Author Topic: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!  (Read 352514 times)

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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1740 on: November 05, 2012, 01:53:57 AM »
Omid, I haven't read every single post on this thread, so this may have already been mentioned, but I think, in order to appease your neighbors, prevent 911 calls, and make for the happiest possible fire inspector, I really think you should take a traditional approach with the chimney configuration- straight up. Your patio ceiling looks like it could be a hassle to work with, but a good craftsman should be able to knock a hole through it and accommodate a straight vertical run of pipe.  After you clear the ceiling, put in a 45 degree elbow so that the pipe points towards the peak of the house. Attach the pipe to the roof with a bracket and run it as many more feet that you need to according to code.

The higher you vent the smoke, the less will go into the neighbor's windows. Even if they do get some smoke, you can say, "look, I shelled out x amount of money to take this smoke as far as I physically could from your home." With a chimney attached to and above the house, you've mimicked the smoke venting of an indoor fireplace- which, even for houses that are close together, should be very benign.  Also, because the pipe is so high, it should be visible from the street.  If passersby can look up and see a pipe with smoke coming out of it, they'll be much less likely to call 911.

This is going to be a lot of pipe, and it won't be cheap, but I think, if you take your horizontal run and point it vertical, you're already a good portion of the way to the house roof. Flashing where the pipe comes out of the patio roof will keep the patio dry.

Dear Scot, I thank you for your time and consideration. I believe that if the pipe extends straight up from the oven's chimney, less smoke will be spewed out of the oven's mouth during the warmup. I wanted to do this (which turned out to be much easier and cheaper than I had thought), but my landlord did not permit me to put a hole in the fiberglass ceiling. So, that was the end of that.

If it alleviates the problem, I have been thinking about replacing my current double-walled flue pipe with one that has a larger internal diameter. The internal diameter of my oven's chimney is a bit over 4 inches as shown in the picture below. However, today I found out that the internal diameter of my current flue pipe is a tiny bit over 3 inches and a half. (I should have personally measured the pipe's diameter at the time of purchase rather than relying on what the Home Depot employee told me. Is it true that it is not advisable to use a pipe with a smaller diameter than the diameter of oven's chimney?) The next size available at Home Depot is 6 inches in internal diameter, which is wider than the internal diameter of my oven's chimney. Do you know if using a flue pipe with larger diameter can be problematic? Thank you and good night!

Regards,
Omid
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1741 on: November 05, 2012, 04:12:55 AM »
Omid - that was an outstanding post. I would like to know if the preferred method of launch is about catching a side or front of the disc, or it is about literally pulling the peel out from under the dough with the fastest motion possible? Your video seems to show the latter, but I am not entirely sure.

John

Dear John, thank you! My preferred method of launching pizzas on oven floor is to withdraw the peel with a decisive singular motion that is sometimes swiftly executed and sometime not so swiftly, depending on the condition of the dough disc, the nature (type, size, and weight) of the toppings that burden it, and how much clearance is available on the oven floor. If I feel the necessity, I let the dough disc properly overlap the peel's left and right sides, more so if it is a wooden peel like the one Bill kindly built for me. In my experience, the overlapping mechanism (which is often thought to be used as an anchoring tool) can counteract oblong landing of pizza discs on oven floor. In addition, it can prevent the dough disc from over-shrinking while sliding on the peel during launch, particularly if the gluten matrix is not relaxed enough. Good night!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 02:27:49 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline thezaman

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1742 on: November 05, 2012, 11:33:59 AM »
 i had lunch with ron molinaro of ill pizzaiolo last week. one of the topics was high hydration dough and how it is  harder to launch and get it to turn out round. his dough is 62.5
 one of the videos you use to demonstrate the method is from da michele i shot in naples. if you go to the other video on that page there is 4 minutes of stretching and making using some very challenging dough.i think he was cussing me out in italian for tapping him.

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1743 on: November 05, 2012, 03:43:42 PM »
i had lunch with ron molinaro of ill pizzaiolo last week. one of the topics was high hydration dough and how it is  harder to launch and get it to turn out round. his dough is 62.5. one of the videos you use to demonstrate the method is from da michele i shot in naples. if you go to the other video on that page there is 4 minutes of stretching and making using some very challenging dough.i think he was cussing me out in italian for tapping him.


Dear Larry, I have seen the video (
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxSATxevOig" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxSATxevOig</a>
) that you are referring to. Thank you for making it available, along with the other videos, on Youtube.

