Author Topic: My Neapolitan Progress  (Read 36831 times)

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Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2012, 03:20:21 PM »
While on my trip to Europe, I spent a week in Italy and fortunately was able to visit Naples to eat at L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele.

I was able to score a nice video of them preparing a Margherita! Enjoy!

-Jordan


Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2012, 04:51:43 PM »
While on my trip to Europe, I spent a week in Italy and fortunately was able to visit Naples to eat at L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele.

I was able to score a nice video of them preparing a Margherita! Enjoy!



I esteem the distinguishing characteristics of Da Michele's dough: supple and abiding. Thank you so much for the video. I also enjoyed your electric guitar performance. Good day!
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2012, 07:20:23 PM »
I hope everyone enjoyed the Da Michele video I posted!

I recently made dough using the Roberto Caporuscio recipe

3.75 pounds Tipo "00" flour
1 liter warm water
0.1 ounce fresh yeast
2.1 ounces salt

Used the hand mixing/kneading method Pizziaolo Pasquale uses, 1 hour bulk fermentation, and a little less than 2 days fermentation at room temperature..

But, I completely misread that the amount of yeast is for "same-day" dough, and this amount of yeast gets your dough ready in 6 hours.. Its actually basically the same recipe as the VPN recipe in there "Disciplinare" which states you should bulk rise 2 hours, and ball rise for 5-6 hours at room temperature.. Which is not the kinda fermentation I was going for at the time... So, close to 2 days, I could tell my dough was over risen and there was huge bubbles forming in my dough, and today which is almost the third day, my balls of dough are like some crazy monster! haha

So for 1700g of flour, I used close to 3g of yeast, which I think isnt good for long fermentation. And I learned that the hard way.. Since the dough is kinda out of the question for pizza right now Im practicing my slapping technique then turning the dough into some delicious garlic knots! YUM!

Unfortunately that happened, but I suppose for a 3 day fermentation I will need to use way less fresh yeast.. But how much is "way less"? Also, the VPN states there should be a 2 hour bulk rise, but Ive read and have been suggested to work with a longer bulk rise, even 24 hours could be necessary which is what Roberto Caporuscio does at Keste (Im sure the recipe he stated isnt the one he actually uses at the restaraunt, considering most pizzerias use the 55Ib bag of caputo..) So some questions...

Longer bulk rise or longer "balled" rise?

How much yeast for a longer fermentation?

I know theres so many variables, and I know the VPN regulations arent a Law, but they are guidelines, and very official guidelines at that; especially for a new pizza maker like myself. The VPN "recipe" matches up with the Roberto Caporuscio recipe and many others very closely, which brings me to the conclusion that due to these people owning "Neapolitan Pizzerias" that needed to be certified by the VPN or APN, they adjusted there recipe to be copasetic with the regulations. And for a restaurant its probably necessary for the dough to be produced so quickly (ex. 6 hours) but I have read that great dough should be fermented for a way longer period of time for the proper hydration of the dough (any many other reasons Im sure).

The next time I make dough I will def experiment with less yeast, but If anyone has a number of how much I should use I would greatly appreciate it for sure!

And next time I will make significantly less dough, since Im just in experiment stages now I dont wanna waste!

Also, Im strongly considering in the next couple months purchasing a WFO for my backyard! I will be doing some intense research into my choice of oven and ever learning as much as I can about the WFO prior to any moves I make, but I am very interested in this oven Omid suggested me

http://www.fornoclassico.com/forno-piccolo

Its a smaller scale oven that makes one pizza at a time that is somewhat similar to the primavera by forno bravo.

Do you guys think this is a good move for me? Its a cheaper option in terms of what looks like a "higher" quality brick oven, and Im attracted to it because (after Omid pointed it out) has a brick dome which the primavera doesnt.. So for $300 more I can have a hand made brick oven as apposed to one made of all terra-cotta and poured into a mold.

What do you guys think?

Thanks!

-Jordan
-Jordan

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2012, 10:46:35 PM »
I also like the look of that oven.  I probably won't commit to it, until Omid checks to see that the dome is the correct height along with the opening.  I'm not good enough to cook more than one at time, anyway. :-D
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Offline dellavecchia

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2012, 09:57:12 AM »
Jordan - I urge you try the recipe and workflow as I described in a previous post:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17003.msg165691.html#msg165691

This will give you a baseline to make informed decisions from. This dough is an 18-24 hour dough total depending on the room temperature, which will give you a good flavor profile and an understanding of how the yeast responds. It also uses a small, but not minuscule, amount of yeast, so you can see the development over a period of time.

