Author Topic: My First Marinara  (Read 5210 times)

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Offline upper crust

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My First Marinara
« on: March 14, 2006, 12:30:35 AM »
This was my FIRST real Marinara that I made while I was in Chicago helping launch a new Neapolitan pizzeria.

Please keep in mind this was my first... My pizza's now are 10 X better....!!!! ;D 

Please feel free to comment..

ciao
« Last Edit: March 14, 2006, 12:32:37 AM by upper crust »


Offline chiguy

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2006, 12:35:38 AM »
 Hi uppercrust,
 Nice looking pizza, where in Chicago is the location of this pizzeria and what is the name of the place?    Chiguy

Offline upper crust

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2006, 12:48:22 AM »
Hi Chiguy

The name of the pizzeria is called 'Spacca Napoli' located at 1769 west sunnyside..  You should try it out and let me know what you think.. although I'm not there anymore to make the pizzas for him, they are still using my recipe and should be phenomenal!!! If you get around to trying it.. let me know   :chef:

Offline chiguy

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2006, 12:53:48 AM »
 Hi uppercrust,
 Thanks for the info, i have to look up that address because i am unfamilar with that street. Sounds like the North Side. If i make it over there i will definetely give you a heads up.  Chiguy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2006, 01:40:38 AM »
Chas,

Nice job.

Did you use the same formulation that you posted a while back?

Peter

Offline upper crust

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2006, 10:13:30 PM »
hey Peter thanks.

Yes I believe I did this picture was taken a while back when I was doing a series of testings. Unfortunately this is the only picture I took while in Chicago. I wish I had taken some pics of my more recent pies. Now its a little late because I am back in NY.

 Although I can say that the pizza now @ Spacca Napoli has the same hydration level as the formula once posted, but less yeast quantity for a long rise at room temp. The texture and flavor of the dough is unbelievable.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2006, 10:20:03 PM by upper crust »

Offline scott r

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2006, 11:37:46 PM »
I love the extra basil and garlic on you pie.   Chas, It looks like you are making those pies just how I like them.  Way to go!!!!

It also looks like the type of basil I found when I was in San Fran.  So much better than the crap we get sold up here in Boston.

You would think that there would be somewhere where I could find some flavorful basil up here.

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2006, 10:01:41 AM »
Judging from the pictures I would say that it still needs work on the flattening technique (disk forming) cooking (and may depend on the oven) and also in the dough management (visible from the maculation of the crust).

I am a bit concern on the Spacca Napoli restaurant advertisement (which I have seen on the magazine Italian comunity in America) where seams to says that there is a strong Neapolitan expertise. Now that I know he is using your "recipe", that you only got interested in Pizza Napoletana very recently  and that you only had the experience of a brief trip in Naples visiting only 1 or 2 places, I wonder how Napoletana the pizzeria is.

I don't mean to offend anyone, but it is 6 years that I am working against the misinterpretation of original and authentic Pizza Napoletana that I get a bit upset when someone use that name and then produce a different dough (I also had arguments with people in Naples about this as well as for example when they use a refrigeration controlled fermentation.



Offline Randy

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2006, 10:27:22 AM »
Sometimes I think we apply stricter rules on authentic recipes of all kinds than we should.  As an example, Southern Fried Chicken, Buffalo wings, Barbecue and Key Lime pie, all  have people that claim the recipes they have are authentic and each may be right for their state, county, or even neighborhood.
No doubt somewhere in Italy is a restaurant that serves authentic American  barbecue but as you know barbecue can vary dramatically from one side of town to the other so what is authentic.
Ask any Italian how to make a red sauce and the variation in recipes could fill volumes but each is authentic.

Randy

Offline upper crust

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2006, 11:13:49 AM »
Ahhh Marco. Why am I not surprised on your wonderful comments.

I don't feel that I have to explain myself to you but, I would like to get the facts straight.
As I posted and said above this was my first Neapolitan pizza. I know I am only 21 years old and have been interested in pizza for only about 1 year. But I am pretty happy with how far I have come. "My pizzas now are 10 x better".

By the way you no longer have to be concerned. Spacca Napoli has a woman from Naples who has grown up in the pizza business and has 17 years of experience under her belt.

P.S. Get off your pedestal; because who are you to determine who is an expert, and how many years you need to become good at something you have a passion for.