If I am not mistaken, judging solely by the visible strength of the dough discs in the video, the pizzaiolo probably used Caputo '00' Rinforzato flour (or a similar type of flour), which makes a dough with much more tenacious gluten structure than the Caputo '00' Pizzeria flour. The dough in the video, also, could be a mixture of both flours, which is not uncommon in Naples. The Rinforzato, in my experience, can withstand longer duration of fermentation while not compromising the overall physical integrity of dough balls, even when they appear disastrous. Naturally, there is a limit as to how far a Rinforzato dough can go.

By the way, have you ever used "Captuo '00' Extra" flour for making Neapolitan pizza dough? True or false, I have been told that it is rheologically closer (not identical) to the type of flour that was used in Naples before 1900s. It is supposed to be a weaker flour than both Caputo Pizzeria and Rinforzato, but with a higher alpha-amylase enzyme activity (lower Falling Number), which generally requires a shorter fermentation period. Please, let me know if you, or any body else, has ever used the flour, and what results were obtained. I am thinking about buying a 25-kilo bag of Captuo '00' Extra next month. It may better accommodate the speedy fork of my Santos mixer. I look forward to your response. Thank you!

Regards,
Omid
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 05:30:53 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1744 on: November 05, 2012, 05:55:14 PM »
Omid, cool video....


Dear Paolo, here is another video, in Italian, featuring professor Paolo Masi (a food scientist from Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) lecturing on various aspects of making Neapolitan pizza. If you do not mind, please share with us the content, however summarized, of the lecture. Thank you!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWLTMqACNgI" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWLTMqACNgI</a>
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Offline Mangia Pizza

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1745 on: November 05, 2012, 08:11:29 PM »
Omid, it is pretty complex and in depth explanation/lecture.  I will need a bit of time to coincisely summarize it, but it would be my pleasure as to offer it as a small contribution to the forum........
Paolo

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1746 on: November 06, 2012, 09:38:07 PM »
Dear Pulcinella, this issue of loading raw pizzas on the oven floor is a critical and consequential subject, which is imperatively interconnected with the preceding stages of pizza-making: forming dough balls, maturation, drafting dough discs, and loading them onto the pizza peel. Thank you for bringing up this important subject. I invite everyone's contributions.

This morning I woke up at 3:00 AM to torch my wood-fired oven. Unfortunately, my propane tank quickly ran out, and I could not heat up my oven. How unlucky? Nonetheless, I used the dough, which I had prepared yesterday morning, for the purpose of demonstrating in a video how I launch my raw pizza discs inside the oven, using my pizza bench as though it were the oven floor. Here is a link to the video on Youtube:

   http://youtu.be/95oOnpYXHEQ

This is a sphere of activity that I keep improving my performance therein. It truly requires awful lot of practice and experience, doing it over and over and over again. It also requires a great deal of consideration:

1. What kind of dough is going to top the peel?
2. How well was the dough developed?
3. How skillfully was it turned into dough balls?
4. How well did the dough balls reach maturation?
5. How skillfully are the dough balls taken out of dough tray without being irretrievably deformed or damaged?
6. How well are the balls drafted into dough discs, and how much flour should be used in doing so?
7. How heavy are the toppings? How well are they distributed? Is any tomato sauce going to be used (acidity of which can render the dough disc, below it, more fragile and vulnerable)?  
8. What is a right type of pizza peel to use? Heavy or light? Thick or thin peel? Round, square, or roundish square? Wooden, aluminum, or steel peel? Short or long handle? How about the size of the peel?
9. How much should the work surface and pizza peel be dusted?
10. How should the peel be burdened with the raw pizza disc?
11. How should the peel approach the oven floor or what should be the "angle of entry" when the burdened peel enters inside the oven before the launch, considering that the space close to the dome is much hotter than the space close to the floor?
12. How should the peel-handle be held?
13. What should be the angle of the peel surface (the "pull-angle") in relation to the surface of the oven floor at the moment of launch?
14. Should the dough disc, resting on the peel, be slid forward and thrown on the oven floor while maintaining some space between the peel and oven floor? Or, should the entire bottom surface of the peel touch the floor while pulling back the handle? Or should the front portion of the peel only come in contact with the floor, at a proper angle, at the moment of launch?
15. How much pull-back force should be applied in pulling the handle at the moment of launch?
16. Should the peel under the dough disc be pulled back incrementally or swiftly in one decisive move at the moment of launch?
17. Etc.

