Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => Neapolitan Style => Topic started by: Pizza Napoletana on June 26, 2011, 06:49:20 PM

Title: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on June 26, 2011, 06:49:20 PM
§1. INTRODUCTION
Formation of flawless and impeccably balanced dough is an enigmatic process, to say the least! But, first, since I am new in this forum, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Omid, from San Diego, California. I have joined this forum with one main interest in mind: amore per la pizza napoletana! In addition, I would like to get exposure in the pizza communities in Southern California for the purpose of finding suitable employment as a pizzaiolo (pizza chef-artisan). My amorous affair with Neapolitan pizza commenced in 1984, when I had to wait nine months in Naples to receive my immigrant visa to the United States. Now, here I am!

As you may know, the city of Naples, situated in Campania region of Southern Italy, is deemed as the cradle of pizza. The genesis of this phenomenon can be arguably traced back to the ancient Romans. Perchance, Virgil (70 – 19 BC), an ancient Roman poet, can best portray the zygote of this development in the following excerpt from his national epic poem Aeneid:

Beneath a shady tree, the hero spread
His table on the turf, with cakes of bread;
And, with his chiefs, on forest fruits he fed.
They sate; and, (not without the god's command,)
Their homely fare dispatch'd, the hungry band
Invade their trenchers next, and soon devour,
To mend the scanty meal, their cakes of flour.
Ascanius this observ'd, and smiling said:
See, we devour the plates on which we fed.


Based on my research and experience in and out of Naples, in what follows hereunder I will briefly provide my philosophical view, which I do not claim to be authoritative, on what I call “pizza napoletanismo” (pizza neapolitanism): the phenomenon of pizza napoletana.

§2. ART OF SEDUCTION
La vera pizza napoletana is more than a Neapolitan way of preparing flat breads garnished with toppings. In Naples, pizza is a way of life and an integral part of the Neapolitan culture and society, so much so that it partly defines the identity of people of Naples. Making Neapolitan pizza is an “art”, in the fullest sense of the term: creatively sculpting from raw materials an artifact (arte factum, “something made with skill”) that aesthetically feeds the eyes and the soul, besides the stomach. This process is akin to a sculptor transforming a pure piece of marble into a beatific work of art that seduces him to life! (Yes, art has the power to seduce one to life.) A pizzaiolo’s marble is the dough, and his hands are his chisels! By imposing form upon the formless mass of dough, a pizzaiolo creates a work of art that, unlike a sculpture or painting, can be intimately felt through the senses of smell, taste, and oral tactility.

§3. ARTISTIC CHARACTER:
Often I envisage that the quality and worth of a pizza is principally contingent upon the artistic character of the pizzaiolo who gives birth to it. Perhaps what is more decisive in preparing pizza is personality rather than technical skills of a pizza artisan. Besides, the right attitude fosters the right aptitude. Moreover, according to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, “‘Giving style’ to one’s character—a great and rare art! It is exercised by those who see all the strengths and weaknesses of their own nature and then comprehend them in an artistic plan until everything appears as art and reason . . . under a law of their own.” The pizza you make reflects your character!

§4. INSIDE-OUT PROCESS
As an art, learning how to create pizza napoletana is initially an inside-out process, involving psychological transformation. That is to say, one learns to create an artwork by recreating oneself, bringing one’s own impulses under control and sublimating them into new channels of activity. This carries the implication that recipes and techniques do not make pizzas; they are merely instrumental in the act of creation. Something deeper, innate, primordial seems to be at work here. Handcrafting pizza napoletana, as an artistic expression, involves self-actualization and self-expression, not devoid of devotion for the rich Neapolitan tradition—which is, figuratively speaking, the shoulders of a giant upon which a devotee stands! The giant, dwelling in the subterranean labyrinths of Napoli, has already set the paradigm. And, there always will be a Theseus who will have to find the way out of the maze without being devoured by the Minotaur!

§5. ART & TRADITION
Art creates, not just copies! Some orthodox pizzaioli in Naples are of the belief, however vague, that the “evolution” of Neapolitan pizza was completed over a century ago, that there is no more room for any changes, or no modifications are needed. Does this conviction imply that the ideal pizza of Naples has already reached the summit of its formal (design) development and, therefore, the tradition should live on pristine? Or, does it imply that the two actual pizzas of Naples (i.e., Marinara and Margherita) are the ultimate material archetypes? As I said earlier, the conservative standpoint is obscure. Their posture reminds me of the composer Ludwig van Beethoven, who was cognizant that to create new music, the old laws had to be broken or modified. According to Walter Kaufmann’s interpretation of Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of “the artist’s morality”, “The great artist does not stick to any established code; yet his work is not lawless but has structure and form. Beethoven did not conform to the rules of Haydn or Mozart; yet his symphonies have form throughout. Their form and law Beethoven created with them [namely, the legacies of Hayden and Mozart]. To create involves going ‘beyond. . .’.”

§6. ENIGMA & SUPERSTITION
As I stated earlier, formation of dough is an enigmatic process, filled with conundrums and surprises. Whence the enigma? In a literal sense, dough is alive! As an organic mass, it is filled with millions of microscopic organisms that are sensitive and highly responsive to their surrounding environment. The enzymatic, hydrolytic, catalytic, bacterial, fungal, and other organic reactions within dough evade direct human perception. Further, such chemical reactions are complex and contingent upon various variables—such as duration of time, temperature, humidity, pH level, protein and starch content, atmospheric pressure, osmotic stress, and etc.—that are formidably difficult to control all at once. Hence, predicting outcome of these reactions with a high level of accuracy is a challenge. Therefore, one should not wonder why many have developed all kinds of procedures, rituals, and superstations (some of which are quite absurd and even neurotic) in respect to making dough. This situation is on a par with various religious belief systems that have formulated a hierarchy of supernatural beings in order to explain the nature of the natural world. In making dough, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than “that’s what everybody else does” or “that’s what I have been told”. This is tantamount to laughing at a joke that has not been told yet. As the German philosopher Immanuel Kant expresses, “Dare to think for yourself.” When knowledge is lacking, superstations pervade. Ignorance can be a recipe for dough disaster!

§7. PRINCIPLE v. CONTENT
Once upon a time, my philosophy professor advised me as follows, “In learning anything, always aim to understand the underlying principles as opposed to just memorizing the content; for if the content becomes obsolete, you will be obsolete with it if you have no knowledge of the principles that are at work. However, if you know the principles, then you can always create your own content.” Often, in learning how to make dough, we subserviently rely upon measurements and instructions as given in a recipe—without understanding the invisible principles which dictate the measurements and the instructions. As a result, once the recipe stops producing the desired results, the recipient becomes baffled in distraught. However, if the recipient understands the rationale underlying the recipe, she or he can diagnose and hopefully solve the problem.

§8. GENERAL STAGES OF MAKING DOUGH FOR PIZZA NAPOLETANA
In 1989, at a pizza festival in Naples, after I had devoured numerous pizzas and with no desire for more, I tasted a pizza marinara that bewildered my taste buds. I piteously begged the pizzaiolo, with my terrible Italian, how he accomplished the feat. He did not seem burdened with my plea. So, to charm him, I lowered myself to my knees and desperately began to sing Giuseppe Verdi’s aria “Le minacce” from his opera La forza del destino (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ESSpgn7ubM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ESSpgn7ubM)), which I knew very well, word by word:

Le minacce, i fieri accenti
Portin seco in preda i venti;
Perdonatemi, pietà,
O fratel, pietà, pietà! . . .


Fierce words and threats
Are carried off by the wind;
Forgive me, have pity,
Brother, have pity, have pity! . . .

After a round of applause by the festive onlookers, the maestro wrote down on a piece of greasy napkin the following (which took me a long time to decode and literally translate to English):

1. [Propound!] and attune your elements, water, flour, salt, leaven
2. Mix some partially
3. Hydrate the flour
4. Add the rest and knead
5. Ferment
6. Leaven
7. Make dough balls
8. More fermentation and Levitation
Don’t break your wrist, make love!


§9. IT IS ALL IN THE DOUGH!
As evident above, it takes perseverance, close attention to details, several years of experience—and, of course, passion—to learn how to craft pizza napoletana, employing the Neapolitan tradition as the foundation. According to the tradition, good pizza begins with the dough. I repeat emphatically: It is all in the DOUGH! In making pizza napoletana, extra attention and effort need to be poured into making pasta per la pizza napoletana (Neapolitan pizza dough), which is distinct from other types of pizza dough. In this undertaking, again, the ancient tradition of making pizza needs to be respected, either as the destination or as the point of departure. Those who study the surviving ancient Roman culinary texts can find a wealth of practical tips about making dough. My best dough-making technique originates from such a source. In fact, the early Neapolitan pizzaioli used many of the techniques that they had inherited from their ancient predecessors. The advent of modernity, commercialism, and industrialization have unfortunately caused abandonment of many of these techniques.

A pizzeria can possess all the best ingredients and culinary equipment, yet if the dough they produce is not properly prepared and diligently cared for—the pizzas produced by the pizzeria will be gastronomically unworthy. In making dough, one really has to come to her or his senses; one must visually, olfactorily, and tactilely keep sensing the dough. Watch, smell, and feel! These sensory sensations will give us forewarnings and invaluable clues as to what should be done in the process of making pizza dough. For instance, certain types of dough become ripe without exhibiting strong visible signs; thus, one needs to train one’s own olfactory ability to discern the sweet and aromatic signs of maturation.

There are diverse ways—no such thing as the way—to accomplish balanced dough. However, whatever recipes—and techniques to execute the recipes—are used to create the dough, at the end they should produce a pane (bread) or crosta di pizza (pizza crust) that by tradition should possess the following attributes:

1. Soft pizza crust that can be cut—with little or no effort—into slices by use of table knife and fork;
2. Soft pizza crust that does not break or crack when folded into what Neapolitans call “Neapolitan wallet” (portafoglio napoletano);
3. Moist crust that is not desiccated and crackery (although some crusts are too moist by the American standard);
4. Texturally light pizza crust and cornicione (crown or rim) that are not hard to chew;
5. Fluffy and airy cornicione (which is the artist’s signature on the blank dough canvas) that is inflated around the flat and roundish pizza disk;
6. Pizza crust, besides the cornicione, that is not too thin for its flavors to get lost amongst other flavors;
7. Pizza crust, besides the cornicione, that is not too thick to make chewing uneasy and is not burdensome to stomach;
8. Pizza crust that is endowed with moderate level of naturally induced sourness;
9. Full of subtle natural flavors to the sense of taste;
10. Aromatic to the sense of smell;
11. Aesthetically pleasing to the sense of sight;
12. Vivacious in color and composition;
13. Light and easily digestible to the stomach;
14. Etc.

It is of utmost concernment to infer that the pizza crust is more than a vessel embracing the garnishes. Here is a good advice to take to heart! According to the New York Times interview of June 25, 1989 with Salvatore Condurro of L’antica Pizzeria da Michele (a classic Neapolitan pizzeria of Naples that ardently advocates a fundamentalist approach toward preparing pizza):

“The first thing is the crust, it has got to be soft and light. That is why we always prepare the dough the day before it is used, using the smallest amount of yeast possible, letting it rise about 15 hours. Most places these days pour in loads of yeast to make the dough rise instantly. The result is a tough crust with a yeasty taste.”

As if that was not enough, in its September 25, 2002 issue, The Washington Post printed an article entitled “Naples, by Pizza Possessed”, which begins with the following bizarre account of a pizza contest in Naples:

“The pizzaiuolo, the pizzamaker, shuffled his feet nervously as he stood by the stern judge. He was defending his pizza’s crust—it was crunchy. Unfortunately for the contestant, crunchy is a no-no in the heartland of pizza. ‘Stupid move,’ the judge said tersely. ‘Why enter a contest of Neapolitan pizza if you can’t make one the right way?’ A hard crust may be something consumers across the globe associate with 21st-century pizza, but here crackle is unthinkable. Chewy is also out. Crust is not even a proper description for the billowy circumference of pizza. Neapolitans call it the crown, and it is as thin and light as pastry. . . . They [Neapolitans] are on guard against a kind of globalization boomerang. Italian foods that have won the hearts of consumers worldwide return to Italy in adulterated form: frozen, thick-crusted, piled with ingredients, as if volume could make up for artistry.”