Offline David

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2006, 08:29:48 PM »
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2006, 09:52:50 PM »
http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=7215&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=d7156df327e93fea3ce5bd620a48604b

Reviews and photos by other visitors can be found here.

David,

Thanks for that link. I have the good fortune of knowing some of those reviewers and have the utmost respect for their opinion. Their praise for Spacca Napoli should be taken very seriously. Definitely a place I want to try next time I'm in Chicago.

Offline varasano

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2006, 11:23:14 PM »
Hey UpperCrust,

I think you pict looks excellent. One of the best I've seen.  I can tell a lot from a photo.  You have a good light crust, obviously from a well heated oven. Very nice charing and well balanced ingredients.

Regarding 'real neopolitan'.  I've had too many mediocre pies from VPN places or similar places to worry too much about what is authentic.  Case in point - I went recently to No. 28 on Carmine streen in NYC. I talked to the guy a bit. He's right off the boat, 4 generation pizziaola from Naples, yada, yada. The pie was lame. 

Another example: Real Neopolitan is wood.  Can someone please point me to a great slice made in a wood oven?  Just one.  All the top places I know are coal. And I get better results out of my 800F electric than a dozen wood ovens I can name. Maybe in Italy it's better and I'm an idiot and it's all wood. But point me to ONE good wood place in the U.S. I haven't found it and it's not like I'm not looking.

Also, regarding refridgeration of the dough. It's really culture dependent. I can imagine that there is some culture out there that just is awful if it's refridgerated. But I've been playing with my culture for 3 1/2 years and I've run a lot of tests and I don't think that my pie is sub par because I do a cold rise. I've tested it over and over and the best pies with THIS culture are with a cold rise.

My pies right now are killer. I don't do this enough to have 100% consistency, but when I have a good day, they are up there with the best professional places in the U.S. despite the fact that they are in an electric and I do a cold rise. I've got a great culture, high well distributed heat (825 F), a great mixing procedure, and a killer sauce. These are really the most important factors, more than pedigree. My pies may get even better now that I'm practicing with a brick oven. Right now that is a weak link for me. But too many 'authentic' places are missing what I have mastered.

Jeff
« Last Edit: March 15, 2006, 11:28:06 PM by varasano »

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2006, 11:29:51 PM »
Chas,

You posted the pictures and I made my comment, mine are all over the place for you to do the same.

You can only be considered an expert when you know everything about something, the technology, the science and also the hystory as well the methodology and reasons behind things that have been done for 300 years.

Aga is not a matter, but in a 1 you cannot become an expert... Pizza Napoletana is an artisan craft, no way it can be mastered in a 1... do you always make the perfect dough, cook it, and correct it if needs to day in day out??? Do you know how to change all the factors that affect the fermentation to get constant results no matter the temperature etc...


Respect is the first thing and do not forget who help you to find a training ground ... Just keep the feet on the ground, and most importantly do not go around selling your service as the expert.... I had private messages from people telling me stories about the dough at places where I grow up with.... I know what is their routine and what is not... if you had a the experinece to undertsand that you would not jump to conclusions...

You could be an expert at 21... if you were born in a pizzamaker family and start working at 14 like many of the people I grow up with did and as I did by the time I was 23....

Ciao

Offline upper crust

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2006, 12:01:54 AM »
Marco
  Ive never sold myself as an expert nor have I ever Thought of myself as an expert. I'm just questioning who YOU are to determine who is and who isn't an EXPERT. i wasn't aware there was a rule book on how to be an expert...and you were the author.
   I'm glad you jump to conclusions and think that I'm not capable of adjusting the formula from day to day determining the environment to create a consistant product. Maybe in your eyes what I have learned in the past year is a bit threatening, but believe me...I'm NOT trying to take your spotlight!  When i went to Naples, your country men were more than happy to teach me their skills and knowledge of a HISTORY they are PROUD OF!  Luckily I was able to go to Naples and see what great people they are, because you really make a bad impression if I hadn't.

Yes your right, You do post your pictures and that does give me the opportunity to critique, but out of respect ive kept my comments to myself. But since were on this topic I expect a WAY better looking pie made by you and infact I think they look very amateur. 

p.s

You get RESPECT when you GIVE respect...

