Author Topic: Idiot's guide to pizza making...  (Read 2541 times)

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Offline Flagpull

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Idiot's guide to pizza making...
« on: June 22, 2005, 05:36:06 PM »
I put this together for a few other forums, they were interested in making pies similar to mine...let me know what you guys think or what I should add.

Idiot's guide to Neapolitan Pizzas

Dough
Combine:
1 cup warm water
1 1/4oz package of yeast

Let proof in bowl for approx. 10 minutes then mix with:

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Bread Flour
1 T. Salt (Kosher prefered)

If you don't have a mixer, mix everything together until the flour is mixed in. This dough is going to feel pretty tough, but that's what you want. Knead for approx. 30 minutes...make sure you keep the dough well floured and keep kneading so it doesn't dry out.

Once you're done kneading, let it rise for approx. 4 hours in a well oiled bowl.

After the 4 hours has passed, take the dough out and cut it into three  equal parts, put each piece in individually oiled bowls and let rise overnight.

Take your dough and shape by pressing fingertips into dough, grasp the rim with your hands and work your way around the circle. Let the dough dangle and let gravity do the work.

The most important thing is that the dough is an equal thickness, don't worry about it being perfectly circular

Place the dough on a pizza peel or a pan with cornmeal on it, continue to work into an even thickness and shape. (Should be the thickness of 3 or 4 credit cards or so)

Sauce

Keep the sauce simple, grab a can of whole peeled tomatoes preferably plum or San Marzano if available.

Open the can and strain the excess water/juice from the tomatoes with a strainer. Put the whole can into a blender and blend until the consistency is familiar.

Set a pot on the stove, chop up a quarter or a half a clove of garlic and let it simmer in the pan with some olive oil. When there is a nice garlicy aroma in the room put the sauce into the pot and let simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes or so.

(If you don't like how the sauce tastes, add some sugar to counteract the acidity, but that's it...it will taste richer on the pie.)

That's it for the sauce. Keep it simple.

Cheese

"I'll just use some cheese from the fridge" you say...

NO!

For a neapolitan we want to use only fresh, WHOLE MILK, mozzarella. It normally comes in a 8oz baseball sized ball of bright white goodness in your supermarket. Classic neapolitan pizzas use buffalo milk fresh mozzarella, but that's pretty hard to find around here.

Cube the mozzarella and set aside...

What else?

Feel free to be creative with any other toppings, I usually just keep mine to a good quality pepperoni though.

Baking

If you have a pizza stone and peel..that's great.

Place the stone in the oven and turn the heat alllll the way up. 500 degrees or more is best for this type of pizza.

If you don't have a peel and stone, regular pan will work just fine. Make sure the pan is well oiled and covered in corn meal, use the same high heat.

Either way let the oven heat up for 45 minutes or more so it gets to full heat!

Spread the sauce evenly across the pie, don't go over board though...a nice coating will do just fine. Take the sauce all the way out to the edge, 1/4 or 1/2 inch of 'crust' will do fine.

Take your cube mozzarella and space your cheese evenly...a little goes a long way. (http://www.flagpull.com/philip/pizza/pizza.jpg)

Top with anything else you want...

Pop it in the oven after it reaches full temperature...it should only take about 8 or 9 minutes to cook...your crust should come out slightly blackened and your cheese will be nice and bubbly. If you used pepperoni they will have a nice crisp to them...and you ill impress anyone with your unique and tasty pizza.

(http://flagpull.com/philip/pizza/pizza7.jpg)





Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: Idiot's guide to pizza making...
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2005, 10:34:12 PM »
It works!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Idiot's guide to pizza making...
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2005, 04:21:25 PM »
Flagpull,

You did a very nice job with your presentation. It was competent, thorough and indicates a good grasp on your part of Neapolitan pizza. I could also feel your passion and I commend you for it.

