Author Topic: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure  (Read 6694 times)

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Offline crkoller

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2014, 12:34:10 AM »
The spinach pizza was without question one of the best things I have ever cooked or eaten...in my life. I finished it aggressively in the top of the dome to promote charring on the leaves and finalized the pizza with a half of a meyer lemon squeezed on top. It hit every note that you could want in a dish. Creaminess from the buffalo mozzarella, clean brightness from the lemon, a peppery-greenness from the spinach, crunch and soft chew from the dough, and a this hint of saltiness from the parmesan. Phenomenal. Also this is in no way my idea, completely ripped off this idea from Jim Lahey's Co., don't think they add the lemon though...


Offline csafranek

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2014, 10:40:45 AM »
Those look great!!! Good job!

Offline dylandylan

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2014, 12:32:22 PM »
I've just read though this thread, great to see your pizzas already improving - looking good!    Re: the Rosa, it's a pie I'm also trying to replicate - I certainly haven't mastered it and have never tried the real thing, but I've made a few now and really like it.  The only point I can think to mention is that it can be a dry pie, and although the recipe doesn't call for it, my best pie had a bit of fresh mozz added (pre-bake pic here:  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,28721.msg293525.html#msg293525 ).  The mozz seemed to add just enough moisture for my personal liking.  It also helped to counterbalance the intensity of the parmesan.   I'll be experimenting more with it in the coming months, it turns out to be my wife's favourite pie.

Offline crkoller

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2014, 01:45:09 PM »
Thanks Dylan. I was using a really delicious 24 month parmesan and it kind of took over the pizza for me. Don't get me wrong it was good and people enjoyed it but it certainly wasn't the favorite. I considered maybe brushing the bottom with olive oil instead of drizzling it - it might help to combat some of the pizza's unevenness. also was thinking about doing a quick blanch on the pistachios and soaking them in something, maybe meyer lemon juice briefly just to give it a bit of acid, which I think would help cut through the salt and fat from the cheese and oil. I'll definitely try it with the mozz - seems like it could help it.

I also love your thread, you are doing great work and I love your idea of an olive and red pepper pizza as well as your aglio e olio take - looking forward to trying them as well. Dylan's thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,28721.0.html

Offline tommy

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2014, 02:13:26 PM »

 Need to teach the family more about Neapolitan pizza because comments like "I like mine crispier than this" or "It's kind of pillowy" drive me nuts
Amen.

The pies look great!

Offline crkoller

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2014, 02:20:11 PM »
My parents are at least from Long Island so their concept of what pizza should be is at least something incredible, just not the same thing...glad I do not have to ween them off of Domino's  :o!

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2014, 08:00:50 AM »
Remarkable improvements Chris, you are really getting used to the oven. You got great leoparding and had a perfect melt on the cheese.

I also love the thrill of trying new topping combinations. I like your addition of the meyer lemon to the spinach pie. You have a good eye/palette.

John

Offline fornographer

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2014, 05:52:42 PM »
Congratulations, Chris. Fantastic pies. 

Offline crkoller

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2014, 05:54:50 PM »
Thanks John and Fornographer - that means a lot coming from the two of you! Much appreciated.

John - I feel there is an eternal struggle raging inside my head of between the academic/cheffy/science geek and the child growing up in my grandmas kitchen/desire to nourish my friends & family. The academic side of me loves the VPN rules and the thought of 'breaking' them gets it very upset - constantly trying to perfect the classic that everyone tends to judge against. But the other side of me says Neapolitan pizza with kimchi, sesame seeds, scallions, and miso roasted shitakes  - that sounds like it could be delicious.

Who knows maybe thats why I am so drawn to pizza - it can be this academic and analytical food where hundreds of a percent matter while also being just damn good food that shouldn't be over thought
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 06:00:34 PM by crkoller »

Offline dhorst

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2014, 06:20:44 PM »
Nice looking pies there!  Regarding the Rosa; I would suggest brushing the crust with olive oil pre-bake, and still finish with a light drizzle post bake.  Also, I like to soak my shaved onions in ice cold, salted water for 10 minutes or so and then give them a rinse and pat dry.  Why not add the pistachios to the onions for a quick soak at the same time?  Maybe that would help to alleviate the dryness/burning issues you may be encountering.  I always do the parm post bake, BTW.

Great pies, wish I had a WFO of my own.


Offline crkoller

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2014, 08:20:27 PM »
Why not add the pistachios to the onions for a quick soak at the same time?  Maybe that would help to alleviate the dryness/burning issues you may be encountering.  I always do the parm post bake, BTW.

I like all of those ideas a lot, I'll update once I get a chance to try them out - hopefully this weekend if it warms up! Thanks

Online TXCraig1

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2014, 11:58:09 AM »
The pies are really looking good Chris. I love the look of the cheese, sauce, and oil on the Margherita in the last picture.