In my opinion, 2 and 3 day room temperature ferments are unnecessary and do not give you gains over, say a 24 or 36 hour dough. In fact, without the proper knowledge behind the development of gluten within a dough, you may actually be doing serious damage to the final product without even knowing the cause. There are those, such as TXCraig who do go over this time frame but do so with the utmost in dough making expertise. Start with an easy recipe, and go from there.

John

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2012, 02:07:26 AM »
Thanks John!

I have been learning a lot in the past couple of days, especially about how yeast works and the process of making dough.

I will for sure try this recipe! Its the standard, so it follows very closely the recipe I have usually been doing, but I will scale it down and for sure I need to down the amount of yeast I use because I think 3g is way to much for the length of fermentation I would like.  5-6 hour dough is just not what Im looking for, a day sounds much better in terms of the outcome of the dough, from what Ive learned at least. Im really interested in buying a WFO, so I would love to start learning about that. I see theres a lot on this website I havent explored yet, so I shall do that asap. I will keep studying the disciplinare and test out my dough! Some recent purchases I have made are..

.01g Scale
Infrared Thermometer
Digital Thermometer
Room Thermostat
Pizza Dough Proofing Box & Lid
Dough Scraper/Cutter
Trapani Sicilian Sea Salt

This stuff seemed to be stuff I just needed to get.  After learning to so much about the importance of everything when it comes to dough, I will use the Sicilian sea salt and bottled water for my next dough test.  Then I will have a high quality flour, salt, filtered water, and fresh yeast. 

Question...

Is the "autolyse" completely necessary?

I noticed a lot of people dont do it, but I have read a lot about it, and its "importance"..

Ciao!

-Jordan
-Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2012, 03:35:14 AM »
Also, Im strongly considering in the next couple months purchasing a WFO for my backyard! I will be doing some intense research into my choice of oven and ever learning as much as I can about the WFO prior to any moves I make, but I am very interested in this oven Omid suggested me

http://www.fornoclassico.com/forno-piccolo

Its a smaller scale oven that makes one pizza at a time that is somewhat similar to the primavera by forno bravo.

Do you guys think this is a good move for me?

My research on WFOs is still a bit preliminary, but, from what I know now, I'd wager to say that the dome is too high and the door is too big.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2012, 06:58:09 AM »
Thanks John!

I have been learning a lot in the past couple of days, especially about how yeast works and the process of making dough.

I will for sure try this recipe! Its the standard, so it follows very closely the recipe I have usually been doing, but I will scale it down and for sure I need to down the amount of yeast I use because I think 3g is way to much for the length of fermentation I would like.  5-6 hour dough is just not what Im looking for, a day sounds much better in terms of the outcome of the dough, from what Ive learned at least.

You are very welcome Jordan. A point to consider is that the amount of yeast in a recipe is not the defining factor on the length of time it takes for the dough to develop. Other variables, such as temperature, salt, mixing time, and flour type have impact as well. I am looking forward to seeing your results.

John

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2012, 04:28:45 PM »
Jordan,

In my experience as a bread maker, I have found the autolyse technique indispensable when baking bread, but not necessary with pizza dough.  They are two very different animals.

Salvatore


Offline bakeshack

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2012, 06:17:20 PM »
Autolyse is an excellent technique which can benefit any dough (pizza and bread).  Of course, those who strictly stick to the traditional way of making pizza will tell you otherwise but it does not mean the dough made with autolyse will be an inferior dough.  It's all about experimenting and finding the best possible workflow which gives you the best results.  There are more critical factors in the dough making process as mentioned by John above in his post which you should focus on.

Also, when you used the 3gr of fresh yeast with 1700 gr of flour, at what temp did the dough bulk ferment?  I am quite sure that amount of yeast (0.1%) should have reached at least 24 hrs bulk ferment without over fermenting unless the temp was way too hot.

Offline bakeshack

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2012, 06:22:07 PM »
Autolyse will especially benefit you if you don't use a mixer in developing your dough.

