Author Topic: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home  (Read 8536 times)

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Offline bob42

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Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« on: May 10, 2008, 07:47:18 PM »
Hi Guys,

I just joined and have appreciated the insight into my first few less than stellar efforts - so based on all the experience on this board thought I would ask the question - is there an agreed close to Neapolitan crust recipe for the domestic oven - my oven states that it will go up to 300C.  I have a pizza stone.

I looked in the A16 thread (BTW fabulous pizza) - but again there are so many different options and usually require a much hotter oven as I am learning - so not sure of hydration levels etc. If somebody has adapted this for home that would be fabulous.

I am using Molini Pizzuti pizza flour with a protein level of 11.2% and IDY yeast so I need a good foundation recipe to start and for 500grams batches - since this is manageable without a mixer.

This is clearly an art and looks to be an enjoyable journey.

Many thanks

Bob42





Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2008, 10:00:04 PM »
Bob42,

There is a little bit (O.K. a very big) contradiction between the title of your post (Perfect Neapolitan Crust) and the text of your post (close to Neapolitan crust for the domestic oven). As you have surmised, 575F is pretty far out of the range needed for "perfect". Even if you had 900F+, there is still a whole lot more to "perfect" than the temperature. However you define "perfect", it is still possible to select a dough formula and method that will produce great pies in your kitchen oven.

As you mention there are lots of options, but your choice of flour is a good place to start. I am not familiar with Molini Pizzuti. Is it specifically milled as a flour for pizza? I did a quick Google on it and found some mention of it being good for pasta. 

Welcome to the journey!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 10:57:58 AM »
Bob42,

Like Bill/SFNM, I have heard of the molini Pizzuti 00 flour but don't know much about it from the standpoint of its technical specifications. If you go to this web page, at http://www.molinipizzuti.it/index_ing.html, and click through to the pizza flours, or possibly the retail flours for home bakers (starting with "The flours" tab), perhaps you can tell us which of the molini Pizzuti flours you are using. As you will note, the molini Pizzuti flours are specifically tailored to withstand different periods of fermentation, from a couple of hours up to 10-12 hours.

You might also want to take a look at this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3673.msg30851.html#msg30851. The recipes mentioned and described in that thread make use of Caputo 00 flours but the principles involved are general enough to apply to other brands of 00 flours. Looking at the recipes might help you decide whether you should concentrate on making only room-temperature fermented 00 doughs, cold fermented 00 doughs, a combination of both, or maybe combining your 00 flour with other, stronger flours. There are also recipes referenced that make use of natural starters/preferments. However, I generally do not recommend that beginning pizza makers start out with natural starters/preferments. I think it is far better for new pizza makers to master the broad and general principles of pizza making before venturing into the use of starters/preferments.

Peter

Offline bob42

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 01:16:29 AM »
Dear Peter,

The flour I am using is the Molini Pizzuti Pizza flour - its the first flour listed for the home baker and seems to be the most available pizza flour.

If there is a better blend or mix - please let me know and I can try and obtain it.

Also, I spent the weekend reading through the A16 thread - it was really interesting, educational and demonstrates the great passion for making pizza.

I wanted to also offer the following video on youtube :
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4O8kppQhhY" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4O8kppQhhY</a>


Heston Blumenthal has been rated as one of the top chefs in the world and he did a show in the UK to make the perfect dishes for the home chef - he also is very entertaining.

There are 3 parts to the show.

So, I want to try both same day and cold fermentation so will make 2 batches of dough and will look at the link as well as the conclusion from the A16 thread.

Its truly amazing how complex it is with only 4 ingredients.

Thanks so much.

Bob42




Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 03:32:21 AM »

Heston Blumenthal has been rated as one of the top chefs in the world and he did a show in the UK to make the perfect dishes for the home chef - he also is very entertaining.



Bob,

Check out this thread on on previous discussion here on Heston's pizzamaking



Offline bob42

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 08:06:18 AM »
Hi Bill,

Thanks - I wasn't sure if it was visable since it was a UK show. if any members want to see the video its currently on Youtube.

On another matter you posted instructions for making dough in a food processor :

I've been working on this one for a while and think it is now ready to be released into the wild. It really produces an exceptionally good crust. I still prefer to use my fork mixer, but for small batches (4 pies), the food processor works better. Mine is an old Cuisinart 14-cup model fitted with the metal blade:

1. Put all flour in the bowl.
2. While the blade is spinning, pour in all of the water and mix just until dough begins coming together in a ball.
3. Allow to rest for 5 minutes
4. Turn the processor back on and count as the ball does 45 revolutions around the bowl.
5. Allow to rest for 20 minutes
6. Put starter and salt in the bowl
7. Turn the processor back on and count as the ball does 45 revolutions around the bowl.
8. Ferment and proof @ 65F for 48 hours.

On if using IDY - do you just pour the dry IDY and salt into the bowl at step 6?

is there any hand working of the dough ball prior to step 8?

Thanks
Bob42

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 08:17:32 AM »
Hi Bill,

is there any hand working of the dough ball prior to step 8?


No, at this point the dough is too sticky to be worked. The flour and hydration level you may be using could be different. 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 09:38:30 AM »
Dear Peter,
If there is a better blend or mix - please let me know and I can try and obtain it.

Bob42,

I did a quick forum search for 00 flours that our members in Australia have used and the only one I could find is the molini Pizzuti 00 flour. The Caputo 00 flours are considered among the very best, but they apparently are not available in Australia at this time.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 09:55:24 AM »
On if using IDY - do you just pour the dry IDY and salt into the bowl at step 6?