§10. FOR THE SAKE OF CRUST
It is important to keep in mind that the toppings are there not for their own sake, but to accentuate the subtle flavors of the pizza crust/bread. Simply put, the toppings must not dominate and mask the flavors of the pizza crust. By way of analogy, this is akin to Italian opera, wherein the music played by the orchestra does not subdue, but elevates the voices of singers. The music is merely a commentary upon what the singers sing. In the same vein, pizza toppings are merely commentaries about the crust. (For some old generation of Neapolitan pizzaioli, pizza and opera are parallel arts! In fact, the operatic art has often informed the art of pizza making. In Naples, it is not uncommon to view each distinct flavor of pizza as a musical note! Imagine the Italian composer Antonio Salieri relating to Mozart his sensation of the pizza marinara that Pizzeria da Michele prepared for him: “With the first bite, the marinara tasted ridiculously simple . . . modest . . . unpretentious. The pungent, yet tempered, flavor of the crushed tomatoes lingered on, like a monotonous musical pulse—made by bassoons and basset horns. Then suddenly, high above it, the garlic—that is the oboe—as a single note appeared, hanging there unwavering, until the oregano—the clarinet—took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! But, that was just the prelude, paving the way for the delicate flavor of the bread to deliver the final blow—the crescendo.”) Quantitatively balancing the toppings toward the crust and qualitatively harmonizing the flavors of the toppings, not against, but toward the flavors of the curst is the key!

§11. THE TEMPLE OF BRICKS (L'elemento di Prometeo)
In this endeavor, the il forno napoletano (the Neapolitan wood-fired brick oven) is not just a tool, but an indispensible ingredientil quinto elemento (the 5th element), which has the ancient Roman myth of Prometeo at its core. (Prometeo was a Titan who stole fire from the gods and bequeathed it to mortals for their benefit.) The brick oven is the sacred temple where the flavors of the toppings enchant one another for the sake of ornamenting the subtle flavors of the bread. Furthermore, the forno insinuates and blesses the pizza with a flavor and texture that it would not otherwise have. At last, in this marriage ritual, beneath the dome shaped canopy of the forno, form (design) and matter (the 5 elements, attendant ingredients, and their flavors and aromas) are wedded!—a work of art is born. And, borrowing the words of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the prominent art scholar of the 18th Century, “In the presence of this miracle of art, I forget all else, and I myself take a lofty position for the purpose of looking upon it in a worthier manner.” Alas, culinary art works have not been granted the status they truly deserve. Perhaps, not in Naples!

§12. SIMPLICITY (Ockham’s Razor)
I think it is a prudent advice to strive for simplicity in formulating dough recipes and procedures for their implementations. I would keep everything as simple as possible. A principle of simplicity known as “Ockham’s razor”—which is commonly, yet subconsciously, used by professional bakers—has practical application in this respect. According to the scholastic philosopher William of Ockham, Entita non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitate: “Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity” or “The number of entities used to explain phenomena should not be increased unnecessarily”. In other words, of two or more possible explanations for a phenomenon (such as formation of dough), choose the one that explains what is to be explained with the fewest assumptions and explanatory principles. And, as the great Aristotle would advise, later in this post, this is a “rational” (indicative of ratios and proportions) process. I think it is fair to posit that, in general, an underlying principle of Italian cuisine is simplicity.

Since here we are concerned with causation in transforming wheat flour to dough, Aristotle’s “four causes” may be of assistance here. Aristotle, who had examined the nature of flour and bread, was of the belief that to understand a natural phenomenon (e.g., formation of dough), one should determine the four following causes thereof:

1. “Material Cause” (change produced out of which or what),
2. “Formal Cause” (change produced into which),
3. “Efficient Cause” (change produced by which), and
4. “Final Cause” (change produced for the sake of which)

If we walk on a beach and see footprints (the formal cause), we can legitimately infer that a human being (the efficient cause) must have walked there before we did. Because of past experience, we might even be able to tell the person's weight by examining the size and depth of the footprints. Pay heed that in the preceding example we reasoned backwardly, form the “footprints” (the formal cause, or “effect” as the modern science would call it) to the “human being” who efficiently caused the prints. In our case, the efficient cause is Neapolitan dough that must possess the attributes enumerated under section §9.

Whenever I devise a dough recipe and procedures to implement the recipe, I do so with the aforementioned attributes and principles in mind. And, of course, a recipe is only half of the story! As the great maxim has it, “The map is not the territory.”

§13. METHODOLOGY
So, without any compromise, extra attention and effort need to be put into making dough, which is traditionally composed of four elements:

1. Water (preferably non-carbonated hard water, containing relatively high mineral content, like the tap water of Naples, and the proper pH level);
2. Weak but stable flour of low gluten “tipo 00” (preferably composed of milled tender wheat grains of spring-summer season; W 250-280; 9-11% protein);
3. Wet sea salt (preferably coarse, untreated, and unwashed, containing relatively high level of magnesium and other minerals);
4. Lievito naturale / lievito madre / pasta madre (indigenous lactobacillus bacteria & fungus culture) or lievito di birra (fresh yeast).

And, of course, of primary concern is the “technique” used in metamorphosing the aforementioned elements into pasta. The right methodology makes all the difference—not to mention utilization of the right dough mixer (such as a "forcella") that can indeed effectively knead—not batter—the dough while minimizing excessive dough friction, minimizing dough oxidation, and providing safe and easy access for feeling the dough while the mixer is in operation. Unfortunately, many of the American dough mixers, such as the Kitchen Aid, treat the interior of the mixer bowl as a boxing ring, where dough can get battered and damaged if one can not figure out a way of manipulating the machine. Without the proper “METHODIC HANDLING”—i.e., timely, orderly, skillfully, and schematically mixing the ingredients in a well-executed manner, and uncompromisingly and contrivedly kneading the dough mass—pasta will not optimally form. Throughout the process, dough should not be handled aimlessly. Handling dough needs to be executed deliberately and skillfully at every stage: during mixing, kneading, fermenting, dough-balling, opening dough balls into discs, and etc.

§14. WATER IS THE CAUSE OF ALL THINGS. –Thales of Miletus, ancient Greek philosopher
Often we are told to mix the four ingredients, with or without intermittent pauses, in the following sequence or a slight variation thereof: water, salt, fermentative agent, and flour. However, those who inquire as to how differently the ancient Romans and early pizzaioli conducted this procedure may be in for a treat! It is simple, yet miraculous. Here, Pericles’ famous statement equally applies to the pre-classical Romans, “We are lovers of beauty, yet simple in our tastes. . . .”

I do not think any professional pizzaiolo would disagree that consummate hydration of flour is absolutely fundamental (derived from fundāre, "to lay the foundation"). According to Aristotle, Thales of Miletus (the father of Western philosophy) regarded water “as the first principle [or ‘material cause’] of all things.” Modern scholars argue that since pre-classical Greek language lacked great power of abstractive conceptualization, Thales could have meant “fluidity” (derived from fluere, “to flow” or “to smooth”) by water. And, that is precisely my point: fluidity, making the flour fluid enough in order to be animated, creative, or materially causative. The master of those who know, Aristotle, wrote:

Since that [e.g., flour] which is capable is capable of something and at some time and in some way . . . and since some things can work according to a rational formula and their potentialities involve a formula, while other things are non-rational and their potentialities are non-rational, and the former potentialities must be in a living thing, while the latter can be both in the living and in the lifeless; as regards potentialities of the latter kind, when the agent and the patient meet in the way appropriate to the potentiality in question, the one must act and the other be acted on, but with the former kind this in not necessary.” (The underlines are added for emphasis.)

The floured wheat endosperm is solid, not fluid. And, it has certain regulatory resistance to hydration, which, if I am not mistaken, flour scientists often refer to as “kinetics of water transport” or “hydration dynamics of endosperm”. This resistance barrier can be effectively overcome “at some time and in some way”, which calls for a “methodology” or “methodic handling” that the Romans, and Persians, of antiquity were good at, without resorting to all the fanciful conceptualizations above and hereafter. (If the Western civilization had effectuated a synthesis of "art" and "capitalism", such methods would not have been forgotten today, perhaps!)

To accomplish this, in principle, one has to get the flour’s own natural enzymes (amylase and protease) to adequately turn the starch content of flour into sugar and to reconfigure the protein content of flour into gluten—after mixing, but antecedent to kneading—in order to minimize dough oxidation, which causes the dough to be less “extensible” (as distinct from being “elastic”), bleached in color, deficient in flavor, and hard in texture. Allegorically speaking, if your hair is not wet enough, shampooing your hair would not be effective. First, adequately (quantity) and effectively (quality) hydrate your hair, and then shampoo. To give another allegorical example, if a Ferrari's engine is not properly oiled, then driving it will be rough and will damage the engine. However, if the Ferrari's engine is properly oiled, then driving it will be smooth. Adequately (indicative of “quantity”) and effectively (indicative of “quality” or “how”) hydrating flour will beget dough of superior extensibility, flavor, sourness, texture, and aroma. So, again, there are two distinct, but not separate, factors that one ought to be attentive to: quantity of hydration and quality (or how) of hydration. And, be mindful that this is a rational (derived from ratiō, "ratio" or "proportion") process.
 
§15. FLAVOR, SOURNESS, TEXTURE, & AROMA
Once dough has reached the “pasta state”, punto di pasta or modalità di pasta, (i.e., having reached a certain level of gluten formation, homogeneity, internal structure formation, and dough-skin formation), the dough should undergo, first, fermentation (essentially involving generation of flavor) and, second, levitation or leavening (essentially involving generation of light texture and sourness or lactic acid). And, in this process, there are two variables that ought to be brought under control: time and temperature. Simply put, dough needs the right amount of time and appropriate range of temperatures to actualize its virtues: (1) flavor, (2) sourness, (3) texture, and (4) subtle sweet aroma that gently caresses the olfactory nerves. (Although lievito madre and fresh yeast characteristically produce different overall aromas in the process of fermenting flour, both produce the subtle aroma in due time, which is the “glad tidings”! The smell of dough can—and should—be used as a telltale or pulse of dough.) Ignoring the development of the four essential gastronomical qualities under proper timing and temperatures may create dough disaster!

So, again, there are four vital interrelated factors to consider in fermenting and leavening dough: flavor, sourness, texture, and aroma. Very, very, very generally speaking, flavor and sourness are developed as a result of bacterial activities in dough, while texture is developed as a result of fungal activities in dough—yet, keep in mind that the bacterial and fungal activities are mutually dependent, that the bacteria and fungi need one another in order to carry out their activities as far as formation of pasta is concerned. Proper Neapolitan dough should possess the proper flavor, sourness, texture, and aroma. And, the depth and strength of these qualities—as far as they are culturally defined or determined by Neapolitans—can be learned by empirically tasting and orally-olfactorily feeling the real thing in Naples!

§16. SENSIBILITY & GASTRONOMY
This brings me to the sensitive issue of sensibility in respect to “gastronomy”, which is a very comprehensive art/science of good cuisine and good eating, plus the physiology of taste and smell, and anatomy of flavors and aromas. The Neapolitan gastronomical sensibility is different than the American sensibility as each culture values certain food characteristics. In general, the way Neapolitans enjoy their pizzas repels many Americans and vice versa. A cheese-less pizza is inconceivable for many Americans. While in the US our motto is “A pizza without cheese is like a kiss without squeeze”, Neapolitans poetically express their taste as follows: “Pizza with cheese is like a beautiful blue sky bejeweled with patches of pure, white clouds; pizza without cheese is like a beautiful, sunny day where all is clear.”

