Author Topic: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?  (Read 7304 times)

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Offline italdream

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2013, 01:49:33 PM »
Craig, as far as I know, neither you nor I have been to Naples, but we know countless people that have.  Out of the countless travel reports you've read, have you ever heard of a Neapolitan pizzeria using anything but 00?  I haven't.  Have you heard of any respected domestic Neapolitan pizzerias using anything other than 00? They don't exist.

Hi Scott, Craig is likely not interested in that aspect. It would probably be off topic.

I'll tell you about my "travel reports".

I have been a few times in Naples (a few times as in I lived there for the first 30 years of my earthly existence).

First, most people in Naples would not know what kind of flour pizzerias use but the vast majority of people still use exclusively 00 in their homes (there really isn't anything else readily available). With supermarket chains (such for example the French Auchan - there are a few around Naples), you can now pretty much find everything. For example, tipo 0 is at present more readily available than in the past; manitoba flours appear more and more frequently as the cited ingredient for cakes, rustici etc.

Obviously, pizzerias do not buy their supplies at supermarkets but if they were using a vastly different type of flour than most people, it would be common knowledge, which never was.

On my trips back to Naples, I often conduct informal polls asking the pizzaiolo in various place what kind of flours they are using. Never asked specifically about 00 as it never came to mind, but on my general question I almost always get the answer "Caputo", sometimes specifying rossa or blu. They are both 00 flours.


Offline italdream

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #51 on: July 25, 2013, 01:56:09 PM »
Is there any specific quality, flavor or feature of a finished Neapolitan pie crust that simply cannot be reproduced without a 00 four?

In my opinion there are other ingredients (mozzarella, tomatoes etc.) and factors (high temperature, type of oven, dough preparation etc.) that are vastly more important than the type of flour.

I used non 00 dough in my LBE many times and often the type of flour per se would not be THE factor, i.e. I may get a more Neapolitan looking/tasting pie as a measure of good temperature, dough etc. that by using 00 flour.

However, I think that I could recognize the 00 flour in a Neapolitan style pizza on a blind taste. It has a lightness and a "dusty" texture to it that I think I could recognize. Actually, I should probably do a blind tasting...  8)

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2013, 02:30:36 PM »
Have you heard of any respected domestic Neapolitan pizzerias using anything other than 00? They don't exist.

Scott, does Roberta's count?  They use a blend of 00 and Sir Ghalahad AP flour.  I thought their crust was one of the better NP ones that we ate at on the NY pizza tour. 

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17885.msg175867.html#msg175867

Italdream, that's pretty cool that you have lived in Naples for such a long time.  Someday I will make it there to try the pizza.  :P

If you decide to do a blind taste test, see if you can get your hands on this new GM Neapolitan flour.  You might be suprise.   I know that there were a lot of people at the Tx Summit 2 that have eaten a whole lot of pizza, both made with 00 flour and non 00 flour.  I also know that none of the participants could detect any difference between this GM NP flour and Caputo 00 flour.  It was suprising to say the least.  If there was even any hint of difference, I think someone would have said something.  We were in disbelief. 

Chau



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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2013, 02:43:19 PM »
Hi Scott, Craig is likely not interested in that aspect. It would probably be off topic.


Do you not listen at all, or should there be a smiley at the end of that quote?

As I said, I have no problem with off-topic discussion. My comment to you was that you kept addressing a very specific question with completely off topic examples.
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Offline Ronzo

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2013, 02:50:17 PM »
Anything can be defined as anything anyone wants it to be defined as.

According to 'the powers that be', though I don't think they'd be signing on board for it. Too much control... they'd make claims of "diluting purity" and all that sort of thing. Religious zealots...

Personally, as long as a pizza is delicious, I couldn't give a rat's butt what you call it.

More power to ya
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Offline italdream

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2013, 02:59:03 PM »
Have you heard of any respected domestic Neapolitan pizzerias using anything other than 00? They don't exist.

Scott, does Roberta's count?  They use a blend of 00 and Sir Ghalahad AP flour.  I thought their crust was one of the better NP ones that we ate at on the NY pizza tour. 

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17885.msg175867.html#msg175867

Italdream, that's pretty cool that you have lived in Naples for such a long time.  Someday I will make it there to try the pizza.  :P

If you decide to do a blind taste test, see if you can get your hands on this new GM Neapolitan flour.  You might be suprise.   I know that there were a lot of people at the Tx Summit 2 that have eaten a whole lot of pizza, both made with 00 flour and non 00 flour.  I also know that none of the participants could detect any difference between this GM NP flour and Caputo 00 flour.  It was suprising to say the least.  If there was even any hint of difference, I think someone would have said something.  We were in disbelief. 

