Author Topic: Friday Night Almost Neopolitan  (Read 1426 times)

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Offline rdb

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Friday Night Almost Neopolitan
« on: January 05, 2007, 06:12:39 PM »
Well, as promised, here are the pix from tonight's work

I did two Pizzas tonight. One recipe I used the Vera Pizza Napoletana Specification | Verace Pizza Napoletana as written on Forno's Site http://www.fornobravo.com/vera_pizza_napoletana/VPN_spec.html.

I broke that one down to make 3.5 pizzas (the math was easier that way).  The finished weight for each ball was 226 grams ( I threw out a little extra dough)
I say almost because... I don't have a woodfired stove...just my 550 oven with stone... I don't use 00 Flour...and I don't have starters or Dried Bakers Yeast.  Other than that (LOL)....
  I used no oil, Cento crushed tomatoes, King Arthur All purpose, and Fleishman's Bread Yeast.
AS far as I can tell, it looks like it's all in the love, because it was so delicious, you wont see a full picture of it...just the side shot. I couldn't help myself, it was half eaten before I had the camera on.


The second Pie ala Jeff V at http://jvpizza.sliceny.com/  This time I used shredded mozzarella on his pie, because I ran out of Buffalo Mozz. It's the one with the shrooms on it. Same problem with Jeffs...I don't have a modded oven, starter, or special Flour.

I'm not saying who won the Pie Down Neopolitan vs. JV, because BOTH are better than anything I EVER bought.  For the record (with the caveat that I used MY mathematics, and substitutes, so....someone else attempting the same thing would be different) My Almost Neo had a crispier yet more foldable feel. The JV had a  more chewier texture, which my wife prefers.

I'm including pix of the counter prep to show how little you really need to make delicious Pie.





Offline Finnegans Wake

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Re: Friday Night Almost Neopolitan
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2007, 04:19:29 PM »
I also have a home oven that goes to about 550-575F, and my pies have been coming out looking similar to your pics above, with a few differences.  You say you use no oil... Is that on top, or in the dough?  Sugar in the dough?  Without the benefit of super high heat, I think adding a little oil and sugar (honey, actually) might be beneficial.  Your cheese is nicely browned, but your cornicione doesn't have the darkness that I usually get.  Our rises look pretty close, though.

One thing you may want to try is changing where you have the stone.  I've been meaning to do this, as Peter Reinhart swears by putting the stone on a low shelf.  Seems counterintuitive, but I really have liked his books. 

But the best trick seems to be to preheat your stone for about an hour, if you can, and then just before you put the pie in hit it with some extra heat from the broiler for 1-2 minutes.  I finally got Old Trusty up to about 600F that way.  I used the broiler to regain lost heat in between pies, and no problem.  The char that members seem so ecstatic about really does come out a little better, although I have hot spots in my oven and uneven char -- but rotating the pie loses heat, so I'm stuck on that.  But the char almost has a toasted marshmallow element to it, sweet and not acrid like an outright burn.

I think if you can pump the temp up 25-50F and maybe add a little oil and sugar, you'll find your dough is at another level!  Looks good, and hope you have as much fun with it as I am!
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. --
Mark Twain

Offline rdb

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Re: Friday Night Almost Neopolitan
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2007, 05:43:43 PM »
Thanks Finnegan,
 The picture probably through off everyone...it was the flash that whitened it out (Better examples in pix below)
I do use a stone in my 550 degree  oven.  I preheat for an hour and a half, probably reaching 600, I think.
 My main point was to show even without going all purist, a Neopolitanish  pie made at home by us "regular" folks, with regular everyday materials is still better than you can buy at the local shops.
  This doesn't mean I will not attempt everything to make better pies, I just don't have my woodfired oven or Caputo yet. 
  I do have the Italian Starters, and they make delicious bread, I have not attempted pizza with them yet, probably tomorrow.
 There are many pros on this board like Petezz and Jeff, and I have cooked using their recipes.  They are delicious, but I don't believe any one person has the key. Feisty ol' Marcos puts it well when he says that ther is NO recipe, only the skill and artisanship of the pizzaiola.  I believe this, that is why I deconstructed the VPN document to see if MY understanding of the process is good.

  In the meantime I plan to keep on playing with my food.....

Offline Finnegans Wake

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Re: Friday Night Almost Neopolitan
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 02:26:54 PM »
Those pics do make your cornicione look closer to my efforts, less pale.  Still, I'd suggest you do try a blast from the broiler, and a little sugar/honey for browning.  My last pie was close to what the guys who have the real super-high temps get, at least in appearance.

And I agree, the bottom line is being able to make better pie than what you dial up from your local vendor.

Also, you're gonna love the starters.  It's the big difference-maker, IMO, maybe the biggest.
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. --
Mark Twain


 

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