Author Topic: Pizza, Passion and Pride  (Read 14585 times)

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Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #75 on: June 22, 2012, 08:21:52 AM »
Alrighty, I came home from Italy a couple of days ago, and now I had the time to just post an update.

I ate A LOT of pizza while we were in Italy. Unfortunately I only had 1 in Naples, but what a treat anyway. We walked around in Naples for a couple of hours before going to Da Michele. There was already a huge crowd infront of the small shop, and there were about 20 numbers in front of us. This resulted in a 45 minute wait, but it was alright. The weather was really nice, so we didn't mind sitting outside on the curb and just observe the people waiting in line with us.

When we got in it was like stepping into something completely different. It was very cold because of the aircondition, and it was all but impressive. Boring white and green tile on the walls, white plastic cups to drink from, and cheap tables. But the walls were decorated with old pictures, newspaper articles and much more. What really stood out was the classic picture of Michele that hung on the wall. We were seated in the room next to the oven, and as we walked up the steps, we passed one of Micheles sons - the one you once in a while see in Youtube videos.

We ordered, and a few minutes later the Margherita arrived. We only ordered 1 pizza, as the plan was to go across the street afterwards to taste the pizza at Trianon. The first thing I noticed about the pie was the inregularity. It wasn't round, nor square, but a mix inbetween. The next thing was the sheer softness of the pizza. One could easily imagine how to fold this pizza to eat it. As we digged in the flavours were just ridiculous. I've always been a bit cheap with the amount of topping, especially the sauce, but at Da Michele there was a lot of sauce on the pizza. It made the tomate taste stand out a lot more, and it just tasted really good. For my taste, there could have been a tad more mozza on the pizza, without reaching the levels of the Doppia.

The amount of sauce was the first thing I noticed, and as I took a bite off the cornicione I noticed the weird sense of texture that the crust  had. This was my first impression with "Vera Pizza Napoletana", and it was very soft, and almost melted in my mouth. A tad different than the pies I make myself, but not that far off when everything boiled down. The pie was eaten in no time by me and my girlfriend, and for me it was the best pizza I've had.

But having tasted this pizza, I don't think it would be that difficult to get somewhere near the same flavour and texture. The secret in the sauce is just to use more of it. The dough is more of a puzzle, but as the geek I am, I ordered 25 kgs of Caputo pizzeria flour to try to see how close I can get to the same result. But it made me realize just what Anthony Mangiery says in one of his videos, when he calls the pizza from Naples from "wet and covered in oil"  ;D

When we got out of Da Michele and headed towards Trianon, we were stopped by the pizzaoil in the door, who told us that they were closed because of the siesta. Too bad.

Wednesday I made a batch of dough with my new Caputo flour using the Ischia starter(1.3%), 58% hydration and 2.5% salt. It bulk rose at about 60-65F for 24 hours, and this morning it was balled and set to rise at about 75-80F for 12-14 hours. Tonight I will be going to the restaurant and test it in their oven. Hopefully it's a success  :D

I also spent quite some time looking in on different pizzerias and other restaurants on how they had designed the place. I have made a lot of mental notes that I will hopefully put to use when I open my own place.

In Rome we ate at Rosso Pomodore, which I found out later was a chainstore. But they did make a very good neapolitan styled pizza, although not near the thing we had at Da Michele. But their ovens were beautiful. I couldn't see the maker, but maybe you guys now??


Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #76 on: June 22, 2012, 08:23:59 AM »
The ovens

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #77 on: June 22, 2012, 08:53:18 AM »
Nice write up Kermit, wen in Naples, i did not have the opportunity to go to Da Michele, but i went to Vesi, Mattozzi (where i had my training), Di Matteo, Umberto and Vuolo. the Dough at Di Matteo was very good, soft and digested very easy, the Toppings at Vuolo where the best in quality.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #78 on: June 22, 2012, 09:56:40 AM »
Very nice, thank you.