Chau
Thanks Chau. Napoli is a beautiful town but it has its share of problems. Pizza is only one of the great gastronomic wonders of the city. Pastries and cakes are another thing worth investing energy (baba', migliaccio, chiacchiere, struffoli, sfogliatelle just to name a few). I think that I am going to try cooking in the BS oven two other savory dishes: gatto di patate e sartu di riso.

Anyway, I digress... I would like to try the GM Neapolitan flour. I am curious to see where I can find it in the NY area. Granted, you can find the big bag Caputo at wholesale price in NY, so it'd have to be really cheap to justify a switch. But I would be really curious to try.

scott123

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2013, 04:04:40 PM »
Scott, does Roberta's count?

I wouldn't classify Roberta's as NP.  They're more in a Paulie Gee's territory.  If they branded themselves as NP, then that might be a different story.  I just checked their website, though, and I couldn't find any references to NP.

Offline Pulcinella

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #57 on: July 25, 2013, 06:56:27 PM »
Here's my angle. Lets not confuse "tradition" with taste or quality. For many of us europeans, America which is my new beloved home is land of inovation (which is its strength) but sometimes making changes in things already well established. America being a young nation (about 300 years of history), not always easy to completely understand meaning of tradition. (my opinion is Americans value technology and inovation over tradition.) We want make TRADITIONAL pizza napoletana but we miserably fail to understand the tradition --- ending up reinventing the wheel. Almost 99% neapolitan pizzerias in USA are examples in my opinon. They claim to offer "traditional/authentic neapolitan pizza" but what you get is scandalous corruption of the tradition/authenticity. Their prides blinds them to their ignorance. I almost fell in the same trap till a member convinced me of my ignorance. After months of pizza making i was ready to open up my TRADITIONAL NEAPOLITAN PIZZERIA I even leased leased a space, bought professional mixer and the rest. I know it would have been a prosperous pizzeria but prosperity is no synonym for "tradition". The advice that really stayed with me was that once you open up your pizzeria, the business will likely have a life of its own almost independent of your efforts. So, make sure you do everything right as much as possible from the beginning.  Still keep learning .. I have more questions than answers .. should neapolitan pizzerias use fridge or chilled box or room temp to ferment dough? should they ferment dough balls in individual containers or dough trays? should they open dough balls with neapolitan slap or on knuckles? can they use unusal cheeses? Must they use 00 flour? <<Ciro Salvo whose a AVPN instructor recently used a blend of 00 flour and WHOLE WHEAT.>> http://www.lucianopignataro.it/a/torre-annunziata-pizzeria-masse-qui-ce-ciro-salvo-che-fa-delle-pizze-favolose/47810/

What about weight of dough balls, 250, 260, 270 grams? da Michele whose pizzas I have had many times can get away with 300 grams or more (look at the size of the pizza in the picture) and not using olive oil and bufala. I will be damned by critics if I use whole wheat, dough ball of 300 grams or more and seed oil. Where do you draw the line? Somebody told me this is not like rules of jungle, Ciro is Ciro and da Michele is da Michele, you are none. They have earned the right, what have you done to earn the same?
 
I thank Craig and other members for keeping this discussion alive. By the way, any one knows the history of 00 type flour? Did Antonio Testa, Domenico Testa and Raffaele Esposito use 00 flour <<with proper W and falling number>> when they made neapolitan pizzas for the royalty of Naples? Did they have the technlology to produce 00 flours in those days? If not, when did it start?

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2013, 09:29:30 AM »
Here's my angle. Lets not confuse "tradition" with taste or quality. For many of us europeans, America which is my new beloved home is land of inovation (which is its strength) but sometimes making changes in things already well established. America being a young nation (about 300 years of history), not always easy to completely understand meaning of tradition. (my opinion is Americans value technology and inovation over tradition.) We want make TRADITIONAL pizza napoletana but we miserably fail to understand the tradition --- ending up reinventing the wheel. Almost 99% neapolitan pizzerias in USA are examples in my opinon. They claim to offer "traditional/authentic neapolitan pizza" but what you get is scandalous corruption of the tradition/authenticity. Their prides blinds them to their ignorance. I almost fell in the same trap till a member convinced me of my ignorance. After months of pizza making i was ready to open up my TRADITIONAL NEAPOLITAN PIZZERIA I even leased leased a space, bought professional mixer and the rest. I know it would have been a prosperous pizzeria but prosperity is no synonym for "tradition". The advice that really stayed with me was that once you open up your pizzeria, the business will likely have a life of its own almost independent of your efforts. So, make sure you do everything right as much as possible from the beginning.  Still keep learning .. I have more questions than answers .. should neapolitan pizzerias use fridge or chilled box or room temp to ferment dough? should they ferment dough balls in individual containers or dough trays? should they open dough balls with neapolitan slap or on knuckles? can they use unusal cheeses? Must they use 00 flour? <<Ciro Salvo whose a AVPN instructor recently used a blend of 00 flour and WHOLE WHEAT.>> http://www.lucianopignataro.it/a/torre-annunziata-pizzeria-masse-qui-ce-ciro-salvo-che-fa-delle-pizze-favolose/47810/