On a visit, in 2001, to L’antica Pizzeria da Michele, a respectable American tourist, with whom I shared a table, made the comment, “Is this pizza or uncooked tomato pudding? These guys don’t know pizza. They should learn from us!” A French tourist, who also happened to be there, commented, after the American gentleman left, “Americans know how to eat, but not taste.” Europeans generally believe that Americans are gastronomically uneducated or not critical enough. Perhaps this assertion is meritorious. Many reputable European food and wine companies dump their substandard products (products that Europeans would not buy due to low quality) here in the US because they know we are uncritical judges of quality. Many of the imported Italian cheeses and wines—which we think of as the crème de la crème and pay top dollars for—are actually considered low-grade and inferior by the Italian standards. They sell them to us because they know that we do not know any better! Unfortunately, generally speaking, America seems to value quantity over quality.

We need to train our taste buds in order to discern flavors better and make more critical and informed value judgments. Like a pianist training her ears or a painter training his visual color perception, taste buds can be trained to consciously discern flavors that we did not even know were there! To untrained eyes, Michelangelo’s “David” may seem no more than a pretty piece of marble shaped in form of a man. However, to more sophisticated eyes, this masterpiece of Renaissance art may represent an embodiment of the eternal ideals of humanity: beauty, truth, courage, strength, and wisdom.

§17. TIME & TEMPERATURE
We all know that grape juice does not ferment into wine within a short period of time. In addition, proper temperature is critical for fermentation of grape juice. In principle, preparing dough is not much different from making wine. Just like a good wine, dough mass needs time—a long time, depending on the strength of flour, potency and amount of the fermentative agent, temperature, and etc. Besides the time factor, dough mass also needs the right temperatures in order to be alchemized into gold, i.e., to generate the right flavor, sourness, and texture in a balanced manner. In my opinion, four or six hours of fermentation and levitation might be enough for making ordinary pizzas or commercial breads, but deficient for la vera pizza napoletana (again, depending on the strength of flour, potency and amount of the fermentative agent, temperature, and etc.).

According to the accounts conveyed to me in Naples, the pizzaioli, prior to World War I, respected “time” and the virtues of “patience” and “excellence”—virtues that require time and reflection in order to be cultivated. However, today, the pressures of modern life have turned the pursuits of patience and excellence into pursuits of “immediate gratification” and “money”! This is another impact of modernity and capitalism, which equate time with money (cf. “time is money”). As a consequence, according to the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, we are preoccupied with “reduction in the loss of time”, which is, in his words, “the flight of time from itself”. Heidegger urges us to stop understanding time merely in terms of efficiency.

§18. OXIDATION
Although some bacterial and fungal processes occurring within dough are aerobic as opposed to anaerobic, it is essential to minimize oxidation of dough from the moment mixing of the ingredients begins all the way to the end of fermenting/leavening the dough. (Oxidation is the rightful office of the Neapolitan oven, where oxidation accelerates to immense heights. Even then, the extraordinary thermal engineering of the faithful Neapolitan oven incredibly regulates the rate of oxidation whereby the texture and flavors of pizzas are preserved as long as the handling and timing is flawless.) Why minimizing oxidation? It is a scientific generalization that heat/friction promotes oxidation of matter. And, according to the science of gastronomy, oxidation deprives various types of human food of their lively color, flavor, and texture. For instance, the more a piece of beef stake is oxidized (i.e., grilled), the more it loses its red color, flavor, and soft texture. The same principle applies to pizza dough. Hence, Neapolitan dough should be kneaded at a slow rate in order to minimize oxidation of the dough and to minimize generation of gluten in the dough to the proper degree. The faster dough is kneaded and, hence, heated and oxidized—the tougher, less flavorful, and pale-colored bread it produces. The more gluten is generated in dough, the tougher bread it will make. Also, fast speed kneading bleaches the vivacious white color of dough, making it look pale, dull, and boring. Therefore, I conclude that a baked product is tougher, less flavorful, and more bleached in proportion to how much the dough is worked.

After proper fermentation and leavening of dough is over, panetti or palline (dough balls) need to be formed, which is a very important stage in production of pizza. After formation of the dough balls, they need further levitation in order to procure a relaxed posture and buoyant constitution. Again, controlling the time and temperature is indispensible here. This resting period will considerably contribute to soft texture (leavening) of the pizza crust and fermentation (flavor) of the dough. At last, by employing specific techniques, the dough balls can be drafted into dischi di pasta (dough discs, not hard bronze discus!) and adorned with the toppings. How prosaically the hands wrangle (agitatamente, staccato) or poetically caress (appassionato, animato) the dough discs is decisive in terms of the quality and aesthetics of the pizzas. (This is a last chance, for you as an artist, to physically stamp your signature on the blank doughy canvas, and to find yourself in your own creation. German philosopher Karl Marx eloquently articulates this sentiment as follows, “As man works on nature outside himself and changes it, he changes at the same time his own nature.”)

As mentioned earlier, manipulating dough during opening a dough ball into a disc (stesura della pasta) needs to be done with care and skill. Perfectly balanced dough can be ruined—in terms of flavor and texture—if the dough is mishandled. Banging on the dough disc, exhaust-stretching it, and incorporating excessive amounts of flour into it will create a pizza crust that is sourly insipid in flavor, heavy in texture, and aesthetically unpleasing.

§19. IL PIZZAIOLO
An excellent pizzaiolo is one who can quickly adapt to her/his environment, its limitations, and the demands the environment imposes on the pizzaiolo’s culinary efforts. Some of the environmental factors are weather/climate, temperatures inside and outside pizzeria, humidity level, capabilities of the oven and dough mixer to be used, and so on. Moreover, a great pizzaiolo is fully aware of the virtues of all the ingredients to be employed, and the pizzaiolo is able to quickly adapt to the elemental limitations and the demands they impose on the pizzaiolo’s culinary efforts. A great pizzaiolo, with a great degree of accuracy, predicts the outcome of her/his culinary efforts, and the pizzaiolo is able to successfully modify or change course of action when the previous course of action becomes problematic. In doing so, the pizzaiolo does not compromise the integrity of the pizza to be baked. At the end, the pizza’s flavors and configuration will reflect the pizzaiolo’s own character, which, in my opinion, should remind him of the Socratic maxim: "True wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing." In other words, if one assumes that she or he knows everything, then she or her is not likely to question her or his own assumptions. Question everything; take nothing for granted!

(In future, more content will be added to this article.)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on June 26, 2011, 07:38:26 PM
I'm going to have read this a few more times to find something I disagree with. There must be something you got wrong, but I haven't found it yet. Doesn't the Internet exist so that we can show others how wrong they are? How frustrating!

Seriously, this is the best description of the beloved pizza of Naples that I have ever read. If you can bake pizzas as well as you write about them, you should open your own joint. 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 26, 2011, 08:07:30 PM
I'll have to read through again and again.  It is so well written giving creedance to tradition and yet leaves room for learning and growing.  Bravo omid, bravo!

So a few questions, have you been able to create a pie that matches or exceeds the master's pie that so inspired you?

If so and if I go on bended knee and sing to you, will you teach me?

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on June 26, 2011, 09:20:56 PM
This should be made into a sticky so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on June 26, 2011, 10:13:52 PM
I had to print this out so I could read it a few times well done! as well as the pizzas I secongd the Bravo for sure and welcome!! for sure too! Every been to New Jersey Omid?
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on June 26, 2011, 10:50:58 PM
Omid, very nice presentation. there is something special about Neapolitan pizza and i believe your philosophy covers what makes this style so special. welcome to this wonderful forum.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: tinroofrusted on June 26, 2011, 11:29:01 PM
Omid, this is brilliant.  So well written. You were obviously a scholar before you became a pizzaiolo.  Thanks, and I will certainly be looking forward to future installments.  Thank you. 

Also, on a somewhat unrelated subject, I have made a plea for a wiki to capture some of the important information from this great site, and I offer your post as Exhibit A as to the type of content that would fit well on a wiki. 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on June 26, 2011, 11:34:06 PM
Omid, thank you.  I also will print this to soak it all in.  I hope you find employment soon and continue to post.  If you ever make it to Texas, look me up, we can have lots of pizza fun.  I know a guy who has an Acunto oven in his garage, and I know a guy that has a low dome wfo  that is portable.  Your method of making the dough would be welcome either place, I am sure of that.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 26, 2011, 11:37:34 PM
Omid, not to detract from the wonderful piece you have written and apologies if I am mistaken, but it is oxygen that causes oxidation of the dough rather than heat and friction.  I can fully oxidize (bleach) dough only by stretching and folding the dough with very little heat or friction involved.  

Having said that, overmixing the dough by mixing too long or too vigorously does indeed produce excess friction and heat, which can accompany oxidation.  It is the trapping of excess oxygen during prolonged or vigorous mixing that leads to over oxidation of the dough.

Another example is the use of a gentle action mixer.  If left to mix indefinitely, even gentle mixing with low heat and friction will eventually lead to full gluten developement and then overoxidation of the dough.

As I look at the many finished NP styled doughs seen on youtube, even doughs made by master pizzaiolos, all the dough looks very white/bleached/oxidized.  Is this considered normal? good? or bad?  You will sometimes see this in the finish product as well, especially if the dough has also been overfermented.  The backgrown coloration of the crust is very white looking contrasted by heavy leoparding.   Again, some oxidation is necessary and good.   Too much yields a less than ideal product.  

Omid or anyone else, your thoughts and clarification of this point is appreciated.  

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: chickenparm on June 27, 2011, 12:44:41 AM
Chau,

I know this type of pizza is out of my current knowledge and expertise,but I did want to add something.

When I lived in NY,and grew up on NY style pizzas,just about every place,you could sit there and watch the person making the pizza from a few feet away.You could watch them take the dough ball out of the proofing tray and then shape by hand,put on peel and make the pie.

That aside,As far as I can remember,the dough balls were always a very bright white color.Except for one place,that claimed to be a Neapolitan style pizza shop,even using a deck oven,called Napoli's Pizza,they had a off white dough color,while all the rest of the other pizza shops had very white dough balls.

I have made countless of doughballs with different flours,and have never seen mine get as white as the pizza shops I grew up on.Mine always has a off white,bone white or somewhat non white color.I always wondered what it was that these places used or did to get their dough so white in the end.I dont use a mixer like they do,so I wonder if thats the case?

Just curious and hope to learn a little more myself.

:)







Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on June 27, 2011, 08:08:10 AM
Omid, beautifully written.  Out of curiosity, what do you deem as the "perfect hydration" with respect to Caputo flour?  I would also be interested in understanding what you refer to as "effective hydration".

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: andreguidon on June 27, 2011, 09:41:08 AM
Nice and elegant!! allot of respect for the NP pie!!

i am also intrigued about the effective hydration??
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on June 27, 2011, 10:03:21 AM
First your oven made love to your pizza, now your fingers have made love to the keyboard.

Omid, this is a beautiful testimony to the passion which I share. My eyes await your coming verses.

Craig
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on June 27, 2011, 04:09:44 PM
Omid, Thank you kind sir.  for those of us just beginning this journey, you have pointed the way. 
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Barry on June 27, 2011, 04:49:10 PM
Hi Omid,

I have just read your post, and I was at first a little amused, but then it dawned on me that this is really quite "meaty" and pretty damn good!

Thank you!  Like other members, I will need to read it a few times to fully digest the gems within the words.

Best wishes

Barry
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on June 27, 2011, 06:09:52 PM
So, does the Caputo 00 flour, which falls outside of the range of desired protein (9-11% cited in your excellently written post  :D, 12.5% +/- 0.50% actual specs for Caputo 00) and strength (W 250-280 cited by you, actual Caputo 00 specs are W 280-320) fall into the area of flexibility the pizzaiolo is able to utilize of would it be deemed potentially unsuitable to create the requisite crust characteristics? --K  :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on June 27, 2011, 10:51:05 PM
Dear pizza zealots (i.e., Bill/SFNM, Jackie Tran, BrickStoneOven, JConk007, thezaman, tinroofrusted, Jet_deck, chickenparm, Matthew, andreguidon, TXCraig1, wheelman, Barry, pizzablogger), I sincerely convey to you my gratitude for all your kind and heartening words. And, I look forward to learning from you all. Of course, writing and entertaining thoughts about pizzas are one thing, and materializing them another. And, verily, I am by no means an authority in this labyrinthine subject, which I tend to approach from an existential-phenomenological point of view that is not about right or wrong, but about being or not-being!—without mitigated appreciation for the venerable tradition.

