Author Topic: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!  (Read 517091 times)

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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #725 on: October 20, 2011, 05:14:42 AM »
Tonight, I did an experiment . . . I wanted to see how well my gas oven could bake three pizzas back-to-back with the oven door open during the entire bake time. First, I elevated the oven floor closer to the dome, with a distance of 2.5 inches between them. (The oven floor is composed of three thick and rectangular pizza stones stacked on top of one another (a little over 2 inches thick), and the dome is composed of one large rectangular pizza stone with one layer of terra cotta bricks stacked on top of it (about 1.5 inches thick), plus insulations on top. I let the gas oven run continuously for 1 hour and 40 minutes until the floor reached 942° F and the dome 922° F, and baked three pizzas back to back—with the oven door open during the entire bake time. Although the pizzas were fully baked within less than 120 seconds each, I do not think keeping the door open was a good idea since the heat distribution inside the oven became very uneven. Moreover, 2.5 inches of distance between the floor and dome is rough on the cornicione, as seen in the pictures below. In addition, it leaves very little space to operate within. The dough used in this experiment was hydrated at 60%. Good night!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 05:46:38 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #726 on: October 20, 2011, 05:16:00 AM »
Continued . . .
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 #727 on: October 20, 2011, 05:42:18 AM »
Hi Omid
Sharing, intelligent, kind and enthusiastic. These are images i have of you when reading your posts.

Salute' Omid
 
David

Dear David, thank you! I noticed you are from Down Under . . . How is the pizza there, either Neapolitan or other styles? Have a lustrous day!
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #728 on: October 20, 2011, 09:34:04 AM »
All the pies look great, but the last is especially beautiful.

In your experience, are olives commonly placed on whole? For me it is a little too intense in any one given bite if they are whole - overwhelming the balance of the other ingredients. I generally cut them in half or into quarters.

CL
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline pizza dr

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #729 on: October 20, 2011, 07:31:08 PM »
I like em whole... but of course I could sit down and eat a jar of olives in one setting.... LOVE LOVE LOVE olives :P

My wife and kids on the other hand do not... So it is rare that I can put them on pizzas.  My wife is gone this weekend  ::) so I may have to pull the trigger on that one. That pie is dreamy Omid. 

Scot 

Offline Woodash

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #730 on: October 21, 2011, 12:23:37 AM »
Dear David, thank you! I noticed you are from Down Under . . . How is the pizza there, either Neapolitan or other styles? Have a lustrous day!

Hi Omid,
The type of pizza that is sold here where I live is Pizza Hut and Dominoes Pizza. There are a few woodfired pizza restaurants but sadly the dough lets them down,too heavy and not airy and light at all. I have a woodfired oven that I made myself 3 years ago and  favour along with family and friends  neopolitan pizza. Through this fabulous site I have extended my knowledge, learning the techniques of dough management. Thankyou everyone.

David

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #731 on: October 21, 2011, 04:35:03 AM »
All the pies look great, but the last is especially beautiful.

In your experience, are olives commonly placed on whole? For me it is a little too intense in any one given bite if they are whole - overwhelming the balance of the other ingredients. I generally cut them in half or into quarters.
CL

I like em whole... but of course I could sit down and eat a jar of olives in one setting.... LOVE LOVE LOVE olives :P

My wife and kids on the other hand do not... So it is rare that I can put them on pizzas.  My wife is gone this weekend  ::) so I may have to pull the trigger on that one. That pie is dreamy Omid. 

Scot

Thank you guys!

Dear Craig, it is actually a common practice to place olives whole on pizzas in Naples. Please, see the pictures of pizzas, below, from Trianon, Sorbillo, Di Matteo, and Pellone. Of course, this is not to say that they never cut olives into slices. I like them either way, depending on what other toppings accompany the olives. Have a great weekend!
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Offline Matthew

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #732 on: October 21, 2011, 06:04:50 AM »
Omid,
I did a couple of quick videos for you yesterday while I was mixing up a full batch.  The 1st video shows l'impasto finale almost completely mixed & the 2nd shows the quick riginero after the riposo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=hNG0S8mgtNk

Matt

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #733 on: October 21, 2011, 07:45:37 AM »
Omid,

I am curious as to weather you are using the broiler element (top of the oven) or the standard heating element at the bottom?  Since I am resigned to using a home-oven, I am trying to find new and exciting ways to get the heat higher.  I recently bought a slab of 1.25" soapstone, and while the heat retention is tremendous, I am finding it cooks the bottom of the pizza very rapidly, but I am missing the proper charring of the top of the pizza.  I've been utilizing a split-method, where I cook 60 seconds on the bottom, then move the pizza to another stone directly under the broiler.  It provides the desired effect, but if I could simplify the process I would be ecstatic. 

