Author Topic: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?  (Read 1595 times)

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Offline Dorkmeat

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Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« on: September 30, 2013, 08:51:20 PM »
I'm interested in making some Neapolitan pies but I don't have all the equipment for it.  My oven's max setting is 550F and I realize that is too low.  It's a newer oven and I'm not too thrilled about modding the oven to hit higher temps (only because of safely concerns).  I want to make the closest pie as possible with what I have.

From what I read I should use all purpose flour or bread because of the low temp.  I bought some Ithaca sourdough bacteria.  Should I use 1/2" steel plate or ceramic to cook on?
Anyone have a link to a recipe that I should use?



Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 09:13:12 PM »
It's really not possible to make a true Neapolitan style pie in a 550 degree oven.  Instead, make a "Neo-politan" style pie that can bake for a longer time and give you a better result. You can take your pick from here. I recommend this one, which is  very similar to the recipe used at Apizza Scholls in Portland, OR. It's really more of a NY style than Neo-politan, but it is delicious!  This recipe, from Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, is also pretty good and will make a really nice pizza in a home oven at 550. In fact, Mozza's ovens are probably not much hotter than 550. 

Bread flour will work great. Sourdough is great too but I would start off using instant yeast and then graduate to sourdough once you get good results using yeast. 

Have fun! 

Regards,

TinRoof
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 09:16:01 PM by tinroofrusted »

Offline Dorkmeat

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 10:07:21 PM »
Looks like a really good resource.  Thanks for the links.

Should I go with steel or a stone?

Offline misterschu

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 08:58:42 AM »
You'll get better oven spring with a steel and color closer to leoparding on the bottom. 

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/09/the-pizza-lab-the-baking-steel-delivers.html

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2013, 09:37:56 AM »
From what I've read, 1/2 inch steel is the best, but many people don't want to deal with the weight. A good stone will also make a very nice pizza. 

Scott123 recommends these:

http://www.axner.com/cordierite-shelf-18x18x1square.aspx

If your oven oven isn't large enough, http://www.axner.com/cordierite-shelf-16x16x34square.aspx

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2013, 09:44:35 AM »
I'm interested in making some Neapolitan pies but I don't have all the equipment for it. 


If you haven't already, these two threads are worth reading:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10024.0.html
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11654.0.html
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Offline JD

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 11:11:13 AM »
If you haven't already, these two threads are worth reading:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10024.0.html
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11654.0.html


Woah... Looks like I need to wake up my Ischia, thanks for posting.
Josh

Offline Dorkmeat

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 02:12:03 PM »
Thanks for the links.  Soooo much information to soak in.  Beautiful pies!  I can't recall ever tasting one like those but they are what I'm striving to make -- seems a little strange that I'm aiming for something I've only seen pictures of.

I guess I'll order some steel and a food mill and then start cranking out some dough and working out all the kinks.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 04:44:54 PM »
seems a little strange that I'm aiming for something I've only seen pictures of.

Don't let a little detail like that slow you down.  ;D That probably describes the majority of the folks who want to make a Neapolitan pizza.
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Online stonecutter

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 05:18:48 PM »
 I personally don't agree with or understand why the word "true" is used when describing  the current ideal of a Neapolitan pizza.   

Maybe 'true commercial version' or 'true' to the AVPN standard, but not true as the original.  At least, none of my Neapolitan family or friends....which have made pizza and have dough recipes that were used decades before the current ideal version.... made pizza that had the distinctive leoparding  you see today.  And most of them didn't have a wood oven in the home, and they certainly didn't care if the oven was 500*  or 900*, as long as the ingredients were fresh and the pie was good.     Maybe it's a generational thing....most of the family and people I mentioned have long since passed,  most of them 20 or more years before AVPN standardized the process.  I am thankful that they gave their tradition to a few of us to enjoy.  BTW, I love the style of Neo being done, and it happens to be my favorite, so I'm not knocking the pie at all. 

But for me, true Neapolitan will always mean using good quality flour, local fresh ingredients and simplicity....in every way.


Sorry for the philosophical off topic, but as it relates to the thread....enjoy the process and you'll get there.
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Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob August Riis


Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 06:30:58 PM »
I personally don't agree with or understand why the word "true" is used when describing  the current ideal of a Neapolitan pizza.   