Hmm . . . Let's see if I can squeeze this in here! In one of his books, the Danish philosopher Søren Aaby Kierkegaard makes a curious contrast between a “Christian” and a “pagan”. First, he portrays the Christian who habitually, formulaically, and with great objectivity worships—as a matter of course—the one and the only true God. Then, he depicts the pagan who inwardly and with “all the passion” worships—as a matter of infinite commitment—an idol that we know is undoubtedly false. Then, Kierkegaard inquires, “where, then, is there more truth?” He concludes, “The one prays in truth to God although he is worshiping an idol; the other prays in untruth to the true God and is therefore in truth worshiping an idol.”

Again, I thank you all!

(Below, I have posted a scanned photo of a Pizza Marinara made, about 2 years later, by the maestro that I had met at the pizza festival. It was still as good, if not better. I have also posted below a second scanned photo of a Pizza Margherita by maestro Carmine. And, dear Jackie Tran, I have not been able to replicate the Pizza Marinara one-hundred percent. But, let me blame it on not having the right brick oven!!!)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: chickenparm on June 27, 2011, 11:35:45 PM
Wow,those pies are Super Nice! There should be a shield or coat of arms made with those pizzas imprinted on them.
 :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Quercus on June 28, 2011, 12:14:25 AM
Wonderful poesy and descriptions regarding the traditions of the pizza belonging to Naples. As we speak, part II: America and her artisans and farmers, in this brave new era, continue to work and dream on pizza (and dare I say it are bound to do it best). In a nod to the latin world, "Per aspera ad astra," -- through adversity to the stars. And then, America's rapturous equation, "Nothing will bring you peace but yourself. Nothing will bring you peace but the triumph of principles."
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on June 28, 2011, 12:22:42 AM
So, does the Caputo 00 flour . . . be deemed potentially unsuitable to create the requisite crust characteristics? --K  :)

My answer would be “no”, quite suitably many pizzerias within and without Napoli have been using Caputo Pizzeria tipo “00”. Your specifications are indeed the current revision, which goes back to a few years ago, if I am not mistaken. However, over 13 years ago or so, Caputo had lower specifications. I have heard that they eventually increased the specifications due to the world-wide demand (both commercial and non-commercial) for their flour. (The label “produced in Italy” has always been bewitching and an occasion for pretentious showoff!) The underlying rationale reportedly being that, by increasing the specifications, manipulating the dough and baking it would be easier for the non-sophisticated consumers, most of whom do not own ovens that can produce over 700 degree Fahrenheit heat. Hence, higher consumer satisfaction would yield higher profit margins for Caputo. At last, about a year ago, I read in an European website that an independent lab claimed even a higher amount for the "W" factor and protein percentage than published by Caputo. Who knows?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on June 28, 2011, 04:30:42 PM
. . . but it is oxygen that causes oxidation of the dough rather than heat and friction. . . . Omid or anyone else, your thoughts and clarification of this point is appreciated.

Dear Jackie Tran, let me see if I can clarify this issue. What does it mean to “oxidize”?
If I am not wrong, to oxidize corporeal matter, such as a piece of dough, means to combine it with oxygen—that  is, the atoms of oxygen cause the atoms of the dough to become positively charged by being stripped of their electrons. The release of electrons in the dough causes release of packets of energy (potential energy) which come through as kinetic energy (heat). In general, heat is a form of energy linked with the motion of atoms. So if you knead the dough, internal and external frictions set the atoms in the dough in motion, causing them to warm up (i.e.,  to be slowly oxidized or release packets of energy). So, if the preceding premises are true, “oxidation” and “heat” pertain to motion of atoms. Hence, I tentatively conclude that both friction and heat accelerate the rate of oxidation of dough. I hope this helps!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on June 28, 2011, 04:36:52 PM
Every been to New Jersey Omid?

Dear John, unfortunately I have never been to New Jersey.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on June 28, 2011, 04:43:24 PM
Omid,

Alora; dai.... per favore, spiega "properly hydrated" impasto. ;)

Is your ideal hydration 53%?

Ciao,
Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: andreguidon on June 28, 2011, 04:53:45 PM
Matt, sono anche curioso di questo...

what does it mean??
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: selprop on June 28, 2011, 05:49:58 PM
I believe it means curious about this,

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: selprop on June 28, 2011, 05:52:21 PM
Matt,
I do not want to answer for Omid, but
I also believe your are right with the 53% hydration,,
Mark
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: andreguidon on June 28, 2011, 06:16:26 PM
I believe it means curious about this,



I know what it means, i am curious about what does this relative hydration that Omid talks about....
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: selprop on June 28, 2011, 06:20:48 PM
apologize
I read your line which was folllowed by a ??
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on June 29, 2011, 02:17:25 AM
I would also be interested in understanding what you refer to as "effective hydration".

I think your interest is very fundamental (fundāre, "to lay the foundation"). Thank you! But, first, please excuse my peculiar way of approaching this subject, and I hope I am knowledgeable enough to address your concern. (Sometimes, I can not find rational explanations for what I do!) According to Aristotle, Thales of Miletus (the father of Western philosophy) regarded water “as the first principle [or ‘material cause’] of all things.” Modern scholars argue that since pre-classical Greek language lacked the power of abstractive conceptualization, Thales could have meant “fluidity” (derived from fluere, “to flow” or “to smooth”) by water. And, that is precisely my point: fluidity, making the flour fluid enough in order to be materially causative or creative. The master of those who know, Aristotle (who also had examined the nature of flour and bread!), wrote:

“Since that [e.g., flour] which is capable is capable of something and at some time and in some way . . . and since some things can work according to a rational formula and their potentialities involve a formula, while other things are non-rational and their potentialities are non-rational, and the former potentialities must be in a living thing, while the latter can be both in the living and in the lifeless; as regards potentialities of the latter kind, when the agent and the patient meet in the way appropriate to the potentiality in question, the one must act and the other be acted on, but with the former kind this in not necessary.” (The italics, not the words, are added for your attention.)

The floured wheat endosperm is solid, not fluid. And, it has certain regulatory resistance to hydration, which, if I am not mistaken, flour scientists often refer to as “kinetics of water transport” or “hydration dynamics of endosperm”. This resistance barrier can be overcome “at some time and in some way”, which calls for a “methodology” or “methodic handling” that the Romans, and Persians, of antiquity were good at, without resorting to all the fanciful conceptualizations above and hereafter. (If the Western civilization had effectuated a synthesis of "art" and "capitalism", such methods would not have been forgotten today!) As I wrote in my article above, a way is to get the flour’s own natural enzymes “to adequately turn the starch content of flour into sugar and to reconfigure the protein content of flour into gluten—after mixing, but prior to kneading—in order to minimize dough oxidation, which causes the dough to be less “extensible” (as distinct from being “elastic”), bleached in color, deficient in flavor, and hard in texture. By analogy, if your hair is not wet enough, shampooing your hair would not be effective. First, adequately (quantity) and effectively (quality) hydrate your hair, and then shampoo! Adequately (indicative of “quantity”) and effectively (indicative of “quality” or “how”) hydrating flour will beget dough of superior extensibility, flavor, sourness, texture, and aroma.”

Let me insert another allegorical example: If a Ferrari's engine is not properly oiled, then driving it will be rough and will damage the engine. However, if the Ferrari's engine is properly oiled, then driving it will be smooth.

So, there are two distinct, but not separate, factors: quantity of hydration and quality (or how) of hydration. I invite your attention to the photo below. The pizza in the picture baked for about 3 minutes, at about 700-800 degree in a $99 modified Sears home gas oven. The raw dough of the pizza contained 49% hydration, which is quantitatively low! Yet, the puff (and the relative soft texture of the crust, which you can’t feel) betrays the 49% percent hydration. Why? Because of effective hydration—the way (not exclusive of time) the flour was animated before it was acted on. May Nettuno be with you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on June 29, 2011, 02:38:56 AM
Is your ideal hydration 53%?

My ideal hydration—depending on humidity, overall temperature, type of flour and oven, and method of hydration—would fall somewhere between 55% and 60%.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on June 29, 2011, 06:46:22 AM
Interesting explanation.

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 29, 2011, 07:12:38 AM
Poetically written Omid.  I normally use a high hydration of 68% for caputo 00, but was able to drop it 5% by effectively hydrating the dough.  The dough was a bit more fluid than my normal 68%.  Too soon for me to say it made an improvement but I was glad to have a new technique and perspective from this, so thank you.

For those curious, I gave the dough a l...o...n...g rest (8h) before kneading it.  Not sure how this compares to what Omid does, but I did note the difference.

I posted the pie here at reply #221
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11654.msg144964.html#msg144964 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11654.msg144964.html#msg144964)

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on June 29, 2011, 11:57:12 AM
Omid, I also subscribe to a "quality of hydration", or effective hydration. One of the reasons I always employ an autolyse for my pizzas, which are inspired by Neapolitan pizza (but not Neapolitan-style).

With regards to the pizza pictured above, the puff of the cornicione is not solely due to the quality of hydration. The heat plays a major role and at the 700-800°F temperatures you cooked at, you're likely to get lift in the cornicione. High heat brings a lot of forgiveness to the table when cooking pies. Even pies roughly rolled out with a rolling pin can experience oven spring in high heat.

But spring alone is only one part of the equation. Good spring won't alleviate a poorly mixed, fermented, proofed, mishandled and/or etc dough...among other things, oven kick just more clearly reveals the truth of what is already there. --K
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on June 29, 2011, 05:07:41 PM
Even pies roughly rolled out with a rolling pin can experience oven spring in high heat.



Even at 49% hydration ?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: jjdec05 on June 29, 2011, 07:39:31 PM
Can't believe how long it took me to read, but a beautifully written insightful post.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on June 29, 2011, 09:16:26 PM
Even at 49% hydration ?

That's a good question. I've seen a 56 rolled out and get kick in a hot oven, but 49% is another matter entirely.

Good point.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on June 30, 2011, 07:10:19 AM

For those curious, I gave the dough a l...o...n...g rest (8h) before kneading it.  Not sure how this compares to what Omid does, but I did note the difference.

Chau

Chau - What you have partially done is a modified autolyse that involves taking a portion of the dough (ie, in Omid's description - some of the water and some of the flour) and letting it hydrate for 8-10 hours. Then the dough is made as normal. It is described on page 59 of Suas. The protease in the flour is given time to break down some of the gluten bonds for more extensibility in the final product.

I have been meaning to respond to this thread. Omid's passionate treatise describes bread making nearly exactly the way alot of us here on the board have been doing for quite some time. I believe Kelly pointed out "effective hydration" is just another phrase for autolyse. I have never done the extended/modified autolyse, but it seems Omid get great results with it. The extremely low hydration levels at which he is baking pies shows it may truly be an "effective" way to get good results. I am interested to try it.


Omid's methodBreadmaking description
1. [Propound!] and attune your elements, water, flour, salt, leavenGather the four ingredients
2. Mix some partiallyStart modified autolyse, or even "double hydration"
3. Hydrate the flourAutolyse
4. Add the rest and kneadAdd rest of ingredients (ex. Tartine salt/water). Mix or stretch and fold.
5. FermentBulk
6. LeavenByproduct of bulk
7. Make dough ballsForm panetti or loaves
8. More fermentation and LevitationBench rest and final proof
Don’t break your wrist, make love!Don't use a rolling pin!

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on June 30, 2011, 07:40:16 AM
so in exploring this extended autolyse/flour hydration phase, would the starter be added before or after? 
bill   
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 30, 2011, 08:05:41 AM
John I believe you are correct and thanks for pointing out the Saus reference.  