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2012, 11:26:20 PM »
I have read about applying the autolyse to your dough, but I have not read about anyone from naples doing this. But, it is worth a try for sure.

But, how sure are you about the whole "Autolyse will especially benefit you if you don't use a mixer in developing your dough." If this isnt a common practice in Naples, than if your mixing correctly, shouldnt your dough be developed proper regardless? What exactly does the autolyse do that its a step in some peoples dough making technique. I have read that it gives time to let the water hydrate the flour while resting (the most common autolyse resting time I have read about is 20 min) correct?

I have also read about some people experimenting with longer bulk rises (longer than 2 hours) and I would like to know what benefits this has on the final product. I have yet to let my dough bulk rise longer than 1 hour, so next time I will try the VPN "rules" and go for a 2 hour bulk rise at room temperature.

When I get my salt in the mail which should be this monday, I will try making another dough and I will calculate everything and post it including pictures for you guys to see my results, but also before I make this dough I would like to know more about the autolyse, bulk fermentation times, and balled fermentation times. Thanks for any help!

And Also! I have some pics of my visit to L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele! Enjoy!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 12:21:58 AM by Jordan »
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2012, 12:25:31 AM »
More!
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2012, 12:30:03 AM »
and more!
-Jordan

Offline bakeshack

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2012, 02:47:52 AM »
Thanks for the Da Michele pics.  They are very inspiring!

With regards to the autolyse, they don't use it in Naples because it was developed and popularized by a French baker named, Raymond Calvel.  :D  Autolyse benefits you especially if you don't use a mixer to develop your dough because this method hydrates the flour at is maximum, prepares and relaxes the gluten in the dough making it much more extensible, thus, making the manual kneading process much easier.  This method basically gives you a head start in the development of the dough, which means that you do not have to knead as much to get to the "point of pasta" as per Omid. 

At the end of the day, there are so many ways to develop the dough and only you can decide which one works best for you through extensive practice and experimentation. 

Good luck and looking forward to your results. 











Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2012, 02:41:47 PM »
Jordan,

I do not ever recall reading or hearing that autolyse is used in the context of Neapolitan stlye doughs, much as bakeshack noted. Autolysis came out of French baking. If you do an Advanced forum search using my forum name (Pete-zza) and the keywords autolyse (or autolysis) and Calvel (the father of the autolyse method), you will get about four pages of hits within which I believe I addressed all of your questions on that method, either directly of through the inclusion of links, and including references to materials from Prof. Calvel's book The Taste of Bread.

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2012, 08:57:58 PM »
Autolyse is an excellent technique which can benefit any dough (pizza and bread).  Of course, those who strictly stick to the traditional way of making pizza will tell you otherwise but it does not mean the dough made with autolyse will be an inferior dough.  It's all about experimenting and finding the best possible workflow which gives you the best results.  There are more critical factors in the dough making process as mentioned by John above in his post which you should focus on.

+1.  Bakeshake is correct.  It is a bread making technique but dough is dough, and either bread or pizza dough can benefit from the technique.  It is necessary?  No, but it does help develop the gluten and will reduce your knead times.  It is one of many techniques you can use to develop the dough.

Jordan - thanks for the pictures of Da Michele.  In your own words and with as much detail as you can remember, can you describe the crust and crumb for me?
Was there any crisp or crunch to the exterior at all, even initially?
How soft or chewy is the crust overall?
Do you recall if the crust got chewier or dry out as the pizza cooled?  Was the crust leathery after cooling?
Is the crust flavorful?

Thanks,
Chau


Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2012, 11:23:42 AM »
Chau, this will be hard for me, but I will try my best. And I get asked these questions about Da Michele almost ever day. But, for you I will try my best!

So, the crust/crumb. I'll refer to it as the cornicione. Close your eyes and imaging a fresh cooking pita bread. Puffy and light and a slight tang of sour. Don't focus on the fact that it's pita bread, just imagine the pocket it creates when it's baked. Imagine fluffy and light. This "crust" has little to no doughy qualities whatsoever. It's incredible because neapolitan pizza is so thin and when you have the real deal you could imagine seeing it infront of you and it being a cracker with toppings, but it is the complete opposite. It is a heavenly creation that made me understand instantly why this pizza is a phenomenon and the reason behind me coming back to the states and trying to learn and understand this art.