Maybe 'true commercial version' or 'true' to the AVPN standard, but not true as the original.  At least, none of my Neapolitan family or friends....which have made pizza and have dough recipes that were used decades before the current ideal version.... made pizza that had the distinctive leoparding  you see today.  And most of them didn't have a wood oven in the home, and they certainly didn't care if the oven was 500*  or 900*, as long as the ingredients were fresh and the pie was good.     Maybe it's a generational thing....most of the family and people I mentioned have long since passed,  most of them 20 or more years before AVPN standardized the process.  I am thankful that they gave their tradition to a few of us to enjoy.  BTW, I love the style of Neo being done, and it happens to be my favorite, so I'm not knocking the pie at all. 
But for me, true Neapolitan will always mean using good quality flour, local fresh ingredients and simplicity....in every way.
Sorry for the philosophical off topic, but as it relates to the thread....enjoy the process and you'll get there.

Stonecutter, you make a good point, and I like your definition.  But I don't think it is going to fly on this forum.  As you are probably aware, this issue has been debated a fair amount around here for quite a while. It would appear that the more or less accepted understanding here is that "true" Neapolitan pizza should be made in a very hot oven, probably with 00 flour, in less than 90 seconds.  Your friends and relatives who actually live in Naples would perhaps find that laughable, I don't know.  But this seems to be a strongly held belief around here. And it has to be said that the Naples style as codified by the AVPN produces a very distinctive pizza, and a great one.  Not my personal favorite, perhaps, but a really great pizza all the same.  Although there are many members who don't agree with or follow the AVPN standards, most do seem to pretty closely hew to the belief that what distinguishes a "true" Neapolitan pizza from, say, a New York pizza, or a Sicilian pizza, is the very hot oven, short baking time, and a certain way of handling the dough.  Maybe 00 flour is required too.  I'm sure we will hear from some of those who strongly adhere to these beliefs and will brook no deviation from orthodoxy.  Get ready! 

Regards,

TinRoof

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 06:59:24 PM »
Stonecutter, you make a good point, and I like your definition.  But I don't think it is going to fly on this forum.  As you are probably aware, this issue has been debated a fair amount around here for quite a while. It would appear that the more or less accepted understanding here is that "true" Neapolitan pizza should be made in a very hot oven, probably with 00 flour, in less than 90 seconds.  Your friends and relatives who actually live in Naples would perhaps find that laughable, I don't know.  But this seems to be a strongly held belief around here. And it has to be said that the Naples style as codified by the AVPN produces a very distinctive pizza, and a great one.  Not my personal favorite, perhaps, but a really great pizza all the same.  Although there are many members who don't agree with or follow the AVPN standards, most do seem to pretty closely hew to the belief that what distinguishes a "true" Neapolitan pizza from, say, a New York pizza, or a Sicilian pizza, is the very hot oven, short baking time, and a certain way of handling the dough.  Maybe 00 flour is required too.  I'm sure we will hear from some of those who strongly adhere to these beliefs and will brook no deviation from orthodoxy.  Get ready! 

Regards,

TinRoof

Thanks.  I didn't post that to start a debate, or ruffle feathers.  I don't even care that much to tell you the truth...it's just my point of view.   I agree that there are specific differences between Neo and other pizza, that is understood.  I guess what I was saying is that I don't care for taking a  hypercritical or narrow view of a type of pizza like Neapolitan, that has many subtle variations,  depending on how a family prepares it.

I'm not trying to change anyone else's way they view the Neapolitan. My point is that in the context of 'True' that is a grey area for me....because of my background.   

I think in my own way with this post, I am being guilty of being hypercritical.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 07:01:54 PM by stonecutter »
http://oldworldstoneandgarden.com/

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob August Riis

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2013, 07:45:13 PM »
I don't think when people like me say the things we say they are meant to lessen or deem your relatives recipes and food not authentic.  When speaking of a world famous regional style like Neapolitan I do not think what people are producing in their homes is taken into consideration.  The Kroger the corner has sold a lot of tombstone frozen pizza for a long time, but that doesn't make it Detroit style.  Commercial pillars like Da Michele, Brandi, Port'alba, etc.  that have been around forever are what built the reputation, and they all have things in common, most drastically a fast bake in a blazing hot wood fired oven. 