We can go back and forth like little boys or we can start acting like men... I'm through with this


Offline scott r

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2006, 12:15:16 AM »
Jeff, have you been to Una Pizza Napoletanna?  I did find better in Naples, but this is the best I have had here so far.  According to Marco the techniques and the oven are not right, but I did have an amazing couple of pizzas there.  I think his pies are at around the 2 minute mark because of his oven.  Unfortunately the consistency is supposedly not totally there, but I sure did get lucky.  I had Patsy's Grimaldi's Totono's and Sally's (over the course of three days) and UPN had the best crust.  The thing about UPN is that they are one of the only places using a starter.  I have been making IDY only pies for the past few weeks just to experiment and learn.  Poolish, long fridge rise, long room temp rise, no mater what I try these IDY pies are just totally bland after cooking with starters for a year.  UPN is one of the only places I know of that is actually using a starter on a daily basis.   It seems that even 90% of the Neapolitan places over here are not using one.  The flavor is all there at UPN, maybe even too much compared to authentic Neapolitan, but if they had an oven that could cook in a minute or less the pizza would be even better.

It sounds like you are doubting the wood oven thing, but trust me, the pies in Naples cooked in one minute were very very special. If you had the same dough in your home oven, a really hot coal oven, or a real Neapolitan (1 minute pie) oven, I would bet money that you would prefer the Neapolitan oven.  The problem is most wood ovens we have here in the US can not do a pie in one minute. I think the thing to judge ovens by is how fast they cook the pie.  I don't care what the temperature readings are.  How many minutes is the critical factor (plus to some extent air circulation), not the heat source itself.  Unfortunately too many wood burning pizzerias are making 3-8 minute pies.  Find a wood oven that can do a pie in 1 minute and you are going to notice a huge difference as long as the dough is right.

I think the oven heat is part of the reason, if not the only reason so many people considered Patsy's to be the best of the best.  I have definitely noticed their pies to spend less time in the oven than any other coal fired pizza.   That oven is cooking pretty close to the speed that a decent wood oven can do, but not as fast as the best ones.   I will be back in NY next week and I hope to have time to measure it.  My guess is that they are doing 2 minutes. 

I noticed on your site that you brought back the temp of your home oven at one point.  I think that if you had the circulation in there that a wood burning oven has, you would have preferred the higher heat. 

I do think that a modified home oven can make a pie just as good as a coal oven.

Offline varasano

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2006, 01:30:51 AM »
Hey Scott,

I'm not doubting wood, just saying that having the outward appearances of neopolitan, such as wood, doesn't make it good. I agree, most brick ovens are for show and the owners don't understand the heat factor. I had one today at 7 minutes at a 'gourmet' disaster here in Atlanta. I should have just gotten a frozen DiGiorno, it was so bad (it had many problems, not just the heat)

My last batch at 825 was among my best. I did scale the temp back to 790 over last summer, but I think that I need to test at higher hydration doughs. I'm noticing that the higher hydration doughs don't burn as easily and like a hotter oven. My fastest pies have been 1:45, but my best were around 2:00 or 2:10.  I agree 100% that the time is a better measure than the temp. The deck may be high temp on the surface, but it may or may not hold the heat once the pie is on there. For example, I do various heat reflections with foil. One way, I have 825F as a surface temp, but less heat depth, so the pie does not burn. Another way, I have 800F all the way through the stone and the pie will burn. So surface temp is not the whole story and baking time is a better measure.

Part of my problem is the size of the oven. It's single serving. I can't see the bottom so easily without cooling the oven, or move the pie from side to side. I play games with aluminum foil to get the balance right and when I do it correctly it comes out great. But I haven't had enough practice at higher temps. Maybe I'll run a test on a very wet dough at 850 and see how it goes.

I'm not 100% sure I can really get as good as coal. I can tell you that the 7 min pie I made last weekend in my first brick oven test was much better than any 7 min pie I can do in my electric. I'm working to fix the heat problem and bring the brick oven time way down.

I will try and get to UPN in the spring.

Jeff
« Last Edit: March 16, 2006, 01:38:41 AM by varasano »

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2006, 02:39:17 AM »
Chas

I am glad you think you are not an expert. I was just surprise of words like " my recipe" (which I have already explained in the past) and "phenomenal" and about their advertising. I am also glad that there is someone with 17 years experience in there and now wonder why someone with so much experience and an owner that trained in Naples would need anyone recipe as well as yours... 

