Author Topic: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella  (Read 989 times)

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Offline alpinegroove

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Had some good results today with this Neo-Neapolitan pie with pesto and smoked mozzarella.
Used Reinhart's dough recipe and topped it with pesto (walnuts instead of pine nuts) made at home using a mortar and pestle. Add some locally made smoked mozzarella, and you're all set.

Oven is a funky bottom-flame gas oven. Cast iron pan in the middle shelf, with a pizza stone in the shelf directly above it. 45 minute preheat at 550F, then 15 more with the broiler on (broiler is in a drawer on the bottom).

Out of the oven in 4 minutes.



Offline mkevenson

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012, 08:51:56 PM »
Alpinegroove, nice leoparding on the crust. Looks good enough to eat. How hot did you get you cast iron plate, I am assuming from your text that is what you cooked on? With pizza stone as a ceiling?
I have Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day, he talks about a Neo -Neopolitan dough that is a "variation of the ...dough he introduced in American Pie". Which version did you use?

Glad it turned out so well for you.

Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline alpinegroove

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012, 09:02:13 PM »
Thanks, Mark. I used this recipe:
http://musingrecipes.blogspot.com/2006/01/neo-neapolitan-pizza-dough.html

I believe it is from American Pie.
2.5 day cold fermentation.

Indeed, pizza baked on the cast iron, with the stone as a ceiling. I don't have an IR thermometer. The oven dial goes up to 550. The thermometer inside the oven, which goes up to 600F, indicated a temperature above the maximum it could read. I don't know how accurate that is. I would say the temperature was 600-650F.   

Offline mkevenson

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 09:22:21 PM »
Thanks, From the looks and at 4 min I would guess hotter than 550/max oven temp. I have never used cast iron as a pizza stone and perhaps it gets quite a bit hotter than the stated oven temp, or perhaps the broiler kicked it up. Your iron plate sure looks shiny!

Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline alpinegroove

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 11:46:58 PM »
The broiler definitely makes it hotter; I don't know by how much. I believe that with the pan/stone in the oven the maximum temperature exceeds what's on the dial.
Oh, and it's not steel. I am not sure what it is made of, but it is called kamal, and it can be found in many households in Guatemala, where it is used to heat up tortillas.
I have been using it as a peel... ;D

« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 11:00:10 AM by alpinegroove »

Online scott123

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 05:34:03 AM »
Alpinegroove, while it's very encouraging that you can achieve beautiful top color in 4 minutes in a bottom heat source scenario with a top stone on the upper shelf, cast iron is too conductive as a hearth. In bottom heat scenarios it's critical to slow down the heat transfer on the floor rather than accelerate it with a relatively highly conductive material.

Based upon the burning you're getting on your undercrust, you might be able to get away with a thinnish cordierite (kiln shelf) hearth, although quarry tile would be considerably cheaper.  The one thing I wouldn't do, though, is swap the top and bottom stones.  The top stone is working perfectly, I wouldn't mess with it.  I also wouldn't change the size of the bottom stone- I'm guessing the ceiling stone is larger, correct?  The larger ceiling is another important facet as it helps to collect the heat rising up from below.

The oven is definitely running hotter than the dial temp. If you could score an infrared thermometer, it would go a long way in determining what you're working with.

Offline alpinegroove

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012, 10:55:18 AM »
Thank you for the suggestions, Scott.
What would the cordierite shelf (how thick/thin, btw?) allow me to do that the cast iron isn't achieving currently?

The top stone is actually the same size as the pan (14 in.). I am not sure what kind of stone it is, but it is nothing fancy (got it from a thrift shop).

The other day I tried lowering the pan to the bottom shelf and the stone to the shelf right above it. I thought that closer to the flame would be hotter, thus better, but within 2.5 minutes, the bottom was charred and while the top looked right, the crust itself was undercooked.
I suppose that different dough would have reacted differently. The sugar and oil in the dough probably burned first.




Online scott123

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2012, 11:23:34 AM »
Cordierite would transfer less heat to the bottom of the crust than the iron pan is transferring. If you go with cordierite, I'd shoot for 1/2" or slightly less.  You could even try a very thin cheap stone from Walmart. The downside to a very thin stone, though, is that you'll have to wait a while between bakes for the stone to heat up again.

I think quarry tiles are better in this scenario, since those will slow down the bottom bake most of all.

Offline alpinegroove

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2012, 11:29:39 AM »
Wouldn't the top burn if the bottom cooks slower?

How can I tell which quarry tiles to buy at the hardware store?

Online scott123

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2012, 11:33:33 AM »
Right now, in 4 minutes, you're top is cooking perfectly and your bottom is burning.  When you use a material that transfers less heat to the undercrust, the bottom will cook more slowly, and, ideally, brown correctly in that same time frame.

Whatever unglazed tiles the hardware store has should work fine. If you have more than one to choose from, go with the one that feels denser.


Offline alpinegroove

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Re: My Best Effort Yet - Neo-Neapolitan with Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2012, 11:50:01 AM »
Thanks for the explanation.


 

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