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  • #1 by Steevo124 on 12 Apr 2021
  • I'm not sure if this has been asked before but..... I have been watching a lot of videos of all the famous Neapolitan pizzaiolo's and pizza shops (Gino Sorbillo, Enzo Coccia, Da Michele, Franco Pepe etc).  If these pizza makers are to adhere to the parameters of the APVN, how do they separate themselves as one being better than the other?  I assume they are all using the freshest ingredients/cheeses from Naples etc.  One would think all these pizzas would taste very similar.

    My question is..  What are the "secrets" they aren't telling us?  Is it in the dough recipe (i. Cold vs room temp water, using starters.sourdough vs commercial fresh yeast, or mixing different types of flour)?  Is it proofing method/time.  (i.e.  cold vs room temp rise etc.). I'm just wondering what the consensus is here as to what secrets the professionals are not letting us in on? 
  • #2 by amolapizza on 12 Apr 2021
  • They don't all follow the AVPN, but I think the biggie is probably the oven and the skill they have in making pizza.  In fact they all differ quite a lot, IIRC Gino Sorbillo uses a quite hydrated dough (70%), while DM uses an oil that isn't made from olives.  Franco Pepe is very creative with toppings.  I'm not sure about Enzo Coccia but IIRC he is very close to the VPN.

    This was all pulled from my hazy memory but I think it's basically correct.
  • #3 by jsaras on 12 Apr 2021
  • There are no secrets.  All of those guys sling a couple of hundred pizzas per day.  If you did that for a month, you’d be a badass .  I liken Neapolitan pizza to playing classical piano.  Everyone, including the audience, knows what the notes are in advance.  There’s not a lot of room for “jazz”, yet there’s a wide range of interpretations within those predetermined parameters that are found by those who thoughtfully practice for years.

    The Italians have access to some ingredients that we don’t have, like fresh buffalo mozz that’s never seen the inside of a refrigerator, but that’s not a major hindrance. 
  • #4 by Steevo124 on 12 Apr 2021
  • Thank you for the replies.  I guess all that makes sense.  I am fortunate to have found sources in my area where I can get Caputo Biologica (which Sorbillo called revolutionary in the wold of Neapolitan pizza making and he uses or used at one point), Mozzarella di Buffala DOP Campania, Fiordilatte di Agerola, Fiordilatte di Napoli (Latteria Sorrentina, which I saw a bag of in Sorbillos) & irpinia Colline dell'ufita DOP & Frantoio Romano Oritce single variety DOP olive oil.  Both of those olive oils were ranked in articles as the best pairing with a Margherita pizza.  Yes, they are imported, but better than anything I can get at the local grocery store.
  • #5 by Steevo124 on 12 Apr 2021
  • They don't all follow the AVPN, but I think the biggie is probably the oven and the skill they have in making pizza.  In fact they all differ quite a lot, IIRC Gino Sorbillo uses a quite hydrated dough (70%), while DM uses an oil that isn't made from olives.  Franco Pepe is very creative with toppings.  I'm not sure about Enzo Coccia but IIRC he is very close to the VPN.

    This was all pulled from my hazy memory but I think it's basically correct.

    From what I've seen of Gino Sorbillo's dough recipes, he's around 65% hydration, using 1L of water and about 1550g to 1600g of flour. I know he uses a very small amount of fresh Yeats, about .1%.  Da Michele uses soybean oil which doesn't have any flavor at all, wanting the taste of the tomato sauce and cheese to shine through. 

    All the famous pizzaiolo's tell you to use water, but never specify if they are using cold or room temp to make the dough. 
  • #6 by stevenfstein on 12 Apr 2021
  • "I am fortunate to have found sources in my area" - care to share those sources? Hopefully in my area of NY also.

    Best... Steve
  • #7 by amolapizza on 12 Apr 2021
  • From what I've seen of Gino Sorbillo's dough recipes, he's around 65% hydration, using 1L of water and about 1550g to 1600g of flour.

    I think I saw a video where he stated that he wanted to make something different to everyone else, so he dedicated himself to learning how to make a good Napoletana with 70% dough.  But yes I've also seen a lot of videos where other hydrations are mentioned.  His dough looks very soft!

    It's really the skill and many years of experience that makes the pizza, not the recipe..  But the oven has a big impact too, and I seem to understand that one has to change the recipe a bit to adapt it to ones oven too.
  • #8 by Steevo124 on 13 Apr 2021
  • "I am fortunate to have found sources in my area" - care to share those sources? Hopefully in my area of NY also.

    Best... Steve

    Sorry for the late reply. Freshdirect.com has some DOP cheeses and authentic imported items from Naples.
  • #9 by Yael on 16 Apr 2021
  • They don't all follow the AVPN, but I think the biggie is probably the oven and the skill they have in making pizza.  In fact they all differ quite a lot, IIRC Gino Sorbillo uses a quite hydrated dough (70%), while DM uses an oil that isn't made from olives.  Franco Pepe is very creative with toppings.  I'm not sure about Enzo Coccia but IIRC he is very close to the VPN.

    This was all pulled from my hazy memory but I think it's basically correct.

    And... question for the people who tasted all of them in a raw: are their Margheritas really different from each other?
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