I would also agree that many of us have already been effectively hydrating our dough for some time now by doing an extended fermentation.   As you mentioned, this gives time for the enzymes to do their job, making the dough more fluid, extensible, etc.  We just weren't calling it that per se.  

Whether using a long (modified) autolyse or an overall long fermentation, the end result is the same.  That is we can effectively lower the hydration and achieve a dough that handles like a higher hydrated dough.

John what impresses me here is the fact that you were able to find that nugget of info in the Saus book.  ;D

I am interested to see if Omid agrees or not that effectively hydrating the dough produces the same effect that an extended fermentation does.  Though the method may vary, the result is a more fluid/extensible dough at a relatively lower hydration.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on June 30, 2011, 08:47:06 AM
Chau - What you have partially done is a modified autolyse that involves taking a portion of the dough (ie, in Omid's description - some of the water and some of the flour) and letting it hydrate for 8-10 hours. Then the dough is made as normal. It is described on page 59 of Suas. The protease in the flour is given time to break down some of the gluten bonds for more extensibility in the final product.

I have been meaning to respond to this thread. Omid's passionate treatise describes bread making nearly exactly the way alot of us here on the board have been doing for quite some time. I believe Kelly pointed out "effective hydration" is just another phrase for autolyse. I have never done the extended/modified autolyse, but it seems Omid get great results with it. The extremely low hydration levels at which he is baking pies shows it may truly be an "effective" way to get good results. I am interested to try it.


Omid's methodBreadmaking description
1. [Propound!] and attune your elements, water, flour, salt, leavenGather the four ingredients
2. Mix some partiallyStart modified autolyse, or even "double hydration"
3. Hydrate the flourAutolyse
4. Add the rest and kneadAdd rest of ingredients (ex. Tartine salt/water). Mix or stretch and fold.
5. FermentBulk
6. LeavenByproduct of bulk
7. Make dough ballsForm panetti or loaves
8. More fermentation and LevitationBench rest and final proof
Don’t break your wrist, make love!Don't use a rolling pin!

John

Right on John!
Let me take it one step further & break it down as it relates to the traditional Italian way using a "biga naturale".  The magic number seems to be 20% biga & 9-12 hour fermentation.

Step 1: Refresh your madre
Step 2: Create the biga naturale (madre, water, flour)
Step 3: Ferment biga naturale until doubled (8-12 hours)
Step 4: Mix the final dough
Step 5: Rest 1/2 hour
Step 6: Form panetti

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on June 30, 2011, 09:29:37 AM

I would also agree that many of us have already been effectively hydrating our dough for some time now by doing an extended fermentation.   As you mentioned, this gives time for the enzymes to do their job, making the dough more fluid, extensible, etc.  We just weren't calling it that per se. 

Whether using a long (modified) autolyse or an overall long fermentation, the end result is the same.  That is we can effectively lower the hydration and achieve a similar working higher hydrated dough.

Exactly Chau. Suas says that the presence of salt and yeast can inhibit the autolyse process, but when your fermentation hours extends into the teens and twenties I fully believe it is achieving the same result. It would be interesting to hear Tom Lehmann's thoughts on this.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on June 30, 2011, 09:32:25 AM
Let me take it one step further & break it down as it relates to the traditional Italian way using a "biga naturale".  The magic number seems to be 20% biga & 9-12 hour fermentation.

Thanks for explaining that process Matt. Really great information. Is the composition of a madre more liquid or solid? Or how does a madre differ from a standard starter?

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on June 30, 2011, 09:50:47 AM
so in exploring this extended autolyse/flour hydration phase, would the starter be added before or after?  
bill  

Bill - If you are doing a modified autolyse in the breadmaking (Suas) sense, a portion of the final dough flour and water would be combined and hydrated for 8-10 hours, and then the final dough would be mixed with starter, salt and the rest of the flour and water. In Matt's description, 20% of the final dough is hydrated along with the starter. This is closer to creating a 20% levain (as in Tartine: flour, water, and one tablespoon of starter are hydrated overnight and then incorporated in the final dough). Maybe Matt can explain in further detail.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on June 30, 2011, 09:53:33 AM
Thanks for explaining that process Matt. Really great information. Is the composition of a madre more liquid or solid? Or how does a madre differ from a standard starter?

John

The madre is your starter & can be liquid or solid.  Generally speaking, the madre is kept in a more solid state (biga) by the italians & a more liquid state (poolish) by the french.  The difference is flavor. Italians prefer a much more mild flavor than the french.  The presence of any sourness in a biga is considered a mishandling by italian bakers, where as the french find a sour/tangy starter favorable.  

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on June 30, 2011, 09:58:37 AM
Bill - If you are doing a modified autolyse in the breadmaking (Suas) sense, a portion of the final dough flour and water would be combined and hydrated for 8-10 hours, and then the final dough would be mixed with starter, salt and yeast. In Matt's description, 20% of the final dough is hydrated along with the starter. This is closer to creating a 20% levain (as in Tartine: flour, water, and one tablespoon of starter are hydrated overnight and then incorporated in the final dough). Maybe Matt can explain in further detail.

John

Right on John.  The method I described is in fact by definition a levain:  interchangeable with an italian "biga naturale"

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on June 30, 2011, 11:35:29 AM
thanks for explaining this Matt and John.  The Biga Naturale sounds a lot like TxCraig's UPN formula preferment.  Unless you're talking about the biga containing all of the water for the whole dough?
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on June 30, 2011, 12:04:52 PM
thanks for explaining this Matt and John.  The Biga Naturale sounds a lot like TxCraig's UPN formula preferment.  Unless you're talking about the biga containing all of the water for the whole dough?
bill

Hi Bill,
Similar, but not the same.  Craig's formula encompasses a pate fermentee as a replacement for old dough.  The big difference between the two is that pate fermentee/old dough contains salt & as a result has a lifespan of 48 hours at most if refrigerated.

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott r on June 30, 2011, 12:27:14 PM
Exactly Chau. Suas says that the presence of salt and yeast can inhibit the autolyse process, but when your fermentation hours extends into the teens and twenties I fully believe it is achieving the same result. It would be interesting to hear Tom Lehmann's thoughts on this.


John, I definitely agree.   im no tom lehmann, but the dough I most often use is a 20 hour room temp, or 1 week in the fridge fermentation using tiny amounts of yeast.   I have done a bunch of tests over the years using a 20min-2hour autolyse with the salt and yeast, or without the salt and yeast, and for these very low yeast doughs I can't tell any difference between the two.  

P.S I know someone who paid Tom to do a consult, and at least back then he wasn't recommending the use of an autolyse.  
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on June 30, 2011, 12:32:04 PM
The madre is your starter & can be liquid or solid.  Generally speaking, the madre is kept in a more solid state (biga) by the italians & a more liquid state (poolish) by the french.  The difference is flavor. Italians prefer a much more mild flavor than the french.  The presence of any sourness in a biga is considered a mishandling by italian bakers, where as the french find a sour/tangy starter favorable.  

Matt

Matt, the fact that a biga and poolish differ in consistency is not the sole reason they differ in taste. In fact, if we were to just consider the consistency, and nothing else, one might reasonably expect the more sour note to be delivered by the thicker consistency of the biga.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on June 30, 2011, 02:47:09 PM
Hi Bill,
Similar, but not the same.  Craig's formula encompasses a pate fermentee as a replacement for old dough.  The big difference between the two is that pate fermentee/old dough contains salt & as a result has a lifespan of 48 hours at most if refrigerated.

Matt

The non-old dough version called for 0.1% salt in the preferment to control the enzyme activity. I think if I was to work more on this, I would cut out the salt and shorten the preferment time to somewhere in a 12-18 hour range.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on June 30, 2011, 05:10:18 PM
John, I definitely agree.   im no tom lehmann, but the dough I most often use is a 20 hour room temp, or 1 week in the fridge fermentation using tiny amounts of yeast.   I have done a bunch of tests over the years using a 20min-2hour autolyse with the salt and yeast, or without the salt and yeast, and for these very low yeast doughs I can't tell any difference between the two.  

P.S I know someone who paid Tom to do a consult, and at least back then he wasn't recommending the use of an autolyse.  

Thanks for the confirmation Scott. You are just as highly regarded in my book as Tom!

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on June 30, 2011, 05:16:02 PM
Matt, the fact that a biga and poolish differ in consistency is not the sole reason they differ in taste. In fact, if we were to just consider the consistency, and nothing else, one might reasonably expect the more sour note to be delivered by the thicker consistency of the biga.

K,
My reference was specific to a biga naturale & not a biga made with yeast.  The Italians refresh the biga naturale by retaining very little & feeding it triple amounts of combined water & flour.  Again, the idea is to keep the madre extremely mild so there is zero sourness in the finished dough.

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on June 30, 2011, 06:35:06 PM
The non-old dough version called for 0.1% salt in the preferment to control the enzyme activity. I think if I was to work more on this, I would cut out the salt and shorten the preferment time to somewhere in a 12-18 hour range.

CL

I always wondered what that pinch of salt was for!
I really appreciate you guys.  I have no background in baking, everything i know i've learned here. 
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on June 30, 2011, 09:37:07 PM
My head is spinning! I still do it the old fashion way 20 min autolyse 75% of flour no yeast. I feel like I am really missing out on something after pouring over this info, but its beyond me how to even start, or where I could find the time to refresh, keep alive, measure, time, all these things on a consistent basis for the larger scale 50+ dough balls. This knowledge  would also contribute to the true Pizzaiolo I got a long way to go ! But I got a lot of time too! and I am not one to give up. I just hope someday to comprehend the starter, biga, poolish, patte natural, preferment, levain....
Thanks for all the explanations. WOW details are so cool  ???
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 30, 2011, 10:07:46 PM
Maybe it's just my lack of knowledge or my preference towards simplicity , but I often see a trend towards overcomplicating things.  Mix all ingredients together, let it sit for a long time, then knead and proceed as usual.

Kelly, given 2 of the same starters, one with a low(er) hydration, I would presume that the higher hydrated one would ferment faster and therefore produce more byproducts (flavor).  Correct or not?

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: ninapizza23 on June 30, 2011, 11:08:36 PM
CT,
the more you complicate things the more you frustrate yourself. KISS is the way to go.  I have perfect hydration, fermentation, color and longevity.  Do Not stress the dough or your mind. ENJOY!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 01, 2011, 12:05:01 AM
Ladies and gentlemen, with all due respect, the water is getting muddy! If I were you, I would strive for simplicity. (Yet, who knows? Perchance what you are doing may yield greater results, however complicated.) I would keep everything as simple as possible. (“We are lovers of beauty, but simple in our tastes.”) “Ockham’s razor”, a principle of simplicity, can definitely be applied to the situation at hand. According to the scholastic philosopher William of Ockham, Entita non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitate: “Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity” or “The number of entities used to explain phenomena should not be increased unnecessarily”. In other words, of two or more possible explanations for a phenomenon, choose the one that explains what is to be explained with the fewest assumptions and explanatory principles. And, of course, as the great Aristotle stated, this is a rational (ratio, proportion) process. I think it is fair to posit that an underlying principle of Italian cuisine in general is simplicity.

Since here we are concerned with causation in transforming or changing the flour, Aristotle’s “four causes” may be of assistance here. Aristotle was of the belief that to understand a natural phenomenon, one should determine the four following causes thereof:

1. “Material Cause” (change produced out of which or what),
2. “Formal Cause” (change produced into which),
3. “Efficient Cause” (change produced by which), and
4. “Final Cause” (change produced for the sake of which)

If we walk on a beach and see footprints (the formal cause), we can legitimately infer that a human being (the efficient cause) must have walked there before we did. Because of past experience, we might even be able to tell the person's weight by examining the size and depth of the footprints.

Tonight, around 7:30 PM (Pacific time), I finished making a mass of dough that is hydrated at 48%!!! (I am pushing the limit to see how low I can go.) To get the hydration level as accurate as possible, I refrained from using liquid culture. Instead, I used precisely 0.20 grams of fresh yeast. We shall see the results tomorrow around this time. Good night everyone!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2011, 12:39:22 AM
Omid, the water is never too muddy.  Healthy discussion brings about ideas, inspiration, and learning.  So all exchange no matter how complicated is good exchange.  I have time, curiosity, and flour so I will drop the hydration to 55% (my lowest and 8 pts down from my previous) and see what happens.  I will also be using a not so fresh CY, so it should balance out nicely.  I will report back tomorrow.

