Author Topic: First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!  (Read 2454 times)

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Offline torontonian

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First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!
« on: December 01, 2009, 09:14:42 PM »
Hi All,

Tonight I made my first ever Neapolitan pie. I followed Verasano's recipe, using a commercial yeast poolish instead of a natural preferment. Crushed san marzano tomatoes, dry mozzarella, oregano, basil, and salami. My oven is a standard convection, modified to run on the cleaning cycle.

I'm not exactly sure what a Neapolitan should look/taste like, having never had one.

Criticism/advice appreciated!

-- Josh


Offline torontonian

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Re: First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2009, 10:03:34 PM »
Wow. 150 views and not one comment.

I guess its either pretty good... or too bad to comment on!

I know I screwed up the mozza. I used slices instead of chunks and they spread too much.

I did personally find the crust was noticeably salty. I see that Jeff used a 3.5% salt ratio, while the dough calculator suggests a max of 3%. Having never had a Neapolitan, are they supposed to have a salty undertone?

BTW, this pizza cooked for about 90 seconds.

Josh

Offline andreguidon

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Re: First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2009, 04:16:03 AM »
Hi Josh !

I think that 3.5% is allot... try 2.5% next time... your pizza does not look Neapolitan, not because of the cheese, but the crust looks crunchy and Neapolitan is a little softer... what kind of flour did you use ?
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Matthew

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Re: First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2009, 06:49:56 AM »
Hi All,

Tonight I made my first ever Neapolitan pie. I followed Verasano's recipe, using a commercial yeast poolish instead of a natural preferment. Crushed san marzano tomatoes, dry mozzarella, oregano, basil, and salami. My oven is a standard convection, modified to run on the cleaning cycle.

I'm not exactly sure what a Neapolitan should look/taste like, having never had one.

Criticism/advice appreciated!

-- Josh

Hey Josh,
Good attempt.  It's very difficult to duplicate Neapolitan pizza in a standard oven, self clean mode or not.   I personally think that you may have much better success with recreating an Elite NY style rather than Neapolitan using a blend of Caputo & HG flour.

Matt

Offline ThunderStik

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Re: First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2009, 09:42:51 AM »
Hey Josh,
Good attempt.  It's very difficult to duplicate Neapolitan pizza in a standard oven, self clean mode or not.   I personally think that you may have much better success with recreating an Elite NY style rather than Neapolitan using a blend of Caputo & HG flour.

Matt

I agree with this. Not knocking your pie at all, especially as I have never made one myself (a neo that is). But I do know that a neo traditionally is made in a WFO, and I dont have one so...

I may build one in the future and at that point I will try all kinds of stuff.
I KNOW MORE ABOUT PIZZA THAN ANYBODY!!!!!!!

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Offline torontonian

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Re: First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2009, 11:26:13 AM »
Thanks all for the input.

andreguidon - yes, it was noticeably salty. The flour used was Divella Tipo 00 for Pizza.

Thunderstik - OK I can buy it that a WFO is required. I thought it was just a case of getting high heat, but I guess there's more to the WFO.

Matt - Is an Elite NY basically a thin-crust NY? What sort of Pizza would you recommend that would work well in a high-temp domestic oven? Also since you are local, what brands here are considered HG? I've never seen that designation. Its easy to figure out protein content, but not gluten.

Cheers,
Josh

Offline Matthew

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Re: First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2009, 12:33:18 PM »


Matt - Is an Elite NY basically a thin-crust NY? What sort of Pizza would you recommend that would work well in a high-temp domestic oven? Also since you are local, what brands here are considered HG? I've never seen that designation. Its easy to figure out protein content, but not gluten.

Cheers,
Josh

Hey Josh,
To me, NY elite pizza would be typical of the pizza found at coal oven pizzeria's such as Grimaldi's in Brooklyn or John's on Bleeker Street.  The pizza is very thin (hand  stretched to 16"-18") & baked at around 750-800 degrees in a coal fired oven for about 4 minutes.  The typical sauce is uncooked crushed plum tomatoes & the cheese is sliced fresh Mozzarella.  The rest of the toppings are standard pizza toppings such as salami, sausage, etc.

You can use bread flour & add in some VWG to increase the protein/gluten content.  You can get both the flour & VWG in Scarborough at Grain Process Enterprises ltd.  The white, hard wheat unbleached flour is about 12.5% protein & their gluten flour (VWG) is 80%. 

Gluten is a special type of protein that is commonly found in rye, wheat, and barley.  So in essence gluten & protein are synonyms.


Matt

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 03:09:03 PM »
Torontonian, first off thanks for posting pictures of your pizza! The crumb on the third shot shows a decent hole structure.

You had mentioned you followed the Verasano recipe. First off, what led you to use that recipe if your intent was to make a Neapolitan pie?

Keep in mind that the Verasano recipe was heavily influenced by one particular pizzeria, which is Patsy's of East Harlem....in fact his recipe was/is an attempt to recreate that pizza.

The point is that Patsy's is not a true Neapolitan styled pizza. Some people call it NY Elite and others know this style as New York-Neapolitan and yet others call it Classic NY Coal Fired Pizza. I have most commonly heard it mentioned as New York-Neapolitan. Regardless of the name, these are not true Neapolitan styled pizzas, with among the most notable differences being the fuel source (most often coal instead of the Neapolitan wood fired ovens), the diameter of the pizzas (14, 16 or 18" as opposed to the typical 10" or 12" Neapolitan pizza) and often the addition of or sole use of flours of a higher gluten content than the softer "Doppio" (Tipo 00) flours used in Neapolitan pies, resulting in the somewhat "thicker" outer layer of end crust and a chewier interior as opposed to the more airy, delicate interior of the Neapolitan pizza.

It may be beneficial to hear more about your exact recipe and fermentation times in order to answer any additional questions you may have.

"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline torontonian

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Re: First Ever Neapolitan Attempt - Criticism Wanted!
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 06:22:03 PM »
Pizzablogger, you're completely right. Varasano's is indeed a NY pizza, or a NY-Neo etc. I did however follow some of the Neapolitan characteristics you mention: Tipo 00 flour exclusively, 12" pie, crushed san marzanos for sauce.

In terms of the recipe, I followed it exactly as Jeff had spelled out, with one main difference:

- I don't have a natural starter, so I used a 12 hour poolish with IDY, and used a fresh yeast/commercial equivalence measurement I found in a thread on this site.

Personally it was the salt content that turned me off. 3.5% is a lot. I don't know if salt levels that high are typical of the NY-Neo style that Jeff intended.

In any case it was an interesting experiment.

-- Josh