I am on a quest to develop an realistic version of Pizza Napolitana. I have tried numerous recipes with varying degrees of success which were nothing special.
To date I have concentrated on sourdough breads - and have gotten down to a good simple recipe which produces a nice loaf - took about 3 years to get there but I am happy with it. I will keep the next section short and get to the point.
I wanted to seek out the ultimate Pizza dough recipe - having eaten them in the UK + Germany + unimpressed - a friend said the world starts and ends in Naples - so off we went to Italy - starting in Naples. Decided to stick with a Margherita Pizza for comparison purposes.I have only listed the best three
First stop was Pizzeria Brandi in the port of Naples - I must say quite humbling given the write ups. Great reception looking straight into the Oven, Very cramped table upstairs but a buzzing atmosphere. The pizza was perfect (at that point in time) - lovely chewy crust - meltingly tasty mozzarella (buffalo) and san marzano tomato so I used this as the basis for future comparison.
Next was Pizzeria Di Matteo - top three rated (world) - this was so much better that I had to relegate Brandi to second place. The crust was much much better than anything I had had previously - light crisp skin but then chewey chewy if you know what I mean. They used(they told us) buffalo mozzarella. The pizzas were huge but we came out feeling as if we had had a brief snack. The pizzas cost 4 euros ($5.50) each !!! mindblowing value in the centre of Naples.
I have left a couple of other venues out -good pizzas but unremarkable - again all 4 euros each.
The ultimate was totally unexpected - We were getting a ship out of Livorno - The port for Florence -with two hours to kill and having explained our quest in Naples to a local taxi driver - he drove us to a Pizzeria 10 piu 10. (think it means 10 out of 10) at Piazza de la Republica 57123 Livorno Italy
Nice location - very friendly guys - the Pizza was the best we have ever eaten -phenomenal. Roughly speaking - the beautiful crust of Di Matteo but using hand formed 'cow' Mozzarella and a superb tomato sauce - baked in an ancient oven - produced a stunning pizza. I told the cook about my quest and Naples etc. He smiled quietly with a knowing look.
The chef uses: Per kg of flour
- 3/4 ltr water - 3g yeast - 1tbsp salt and 24 hr slow fermentation.
(I think he said that he used a piece of old dough - perhaps this is his secret because he was quite vague about it -understandably)
He puts the dough into a large tray 3ft x 2 ft and allows it slow rise in a slab.then he cuts it into about pieces about 5in x 5in x2 inches thick, with what looked like a wallpaper scraper.Hand balled it in the air and then pressed the 15in pizza out on the slab -loads of flour.
I cannot believe that from four very simple ingredients such magic can evolve. Again, light as a feather and 4 Euros. Whilst there was no point asking for recipes in Naples - they may pass them to you but they are not accurate for obvious reasons, this guy was genuine - I think...
This was the basis of my quest so I hope that you can pass on any thoughts, comments you may have.