I appreciate your feedback! 

Grazie,
Salvatore


Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #734 on: October 21, 2011, 12:39:23 PM »
Omid,
I did a couple of quick videos for you yesterday while I was mixing up a full batch.  The 1st video shows l'impasto finale almost completely mixed & the 2nd shows the quick riginero after the riposo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=hNG0S8mgtNk

Matt

Dear Matthew, I thank you for the videos . . . very kind of you! Nice dough . . . if only my Santos fork mixer could operate as slow as your Pietroberto. . . . It seems that you are using the second speed (31 RPM?) of your Pietroberto. Again, thank you!
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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Offline Matthew

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #735 on: October 21, 2011, 01:30:36 PM »
Omid,
You're very welcome. It was mixing on the first speed. For some reason it looks alot quicker on the video than in person.

Matt


Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #736 on: October 21, 2011, 06:08:24 PM »
Omid,

I am curious as to weather you are using the broiler element (top of the oven) or the standard heating element at the bottom?  Since I am resigned to using a home-oven, I am trying to find new and exciting ways to get the heat higher.  I recently bought a slab of 1.25" soapstone, and while the heat retention is tremendous, I am finding it cooks the bottom of the pizza very rapidly, but I am missing the proper charring of the top of the pizza.  I've been utilizing a split-method, where I cook 60 seconds on the bottom, then move the pizza to another stone directly under the broiler.  It provides the desired effect, but if I could simplify the process I would be ecstatic. I appreciate your feedback!  

Grazie,

Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, safe manipulation of conventional/convection gas/electric oven is not an easy feat. It can be quite tricky! It is also a very elaborate and sometimes convoluted subject, which can easily take pages to write about. So, I will be brief. First, as you know, a conventional or convection oven was never meant and designed to function as a Neapolitan or wood-fueled oven; hence, there will always be, does not matter what, limitations as to how your home oven can be bent to your Neapolitan pizza inspirations. Some of the principal limitations (which are "limitations" only in contrast to a Neapolitan or wood-fueled oven) are:

1. Inadequate heat generation (about 550° to 650° F);
2. Lack of or poor "flame-radiation heat";
3. Relatively poor hot air ("convection") circulation;
4. Either insignificant or overwhelming direct contact-heat ("conduction"), depending on the extant circumstances;
5. Heat leakage (see #10 below) and heat loss (oven door!);
6. Lack of or poor "thermal battery";
7. Uneven distribution of heat;
8. Lack of proper oven floor (a pizza stone is an isolated and suspended island, not a solid ground!);
9. The thermal inequity between the pizza stone and the oven ceiling;
10. Poor interior wall and ceiling insulation;
11. Unlike wood-fired oven, the primary source of heat is either below the pizza stone, above it, or both; and
12. Relative ineffectiveness of the material used in building home ovens, and  
13. Etc.

Of course, it is understandable why such limitations, by necessity, exist, for a home oven is supposed to be a home oven! So, given the above limitations, you need to exploit (to make the best of) what you got, which means you need to design one model after another and safely conduct one experiment after another until you find the middle-ground, which will always, in my opinion, be a compromise. And, of course, safety should be always the "number one" priority.

Although I am not familiar with the type of home oven you have, I make the following suggestions, which should be done only and only if they can be carried out safely. You need to contact your oven manufacturer, your local gas & electricity company, and competent export to determine if they are safe.

1. Make sure there is enough space (airy and uncluttered) inside your oven. The oven needs to breathe since it principally operates on the principles of convection.

2. If safe and possible, line the oven walls and ceiling with double-folded aluminum foil, which acts as an insulation. In addition, it will reflect and concentrate heat radiation more toward the middle of the oven. Some oven manufacturers, for safety reasons, advise against this. You need to check your oven manual and/or contact its manufacturer. Do not cover or block any of the air holes and exhaust holes inside and outside of the oven. Doing so can choke the oven and potentially create hazardous situations.

3. Find the optimal bake time-frame of your oven and bake your pizzas within that time interval. For instance, my home oven, under its present conditions and with certain exceptions, can optimally bake my pizzas after running about 1 hour. After running 30 more minutes on top of the 1 hour, my oven would brutalize my pizzas. So, I have a 30-minute window within which I can operate and bake my pizzas. And, that is what I call the "optimal bake time-frame". An oven arrangement I had a year ago, reached the optimal point after 2 hours of continuously running, after which I could bake only two pizzas. Then, I had to wait about 20 minutes for the heat to build back up again to make another two pizzas.  

