San Diego has been alluring the attention of several corporate restaurateurs who think that the US market, not just San Diego, is getting ripe for Neapolitan pizza business! Some of them are taking the pizza business with a spirit of seriousness and some of them are taking it with a rather epenthetic orientation. I speculate that waves of Neapolitan pizzerias will be hitting the US market (and markets abroad) within next 3 to 5 years. They are watching us!

I remember when I arrived to the US in 1984, pizza napoletana was virtually unheard of. Now, they are popping up in all kinds of places that I could not even imagine: Alabama, Kentucky, Iran, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, China, Singapore, and etc. I hope this means that the years of exile are over!  

Respectfully,
Omid
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 08:26:54 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #420 on: August 25, 2011, 11:45:45 PM »
I have been around but preoccupied with things other than pizza, sadly.  I am whipping up a batch of dough right now as a matter of fact. I created a poolish this morning with the following ingredients:

400 grams pure spring water
100 grams high gluten flour
100 grams whole durum wheat atta flour*
100 grams all purpose flour
25 grams rye flour
25 grams spelt flour
15 grams wheat germ
a very small pinch of instant yeast

I mixed this up and left it on the counter all day. When I returned home this evening it had blossomed very nicely. I added about 300 grams of high gluten flour and 1.5 tsp of salt and did my best imitation of "effective hydration". I'm right now in the middle of a series of turns, every 15 minutes, after which I will put it in the fridge for an overnight rest.  I do wish I had a carrera marble vessel in which to store it.  Speaking of which, I am still hoping that you may provide some instructions on how one of those vessels is best constructed.  I am ready to head up to Anaheim to the marble yards to seek out some white marble as soon as I have my instructions in hand.  

*Durum atta flour, as you probably know, is an interesting ingredient for pizza makers. It is a very high protein flour, made entirely from hard wheat, and is classically used for making Indian breads. I find it very delicious when used in modest quantities in pizza dough.  

Regards,

Tin Roof
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 11:50:55 PM by tinroofrusted »

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #421 on: August 27, 2011, 02:04:34 AM »
I am whipping up a batch of dough right now as a matter of fact. . . . I am still hoping that you may provide some instructions on how one of those vessels is best constructed.

Dear Tin Roof, your recipe sounds complex, yet fantastic. I have never crafted a dough of that stature. The final product must be delicious, with its own particular flavor and texture. Please, take some pictures of the final products and post them here.

In my previous post, I completely forgot to discuss the construction of the marble chamber. It is very simple and elementary. Below is a list of what you need:

1) Five 18×18 polished "bianco carrera" marble tiles. (The denser and thicker the carrera marble tiles are, the better they will sustain their cool temperature. Mine is slightly less than half of an inch thick.)
2) Clear, wide scotch tape of good quality. Alternatively, you can use silicon sealant.  

The pictures attached hereunder should be self-explanatory. Basically, you need to construct a topless cube with the tiles, and use the tape or silicon to conjoin the edges. (Sometimes I do use a top in conjunction with some frozen water bottles placed inside.) Take heed that the five carrera marble tiles together are quite heavy. So, I recommend not to cement or permanently join the tiles together (unless you would like to permanently situate the marble chamber below ground level under your house), or you will have a difficult time moving the chamber around.

Where in a room you place the chamber will have an impact upon the interior temperature of the chamber. Sometimes I place the chamber right below an open or closed window. For obvious reasons, make sure the bottom marble tile sits directly on naked floor, as opposed to on a carpet or rug. Also, make sure there is no hot water pipes running below the floor. On hot days, I use a small electric fan (positioned close to an open window) to blow air above the mouth of the chamber in order to gently refresh and keep cool the air inside, kind of like a heat sink on a microprocessor. (As you may know, many Pentium microprocessors would fry themselves within a short period of time without heat sinks.) If the temperature gets too hot, I place frozen water bottles inside the chamber, which work great. It is a good practice to keep a thermometer inside the chamber to be alert of the interior temperature.

I hope the marble chamber works for you. Again, make sure to pick a right spot for it. And, every season may require a different spot in your house. You may want to read my "reply #399" in this tread to examine my setup: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.380.html.  

By the way, you can use a single marble tile to ferment your dough balls on. There is evidence that the ancient Pompeians practiced this. There are some bakeries in Iran that place their dough balls on an overly large marble table. Try it and you will see the difference! Bianco carrera marble absorbs moisture relatively well; hence, making it easy to pick up a dough ball with aid of a spatula or dough scraper. Also, the marble can better regulate and sustain the internal temperature of the dough balls. Good luck!

Respetfully,
Omid
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 11:44:05 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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

Offline Tman1

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #422 on: August 27, 2011, 08:33:18 AM »
Truly an abundance of info within this thread!! 

Omid,

I wonder if you might have some more info (comments, web links?) on the 'old world vessels' used for proofing? I started another thread here to discuss, but I fear not many have knowledge.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15271.0.html
My internet searches have turned up mostly refrigerator methods, not the methods of old.

Good day!!

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #423 on: August 27, 2011, 09:38:21 AM »
Good morning Omid,

Thank you so much for the pictures of your marble vessel and instructions on how to make it. Simple and effective.  I am going to give this a try.  i have a nice quiet place under the stairs that should be perfect, and won't require me to move the vessel around too often. I wonder if I might be able to purchase slightly smaller marble tiles (12x12?) to make it a bit more manageable. Obviously I limit my ability to make larger batches but I rarely ferment more than a kilo or two of dough at a time.

My complex recipe is sitting in the fridge at the moment, hopefully gaining complexity in an extended fermentation. I will make some pizzas out of it later this afternoon and post a photo of the results if they are photo-worthy. 

I'm off to the marble store...

Regards,

Tin Roof

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #424 on: August 27, 2011, 03:14:07 PM »
I'm off to the marble store.... I wonder if I might be able to purchase slightly smaller marble tiles (12x12?) to make it a bit more manageable.

Dear Tin Roof, I have tried 12x12 marble tiles with not pleasant results. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that 12x12 marble tiles lack enough mass to sustain cool temperatures. In addition, they may not provide enough depth or height to trap and keep cool air at the bottom of the chamber.

Right now it is 12:12 PM here in San Diego. It is a hot day and will get hotter later! Right now, the temperature inside my 1000 square feet house, with 2 small fans running and 4 windows open, is 86° F. (It would have been about 92° F or more if the the fans were off and the windows closed.) Given the above conditions, the marble chamber is competently keeping my dough balls (see the pictures below) cool. Notice the frozen water bottle inside the chamber; it does wonders! The balls have been sitting inside the chamber since 11:00 PM last night. Good day!

Update: The frozen water bottles do not have to be placed inside the marble chamber; they can also be placed on the floor outside of the chamber, adjacent to the walls, which will absorb the cold temperature from the ice and distribute it though out the mass.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 07:01:07 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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