No crisp, it is easily foldable. You don't even had to try to fold it, and this pizza needs to be eaten with a knife and fork. Although I tried my best to cut it into wedges and attack it like a normal slice, it just doesn't work! This pizza is also so easy to cut through, even the crappy achient dull butter knives they give you can slice through this thing with ease. In the states we need a hacksaw to cut into some of our pies..

The cornicione is chewy but not in a "doughy" way.. It's like the perfect balance of everything. As I said the crust isn't crispy and cracker like, so the only other way to describe it is by saying that it had some chew, but "chewy" isn't the word. The whole pizza is extremely soft. Like its incredible, theres actually a picture of my holding the cornicione in between my fingers, and that's actually me squeezing the cornicione and there's nothing inside but air. Soft and airy are the words for sure.

The second pizza I got was to take away for the train ride to florence and I didn't touch the pie till I got the the train which was about a 10 min walk, plus 5 min to get situated on the train and I was walking through the streets in the winter, probably 40-45 deg f. I would say total time before I examined this pizza was 20 min, which is way longer than the 20 sec I waited to dig into my first pie! Haha! The pizza never dried out. It was coated in oil from the mozz and the finish. I couldn't believe it when I found out they use soybean oil?!? That's crazy talk!! Does anyone know what brand they use by the way? Anywho, the pizza did get a little tough from sitting out in the cold. It wasn't as good as fresh when it came to texture but the flavor was still incredible! And obviously fresh cooked pizza right from a WFO is going to be better no question about it! 

The pizza had an incredible cornicione as described early and the flavor is basically what was said in the beginning of this.. Slight tang. It's also a salty pizza and that just might be from the mozz and the Parmesan on top, but I think the dough was quite salty, salty in a good way that is..

I really only have great things to say about my two da Michele pies! This is actually the style of Neapolitan ive been trying to mimic, so I would appreciate if anyone knows some more about this pie that you can share! Thanks! And Chau, I hope this helped you get an understanding of the legendary Margherita at da Michele! If you or anyone else has questions on my visit, please feel free to ask! Enjoy!
-Jordan

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2012, 11:47:59 AM »
Thank you very much Jordan.  Finally, someone who can describe a crust with good detail.  The best description I've read so far of an authentic NP pizza.  Love your description of the chew factor and the ability to cut it fairly easily with a dull knife.  It reminded me of this video posted by Omid?



Cheers,
Chau
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 11:54:24 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2012, 11:48:45 AM »
Jordan,

Was there any crispness at all to the outermost layer of the cornice of the pie you ate there - if only a paper thin layer? If you squeezed the cornice, would there be any cracking no matter how fine or delicate the cracks or would it give to the pressure with no cracking at all?

Thanks,
Craig
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2012, 11:58:18 AM »
I have read about applying the autolyse to your dough, but I have not read about anyone from naples doing this. But, it is worth a try for sure.

But, how sure are you about the whole "Autolyse will especially benefit you if you don't use a mixer in developing your dough."

I experimented with "autolyse" type techniques quite a bit several years ago, and my personal belief is that it does not accomplish anything meaningful (caveat: I can only speak with respect to total fermentation time > 24 hours).

CL
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2012, 12:11:54 PM »
Thank you very much for that elaborate description Jordan. Did you happen to time the bake?

John

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2012, 12:20:52 PM »
Jordan,

Very good description.  I was just there in December, and left with a completely different understanding of pizza napoletana than I had previously believed.  From looking at nothing but pictures, and visiting many so-called Neapolitan Pizza restaurants here in the US, I had the belief the defining characteristic of the pizza was a leopard-spotted and charred crust.  (Of course, along with the other basic tenets)  After visiting Da Michele and Gino Sorbillo, however, I truly UNDERSTOOD what they mean by tenderness of crust.  Now, for me, that is the defining characteristic.  The suppleness, which I think is a more accurate word, was remarkable. 

Sognando d'Italia,
Salvatore


Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2012, 12:26:07 PM »
Thank you very much Jordan.  Finally, someone who can describe a crust with good detail.  The best description I've read so far of an authentic NP pizza.  Love your description of the chew factor and the ability to cut it fairly easily with a dull knife.  It reminded me of this video posted by Omid?