Here is what Chris Bianco has to say about the Rosa: http://eater.com/archives/2013/08/28/eater-elements-the-rosa-at-pizzeria-bianco.php
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline crkoller

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2014, 02:34:56 PM »
Thanks Craig, that was the last pie of the night so the oven had  poles down just enough to gently melt the cheese perfectly into the sauce. Reminds me a lot of Forngraphers recent pies...kind of my inspiration actually, he fuses his cheese so nicely into his sauce.

Offline crkoller

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2014, 05:20:59 PM »
Yesterday's Bake:

These pies were a bit doomed from the beginning, but I went for anyway. So I was initially making dough for Saturday and plan on a 24 RT ferment (18 bulk and 6 balled [100% Caputo/2.9%NaCl/0.2%IDY/62% H2O]). The first issue was my scale must not have been sitting completely flush with my counter and instead of 750g of total flour it ended up being somewhere closer to 1600g...I am well aware of what 750g of flour looks like but my brain was in autopilot and it only became obvious after the dough was a shaggy mess instead of smooth mass. Lesson: use your brain Chris, if it looks like a ton of flour then it is probably a ton of flour.

This improper hydration also created a bunch of 'pills' in the dough, raw flour encapsulated in the dough itself. With this stellar start I still pushed forward. I bulk fermented at ~72F and decided to pick out the pills from the dough before I balled, no problem there - it was a huge pain in the ass, but overall not the end of the world. What felt more like the end of the world was the Tempest that rolled through NC about an hour after I heated my oven - 50mph winds, torrential rain, and loud thunder. Not ideal pizza conditions...so in the fridge the dough went.

So the next day we ended up having some family over and it was actually convenient to have the dough. A miscommunication I fired the oven about an hour to early so when they did arrive it was running extremely hot, like 1200+ dome hot and 1050 floor hot. This ultimately prompted another long wait and eventually we all decided we were hungry enough that we would weather the inevitable burnt parts of the pies. As my dad's mom put it: "This one is burnt" to which I responded "No, its charred"...to be honest it probably fell somewhere between those two.

To combat the brutally hot floor I was turning them quickly and often using the dome to my advantage. We did 2 Marinaras, 2 Filettes, 3 Margharitas, 1 Swiss Chard and Lemon, 1 TXCraig1 Cremini...

Overall grade for bake: C+/B-  they were over-fermented as noted by the poor rise on the cornicione and dark browing. If I would have been served them in a restaurant I would probably chalk it up to a bad day and give them one more shot because they weren't awful, just not to the level that I know I am capable of...


Offline Serpentelli

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2014, 08:21:20 AM »
You are smart to have not posted pics of the bottom of those pies! I suspect momma may have been correct in her critique! ;)

Anyway, the tops of all of those pies look great and there's no better way to learn than to make mistakes. Lots and lots and lots of mistakes. Such as changing percents to decimals when you are hungover and trying to make dough. :-D

John K

Offline crkoller

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2014, 06:13:16 PM »
You are smart to have not posted pics of the bottom of those pies! I suspect momma may have been correct in her critique! ;)

Caught me red handed haha

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2014, 06:27:56 PM »
Caught me red handed haha
Chrissy,
I'm out here way East in Durham off 70 going towards the Airport....thought I smelled something in the air Sun. night.  ;D    J/K     Like John said, they sure are purdy on top and believe me...I would have been right over to chow those down if an experienced char eater was needed.  ;)

Bob
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Offline fornographer

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2014, 07:06:44 PM »
Hi Chris,


Whenever I have problems with the floor overheating (getting distracted, etc), I cool it down using a tea kettle.  Fill up a tea kettle with a little water, carefully place it to the part of the floor where you bake the pies, and it will absorb the heat.  It typically just takes 5-10 minutes to cool down the floor back to the 900s or upper 800s.


A very easy way to control how fast your floor heats up is through the size of the firewood.   Once I get the oven to temp, I start using tiny sticks, 1 to 1.5 inch thick and typically 1 or two of them, of very dry firewood to bake the pies.   The fire is aggressive enough but only lasts to bake 1-3 pies if you are moving fast. 




Online thezaman

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2014, 08:17:47 PM »
 tops look great,especially that margherita !!! floor management is really hard and the above tip is one i'm going to try!

Offline crkoller

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Re: My Neapolitan Pizza Adventure
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2014, 04:53:29 PM »
Chrissy,
I'm out here way East in Durham off 70 going towards the Airport....thought I smelled something in the air Sun. night.  ;D    J/K     Like John said, they sure are purdy on top and believe me...I would have been right over to chow those down if an experienced char eater was needed.  ;)

Bob

That was me for sure. Definitely a huge learning experience though. We will have to get together sometime for a slice


 

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