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"
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
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??