What about weight of dough balls, 250, 260, 270 grams? da Michele whose pizzas I have had many times can get away with 300 grams or more (look at the size of the pizza in the picture) and not using olive oil and bufala. I will be damned by critics if I use whole wheat, dough ball of 300 grams or more and seed oil. Where do you draw the line? Somebody told me this is not like rules of jungle, Ciro is Ciro and da Michele is da Michele, you are none. They have earned the right, what have you done to earn the same?
 
I thank Craig and other members for keeping this discussion alive. By the way, any one knows the history of 00 type flour? Did Antonio Testa, Domenico Testa and Raffaele Esposito use 00 flour <<with proper W and falling number>> when they made neapolitan pizzas for the royalty of Naples? Did they have the technlology to produce 00 flours in those days? If not, when did it start?

Dear Pulcinella, you made some critical points in your post. Mark Twain once said, "Get your facts first, and then you can distort [or modify] them as much as you please." Mozart first had to learn the rules of Baroque and Rococo compositions before being able to break or modify them for the sake of engendering his Classical compositions. In turn, Beethoven had to first master the preceding rules of Classical compositions before evolving them into his Romantic compositions.

In the same vein, if I were to establish my own Neapolitan pizzeria and uphold the tradition that has made it a possibility, first it is imperative for me to understand the tradition (which is an oral tradition for the most part, hence, not readily accessible and understandable) as a fundamental frame of reference that provides a mode of commitment, and, more specifically, as a system of thought, behavior, and rituals shared by a group of people to whom it is entrusted. Next, I would take a considerable amount of time to put to practice the system of thought, behavior, and rituals in making Neapolitan pizzas—the way Neapolitans do—until I have a relative mastery over them. So, I would have to forgo using non-"00" flour, dough fermentation in a refrigerator or chilled box, and the rest of the items you enumerated above. A tradition falls apart when there is no commitment to it and its prescribed norms. And, I am not saying that one should mimic all the norms like a parrot who utters words without understanding their meanings. In my estimation, there are sound reasons underlying the norms.

Once I have mastery over the tradition, which takes years, then I can commence to become creative about it. Ciro Salvo and Da Michele do what they do because they have already gone on a long journey which you and I have just begun. The journey is an odyssey, and every odyssey has an inbuilt sense of return to a distant past. To move forward, we must look back. Good day!

Omid
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

http://pizzanapoletanismo.com/2011/09/27/a-philosophy-of-pizza-napoletanismo/


Offline italdream

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2013, 01:08:18 PM »
Pizza, I enjoy very much reading your posts... They show passion, deep knowledge and respect for the tradition.
This is matter for a different thread, but I am curious to learn your take about certain things surrounding the tradition of Neapolitan pizza.
I am talking about certain philosophical, environmental and cultural aspects that have not much to do with the pizza itself but with the experience surrounding the same.

Napoli is for the most part of a poor city with a rich past. The masses eat pizza and pizza is a poor's lunch, yet enjoyed by people of different socio-economic background. When I was a college student, I would take a lunch break, go to Mezzocannone or Forcella with a few friends and a few thousand liras in my pocket (less than $5) and get an incredibly satisfying pizza experience, loud, old place, little service, a coke or a beer to go with it. The pizza was big, never precut, the place loud, the ambience colorful, and the lunch CHEAP. These surrounding factors were, IMHO, as much part of the experience as the pizza itself.

You know that the place was in business to make money, but never felt that it was about money. It was about feeding people with something simple, enjoyable and enormously creative at the same time, catering to the students, as well as to the professors, to the blue collar as well as to the local bank employee. And doing it the same way, it had been done for generations…

I struggle constantly to get full enjoyment of Neapolitan pizza in New York (or anywhere else in the United States), no matter how much the pizzerias try to make me like it. There is something missing, almost philosophical in nature. Perhaps it is a form of commercialization that I find almost vulgar.

Any time I step into (almost) any Neapolitan pizzerias in New York, there is something that screams at me about money and business first. The precut slices and the overprices pies (of course I understand that rent and everything is very expensive in New York); perhaps, the "franchisization" of the experience. Michele, Di Matteo, Trianon, did not open a franchise for years.