4. In relation to number "3" above, a thin pizza stone is favorable and preferable under certain conditions. The same also applies to a thick pizza stone. Under certain circumstances, a think pizza stone can heat up quickly while keeping itself cool enough not to burn the crust. Under unfavorable conditions, a thick pizza stone can get overheated and act as a thermal battery, burning your crusts. The factors of  (1) "time" for the sake of priming your oven and (2) "distance" of the pizza stone from the source of heat must be carefully calculated.

5. In relation to number "3" and "4" above, find the optimal distance between the pizza stone and the oven ceiling. If the distance is too near, the cornicione may come out crispy or burn. On the other hand, if the distance is too far, the cornicione and the face of the pizza may bake after the crust is already burned. Again, as you can see, you need to control the factors of "time" (for priming the oven and for baking your pizzas) and "distance" of the pizza stone from the primary source of heat and the ceiling. To that end, it would tremendously help to use an infrared thermometer.

6. At last, always have a fully operational "fire extinguisher" nearby, and do not implement anything that you have any doubts about its results. Moreover, make sure your kitchen is equipped with a fully operational gas and smoke detector.

Basically, what I have done with my conventional gas oven (which is an ordinary conventional oven with no cleaning cycle, no convection, no broil element, and only bake element), is that I took each of the 12 factors above and tried to safely overcome them, if possible at all. Last night, I finished a new design which worked better than any other designs I have implemented so far. (See the pictures below.) Very simple design!

Please, notice the the bent steel plate below the pizza stone and above the bake element. It functions to divert the heat away from the stones (keeping them not excessively hot) and toward the dome. This mechanism keeps the dome hotter than the floor, giving me a longer "bake time-frame". Good day!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 02:02:32 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 Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #737 on: October 21, 2011, 06:09:55 PM »
Continued . . .
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #738 on: October 21, 2011, 06:11:52 PM »
Omid,

I am laughing to myself because when I didn't see an immediate response earlier, I imagined you were preparing something special!  You've really gone "over-the-top!"  Grazie...grazie... grazie!

Now I must go back and read...

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #739 on: October 21, 2011, 06:23:41 PM »
Omid,

I had employed a similar set-up but wasn't able to achieve the top-browning I desired.  That is why I resorted to using the split-method where I started cooking on the bottom stone, then moving to the top stone directly under the broiler.  I have been very satisfied with the results, although the technique is far from perfect.  I am very impressed with what you are achieving.  I think I will go back and re-think my methodology.

Salvatore

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #740 on: October 21, 2011, 06:31:40 PM »
I recently bought a slab of 1.25" soapstone, and while the heat retention is tremendous, I am finding it cooks the bottom of the pizza very rapidly, but I am missing the proper charring of the top of the pizza.

1. Put the soapstone slab on the highest shelf.  Because it'll be further away from the bottom element, it will take a bit longer to pre-heat, but it will still reach the peak temp your oven can achieve.

The highest shelf will be tight quarters to work in (2-3") but you need that proximity to the broiler to brown the top of the pizza as quickly as the bottom.

2. In order to ensure that your broiler goes on and stays on, you can't preheat your stone to the oven's peak temp. You've got to shoot a little bit below it.  If, say, your oven goes to 550, then you'll need to pre-heat to 525 in order to make sure the broiler stays on for the duration of the bake.

3. 1.25" soapstone slab, when preheated to 525, will give you a 4 minute bake (at best, depending on the composition of the stone).  Even if you can get a 550 pre-heat and manage to get the broiler to stay on, that's still in the 2.5-3 minute realm. In order to hit Neapolitan bake times in a conventional oven with soapstone, you've got to incorporate an oven trick that will buy you another 100 or so degrees.  As far as oven tricks go, 650 is pretty safe, although I wouldn't go much higher than that. Do a forum search for frozen towel trick.  That's one of the more gentle oven mods and will get you that 100 degree bump.

4. The reason why soapstone can do 90 second bakes at 650 while it takes traditional WFO firebrick floors 850 to achieve the same thing is because soapstone is quite a bit more conductive.  You can capitalize on this phenomenon and get Neapolitan bakes at even lower temps by using an even more conductive material- steel. 1/2" steel should be able to do 90 second bakes at 600, while 3/4" steel should be able to do it at 550. The downside to 3/4" steel is that it's heavy, so you'll most likely need to reinforce your oven shelf to be able to handle the weight. Most ovens should have no problem with 1/2" plate, though.