Bob42,

What Bill/SFNM has described is the classic Calvel (Professor Raymond Calvel) autolyse but using a food processor rather than a mixer or hand kneading. If you use IDY, you can either add it to the flour, if the autolyse period is short (so that the yeast doesn't start to work and acidify the dough), or after the flour and water have been combined. I described some of the options in that regard at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2189.msg19291.html#msg19291 (Reply 1). When I use a food processor to make dough, I am careful to keep the temperature of the dough down so that it doesn't start to ferment too quickly. I do this by using the pulse feature as much as possible and using cool/cold water. In Bill's case, I believe he is using his ThermoKool unit to keep the dough at 65 degrees F. Unless you have a similar unit, you may want to pay closer attention to your finished dough temperature. This may be less important if you cold ferment the dough. But, even then, you don't want the dough to be too warm when it goes into the refrigerator.

Peter

Offline bob42

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2008, 05:17:27 AM »
Dear Pete-zza and Bill/SFNM

First of all let me thank you both for your patience since you must get asked the same questions time and time again - but you and the members of the forum are patient and willing to educate every newbie.

I just saw a picture of Bill's Neapolitan pizza at 550F - and now understand that I need to change my question.

Basically I currently have the constraint of my oven temperature which goes to a max of 300C - I have not measured it so assume its in the 550F range.

I love pizza and would like to make good pizza at home.  I like the A16 type but also the Patsy's type - so I need to find a good dough recipe that will work in my sub-par oven - having spent my life eating great pizza from around the world - I wish I had appreciated then what an art this truly is.

So it looks like I will have to change my flour from the Caputo 00 equivalent or at least blend it with a general purpose flour.

I am sure this is a question that has been asked many times - what would you recommend?

I also want to try Bill's food processor technique.

Thanks so much
Bob42




Offline scott r

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 11:10:59 AM »
Patsy's has the hottest oven of the coal oven pizzerias, often clocking in with a 2-3 minute pizza.  Unfortunately you are going to have to be happy with a normal NY style pizza until you can achieve higher temps.  For this King Arthur bread flour is excellent.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2008, 02:39:21 PM »
Bob42,

I can only speak for myself, but I like the combination of 00 flours and stronger domestic flours such as hilgh-gluten flour or bread flour. For such blends, my preference would be to use dough formulations and methods such as described in Reply 130 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,504.msg28423.html#msg28423 and in Reply 138 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,504.msg28531.html#msg28531. Offhand, I don't see any reason why you can't use Bill/SFNM's food processor method. In my case, I used a food processor but found that the amount of dough I was making was too small for my 14-cup food processor.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2008, 02:44:08 PM »
I don't see any reason why you can't use Bill/SFNM's food processor method. In my case, I used a food processor but found that the amount of dough I was making was too small for my 14-cup food processor.

Pete-zza,

I also use a 14-cup food processor (ancient Cuisinart) and have found for my bread and pizza doughs (64%-70% hydration), recipes with 400-550 grams of flour worked perfectly. It bogs down at over ~550g and I've never tried batches smaller than 400g.

Bill/SFNM



Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2008, 02:49:07 PM »
Bill/SFNM,

I was making single dough balls weighing about 191 grams. I also have an ancient Cusinart model but have never tested its maximum capacity for pizza dough.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 02:52:04 PM »
Bill/SFNM,

I was making single dough balls weighing about 191 grams. I also have an ancient Cusinart model but have never tested its maximum capacity for pizza dough.

Peter

Peter,

I can see how such small batches could get easily over-kneaded.

Bill


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2008, 03:03:01 PM »
I can see how such small batches could get easily over-kneaded.

Bill,

Actually, the dough balls tend to be underkneaded because the dough bounces around the bowl rather than being propelled against the sides of the processor bowl by the motion of the blade. It's also harder for the blade to gather the dough ingredients together into a cohesive mass.

Peter

Offline bob42

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2008, 06:07:32 PM »
Hi Guys,

I made up my first batch of dough last night using a 50:50 pizza flour and high gluten bread flour with 61% hydration, 2.4% salt and .25% idy - starting with 500 grams of flour.

I followed Bills's food processor directions which worked really well - had to hold down the food processor when starting it up again due to the dough sticking to the bowl.

I had chilled the water with some ice to take it down to about 55F and on measuring the temperature after the first 45 revolutions it had reached 78F.

I split the mixture into two balls and both dough balls are now in the fridge.

So the question now is do I need to punch down the dough during this cold fermentation?

Also, are the dough balls too big - what is the ideal size per dough ball? if I need to reduce the dough ball size now will it ruin the dough and the ability to stretch the dough?

thanks


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2008, 06:14:32 PM »
I never punch down pizza dough. What is the rationale?

Dough ball weight is a matter of taste, depending on desired diameter and thickness. Have you seen the dough tools:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_tools.html

I aim for about 230g for about 10" pie.



Offline bob42

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2008, 06:20:38 PM »
Hi Bill,

I read a number of posts - probably in the A16 thread which talked about punching down dough over a multi day proofing - not sure of the rational or the impact on the end result.

currently my dough balls weigh in at over 400grams each - should I divide now and then let them continue to ferment?

Thanks
Bob42

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Looking for the perfect Neapolitan Crust recipe for home
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2008, 06:24:03 PM »
Bob42,

My method is to divide before proofing.

I will sometimes punch down bread doughs, or more often, use the "folding" technique to redistribute the yeast and to build structure. This not a technique I've found useful for my pizza doughs, but I'm not using the same ingredients that you are.

Bill/SFNM