There is something about some places that feels plasticky, almost artificial, in a way that you do not find in other successful establishments. And I understand that for the most part, these pizzeria are owned by Neapolitans.

You can Frenchify many Italian restaurants, make them nice and sparkly, and still get a great food experience. But can you do the same with Neapolitan pizza, without losing the essence of its experience, the philosophy behind it?

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2013, 01:38:24 PM »
Pizza, I enjoy very much reading your posts... They show passion, deep knowledge and respect for the tradition.
This is matter for a different thread, but I am curious to learn your take about certain things surrounding the tradition of Neapolitan pizza.
I am talking about certain philosophical, environmental and cultural aspects that have not much to do with the pizza itself but with the experience surrounding the same.

Omid's has an epic thread on that very subject.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.0.html
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline italdream

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #61 on: July 26, 2013, 01:44:14 PM »
Ha. Thanks for the link ;) I guess I'll have to go through the 108 pages of it... It'll make a nice reading for the summer...

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #62 on: July 26, 2013, 01:45:37 PM »
Ha. Thanks for the link ;) I guess I'll have to go through the 108 pages of it... It'll make a nice reading for the summer...

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

Offline wheelman

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #63 on: July 26, 2013, 02:12:41 PM »
 ^^^  and don't miss Omid's amazing website:http://pizzanapoletanismo.com/2011/09/27/a-philosophy-of-pizza-napoletanismo/

Offline italdream

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2013, 02:43:26 PM »
Wow, if he has not done so yet, I see a book in his future...

Offline CJ

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2013, 04:50:20 PM »
Dear Pulcinella, you made some critical points in your post. Mark Twain once said, "Get your facts first, and then you can distort [or modify] them as much as you please." Mozart first had to learn the rules of Baroque and Rococo compositions before being able to break or modify them for the sake of engendering his Classical compositions. In turn, Beethoven had to first master the preceding rules of Classical compositions before evolving them into his Romantic compositions.

In the same vein, if I were to establish my own Neapolitan pizzeria and uphold the tradition that has made it a possibility, first it is imperative for me to understand the tradition (which is an oral tradition for the most part, hence, not readily accessible and understandable) as a fundamental frame of reference that provides a mode of commitment, and, more specifically, as a system of thought, behavior, and rituals shared by a group of people to whom it is entrusted. Next, I would take a considerable amount of time to put to practice the system of thought, behavior, and rituals in making Neapolitan pizzas—the way Neapolitans do—until I have a relative mastery over them. So, I would have to forgo using non-"00" flour, dough fermentation in a refrigerator or chilled box, and the rest of the items you enumerated above. A tradition falls apart when there is no commitment to it and its prescribed norms. And, I am not saying that one should mimic all the norms like a parrot who utters words without understanding their meanings. In my estimation, there are sound reasons underlying the norms.

Once I have mastery over the tradition, which takes years, then I can commence to become creative about it. Ciro Salvo and Da Michele do what they do because they have already gone on a long journey which you and I have just begun. The journey is an odyssey, and every odyssey has an inbuilt sense of return to a distant past. To move forward, we must look back. Good day!

Omid

ah, so could not a Tig welder improve on or even develop a new or better welding without having been a Forge welder?
Did stick welding come about only from a Gas welder? Or Did someone who understood electricity see an application in welding.
Could the stick welder find the path to wire welding without understanding Gas welding?
Or is it that Neapolitan is Just the art of Forge welding.
I love them all but am a true Master of none.
None the less I agree with Omid the more you understand of the roots the better we can care for the tree.

Online Tscarborough

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #66 on: July 26, 2013, 11:06:04 PM »
A week on the stick and a minimum wage worker can cook a pizza.  Another week and he can use someones formula and make the dough.  The art is in product, not the manufacture thereof.


Offline Jackitup

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2013, 11:31:23 PM »
I would respectfully disagree somewhat. Minimum wage, maximum wage, low profile job or high. Not everyone can or will do a good job even given ALL the tools, money and education in the world. THAT comes from within. My dad taught me at a very young age, ALWAYS take pride in your work regardless what it is. From mowing a lawn to building a rocket ship and everything in between, do the best you can...ALWAYS! I work in critical care and I've seen people get straight A's through school and still do not exhibit that at the bedside. Same in the food industry I was raised in. Best equipment, recipes etc and still put out mediocre food, but the high school drop out that goes from dishwasher to cook can be the best chef in the city. You are right, anyone can can cook a pizza and use someones formula, takes an artist, someone with integrity and pride, inner worth, to make it work

jon
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”            -Mark Twain


 

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