CT,
the more you complicate things the more you frustrate yourself. KISS is the way to go.  I have perfect hydration, fermentation, color and longevity.  Do Not stress the dough or your mind. ENJOY!

Nina, that is the point I am making.  There is no "perfect" hydration, only balanced hydration.  Whether you prefer high or low, you still need to balance it with the multitude of other factors to bring about optimal results.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on July 01, 2011, 12:47:25 AM

4. “Final Cause” (change produced for the sake of which)


Can I order a final cause with pineapple?  No, seriously keep the dialogue coming I enjoy this discussion. :chef:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 01, 2011, 07:37:15 AM
Understanding the processes behind dough and fermentation to make informed decisions about workflow does not diminish the simplicity of the four ingredients we are discussing here, nor the simplicity of the process. Chau summed it up beautifully. There is not one way to make dough, nor is there a perfect dough. I would like to see what perfection looks like from those who claim ownership. As is applies to neapolitan pizza, the preferred workflows of experienced bakers is the starting point. We just happen to know and understand that starting point enough, which is classic breadmaking, to make our own decisions.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on July 01, 2011, 08:27:01 AM
I would like to see what perfection looks like from those who claim ownership. As is applies to neapolitan pizza, the preferred workflows of experienced bakers is the starting point. We just happen to know and understand that starting point enough, which is classic breadmaking, to make our own decisions.

John

I couldn't agree more!  Okay......Who's first?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Barry on July 01, 2011, 10:30:12 AM
Hi Everyone,

I am loving this thread!  Could I make a suggestion for the sake of "keeping it simple" and helping us all understand the principles being put forward, by using a standard recipe that starts with, say, 1,000 millilitres (one litre) of water, and detailing each step with an explanation?

For example:

Step 1: Take 1 litre of room temperature, filtered water, and dissolve 28 grams of sea salt in it. This equates to 2.8% salinity.
Step 2: Weigh out 1,000 grams of Caputo "00" flour, and add it to the water using a sieve. This will ....
Step 3: Leave the mixture at room temperature for 14 - 18 hours.
Step 4: Add 35 grams of active starter to the mixture.
Step 5: Now slowly add more flour to the mixture until ....   The total flour used should be about 1,725 grams, which equates to a hydration of 58%.
Step 6. Etc, etc

What do you think?

Kind regards.

Barry

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Grimaldi on July 01, 2011, 12:33:11 PM
Great thread!

I do a one weekend a month market with my mobile WFO and make around 75 pounds of dough for the event. My dough begins with a sourdough starter from local wild mustang grapes (the culture is now 1 year old). I expand the starter beginning on Monday before the event, by Thursday morning I have about 20 pounds of very active starter.

The dough mixing begins on Thursday. I do everything by weight. First, I add the starter, followed by the water...I use this order so I can sorta 'rinse' the container of all the starter, followed by about 80% of the AP flour (have not been able to get 00 at a price or in the quantity I need, so far...but I've had very good results with Central Milling Organic Unbleached AP). I mix the batch for a couple of minutes and then let it autolize for about an hour. Then I knead it with the dough hook (20 quart Univex) for about 5 minutes on low, during which time I add Redmond Real Salt, then add the remaining flour and knead for a few more minutes.

I put the dough on a marble surface covered with wet/damp cloths and start on another batch of dough. When I get to the point of autolizing the next batch, I start making the dough balls from the previous batch.

I try to get the dough balls chilled down ASAP to slow down the fermentation and proofing so the dough is in good condition for both Saturday and Sunday. Since I am working outside in some very severe weather conditions (100 degree temps for several months), it is very tricky working the dough. Sometimes I don't take the dough ball out of the cold before opening them. My work table is so hot that I just place the cold dough ball on the table and it becomes almost instantly workable. The long cold fermentation/proofing along with the natural leavening makes working in adverse conditions more manageable. The oven spring is a thing of beauty. I fire the oven with oak, pecan, and mesquite and try to keep the oven floor around 700+ degrees. I usually burn 1 or 2 to a crisp because 15 or 20 seconds can be the difference between char and charcoal. Lots of distractions... people love to talk about the oven and pizza making.

I have a line of orders all day long...it is really intense. 

   
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: tinroofrusted on July 01, 2011, 12:43:20 PM
Great thread!

I do a one weekend a month market with my mobile WFO and make around 75 pounds of dough for the event. My dough begins with a sourdough starter from local wild mustang grapes (the culture is now 1 year old). I expand the starter beginning on Monday before the event, by Thursday morning I have about 20 pounds of very active starter.

The dough mixing begins on Thursday. I do everything by weight. First, I add the starter, followed by the water...I use this order so I can sorta 'rinse' the container of all the starter, followed by about 80% of the AP flour (have not been able to get 00 at a price or in the quantity I need, so far...but I've had very good results with Central Milling Organic Unbleached AP). I mix the batch for a couple of minutes and then let it autolize for about an hour. Then I knead it with the dough hook (20 quart Univex) for about 5 minutes on low, during which time I add Redmond Real Salt, then add the remaining flour and knead for a few more minutes.

I put the dough on a marble surface covered with wet/damp cloths and start on another batch of dough. When I get to the point of autolizing the next batch, I start making the dough balls from the previous batch.

I try to get the dough balls chilled down ASAP to slow down the fermentation and proofing so the dough is in good condition for both Saturday and Sunday. Since I am working outside in some very severe weather conditions (100 degree temps for several months), it is very tricky working the dough. Sometimes I don't take the dough ball out of the cold before opening them. My work table is so hot that I just place the cold dough ball on the table and it becomes almost instantly workable. The long cold fermentation/proofing along with the natural leavening makes working in adverse conditions more manageable. The oven spring is a thing of beauty. I fire the oven with oak, pecan, and mesquite and try to keep the oven floor around 700+ degrees. I usually burn 1 or 2 to a crisp because 15 or 20 seconds can be the difference between char and charcoal. Lots of distractions... people love to talk about the oven and pizza making.

I have a line of orders all day long...it is really intense. 

   

That's really interesting. I'd love to see some photos of your setup and pizzas.  Where is the market you attend? 

Regards,

Tin Roof
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 02, 2011, 03:22:32 AM
Tonight, around 7:30 PM (Pacific time), I finished making a mass of dough that is hydrated at 48%!!! (I am pushing the limit to see how low I can go.) To get the hydration level as accurate as possible, I refrained from using liquid culture. Instead, I used precisely 0.20 grams of fresh yeast. We shall see the results tomorrow around this time. Good night everyone!

Here are the results! But, first, the objective of this experiment was to examine the outcome of low—but "effective"—hydration. In this experiment, the dough was composed of the following elements:

872 gr. Caputo "Chef's Flour", tipo "00"
418 gr. Water
24 gr. Sea Salt
0.20 gr. Fresh Yeast

The hydration level was at 48%—the lowest hydration I had ever implemented. Every minuscule drop of water mattered! Moreover, the dough went through a state of fermentation/levitation for 22 hours (at controlled room temperature) before I formed her into 5 balls (see picture #1 below), each about 250 to 260 grams. The dough balls rested for 5 hours (see picture #2 below), and then they were drafted, dressed, and baked at about 652 degree Fahrenheit in my $99 modified Sears home gas oven. The pizza, as exhibited below, baked for 3 minutes and 4 seconds. The crust was surprisingly much softer and more flavorful than I had expected; it was soft enough not needing to be sliced by a slicer. Moreover, the crust did not feel burdensome to the stomach. Therefore, briefly put, effective hydration truly animates dough for generation of superior flavor and texture. After all said and done, in my opinion, dough of higher hydration produces better flavor and softer texture. Happy 4th of July everyone!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: selprop on July 02, 2011, 03:43:29 AM
Omid,
Great looking pies,
I am off to Mona Lisa tomorrow, will let you know how I make out

Mark
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on July 02, 2011, 08:10:41 AM
Omid - I wish you had 900 degrees so us woodies could see how this is all working out in the higher heat evironment. Great looking Pies!


Grimaldi,
I am a new Mobile operator as well I would also love to see ome pics of the mobile oven and set upi maybe you could put a few over in Shop talk to Not distacr from this great thread.
Thanks

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: DannyG on July 02, 2011, 09:06:20 AM
Here are the results! But, first, the objective of this experiment was to examine the outcome of low—but "effective"—hydration. In this experiment, the dough was composed of the following elements:

872 gr. Caputo "Chef's Flour", tipo "00"
418 gr. Water
24 gr. Sea Salt
0.20 gr. Fresh Yeast

The hydration level was at 48%—the lowest hydration I had ever implemented. Every minuscule drop of water mattered! Moreover, the dough went through a state of fermentation/levitation for 22 hours (at controlled room temperature) before I formed her into 5 balls (see picture #1 below), each about 250 to 260 grams. The dough balls rested for 5 hours (see picture #2 below), and then they were drafted, dressed, and baked at about 652 degree Fahrenheit in my $99 modified Sears home gas oven. The pizza, as exhibited below, baked for 3 minutes and 4 seconds. The crust was surprisingly much softer and more flavorful than I had expected; it was soft enough not needing to be sliced by a slicer. Moreover, the crust did not feel burdensome to the stomach. Therefore, briefly put, effective hydration truly animates dough for generation of superior flavor and texture. After all said and done, in my opinion, dough of higher hydration produces better flavor and softer texture. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Omid, would you step us through your process preceding the fermentation?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 02, 2011, 09:12:39 AM
That's a nice looking pie Omid.  It shows your versatility with different hydrated doughs. 

I will drop the hydration to 55% (my lowest and 8 pts down from my previous) and see what happens.  I will also be using a not so fresh CY, so it should balance out nicely.  I will report back tomorrow.

Chau

So here are the results of my experiment.   I ended up making 2 doughs, one with a starter and the other with an older CY that was thawed after sitting in the freezer for ~2 months. 

The dough was mixed Thursday near midnight and the plan was to bake around 6pm (18hrs) on Friday night.  There was a change of plan for dinner and we went to a movie afterward so I could not get to the dough till near 11pm.  At 530pm though, the dough made with starter was ready as scheduled, so I had to put both doughs in the cold to slow them down.   When I got to the doughs after 10pm, the one with starter had fermented beyond what I would consider it's prime, and the one with CY was finally ready.

I also opted to bake these in my LBE to see how they would differ from a home oven bake since I had done that earlier. 

I bake the starter dough first b/c it was already risen high.  Both doughs required a bit of effort to stretch them out.  That is too say the didn't open up effortlessly.  These baked for around 2.5m in the LBE.

The starter dough was harder to open, did not puff up as high despite showing a larger starting volume, and the crumb was tougher than the CY pie.   Both of these were 208gm.

I enjoyed doing these experiments for several reasons.  First I would have never thought that I could make a decent pizza with a 55% HR using 00 and living in a desert climate.  I had always assumed that I had to make a higher hydration dough b/c of the dry air here, and I was wrong about that.  Climate does have an effect but can be overcome with a change of technique.   Also I'm getting better at balancing the dough out regardless of the flour (or flour blends), hydration, source of yeast, salt levels, etc.   It was also interesting to see how different the 00 flour handled at extreme ends of hydration 55% vs 68%.  I was able to see the effect of the lower hydration on the finish crust and crumb.  I don't have a need to go lower although I probably could.  I will likely be lowering my current hydration of 68% to about 62-63% next time I bake in the wfo. 

1st pie is the starter pie.  2nd one CY.   