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

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #79 on: June 23, 2012, 10:22:53 AM »
I made the pizzas yesterday in the restaurant's WFO. It was ok and the taste was really nice. But one thing bothered me, and that was the fact that the balls had flattened quite a bit. So they were already rather large when I took them out of the container, which made it a tad difficult with the spatula. I wonder what would happen if I had reballed the balls halfway through the 12 hour last fermantation.

Anybody have tried this? And will a 6 hour rise with an Ischia Starter dough be sufficient for it to be airy?

Will definately have to experiment with this.

But here's a picture of last nights bake in the restaurant  :chef:

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #80 on: June 23, 2012, 12:05:59 PM »
what was you water %? maybe you should lower the Hydration...
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Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #81 on: June 23, 2012, 12:18:36 PM »
what was you water %? maybe you should lower the Hydration...
Of the starter or the dough? Starter is about 100% and dough was about 58%.

Offline toddster63

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #82 on: June 23, 2012, 03:11:20 PM »
Kermit, I like Ischia with tiny amounts (like .5%) and a 24 hour RT rise. Light and airy. I never fiddle with re-balling. I've had bad experiences with a faster "second rise" and then over-fermented too extensible skins. I've also had Ischia give me the finger and not rise much at all. But then two days later, while making sourdough bread with Ischia, the loaf practically explodes out of the oven with massive rising—sheesh...!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 03:12:51 PM by toddster63 »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #83 on: June 23, 2012, 03:35:04 PM »
And will a 6 hour rise with an Ischia Starter dough be sufficient for it to be airy?

It all depends on the quantity of starter and the temp. With enough starter and a warm room, you could probably get a 6 hour rise out of Ischia. This is a complete guess, but I'd say something on the order of 17% for a 6 hour rise at 85F or so.

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


Offline andreguidon

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #84 on: June 23, 2012, 03:48:46 PM »
maybe the starter is a "little" to acid, this makes the gluten break down faster, and looks like the dough is over hidrated. make the same dough only with CY and see if the results are the same. what flour are you using?
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Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #85 on: June 23, 2012, 04:23:14 PM »
Kermit, I like Ischia with tiny amounts (like .5%) and a 24 hour RT rise. Light and airy. I never fiddle with re-balling. I've had bad experiences with a faster "second rise" and then over-fermented too extensible skins. I've also had Ischia give me the finger and not rise much at all. But then two days later, while making sourdough bread with Ischia, the loaf practically explodes out of the oven with massive rising—sheesh...!

Thanks. I'll give the 24 hour rise a try next time  :D

It all depends on the quantity of starter and the temp. With enough starter and a warm room, you could probably get a 6 hour rise out of Ischia. This is a complete guess, but I'd say something on the order of 17% for a 6 hour rise at 85F or so.
What I was asking, but didn't formulate clearly enough was, by using 1.3% starter, could I do a 48 hour rise where the first 36 hours are at about 60-65 F, and the last 12 is at around 75-80 F(first 6 hours like the first 36, and the last 6 in balls).   :D

maybe the starter is a "little" to acid, this makes the gluten break down faster, and looks like the dough is over hidrated. make the same dough only with CY and see if the results are the same. what flour are you using?
Will try making one with CY and one with starter when I get the chance. If the starter is too acid, is it just a matter of taking a small amount of the starter and refreshing it with water and flour, and then use it when it's frothing again? Basically using a "young" starter. I'm, using Caputo Flour.

