Author Topic: Neapolitan Pie with fresh San Marzanos  (Read 3052 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Neapolitan Pie with fresh San Marzanos
« on: August 12, 2006, 12:47:47 PM »
The first of my giant San Marzano Redorta tomatoes was ripe yesterday. It was about 4 1/4" long and there are even bigger ones still on the vine. This was the sweetest, meatiest tomato I have ever grown. The pie with bufala mozz and Neapolitan basil was delicious, but the concensus at the table was that the sauce madewith dried tomatoes was better.

Bill/SFNM


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Neapolitan Pie with fresh San Marzanos
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2006, 01:11:05 PM »
Bill,

With your imported Caputo or San Felice flour, imported bufala di mozzarella, Neapolitan basil (Napoletano), imported sea salt, and authentic San Marzano seeds, I think all you are missing to get almost total authenticity is several yards of Neapolitan Vesuvial soil to grow the San Marzanos in :).† And maybe some water from Naples, or one with essentially the same composition.

Are the San Marzanos you grew acidic in any way? San Marzanos are often described as being sweet but I have found that they are low in acid and not particularly sweet. The 6-in-1s are what I would describe as sweet.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Neapolitan Pie with fresh San Marzanos
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2006, 02:10:30 PM »
Peter,

This tomato was perfectly sweet - not one bit acidic but not cloying either.

Bill/SFNM




Offline Wallman

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Re: Neapolitan Pie with fresh San Marzanos
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2006, 10:47:48 PM »
Bill,
How long did it take for your San Marzano's to get to 4 1/2 " long? I have several plants (grown from seeds) in the ground here in Northern VA, but they seem to be developing slowing. I have some fruit, but most are still green and under 4 inches in length. From seedling to now, they have probably been in the ground at least 2 months.  We had a dry spell, but I'm trying to water more deeply now.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Neapolitan Pie with fresh San Marzanos
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2006, 11:11:54 PM »
Wallman,

I think I germinated the seeds in February and transplanted the seedlings outside in April in "Walls of Water". I planted the Redorta variety which produce really big fruit. Of all the varieties I planted, these have taken the longest to ripen. This region at this high altitude gets powerful sunlight.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Wallman

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Re: Neapolitan Pie with fresh San Marzanos
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2006, 11:34:24 PM »
I definitely got a later start, I just asked my wife (who is in charge of planting) and she noted we didn't get them into the ground until May. We used Franchi seeds. 

Offline scott r

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Re: Neapolitan Pie with fresh San Marzanos
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2006, 01:45:29 AM »

With your imported Caputo or San Felice flour, imported bufala di mozzarella, Neapolitan basil (Napoletano), imported sea salt, and authentic San Marzano seeds, I think all you are missing to get almost total authenticity is several yards of Neapolitan Vesuvial soil to grow the San Marzanos in :).† And maybe some water from Naples, or one with essentially the same composition.


Peter,

it is interesting that you have raised this point.  I have always thought that water doesn't really matter for dough quality as long as it is not chlorinated, primarily because of postings on this forum.  It is tough to say if it is the water or just my gained experience in mixing and perfecting my recipes, but I have recently been testing my dough made with Ferrarelle spring water with excellent results.  It is supposedly bottled at a spring that is slightly inland from Naples Italy.  It seems as though my dough is a little more perky than usual, it seems to rise more, and it may even taste better than my usual grocery store bottled water doughs.  My good luck may have something to do with way the ph of the water effects my starter, but I could swear it is even better for my Greek, Sicilian, and NY street style doughs that I often make with commercial yeast.  I wonder if the natural carbonation of this water helps to oxygenate my dough and provide a more conducive environment for the yeast to exist in. 


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Neapolitan Pie with fresh San Marzanos
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2006, 08:47:14 AM »
scott,

The idea of using water from Naples for pizza dough is not a new one. That is what Naples 45 in NYC did at one time. Later it commissioned someone to replicate the chemical composition of water from Naples rather than importing it. I don't know if Naples 45 is still doing that or whether it has switched to municipal NYC water.

Technically, it is possible for the water to affect the dough and the finished product. The two main factors are degree of hardness (hard or soft) and the pH. Chlorine is also a factor. There are ways chemically for adjusting for hardness and pH, and for chlorine you can just leave a container of water out in the open overnight to allow most of the chlorine to dissipate. Not too long ago, when I was making some DiFara clone doughs, I decided to use my local city water, just as Dom DeMarco does in using NYC water in making his doughs. Not knowing what was in my water, I went online and looked at the cityís most recent water quality report. From that report, I saw that the hardness numbers were within the acceptable ranges but the pH was higher than the optimum (it was around 7.6). I could have used some chemical to correct the pH but instead I simply followed Tom Lehmannís recommendation and increased the amount of yeast by a small amount. I canít say that I could tell a big difference since I rarely use tap water in making my doughs. I have tried just about all forms of water at one time or another, including imported carbonated water, and havenít been able to tell a difference in the results. Theoretically, any water should work if it is potable (drinkable).

You might find this King Arthur mini-tutorial on water of interest, including the reference to the effects of chlorine on starters: http://web.archive.org/web/20051027064252/http://www.kingarthurflour.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/4a1eb4311b0be08b2b590b39ac3f2c77/download/KAF-04-009+Water.pdf. 

Not too long ago, just out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at the numbers for NY Cityís water. As with just about all water quality reports these days, the NYC water quality report is available online. For those who are interested, it can be downloaded at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/drinking_water/wsstate.shtml.

For more information on Naples water, you can also read the exchanges that pizzanapoletana (Marco) and I had on that topic, starting at Reply 34 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1378.msg13898.html#msg13898.

Peter

EDIT (3/15/13): For a replacement article by King Arthur on water, see http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/water.html
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 06:08:56 PM by Pete-zza »


 

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