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #741 on: October 21, 2011, 07:11:59 PM »
Scott,

Thank you very much.  Believe me, I read quite a few of your postings concerning stones/baking before I purchased the one I have now!  What I initially tried was placing the stone on the floor of the oven, then creating a makeshift ceiling with the extra rack by covering it with foil.  I preheated my oven to max (which is around 585 since I re-calibrated the temp for +35deg), and was able to get the stone temp to around 700deg.  The bottom of the pie cooked in 60sec, but the top just wouldn't brown in that short period of time.  I wasn't sure if I had enough reflective heat off the "ceiling" to get the desired result. 

That led me in the two-stone direction, and while it works, obviously it is a bit of a hassle.  I did notice when I removed my "ceiling" to place the second stone directly under the broiler, the bottom stone only reached about 625deg.  In order to keep the broiler on, I did the following:

1. preheat oven max for 2hrs.
2. switch to broiler
3. shape and make pizza
4. slide pizza on to bottom stone, keeping door open
5. after 90 sec move pizza to top stone under broiler (door still ajar)
6. cook an additonal 2min

I think tomorrow I will try moving the stone all the way up and see what type of temps and results I achieve.  I don't want to hijack Omid's thread, so I think tomorrow might be a good time for me to finally post a little bit about what I'm working on.  Thank you very much!

Salvatore


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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #742 on: October 21, 2011, 07:30:56 PM »
Salvatore, the good news is that you've already tricked your oven to what are, imo, potentially damaging temps (700) and it survived, so, should you ever need to take it 650, I think it will be fine.  By covering the shelf with foil you basically isolated the top thermostat, and, to an extent, prevented heat from reaching it, allowing the bottom of the oven to reach extreme temps.

With the stone a few inches from the broiler, assuming you can pre-heat the stone to 585, as well as keep the broiler from cycling off, that could give you a 2 minute bake. Maybe.

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #743 on: October 21, 2011, 07:38:01 PM »
I figured if it could handle a cleaning cycle, it could handle what I was attempting.  (Not saying I didn't cross my fingers, though!)

I have found the conductivity of the soapstone to be tremendous.  I especially realized this two days ago when baking baguettes, and using my normal baking temp of 460 resulted in some burning on the bottoms... and approximately 8 less minutes of total bake time.  That's a pretty drastic difference.  Only now, as I write this, do I realize what you mean when you say lower temps with soapstone can give much greater results.  I guess this is an "Aha!" moment!

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #744 on: October 25, 2011, 02:18:20 AM »
Again, I redesigned my gas oven. I added a drum below the pizza stones. The drum makes a significant difference; it keeps the floor cooler than the dome by 5 percent—only within the first hour. Hence, the base and face of pizza bake in a more synchronized manner. Too bad my digital camera ran out of battery! The last picture below shows the pizza baking at the floor temperature of about 912° F.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 09:53:14 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 salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #745 on: October 25, 2011, 08:32:16 AM »
Omid,

What type of stone is that?  It looks to be thicker than the one you were using before (weren't you stacking two stones?).  Your new design has me wondering if by implementing something similar, it would allow me to bypass using the broiler.

Grazie,
Salvatore

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #746 on: October 26, 2011, 04:09:14 AM »
Omid,

What type of stone is that?  It looks to be thicker than the one you were using before (weren't you stacking two stones?).

Grazie,
Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, the top stone, which is insulated by aluminum casing is made out of some kind of baked clay. The bottom stone, insulated by aluminum foil, is made out of refractory material.  I think your stone is much better, since it probably does not absorb dough moisture as much as clay or refractory material. Good night!
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 02:23:36 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 Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #747 on: October 26, 2011, 04:36:52 AM »
Here are the results of baking pizzas in my newly redesigned oven...

_______________________________________________________________________________________
1000 gr. Caputo Pizzeria     (Datum Point)
595   gr. Water                 (59.50%)
28     gr. Sea Salt              (2.8%)
40     gr. Sourdough Culture (4%)

♣ The dough was prepared with Kitchen Aid (Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Sourdough Culture ⇒ Flour)
♣ Mix & kneed time: 10 minutes & 19 seconds (on slowest speed)
♣ Fermentation Period: 4 + 26 hours (at controlled room temperature)
_______________________________________________________________________________________

♣ Conventional Gas Oven Temperature: 912° F Floor & 925° F Dome for Margherita; 799° F Floor & 824° F Dome for mini pepperoni and mushrooms
_______________________________________________________________________________________
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 #748 on: October 26, 2011, 04:38:19 AM »
Continued . . .
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #749 on: October 26, 2011, 09:25:03 AM »
Omid,

Beautiful, especially the second pie.  Are you going back and forth between the Santos and the KA?  I'm curious what your latest thoughts are concerning the Santos?

Grazie,
Salvatore


 

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