Thank you for the nice compliment, Bill.
I may be one of the last ones on this forum to ask about authentic Neapolitan pizzas. I have never been to Naples and the only “Neapolitan” pizzas I have eaten outside of my home were Americanized versions that were not baked in an authentic Neapolitan wood-fired oven. So, I don’t have a good frame of reference with which to compare the “simulated” versions made from combinations of all-purpose and other flours. However, the premise of the CI article is to offer the CI readership a way of making a pretty good “Neapolitan-style” pizza without much effort or requiring 00 flour or a very high-temperature oven. And, to that extent, the CI article accomplishes that goal. Before I found a reliable source of 00 flours, I used similar flour combinations as described in the CI article and was generally pleased with the results. But when I found the Bel Aria flour, which, at the time, was the only 00 flour I could find at the retail level, I switched to it because I wanted a more authentic dough making experience (even though I didn’t have the right oven).
My view is that if one cannot find a local source of 00 flour, or if one is unwilling or unable for any reason to order the flour from someone who will have to ship it to them, then using combinations of all-purpose and other flours is an acceptable alternative. But one shouldn’t think that they have exactly replicated a 00 flour or an authentic Neapolitan pizza dough.
To the extent that one decides to use a flour combination, I do not believe that it really matters which combination of flours is used. Pamela Sheldon Johns was one of the more prominent cookbook authors to recommend using combinations of flours, including all-purpose flour and pastry flour (at page 39 of her book Pizza Napoletana !
), and all-purpose and cake flour. My personal favorite after trying several combinations was a combination of bread flour and pastry flour (2 parts all-purpose to 1 part pastry flour). I recently posted a link to a dough recipe that I used with good results, based on a combination of 3 parts all-purpose flour and 1 part cake flour, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,702.msg6358.html#msg6358
. (I personally believe that one of the problem the CI author was having with the crust being too soft and “cakey” was because of the high ratio of cake flour to all-purpose flour and the use of a fair amount of sugar, along with a high hydration ratio.)
One experiment that might be tried is to substitute 00 flour for all of the flour in the CI dough recipe. I would only use the Bel Aria (or equivalent) 00 flour, and not the Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour (although the Caputo Extra Blue 00 flour may work). In so doing, I would reduce the hydration to around 56% and either reduce the amount of sugar or eliminate it completely (although so doing may result in a light colored crust). I would also just add the IDY to the flour rather than hydrating it, which would be an unnecessary additional step. And, contrary to the oft recited instructions to knead the dough for a long time, I would knead the dough for the shortest time possible so as not to overly develop the gluten. The final formulation would be similar to the one I have used to make the Last-Minute pizzas that I discussed in an earlier post.
As for your remaining comments on the linking of posts, I have tried to do that—and also to provide Reply numbers--but unfortunately it was not until recently that, through a tip from fellow member enchant (Pat), that I learned how to create a link so that it would lead to the exact post in the thread in which it appeared. I plan to post on the Forum board soon on how this can be done. Your suggestion of having a recipes section is a good one at first blush, but there are literally hundreds of dough recipes on this forum, and to find them and organize them in some logical and useful manner (some are even scattered among several posts) would be a major undertaking—and one that would have to be maintained on a going-forward basis. Not many members are in a position to be able to volunteer to do this.