Offline Redshirt

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #86 on: June 24, 2012, 07:51:03 AM »
Just as a side note, get to know your starter, the longer you have it alive it seems to stabilaize into an easier semi predictable culture.  Just kind of like when kids are hungry they put on a face or when they are happy they put on another.  I had an Ischia for two years that became wonderful, and i do not mean it became accustomed or absorbed by my surroundings blah...blah..... (that is a different subject I do not believe in)  I mean it just became so predictable in a way that I knew the temp I had it at and how it would react, it was great!  I ruined it, so I am starting a new one.  What I mean by all of this, is, do not forget that neapolitan pizza is artisinal.  I have a lot of questions myself, but I cannot ask without having experimented with the proper tools.  I will tell you that everybody on this site has helped, and the other part is what you/we put into it and it seems that you are doing the right thing.  My advice, try to stabilize as many things or steps as possible and continue.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #87 on: June 26, 2012, 07:55:19 AM »
So I made a little experiment. 1.5% starter, 58% hydration, 2.5% salt, Caputo flour and another with yeast instead of the starter. Mixed for about 4-5 minutes on low speed. Doughs were set to ferment at about 60-65F for 36 hours. The yeast dough had more than doubled in size, whereas the starter had a slight rise.

Divided into balls and set to rise for 10 hours at about 70-75F. You could clearly see which one was the yeast one, as it had a lot more holes in it, but the starter was not that bad.

Doughs were a bit wet to the touch, but got out with a little work. The one starter ball I tightened up, and set to rise for another 3 hours. The balls more or less opened themselves, just like Craig has said about his own dough. Good results from both doughs.

The last doughball I made 3 hours later, and it was a tad hard to stretch. I think I might need to leave it for 6 hours after reballing it. This will let the gluten relax and make for an easy opening, but easier to get out of the box as it has not flattened out completely making it difficult to get the spatula under it.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #88 on: July 14, 2012, 05:46:50 AM »
I tried Todds recipe with .5% Ischia starter. Caputo pizzeria flour, 58% hydration, 2% salt and .5% starter. 18 hours in bulk at RT, and 6 hours in balls at RT.

It was a great succes, when I got to try it out in the restaurants oven. Although it's not entirely geared for Neapolitan pizza, but it was ok. This was without a doubt THE BEST pizza I've made so far. Although it's not completely round, the taste was spot on. Just like Da Michele it was soft, and melted in my mouth.

Offline toddster63

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #89 on: July 14, 2012, 10:44:30 AM »
Looks really tasty, Kermit. Amazing how little yeast you can use for great taste, huh?

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #90 on: July 15, 2012, 08:09:22 AM »
Yes. It's very funny to experiment with :)

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #91 on: July 15, 2012, 01:35:01 PM »
Gorgeous pies. I really like the look of the Margherita. It just looks tender and delicious. I'm happy to see your success with the tiny amounts of natural yeast and long room temp ferment.

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


Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #92 on: August 03, 2012, 08:11:56 AM »
Gorgeous pies. I really like the look of the Margherita. It just looks tender and delicious. I'm happy to see your success with the tiny amounts of natural yeast and long room temp ferment.

CL
Thanks Craig. It's like a new world opening up  ;D

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #93 on: August 03, 2012, 08:21:55 AM »
Not that much activity in here lately. I've been on a diet that has meant a minimum of pizza - I have still to figure out how to diet and still live off pizza  ;D But in the meantime I have started up a small blog in danish, and trying to learn other danes the art of Pizza Napoletana. It's actually turning out quite good, and a lot of the information I get, I get from here and basically just translates it to danish. So cudos for a great board!!

I also post on a danish BBQ forum where there's a good focus on pizza as well. I have some good discussions with a baker on the site, as we don't always agree on everything related to pizzabaking. For instance the use of a windowpane test when making pizza dough. He wouldn't go without it, and I'm saying that it's not really something you need to do, as the gluten will develop it self. I refer a lot to Lehmann and what he has gained experience wise, but sometimes I find myself short of knowledge. I would really enjoy a conversation between the two.

One of the things we are discussing as of now is the whole salt/yeast debate. I've always been told to mix yeast, flour and water, and then add salt later on as the salt will inhibit the yeasts ability to ferment. According to him it's a myth, and there have been numerous studies to verify this. As of now I don't know if he's right, but he's basically saying that salt will only kill yeast if it's in direct contact with eachother, sounds pretty plausible.