Thanks so much for the kind words! Please feel free to ask away!
Chau, look at the 0:08 mark of the video when the slice in his hand is completely goopy and the knife is in the other hand.. Well, thats basically what this pizza is like... The pizza is very "goopy", not stiff at all when you try cutting a wedge and holding it, if just flops over itself. And the knives there are possibly the worst knives in the history of cutlery.. They are worse than the butter knives you use at home to butter your toast. So, imagine how easily this pizza must be to cut through. Cliche, but "its like a warm knife cutting through butter" very similar indeed.

Craig, I have been reading a lot of your posts and looking at your pies and I must say they look absolutely delicious! I am happy you decided to chime in this thread, and I am glad you told me about your experience with autolyse. I am aware that it is not common practice in naples, but Dellavecchia has told me that Da Michele does an autolyse, so Im tempted to try it. And I heard it makes your dough kneading time significantly shorter, but I dont know if this is proven. Since I do all my mixing and kneading by hand, its difficult for me to come to a conclusion on whats the best possible technique. I dont want to keep wasting dough, even though I know experimenting is all the fun, but there is a lot that can go wrong with simply altering 1 step in your dough making procedure..

In regards to your question about the cornicione. You can see in my pictures posted on the bottom of pg 2. that my 2nd pie, the one that was in the box had a very charred cornicione on one side. So I hope I can answer your question based on this.. When I saw this charr, I wondered if this would be disgusting and burnt and too crispy, like burning bread. I was mistaken. It was the most delicious bite of pizza Ive ever had in my life! The sauce was covering my last bite with mozz oozing around the charr. The oil dripped into the hole of the last bite and it was just fantastic. Something a WFO could only produce without there being a disgusting burnt flavor.  Im really trying my hardest to remember if there was any crisp, but even the charred parts were easily foldable and soft.  And to clear things up, the cornicione was not paper thing. The pizza itself was very very thin, actually if you were to hold the sides of the cornicione and lift the pizza up, you would see the center of the pie sink down, but it wont break. Its like they have it down to a science of how far to stretch the pie to its limits before it bakes.  But, the cornicione was a thick pocket of air that was a "crown" around the pie. It wasnt a blown up as some of the other pies I see. Even omids beautiful pies have an incredible rise or "oven spring" if you will on his cornicione. I would love to have one of omids pies.. haha, but thats besides the point. It was not thin in comparison to the rest of the pie at all. When squeezing the cornicione, it didnt crack or show any crispiness. It simply just felt soft. The softest dough Ive ever felt. Have you ever had a pie with a huge airbubble in it? Did you squeeze the crumb in that area? Did you cut through it to see how it looks on the inside? Well, thats the cornicione, but imagine the whole entire rim of the pie being like that, but not over risen and charred all at the same time. You guys call it leoparding when the airbubbles in the cornicione charr right? I really hope this helped!

-Jordan
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2012, 12:36:55 PM »
Thank you very much for that elaborate description Jordan. Did you happen to time the bake?

No I didnt, unfortunately. But, I did get a video of them preparing the pie. Not sure if you guys saw it earlier in my thread, but I sneaked it in there! Heres the link! And I would recommend watching it in HD, I actually got it in 1080p or you can click "Original" which is the best quality, and make it full screen so you can see everything this maestro is doing!
I would say under 70-80 seconds. But yet again, I dont know for sure.



salvatoregianpaolo, I was actually there this december as well! I was on a 3 week trip to Europe in which I spent about a week in Italy. Only a couple hours in Naples, but I got to try the real deal, which is the most important! I would love to go back and really see what these guys do and study, it would help me more especially with my knowledge I gain every day from this forum. Suppleness is the perfect word. When watching my video, see how gentle he is with the dough.. He isnt slamming it down while doing the slap technique, just gentle.. And he doesnt work the dough much at all. At da michele (you can see this in the video) they push the dough out to probably a 8-10in diameter, dress it up, slide it to the peel, and really STRETCH it out. Probably to a 14in diameter! I know it sounds big, but trust me, this was the biggest pizza I had in Italy. I thought they would be small, but my 2 da michele pies were very overwhelming in size compared to what I have read before trying the real deal.  Also, as you said, I didnt notice too much leoparding. And the crust was as tender as can be. True perfection in my eyes. But yet again, you guys on the forum make some great looking pies that I have yet to try! I hope this helps!

And please let me know what you think of the video! I was very happy they let me get so close to take it!
-Jordan


 

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