Ciao
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on July 02, 2011, 10:26:44 AM
 omid, those pizzas are absolutely beautiful, we eat with our eyes,mine are craving those pies. please fill in the blanks on your hydration methods,mixing methods ect.you have a bunch of information crazed pizza makers wanting as much information on pizza as we can get.
 tran, your pies are amazing as usual, did you detect flavor differences in the two methods?? what temperature did you cook your pizzas at?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on July 02, 2011, 10:33:45 AM
Thank you Chau and PN for the results they look wonderfully delicious.  PN how did you achieve the cappuccino design on the top of that margarita?  Looks like fancy artwork from Starbucks.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 02, 2011, 01:18:48 PM
Thanks Larry and Gene.   These pies were nothing special for me.   Certainly not compared to some of my better pies.  They were more or less experimental tester pies.  

Larry, the methods were very similar for both pies, only the source of yeast was different.  I use a very mild starter so the flavor was slightly better on the starter pie, but the texture on the CY for this bake was better.  I prefer texture first, then flavor 2nd.  

Then stone temp in the LBE is 650f, and the bake time is 2m30s to 3m.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on July 02, 2011, 01:54:34 PM
Chau,
I'm at 62% and staying put right there. 20-30 min autolyse and a kick ass Diving arm mixer make for some wonderful dough. I  Can't wait to cook em up today all 35!  :chef:
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 02, 2011, 04:26:51 PM
Dear DannyG and Thezaman, every quest begins with a quest-ion! In one of the posts above, I was kindly asked, “Please fill in the blanks on your hydration methods, mixing methods etc. You have a bunch of information crazed pizza makers wanting as much information on pizza as we can get.” Please, forgive me, but doing so would defeat a vital thesis of my opening post in this thread:

● “Recipes and techniques do not make pizzas; they are merely instrumental in the act of creation.”

● “In making dough, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’”

● “Dare to think for yourself.”

● “In learning anything, always aim to understand the underlying principles as opposed to . . . the content [or ‘information’]. . . . if you know the principles, then you can always create your own content [i.e., recipes and techniques].”

● “A recipe is only half of the story! . . . ‘The map is not the territory’.”

● “The pizzaioli, prior to World War I, respected ‘time’ and the virtues of ‘patience’ and ‘excellence’—virtues that require time and reflection in order to be cultivated.”

● “As man works on nature outside himself and changes it, he changes at the same time his own nature.”

● Most important of all, let the Socratic maxim echo through your ears, "True wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing." If one assumes that she or he knows everything, then she or her is not likely to question her or his own assumptions. Question everything; take nothing for granted!


Verily, my posts are primarily about "philosophy" of pizza than making pizza, for I believe it is more important, initially, to learn the principles of making Neapolitan dough first. The word “philosophy” itself may give us a clue as to what kind of distinctive activity we are talking about here. The ancient Greek word φιλοσοφ ί α (philosophia) is linguistically composed of two words: φιλο (philo, meaning “love”, which some say is an ingredient in making pizza) and σοφία (sophia, meaning “wisdom”). Judging purely by the word itself, philosophy seems to imply a “love” that entails “wisdom” as its object, or a “love” in quest for “wisdom”. And, in turn, “wisdom” implies action, activity, or doing something, such as figuring out how to make pizza. (What would be the value of wisdom that is not actuated or is not thrown into the world?) Yet, philosophy is more than that. It is also an activity that entails critical and reflective thinking, and evaluation of the thinking—in, for example, making dough! And, in doing so we may realize that we need to learn how to make love (sophia) all over again and train our eyes for what is most distant! May St. Abate be with you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on July 02, 2011, 05:22:22 PM
omid, i had to ask , i play with recipes all of the time and that is what makes this forum fun . your main points that i am interested in are your hydration and mixing methods. it seem that you get good results with low hydration because of something you are doing to get complete hydration in your dough. i feel that your thread is really good and want to pick up as many little tips as you make available. there are a lot of good pizza makers on this forum and a lot to be learned from all of them.keep your philosophy coming thanks. larry
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 02, 2011, 05:29:24 PM
How did you achieve the cappuccino design on the top of that margarita?  Looks like fancy artwork from Starbucks.

Dear Jet_deck, I really do not know how to answer the question, for I have never consciously thought about! The effect might be due to the chelf’s knife that I use, in addition to how I utilize it. The knife’s blade is exceedingly thin and sharp, slicing a cheese ball without tearing its fabric; hence, I hypothesize that heat radiation bounces off the surface of the cheese slices and creates that particular effect. Nonetheless, when I just crush a cheese ball, either fior di latte or mozzarella di bufala, in my clenched hand and throw it on dough disc, I get the same result. Or, the effect might be due to my oven. Or, it might be simply a matter of my temperament. I really do not know!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 02, 2011, 06:54:46 PM
Alexandre Dumas (1802 - 1870), a French novelist and adventurer, has been instrumental in piecing together the fragmentary history of la vera pizza napoletana. He traveled to Naples in early 1800s (the pre-Margherita epoch), and wrote his experiences in a journal that has been published under the title Le Corricolo, amongst other titles. Alexandre writes,

“. . . Neapolitans are joyous because their desires do not surpass their needs. . . . What is necessary for [them] to eat? A pizza? . . . the nakedness, which we take as pain, is conversely an enjoyment in this climate dressed with the heat of the sun. . . . Pizza is food of the poor. . . . The poor usually eats two things: pizza and cocomero. . . . Cocomero during summer and pizza during winter.” (Translated by A.D.)

Ask, as many pizza historians have, “Why?” A philosopher would formulate the question in this manner: “What was the problem to which winter was a solution?”
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 02, 2011, 07:02:59 PM
Why?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 02, 2011, 07:22:01 PM
In the words of our new friend Omid, my oven made love to some pizza tonight. This dough hydration is 58, but was made only 12 hours ago using a near liquid starter. Cooked at 900 for 50 seconds with a large flame lapping the dome. I may continue to lower the hydration further for the fun of it, seeing the great results Chau and Omid posted.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on July 02, 2011, 07:28:32 PM
john, does the lower hydration dough have the same texture as your higher hydration dough? is it tougher ,if not it seems lower hydration would be much easier to work with. i was always taught to hydrate as much as possible without compromising the gluten structure.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 02, 2011, 07:39:11 PM
john, does the lower hydration dough have the same texture as your higher hydration dough? is it tougher ,if not it seems lower hydration would be much easier to work with. i was always taught to hydrate as much as possible without compromising the gluten structure.

Larry - I would say that it is slightly less tender, but not tough. Although on the next batch I may try the Suas extended autolyse, which is along the lines of what Omid is doing here. Take 80 percent of the flour and water and combine, then let sit for 8-10 hours. Then proceed with the dough. I would assume that restaurant owners, such as yourself, would not have the time or space to "hydrate" dough in order to get a lower hydration. Keeping the hydration up seems like the better scenario. All this is just for the fun of it to prove a point, but the final outcome is the same.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 02, 2011, 07:56:45 PM
It looks like pizza philosophy is a burgeoning field:

http://www.gilttaste.com/stories/658-what-makes-a-pizza-master (http://www.gilttaste.com/stories/658-what-makes-a-pizza-master)

Highly opinionated, not about Neapolitan pies per se, but an enjoyable read. Here's a taste:

Quote
Which all means that the reason the pizzas you make at home suck—have always sucked, will forever suck, no matter how much you paid for your oven and drop on fancy ingredients—is because you don't care enough. Because you have the commitment of a rodeo bar skank and the loyalty of a rented snake. The reason yours suck and the trendy pizzas from the new bar down the street suck and the ones you get from the nose-picking correspondence school drop-outs behind the counter at the place by your old college suck is because none of you have dedicated your life completely to one oven, eight ingredients and one result. Because you have not given up everything and sacrificed everything and spent 10,000 hours doing nothing but making pizzas.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 02, 2011, 07:58:53 PM
In the words of our new friend Omid, my oven made love to some pizza tonight. This dough hydration is 58, but was made only 12 hours ago using a near liquid starter. Cooked at 900 for 50 seconds with a large flame lapping the dome. I may continue to lower the hydration further for the fun of it, seeing the great results Chau and Omid posted.

John

I love it when the cornicione has character and persona!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 02, 2011, 08:00:21 PM
Keeping the hydration up seems like the better scenario. All this is just for the fun of it to prove a point, but the final outcome is the same.

John

John, I love the new look.  That crumb shot is also excellent.  For me the crumb shows how the dough was made love to and your work shows that you are a lover....of pizza.   :-D

Kidding aside, I agree with you John that there is not much a difference in general.  The differences are more dramatic to some if they so choose to see it that way.   At the extreme ends we get a bigger difference in texture.  The difference is between a slight crisp to the veneer that perhaps may keep versus one the disappears quickly or one that is not even there.   The crumb is either slightly more dry with a bit more chew vs somewhere in the middle vs a moist and then bordering wet.   It all depends on how the lover wants to make love that decides how much water he wishes to use.   ;D

Okay I apologize folks, I got a little carried away there.  Okay now it's getting too hot in here!  [goes out for a cigarette...]  JK I don't even smoke.   :-D

This is indeed a good exercise though, as adjustments to the gluten development need to be made.  This forces you to pay more attention to the dough than mixing times or protocols.   It may also require one to change up the method of mixing perhaps.  

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 02, 2011, 08:43:08 PM

Kidding aside, I agree with you John that there is not much a difference in general.  The differences are more dramatic to some if they so choose to see it that way.   At the extreme ends we get a bigger difference in texture.  The difference is between a slight crisp to the veneer that perhaps may keep versus one the disappears quickly or one that is not even there.   The crumb is either slightly more dry with a bit more chew vs somewhere in the middle vs a moist and then bordering wet.   It all depends on how the lover wants to make love that decides how much water he wishes to use.   ;D

I agree completely Chau. It is also interesting to see hydration from Omid's point of view. Before this thread, I never really gave low hydration a second thought - it makes you understand the fundamentals in a more informed way.

Omid - Do the vessels you circled in your pictures have anything to do with fermentation and winter temperatures?

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 02, 2011, 10:22:35 PM
Omid - Do the vessels you circled in your pictures have anything to do with fermentation and winter temperatures?

Dear John, yes, the vessels have to do with fermentation and winter temperatures—but also with effective hydration and summer temperatures, and more!

Notice how deep and thick they are. Also, as far as the pictures of the traditional bakery in modern day Iran goes, notice that the bakers (whom people call "shuter", which is a term of high esteem) in the picture are using the same concept, which they have inherited from their ancient predecessors. (When these shuters walk in the streets, people literally bow down to them as a sign of respect.) In the city of Tehran, where the bakery is located, the outdoor temperature goes beyond 90 degree during the entire summer, and these bakers just are not in habit of using fans or air conditioners indoor! And, the radiation from the gigantic brick oven intensifies the heat inside.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 03, 2011, 02:49:59 AM
Here is the result of tonight's experiment. The dough composition is as follows:

872 gr. Caputo "Chef's Flour", tipo "00"
484 gr. Water (55.50%)
24 gr. Sea Salt
0.20 gr. Fresh Yeast

The hydration level is at 55.50%. (In comparison, last night's dough contained 48% hydration, i.e., 7.50% less.) The only difference between tonight's dough and last night's dough is that the dough last night contained 418 grams of water while tonight's dough contains 484 grams of water. The dough underwent fermentation/levitation for 21 hours (22 hours last night), at controlled room temperature, before I formed her into 5 balls (see picture #1 below), each about 250 to 260 grams. The dough balls rested for 3 hours (5 hours last night) (see picture #2 below), and then they were drafted, dressed, and baked at about 640 (last night about 652) degree Fahrenheit in my $99 modified Sears home gas oven. (If my friend had not complained of starvation so much, I would have let the temperature go up to 750 degree.) The pizza, as exhibited below, baked for 3 minutes and 29 seconds (last night 3 minutes and 4 seconds). The crust's flavor felt slightly lighter in terms of flavor and texture.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 03, 2011, 02:55:58 AM
Below is last night's pizza (48% hydration) to be compared with tonight's pizza above (55.50% hydration).
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on July 03, 2011, 06:53:49 AM
Larry - I would say that it is slightly less tender, but not tough. Although on the next batch I may try the Suas extended autolyse, which is along the lines of what Omid is doing here. Take 80 percent of the flour and water and combine, then let sit for 8-10 hours. Then proceed with the dough. I would assume that restaurant owners, such as yourself, would not have the time or space to "hydrate" dough in order to get a lower hydration. Keeping the hydration up seems like the better scenario. All this is just for the fun of it to prove a point, but the final outcome is the same.