As you can see, some of the questions above are circumstantial, that they depend on various variables and conditions to answer them. Moreover, one's personal preferences also matter. Nonetheless, the main point remains, that launching a raw pizza inside an oven is much more than just shaping a dough disc, dragging it onto a peel, and loading it inside the oven—particularly when one has to perform this activity in a commercial environment where there is little or no room for making mistakes.

There are a great many videos, better than mine, on Youtube that one can really learn from. I have included some of them below. In this sphere of activity, I have not gotten as good as I like to be, yet I keep insatiably practicing until I get there. my personal conviction, in this undertaking, is that, one has got to accept the challenge to push oneself farther and farther, investing enough time and practice sessions in order to clear the mind from doubts and to gain the necessary skills and confidence—which do not come easy.

In my video, I utilized the same type of perforated G.I.Metal peel as you described above, except I do not know if yours is round or square, short or long handle. My peel is round (13 inches in diameter, which is the smallest in this category) with a long handle. The Caputo Pizzeria dough used in my video is hydrated at 64% and fermented (using sourdough culture) for a total of 29 hours at controlled room temperature. Although the dough balls possessed favorable constitution, they were tender and delicate, requiring soft and cautious handling.

Below are the educational videos. (As you view them, be attentive to the approach angles (angles of entry), pull-back angles, styles, and other considerations I enumerated above.) Good day!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2epVMRn-kVQ (Da Michele)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O57RJlb71DY (Salvo)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q3-gVr9gBQ (Da Gaetano)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTATDZoCJSw (Kesté, see time-mark 1:24)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAaGZp05CRU (Franco Manca)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leLlcqCFVdU (La Tana dell'Arte)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW6ajP9Ckuk (Pirozzi)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lglRBt01RC8 (Pasquale Makashima)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS3RBheswmU (Pasquale Makashima)


Earlier today, I made some fried pizzas, and later used the leftover dough balls to shoot a couple of videos demonstrating how I launch raw pizzas onto oven floor, this time using my wooden pizza peel instead of my perforated aluminum peel by G.I.Metal. In the videos, again, I used the pizza bench as though it were an oven floor. The Caputo Pizzeria dough used in the videos was hydrated at 64% and fermented (using sourdough culture) for a total of 27 hours at controlled room (marble chamber) temperatures. (This was actually a 22-hour dough.) I must add that I find it a good way of practicing while filming myself; it allows me to evaluate my performance from a very different perspective. I find it a useful tool. Below are the videos:

  
<a href="http://youtu.be/nDYBk86uHAs" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://youtu.be/nDYBk86uHAs</a>

  
<a href="http://youtu.be/8K76Ue5DLdk" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://youtu.be/8K76Ue5DLdk</a>


In the second video, the wooden peel almost fell on my puppy. She is absolutely okay, but now she seems to be afraid of the peel! Whenever I practice at the bench, she keeps licking the flour that falls on the ground. Good night!
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 04:37:11 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1747 on: November 06, 2012, 10:14:44 PM »
Thanks for your video's...that is a nice quick "snap" of the peel for your launch. Puppy will come back around to your trust...
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Offline wheelman

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1748 on: November 06, 2012, 11:46:57 PM »
That's much better Omid!  ;D
That dough looks awesome, I wish we could see it cooked through. I've been paying more attention to the smoke produced by my oven and I believe that really dry wood minimizes the problem. It's just a short time during start up that it makes a lot of smoke. 
Surely you can work it out with a little pizza payola! One slice would change your neighbor's world.
Bill

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1749 on: November 07, 2012, 01:27:03 AM »
Here is an interesting Da Michele video, in case you have not seen it yet on Youtube. It is relatively new (Oct. 9, 2012), apparently with a new, young banconista. Good night!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm9U1dKNpZg" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm9U1dKNpZg</a>
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1750 on: November 07, 2012, 02:08:11 AM »
That's much better Omid!  ;D
That dough looks awesome, I wish we could see it cooked through....
Bill

Dear Bill, thank you! I am really grateful to you for crafting the wooden pizza peel for me. It performs great for me. Today, I also launched some raw dough discs on the cold floor of my Forno Piccolo, using the wooden peel and the steel guard to mark the fire boundaries on the left side of the floor. I noticed the right shoulder of the peel would catch on the right side of the oven's interior mouth during launch if I were not careful. I noticed the same when I did my first bake with the oven several days ago. I thought about filing the shoulder a little (making it rounder), but later I decided to keep the peel intact. It is a great tool. Thank you, again!

Regards,
Omid
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1751 on: November 07, 2012, 02:12:55 AM »
Thanks for your video's...that is a nice quick "snap" of the peel for your launch. Puppy will come back around to your trust...