We can talk about baking science and technology any time.. . I am indipendent and do not try to sell recipes.

I am not also going into the "respect" details... but I never contacted you, nor send you messages nor asked for help, advice, suggestion and even reccomandation....

Unfortunatelly many Pizzamakers do not know much themselves about the proper hystory/science etc... they do not even know why a pizza with 20% manitoba is so hard to digest... explain to them about enzymes etc... I have also worked alongoside many of them to fill the gap.. I had to inform a pizzeria that they first opened in 1750 and not in 1880 as they thought.... Showing how to mix a batch of dough at 6-8 hours fermentation is not teaching skill and knowledge... do you think it can be done in 10 days?? Ask Brad of Settebello and see what he says or has already stated on this website.. I can go on an on, but I do not see the point.

I hope that there is a majority that still appreciate what I have written on this website (I still have your messages of appreciation about what I wrote and how I helped you...), so let's move on..

Jeff,

I have just returned from a trip to NYC, and came to the same conclusion: There is almost no place in US that is making an authentic Neapolitan Pizza  (which would not be sold by the slice...). However, you have to try Il Pizzaiolo in Pittsburgh-US before making your final judgment. I would say that they are the only  99% accurate and have the experience to do the job.

About the guy at Carmine 28... well read my post on pizzeria review... He uses a rolling pin.... None in Naples will ever dream to do that.... He is from Caserta not even Naples and I doubt he ever made pizza in Italy.. That is the main problem. A lot of people that never made the real thing try to sell their imitation for original and that is where my frustation comes from..

The highlight of this trip was meeting a fellow member of this forum,Gianfranco, who is a splendid person and real passionate about pizza as well as other great food.

Coal is a NYC legend, and my latest trip just confirm that. I have brought and show a MPEG video of pizza baked perfecty between 30 and 45 seconds in authentic Neapolitan wood burning ovens when the faster coal oven takes at least 2 minutes (Please try Luzzo's next time you are in NYC).

Scott has nailed the issue: It is almost impossible to find a place that have a proper oven and certanly more difficult to see a pizza cook in less then 60 seconds. Scott is also right on the importance of not focusing on a temperature reader when a pizza cooks in 2-5 minutes in a coal oven or 30-60 seconds in a wood oven...

And finally, about the culture: The issue is not only the microflora of the starter but most importantly the speed at which enzymes work at different temperatures. This together with the the microflora and dough management as whole makes all the difference

Good night everybody...






Offline scott r

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2006, 02:42:09 AM »
If you are looking for a totally authentic Neapolitan style UPN is not it, but I think you might really like it.  Anthony takes the flavor to the max in just about every respect.  He uses more basil than you would find in Naples.  I know Upper Crust is a fan of UPN, so that might explain the amount of basil on the pie in the first post on this thread. ;D

I don't want to disclose his methods (as I have been told through a friend of his that was kind enough to pass them along to me), but lets just say that he is not happy with a simple dough methodology.  Because of this his crust is more sour than what you would typically find in Naples.

He also uses more oil than a typical Naples pie, and to me it was a stronger flavor than what I found there.

Still though, I long to find a pizzeria in the US that tastes like what I found at every pizzeria I tried in Naples.  Even a randomly picked cart on the sidewalk I tried while walking around was better than anything I have ever had in the US.  I will be visiting my hometown of Pittsburgh soon, and I really have high expectations for IL Pizzaiolo to be closer to what I had in Naples.  I have a feeling I am not going to be let down.

Jeff, you and I have definitely come to the same conclusion on the hydration factors.  I actually have a different dough formulation for my oven than my mother and law's, and yet a third for a close friends oven.  Even on the cleaning cycle they all cook at different temps, and they all need different hydration's . One oven even needs oil if I am using caputo........ ouch.

Also Jeff, I am very happy to have you back here posting.  I am looking forward to going back to trying some cold rise starter based doughs after your recent posts on the patsy's thread.  I must admit that I have not been able to achieve a texture quite as good in the fridge as I have at room temp, but I am going to give it some more experimentation for sure.


Offline DKM

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Re: My First Marinara
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2006, 07:46:22 PM »
You can only be considered an expert when you know everything about something, the technology, the science and also the hystory as well the methodology and reasons behind things that have been done for 300 years.

No such thing as knowing everything about something.

DKM
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