Author Topic: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Austria  (Read 3075 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Neapolitan Pizza by way of Austria
« on: April 13, 2007, 02:40:40 PM »
Today I baked some pies using the Austrian starter from sourdo.com. The results blew my socks off. Sounds odd, I know.

I have been using this starter almost exclusively for making NY-style rye bread. It responds very well to feedings of pumpernickel flour which results in a deeply-flavored starter that is perfect for rye bread. The starter itself is maintained with plain bread flour and has a very mild flavor - not at all sour. I few weeks ago I was working on my focaccia recipe and wanted a sweeter flavor so I tried the Austrian starter and the results surpassed my expectations.

So yesterday I mixed up a batch of dough using the Austrian starter instead of my standard Camaldoli. Without a doubt these were the most authentic tasting pies I have ever baked. I think I need to crank up the salt just a bit, but otherwise, the flavor was perfect. My Camaldoli has a more complex and perhaps more interesting flavor, but I think I will put it aside for a while and see how far I can go with the Austrian starter.

Is anyone else using this culture?

Here is a side view:
« Last Edit: June 22, 2007, 01:49:48 PM by Bill/SFNM »


Offline Bryan S

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Vienna, Austria
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2007, 05:02:17 PM »


Is anyone else using this culture?

Bill, Great looking crumb on that slice. I just activated my Austria starter 3 days ago, so I haven't used it yet. I picked it up for making rye bread since they say it really works well with rye flour. I now have high hopes for it for rye bread and pizza.  ;D Thanks for the info.  8)
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Vienna, Austria
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2007, 05:42:32 PM »
Bill, Great looking crumb on that slice. I just activated my Austria starter 3 days ago, so I haven't used it yet. I picked it up for making rye bread since they say it really works well with rye flour. I now have high hopes for it for rye bread and pizza.  ;D Thanks for the info.  8)

Thanks, Bryan. The crumb was so light and tender - best yet!

The Austrian starter really is great for making rye bread. You will really like it. What a surprise that it is so good for other things like focaccia and pizza. I'm thinking of testing it for baguettes, too!

Let me know what you think of it. Perhaps I should move this thread over to the "starter" section.

Bill/SFNM

Offline ma71supra

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Vienna, Austria
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2007, 10:03:45 PM »
Bill, could you post up the recipe you use for rye bread? I'm getting ready to make some wagyu pastrami ala Alton Brown and I think some fresh home baked rye would seal the deal.

Thanks
Craig

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Vienna, Austria
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2007, 10:31:15 PM »
Bill, could you post up the recipe you use for rye bread? I'm getting ready to make some wagyu pastrami ala Alton Brown and I think some fresh home baked rye would seal the deal.

Thanks
Craig

This assumes you have a rye starter that is fully activated. I remove some starter from the master and feed it pumpernickel flour two times.

   Ingredient    Grams
   Bread Flour    478.70
   Water    404.13
   Rye Starter    507.30
   White Rye Flour    327.40
   Caraway Seeds    26.34
   Chernuska seeds    13.55
   Salt    22.58

This produces one very large loaf.


Offline pftaylor

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Vienna, Austria
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2007, 06:49:49 AM »
Bill/SFNM,
I go away for a few weeks and what do I observe upon my return? Nearly perfect crumb structure coming out of SFNM.

Wow!

Bill, you are to be congratulated. Your pies have steadily progressed over your time here and one can only wonder how much you have left to improve. One question if I may, where do you think Lolita can be improved these days?

Ingredients? I don't think so.
Crumb? No way.
Flavor? I doubt it.

I can't come up with a gap that requires more tinkering to close.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Vienna, Austria
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2007, 08:15:24 AM »
One question if I may, where do you think Lolita can be improved these days?

pftaylor,

Thank you for your kind words. The whole issue of toppings, including Pizza Lolita, has become much more important lately. Of course, I will continue to tinker with the crust; the main area for improvement is consistency and that is mainly a matter of practice.

But as the crust has steadily improved, it is clear that my lack of attention to the toppings is pulling down the quality of the whole pie. My tomato sauce is lackluster. For whatever reason, the last batch of mozzarella from Alleva just didn't seem to have the flavor I was expecting. The last Pizza Lolita I made was disappointing. The fig sauce/robiola dessert pie is the only one that is knocking my socks off lately.

So back to square one with toppings, starting first with tomato sauce. I've tried three different methods so far this week with no success. Doing another batch tomorrow with a few different sauces. Hoping to make some progress.

Bill/SFNM

« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 08:17:13 AM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Vienna, Austria
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2007, 02:13:05 PM »
I had grand plans for a shootout of different tomato sauces today, but something else came up so I had to grab a jar of pre-made sauce. It was the Marinara from Rao's which, as far as jarred sauces go, is as good as I've found. I mainly use it for pasta, but it worked really well on a pizza I made topped with:

Rao's marinara sauce
Homemade cured/dried pork belly
Sliced garlic
Raclette cheese (raw milk)
Parm

The raclette cheese is designed for high-temp melting was excellent and all of the flavors melded really well. I should probably give this pie a name it was so good. Interesting how, when we are just throwing things together in a rush, we can stumble on something worthwhile.

Photos below

Bill/SFNM


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Austria
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 01:56:30 PM »
For a little over two months I have been using only the Austrian starter for my pizzas. This week I decided to do a batch with the Camaldoli starter and another one with the Austrian starter just to recalibrate my taste buds and validate my original conclusion from the first post in this topic. It was a single-blind taste test in that I knew which pizzas had which starter, but the other judges, my long-suffering family, did not know.

The decision was unanimous: - the Austrian starter was preferred by all.

Bill/SFNM

Offline scpizza

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Austria
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2007, 05:54:57 PM »
I got the Austrian starter and gave it a try.  It doesn't strike me as all that different from Camaldoli.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Austria
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2007, 07:17:30 PM »
I got the Austrian starter and gave it a try.  It doesn't strike me as all that different from Camaldoli.


Ed Wood says that cultures can exhibit different behaviors in different locales. In my location, Camaldoli and Austrian cultures have very different flavors.

Bill/SFNM

Offline scott r

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Re: Neapolitan Pizza by way of Austria
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2007, 03:13:37 AM »
SC

I know what you mean, it is not hugely different, but I have definitely made my best pies with this starter, so I am beginning to wonder if there is something under the radar going on with it. 

Bill thanks for turning us on to this amazing strain of wild yeast and lactobacilli!


 

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