As you may know, in Italy, Neapolitan pizza dough is based on using 00 flour. For the longest time, 00 flour was not readily available in the U.S., and those 00 flours that were available (and you really had to hunt them down) often came with no recipes or instructions on how to use them. The doughs also didn't bake well in standard home ovens. As a result, recipes evolved using flours that were intended to be "clones" of the 00 flour that home pizza makers could use with reasonable success in their standard home ovens. Your recipe is but one example of such a recipe. Pamela Sheldon Johns, a cookbook author who wrote a book on Neapolitan pizza, Pizza Napoletana!, didn't include a dough recipe in her book using 00 flour; instead, the dough recipe she did include, which she called Classic Pizza Dough DOC, uses a combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour. I suspect she included that recipe rather than one using 00 flour since readers of her book wouldn't know where to get 00 flour or how to use it if they were able to locate some. If the flour isn't in the supermarket, the average person will not go any further to locate some.

Other "clone" recipes, including some from Ms. Johns, include combinations of all-purpose flour and pastry flour (including a Julia Child version) and I even came up with my own preferred version using bread flour and pastry flour. The "clone" versions do a pretty decent job for what they are, but they fall short of the real thing. So, if you are in the position to get some 00 flour, you might want to consider it as the next step in your evolution toward the more classical Neapolitan pizza. Unless you have a wood-fired oven, you won't completely replicate the authentic Neapolitan pizza experience, but you can get a very good pizza nonetheless. The 00 flours that are most commonly available in the U.S. are Bel Aria, Delverde and Caputo 00 pizzeria flour. Of these, the Caputo is the best in my opinion, after having used all three brands fairly extensively. There is also a "clone" of 00 flour put out by King Arthur, but it is not an Italian flour, as are all the others I have mentioned, and it is a poor imitation at that (again, in my personal opinion).

I don't know what kind of equipment you have at your disposal, but if you have a pizza stone and a peel and a regular home oven, you should be able to make some decent 00 pies. If you don't have a stand mixer and make just enough dough to make a pie or two, you can use hand kneading. I do it all the time with 00 flours. There are many recipes at this site for using 00 flours. Some are more esoteric than others but there are some basic recipes that are available here at this forum that you will find nowhere else and that you might consider as part of your learning experience. A good example are some of the recipes posted at the A16 thread and at the Sophia thread. If you try and succeed with these, you can always move on to the more esoteric versions, if only to push the envelope. I'm willing to help you in any way I can, since I sense how seriously you take your pizza making. I can also help you locate materials if you need such help. I'm sure others will do the same.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 23, 2005, 07:19:21 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Sour_Jax

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Re: Idiot's guide to pizza making...
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2005, 06:51:21 PM »
perhaps I'm a dope but what exactly is 00 flour? ???
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Idiot's guide to pizza making...
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2005, 07:07:13 PM »
"00" represents a grade of Italian flour under the Italian grading system. In the U.S., flours are graded by the amount of protein. That is not the case in Italy. In Italy, the grade is determined by the degree of refinement. During milling, things like bran and wheat germ are removed from wheat. The 00 flour has the least of these things and is the whitest and silkiest. Next up on the scale is "0" flour, which has more of the bran and wheat germ, and so forth. The least refined flour is called "Integrale".

Flours graded "00" can have varying amounts of protein, from around 10% to 12.5%. The King Arthur 00 "clone", which I don't personally recommend, has 8.5%. So, when using a 00 flour, it will help to know its protein content since it can affect its performance in your recipes.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 23, 2005, 07:13:52 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Sour_Jax

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Re: Idiot's guide to pizza making...
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2005, 07:29:42 PM »
Oh, thanks.

You know that 00 sounds like something I need to try out!
The best things in life are free! Salvation being the greatest!

Give a man a pizza, he'll be happy for a day.
Teach him to make pizza, he'll be happy for a lifetime.

visit
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www.SourJax.net

Offline beerisgoodfood

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Re: Idiot's guide to pizza making...
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2005, 10:16:25 PM »
That last pic looks Killer!!! ;D


 

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