Dear Bob, thank you. Right now, my puppy is in the kitchen barking at the pizza peel!
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1752 on: November 07, 2012, 04:02:18 AM »
Here's an interesting article from The Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204840504578086811735613862.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


"Little yeast, lots of time," Mr. Franco Pepe says, echoing a key pizzaiuolo dictum. —The Wall Street Journal

"The stufa is a reminder that making pizza should take you back out to people." —Franco Pepe

"We are bakers above all. To know how to make pizza, you have to know how to make bread." —Enzo Coccia

"Mr. Coccia and staff's creations are no flights of whimsy. As in any art, innovation must be grounded on a solid foundation, he explains." —The Wall Street Journal
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1753 on: November 07, 2012, 04:06:11 AM »
Omid, it is pretty complex and in depth explanation/lecture.  I will need a bit of time to coincisely summarize it, but it would be my pleasure as to offer it as a small contribution to the forum........

Thank you, sir! I'd be interested in seeing how he approaches the subject matter.

Regards,
Omid
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 04:07:54 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 #1754 on: November 07, 2012, 09:40:08 AM »
i wonder how many pizzas it took to make that peel at Da Michele look like it does! 

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1755 on: November 07, 2012, 07:10:08 PM »
i wonder how many pizzas it took to make that peel at Da Michele look like it does!

Dear Bill, perhaps you should craft a pizza peel for Da Michele and ship it to them as a gift. Would you not be honored to see your peel in their hands in the future Da Michele videos, if they actually adopt the peel? I would be honored too!

Years ago, an American luthier crafted a flamenco guitar and personally delivered it to Paco de Lucia (who is truly one of the Mozarts of our time) in Spain. Paco loved that guitar so much that he used it for recording some of his albums. Because of that, the luthier is now very prominent and busy. Currently, it takes several years for him to build you a flamenco guitar if you were to order it today. Good day!

Regards,
Omid
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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1756 on: November 07, 2012, 07:16:05 PM »
Do you feel that a peel improves with age and handling, in the same way that a musical instrument does?
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1757 on: November 08, 2012, 02:40:04 PM »
Omid, back to the oven floor discussion from a few pages back.

I'm curious....does the floor of the oven at Pizzeria Bruno have any cracks in it?

I've seen the inside of a few Stefano Ferraras that have been in service for a little while and they all show cracking on the floor (biscotti) of the refractory chamber. Some of the cracks are relatively large.

I have seen other manufacturers that do not have cracking on the floor.

At first thought the non-affixed "floating" nature of the four floor pieces came to my mind as a potential reason for the cracking, but I would think the non-affixed nature would alleviate any stress from expanding and contracting.

Thanks. --K

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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1758 on: November 08, 2012, 02:46:36 PM »
Do you feel that a peel improves with age and handling, in the same way that a musical instrument does?

Dear Pizzaneer, I am not sure. I assume it depends on:

1. What type of wood a peel is made out of, and
2. How well the peel is cared for.

In my experience, a peel made out of cheap wood won't last long in a commercial environment, using Neapolitan oven. In due time, it begins to warp and gradually come apart, but this is not to judge the peel's functionality. It will still function as long as the peel's surface is properly cleaned and maintained. Of course, it will eventually need to be replaced by a new peel.

What I like to see is a peel made out of ebony, which is one of the hardest, toughest, and densest woods known to man. Ebony is black (and sometimes dark brown) in color, which can clearly show how much flour is laid on its surface. Ebony is commonly used as fretboards for classical and flamenco guitars; it is also commonly used inside the guitars' necks to prevent them from warping. Ebony is not cheap though. Good day!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 03:04:06 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1759 on: November 08, 2012, 02:48:22 PM »
Omid, back to the oven floor discussion from a few pages back.

I'm curious....does the floor of the oven at Pizzeria Bruno have any cracks in it?

I've seen the inside of a few Stefano Ferraras that have been in service for a little while and they all show cracking on the floor (biscotti) of the refractory chamber. Some of the cracks are relatively large.

I have seen other manufacturers that do not have cracking on the floor.

At first thought the non-affixed "floating" nature of the four floor pieces came to my mind as a potential reason for the cracking, but I would think the non-affixed nature would alleviate any stress from expanding and contracting.

Thanks. --K



Kelly, there are a few hairline cracks in the floor of my oven - not that it sees anything resembling commerical use.

I've seen SF's with floors that look like they have been through a major earthquake and then run over with a jackhammer.
Pizza is not bread.