What's ya'lls 2 cents on this matter? I might go ahead and make 3 doughs with the same amount of yeast in it. One without any salt, one with salt that has been dissolved in yeasty water to begin with, and one with salt that has been added after a short mix of flour, water and yeast.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #94 on: August 03, 2012, 09:56:09 AM »
One of the things we are discussing as of now is the whole salt/yeast debate. I've always been told to mix yeast, flour and water, and then add salt later on as the salt will inhibit the yeasts ability to ferment. According to him it's a myth, and there have been numerous studies to verify this. As of now I don't know if he's right, but he's basically saying that salt will only kill yeast if it's in direct contact with each other, sounds pretty plausible.

What's ya'lls 2 cents on this matter?

Kermit,

What your baker friend says is essentially correct. While modern yeast strains are more salt tolerant than older strains, it is still not a good idea to combine the water, salt and yeast at the same time. If for some reason, this has to be done, you should perhaps increase the amount of yeast a bit and only keep the water, salt and yeast together for only a very brief time, and then quickly add the flour and other ingredients. The reason for not keeping the three ingredients together for other than a brief period is because salt is a hygroscopic ingredient (it takes on water from its surroundings) and, as such, it can leach fluids from the yeast cells by osmotic pressure and impair the performance of the yeast. The safer way to use salt is to first dissolve it in the water so that it can take up whatever water it needs, and then stir in the yeast. At that point, the salt should have minimal effect on the yeast and not impair its performance. An alternative to this approach is to add the salt to the flour and other dry ingredients. The flour will buffer the yeast from the salt so that the salt can't harm the yeast. Adding the salt later in the dough making process, or after an autolyse, is also acceptable although you will lose the antioxidant effects of the salt.

To gain a better understanding of the role of salt in dough, see the article at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/salt.html and also the article on salt at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8764.msg75936/topicseen.html#msg75936.

You might also want to take a look at the video on yeast at http://www.bakemag.com/videos/bakers%20workbench.aspx?channelId=2e44799d754f4af8b9d1cff360d55e36&channelListId=1d4318192fac42b5913b52186df753a4&mediaId=d02655a6df0f4720befc4106a553976c. There is also another video in the same series at http://www.bakemag.com/videos/bakers%20workbench.aspx?channelId=2e44799d754f4af8b9d1cff360d55e36&channelListId=1d4318192fac42b5913b52186df753a4&mediaId=9f52de26868a48f4b275ceaedaec87c7. You will note from the first video that salt above 1% of the flour weight has an inhibiting effect on the yeast. That doesn't mean the you shouldn't use more than 1% salt. It just means that you should be sure that the amount of yeast and salt are used at the proper levels to achieve the desired results.

Peter

 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 11:59:37 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #95 on: August 03, 2012, 10:12:43 AM »
Peter, once again you amaze me with your knowledge of where to find the correct informations. Thank you!  :pizza:

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #96 on: September 04, 2012, 08:52:47 AM »
Wow, it's been a month since my last post in here. I think I've made pizzas once since then, but the drought is over as of tomorrow. My birthday is the day after tomorrow, so I have invited my family tomorrow to eat pizza. 15 people and I guess I'll be making something like 18 pies. The biggest batch I've ever made, and it's going to be a lot of fun to see how I'll manage  ;D Pics will of course be uploaded  :D

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #97 on: June 19, 2014, 09:37:05 AM »
Wow, this time I've been away far too long. I guess I've just been busy with other stuff, especially my cycling which has reached a new level.

I have been using the oven a bit, and have had great results with it. Just ordered a new batch of Caputo flour, so hopefully I will have the opportunity to fire the oven in a couple of weeks.

Went to NY last year, and tried a couple of the neapolitan places such as Keste, Don Antonio, and Forcella. Of the 3, Don Antonio had the best pies.


 

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