I personally don't agree with or understand why the word "true" is used when describing  the current ideal of a Neapolitan pizza.   

Maybe 'true commercial version' or 'true' to the AVPN standard, but not true as the original.  At least, none of my Neapolitan family or friends....which have made pizza and have dough recipes that were used decades before the current ideal version.... made pizza that had the distinctive leoparding  you see today.  And most of them didn't have a wood oven in the home, and they certainly didn't care if the oven was 500*  or 900*, as long as the ingredients were fresh and the pie was good.     Maybe it's a generational thing....most of the family and people I mentioned have long since passed,  most of them 20 or more years before AVPN standardized the process.  I am thankful that they gave their tradition to a few of us to enjoy.  BTW, I love the style of Neo being done, and it happens to be my favorite, so I'm not knocking the pie at all. 

But for me, true Neapolitan will always mean using good quality flour, local fresh ingredients and simplicity....in every way.


Sorry for the philosophical off topic, but as it relates to the thread....enjoy the process and you'll get there.
-Jeff

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2013, 09:00:41 PM »
I don't think when people like me say the things we say they are meant to lessen or deem your relatives recipes and food not authentic.  When speaking of a world famous regional style like Neapolitan I do not think what people are producing in their homes is taken into consideration.  The Kroger the corner has sold a lot of tombstone frozen pizza for a long time, but that doesn't make it Detroit style.  Commercial pillars like Da Michele, Brandi, Port'alba, etc.  that have been around forever are what built the reputation, and they all have things in common, most drastically a fast bake in a blazing hot wood fired oven.

DM, I don't want to derail your thread anymore than I have so this is my last post on the subject on your thread....apologies.

Shuboyje,  I understand that the nomenclature commonly used for Neapolitan pizza is for a commercial setting.  I get the standardization process too, it's even being done with certain disciplines of stonework.  But all the places you mention, do not pre-date the people I was talking about. So if a person says 'That's not Neapolitan' because it doesn't exactly fit into the current accepted parameters of AVPN Neapolitan pizza, well, I think the Neapolitan in my family ( not US born, mind you)  would take exception to that.   And, the differences I'm talking about between the commercial pizza and the others is very,very small....not at all close to your comparison of a store box pizza and Detroit style.

I also understand the value of protecting and preserving something cultural, and to a high standard.   It's just that stuff like this gets into too much minutia for me....for something so simple. 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 09:12:18 PM by stonecutter »
http://oldworldstoneandgarden.com/

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob August Riis

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2013, 09:59:44 PM »
I prescribe to the cooking time theory which is in reality the only way to classify something as broad as "pizza".  There really is a difference in the the texture, the flavor, and the visuals of pizza based on the amount of time it takes to cook it.

Fresh ingredients and scratch dough are a given at the level we are talking about for any of the types of pizza, but the one thing that DOES differentiate a Neapolitan pizza as currently defined is the time it takes to cook it.  The speed and the heat defines the way the dough and ingredients cook and interact, and you can not get a true Neapolitan crust without extreme heat and short cook times. 

This is not to say that there are not many pizzas cooked by Neapolitanos in Naples at 500 degrees, but there has to be a descriptor for those that do adhere to an accepted baseline definition.

Hell, I don't even cook Neapolitan pizza but I understand and appreciate the beauty of it's complicated simplicity.

In short:  You are not going to get a pizza that looks and tastes like a real Neapolitan pizza at 550 or 600 or 700 degrees.  Ain't gonna happen.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 10:03:43 PM by Tscarborough »

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2013, 10:32:57 PM »
My chart for pizza styles:
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 10:35:20 PM by Tscarborough »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2013, 11:11:40 PM »
My chart:
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Offline f.montoya

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2013, 07:02:08 AM »
My chart:

I take you don't care much for Chicago Deep Dish pizza.  :-D

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2013, 09:02:55 AM »
I take you don't care much for Chicago Deep Dish pizza.  :-D

That would be an understatement.  :)
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Offline iRobertO

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Re: Neapolitan recipe/process for baking @ 550?
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2013, 10:38:05 PM »