Thanks for the photos and text from Napoli. I hope to get there sometime.
I was wondering if you've been to Ken's or Apizza Scholls in Portland, and if so, how you liked them.
I haven't been to either, but I will report back to you when I do!
I saw the pictures and came here to say that but noticed that you already commented on Don Luigi passing away recently. RIP
I go back to Naples 3-4 times a year. Da Michele is more and more of a philosophical issue and source of debate in pizza circles. I have not eaten there since about 2007 ... not staying in line, but I can tell you lots of Neapolitans do not like it. Back during my college years (early to mid 90ies), it was never doubted that it was one of the best pizza in Naples.
Pignataro's blog does not even rank it in the top 15. http://www.lucianopignataro.it/a/le-migliori-pizze-margherite-napoli-roma-ricetta/79307/
And from what I hear, the blog is pretty accurate, to the extent that you can rank the ineffable art of NP pizza making. 50 KalÚ is going pretty strong.
Edit: that ranking includes also pizzas outside of the Naples region.
Thanks so much for a link to this blog! I seriously appreciate it !
So, just wanted to update you guys, I have moved to Oregon and the apartment I'm renting has a brand new oven in it. Just a standard 550F oven with a bottom and top element capable of broiling. It gets to 550f in under 10 min, but I haven't tested it for pizza yet.
I ordered the Dough-Joe pizza stone set which should be here shortly. I'm maintaining a sourdough starter currently and it's going strong. My caputo bluebag flour is here. Slowly but surely I'll have all my pizza gadgets back from NJ that are being shipped to me.
I was getting my best bakes using a 15" cast iron pan that I preheated in the oven at 550f for 1 hour with a pizza stone placed at the highest rack position in the oven. After preheating, I was then putting the cast iron on the stove and turning the stove on high until it started to smoke. Once I saw smoke I would dress the pie directly on the cast iron pan as fast as possible (sauce, salt, basil, mozz, parm), the pan was hot enough to where you could see the dough bubbling up around the edges before I even finished dressing the pie. Next, I would then put it under the broiler at the highest rack setting and on top of a pizza stone. It was just enough room to carefully slide in the pan but very close to the broiler element.
Most of the time, using this method I would get a 1:30-2:00 min bake. Because of the intense heat in the cast iron it would fully cook the underbelly of the pie while immediately broiling would bring out some leoparding and produce a golden crust before burning the cheese or drying out the sauce.
I've been going back and reading some posts about home oven neapolitans and I'm so impressed with what some of you have achieved while I've been away from this forum. Better yet, I'm so glad to see some of the masters still baking up some incredible looking pies. Thanks to Craig's links in the thread I posted in regards to the benefits behind a baking steel/baking stones I stumbled upon some stuff Chau did, Toby, and a guy named David Deas. All of which looked authentic and like something I've had in Napoli. I really hope I could figure out some of these tricks to get more heat out of my home oven since outdoor baking isn't an option at the moment. I'd really appreciate if some of you guys could help
Seems like David, Toby, and Omid did hacks using tin foil /aluminum to trap more heat in the oven. All of them were using a 550f oven and I think Omid didn't even have a broiler on his $100 sears oven
Even after looking at some pics, it seems like nothing could be done without tampering with the oven, but I will try putting some tin foil in the oven to block more heat. I was even thinking about buying a cheap 15x14" baking stone to put at the top of the oven to trap more heat in, seems like it worked for Omid since he was able to get the temp over 800f without any broiler at all and still got a really nice looking cornicone.
If anyone could shed some light on light/safe oven modifications I'd really appreciate it.