John

John,
First off, brilliant work!  FWIW, my hydration floats between 57-58% & have been extremely successful at that percentage.  Is the Suas method a true autolyse or modified to include yeast and/or starter?

Matt 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2011, 08:40:56 AM
Omid, your pies look so consistent, like copies of each other.  It makes sense that the higher hydrated pies are lighter.  Have you done a 66-68% hydration slow fermented dough? At what point is the hydration too high and the crust and crumb suffers?

Also do you mind posting pictures of the crumb for me?  I like to study the crumb.

The stone ovens that you posted with the floor made from river rocks.  Are the rocks cemented down or are they loose gravel?  Also how is the ash removed and the oven cleaned?  The floor looks so clean in there.  I would imagine all the crevices in the floor are good hiding spots for ash.

Thx,
Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 03, 2011, 10:09:12 AM
Have you done a 66-68% hydration slow fermented dough? At what point is the hydration too high and the crust and crumb suffers?

Chau, for pizzas using 100% Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour, which is what Pizza Napoletana is using, somewhere around the 66% mark is where I think the crust and crumb suffers.

Granted, in the past I have used a broiler technique that was anything but consistent heat (indeed usually a battle to cook a pizza), but I've tried a few batches in the 66% to 70% range with Caputo and am not able to get the airier, "fluffier", crusts I do at my normal rangeo of 60-62% HR.

It very likely could be that I have not made enough 66%+ HR all Caputo 00 Pizzeria doughs to become competent enough nail the crust at that level.

I've never gone down below 58% and I am intrigued to ratchet the HR down and play with that to see what happens. Got the 12" diameter bottom cut of the Weber done yesterday....went through 6 metal cutting disks on a Dremel, lol. Will cut the side vent today (hopefully) and (hopefully) cook some pizzas en la manana.

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 03, 2011, 10:15:44 AM
Omid, attractive looking pizza.  :-*

Color corrected it....lookatdat milky cheese!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on July 03, 2011, 11:54:31 AM
Chau, for pizzas using 100% Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour, which is what Pizza Napoletana is using, somewhere around the 66% mark is where I think the crust and crumb suffers.

Kelly,

I recall seeing hydrations as low as about 50% for a Neapolitan dough although such a hydration would not be common and would perhaps be limited to a weak 00 flour (but, that said, I have seen about 53% hydration for the Caputo Rosso). On the other end of the hydration spectrum, about the highest hydration value that I recall that Marco (pizzanapoletana) used was 67%. However, Marco was/is a master at working with such highly hydrated doughs. Also, he did not use stretch and folds and the like that I can recall. He also did not use the classic autolyse for the authentic Neapolitan, since that was not a method used by the pizzaioli in Naples (the mixing is a continuous activity). Marco used a riposo at the end of the dough making process and a final turn in the mixer bowl (see, for example, Reply 49 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1415.msg15195.html#msg15195). Marco also talked about adding the salt late in the dough preparation process. This is a matter that is addressed in the FAQ section of the Italian pizza forum. That method would be limited to cases where the 00 flour is a strong 00 flour where presumably one does not want to strengthen the dough any more than is achieved by the mixing/kneading itself. The more common approach would be to add the salt up front.

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 03, 2011, 12:04:45 PM
Good links Peter, thanks.

I believe Bill SFNM has had excellent results with high hydration Caputo dough. I know he is at higher elevation in Santa Fe, but he is also very adept at pizza making
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on July 03, 2011, 12:08:16 PM
Omid, what is the temperature of your 'fermented at 22 hours at controlled room temperature' ?  Thanks in advance :chef:

I too would like to see some crumb shots.  Maybe cut a couple pieces with scissors, so we can see what is inside. ::)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 03, 2011, 12:25:06 PM
John,
First off, brilliant work!  FWIW, my hydration floats between 57-58% & have been extremely successful at that percentage.  Is the Suas method a true autolyse or modified to include yeast and/or starter?

Matt 

Thanks Matt - Suas explains it as flour and water only.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 03, 2011, 12:46:38 PM
Good links Peter, thanks.

I believe Bill SFNM has had excellent results with high hydration Caputo dough. I know he is at higher elevation in Santa Fe, but he is also very adept at pizza making

~75% in the batch that is currently fermenting. I keep cranking it up with better and better results. I'm working on the theory based on nothing more than intuition that the amazing lightness of this crust is due to the increased water bound up in the dough being vaporized when the dough it hits the hot WFO deck. I'll try to take some videos of the bake on Tuesday and post in the Tartine pizza thread. 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 04, 2011, 12:10:18 AM
Kelly & Peter.  I am aware that Bill has been making pizza with a 70% hydration using Caputo 00 and a tartine method with reported good results.   He posted several of his efforts at the Tartine pizza thread here.

Reply #57, #121, #141.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12122.40.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12122.40.html)

John (Dellavechia) also posted a 70% 00 caputo pie in reply #102 of the same thread.

I myself have recently made a 68% 00 caputo pizzeria pie with good results.   Picture below...

Similar to Bill & John's protocol, I used a modified Tartine method involving stretch and folds.   As I have posted before, there are likely many different techniques that one can use to develop the gluten as long as he/she knows what to look for in the dough at different stages and knows how to balance the dough out.  

After giving some thought to my own questions, the only limiting factor I can think of is the short bake times of the NP style.   At some point, the bake time would be too short to bake out sufficient moisture and the rim/pie can be raw or have spots of unbaked dough.  This is likely the complaint that some Americans have when eating some NP pizza.   This would be considered a BIG fault in my eyes.  If the pizza is raw or even partially raw, then the hydration is too high.  Either lower the hydration, stretch the pie out thinner, or bake the pizza out a little longer.   To me (and IMHO) this shows the lack of knowledge on the part of the pizzaiolo.  A (partially) raw pizza is inexcusable.

One of the challenges I have seen in working with a really high hydration and a relatively weak flour is that it becomes increasingly harder to develop the gluten.  It is the equivalent of adding a bunch of oil into a NY style dough.   To compensate for such a high hydration, if using a mixer, one would have to increase the kneading time, use rest periods, and/or perhaps do some stretch and folds to build sufficient strength into the dough.  The problem with using a mixer in this scenario is that it becomes increasingly easy to overdevelop the gluten.  The faster the mixer, the smaller the margin for error.

So what happens when you over develop the gluten.  What I have seen is that in a normally hydrated dough, you get a chewy crumb.  Or more chewy than it needs to be.   In a highly hydrated dough that is baked in under 1.5m?  NOTHING.  The quick bake time will actually mask any faults in the dough.  The crust remains wet/moist even after the quick bake that it never shows it's true character.   A look at the crumb will reveal this, but on the teeth, many customers will never know.

This is the same reason that so many claim that you can't or shouldn't bake NP style pies at lower temps.  The reason given is that it gives a tough crumb.  BUT have you guys ever considered why the crumb is tough when baking at lower temps and for a longer time?  I believe it's because the gluten is overdeveloped and the longer bake time has revealed the true character of the dough.

Don't believe me?  How is it that I can make a loaf of bread with 00 flour and bake it at 500F for 40-45m and get a soft crumb?  Not tough, not chewy even after the loaf has cooled. If anyone hasn't made bread with 00 flour using the Tartine method, and wish to have a challenge and learn something new about dough, then you should.  If you underdevelop the gluten, then you will  get a dense bready crumb.  If you develop the gluten properly, then you will get an open soft crumb that remains so after the bread has cooled.  If you overdevelop the gluten (depending on if you hand mix or use a mixer - and I have done both), you can get either a open or tight celled crumb respectively and a slightly tough crumb as the bread cools.

So if the gluten is not overworked or overdeveloped, you can actually cook a NP pizza at lower temps for a longer period b/t 3-4m without getting a tough crumb.  I know this b/c I have done it many times with and without blending flours.  

I would be interested to know if Omid's crumbs are tough or not considering he bakes in the home oven between 2.5m - 3m.  If he is developing the dough properly, which I suspect he is, his crumb should be soft and moist.  

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dmcavanagh on July 04, 2011, 04:25:13 AM
Very interesting read Pizza Napoletana, this sheds some light on the often confusing topic of Caputo flour. In many older writting about Neapolitan pizza, it was suggested that a blend of American all purpose flour and cake flour would yield results close to Italian 00 flour. In recent years and particularly by members of this community, that concept was challenged as being inaccurate. The truth seems to be that Caputo is no longer being true to it's heritage, but has caved in to the pressures of the commercial world and has compromised the flour they produce. The once much lower protein version has been replaced by a higher protein version to meet world demand, and Italian tradition be damned. Thanks again for your post Pizza Napoletana, look forward to hearing more from you and good luck on your job search.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 04, 2011, 07:20:29 AM

After giving some thought to my own questions, the only limiting factor I can think of is the short bake times of the NP style.


Great post Chau - I wonder if the same principles apply to the "cooling" effect of neapolitan pizza, whereby the crust is tender and crispy right out of the oven, but becomes chewy after cooling down. Many people say this is the true test of whether or not you have properly developed your NP dough. I agree, high heat masks a multitude of sins (my own included).

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on July 04, 2011, 02:30:57 PM
John,

I recall that another member made a similar observation about the crust after cooling, as can be seen at Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7770.msg66831.html#msg66831. Out of curiosity, in your case, does the chewiness appear whether you use a natural leavening system or not?

In light of your interest in Michael Suas' work with overnight autolysed dough, you might find the entire Overnight Autolyse thread of interest. It starts at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7770.msg66722.html#msg66722.

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 04, 2011, 02:51:39 PM
John,

I recall that another member made a similar observation about the crust after cooling, as can be seen at Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7770.msg66831.html#msg66831. Out of curiosity, in your case, does the chewiness appear whether you use a natural leavening system or not?

In light of your interest in Michael Suas' work with overnight autolysed dough, you might find the entire Overnight Autolyse thread of interest. It starts at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7770.msg66722.html#msg66722.

Peter

Thank you for the links Peter. I have yet to figure out what scenario causes the chewiness, but it is definitely not all the time. One thing I can say, though, is that it goes away on reheat.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 04, 2011, 03:45:31 PM
Great post Chau - I wonder if the same principles apply to the "cooling" effect of neapolitan pizza, whereby the crust is tender and crispy right out of the oven, but becomes chewy after cooling down. Many people say this is the true test of whether or not you have properly developed your NP dough. I agree, high heat masks a multitude of sins (my own included).

John

John, as most on here know I am so new to the NP style so I really don't know much about it other than what I have read.  It's all mostly a mystery to me.  I wish more of the experts would put their reputation & credibility on the line and share what they know.  

All pizza and bread begin staling to some degree the minute they start to cool, that can be expected.  But it would seem that some do more so than others.  I think the correct gluten development is only one factor.  Obviously acids contributed by using a natural leaven also play a major role on the keeping qualities of bread, which can be translated to pizza crust as well.  

We read of world famous breads that have phenomenal keeping qualities for days on end.  Bread that is nearly as good the 2nd and 3rd day as the first.  Can this be done with pizza crust I wonder?

I can't recall where, but I do vaguely remember reading that if the dough is done properly, the crumb doesn't become tough or chewy after the cool down.  I think it's reasonable to expect the veneer to be initially crisp only to soften as the pie cools, but the crumb should continue to be soft correct?  Can someone in the know confirm or deny this? Have you notice this in your pies?  I'll make an effort to note this on the next bake.  I usually either eat the pie hot and finish it all or eat slices from other hot pies and not revisit the cooled pies to have paid much attention.  

Maybe this is a trivial point and doesn't deserve much attention, but I sure would like to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding NP pizza.  

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: RobynB on July 04, 2011, 04:05:59 PM
Chau,  I can't speak to homemade yet but one of the times we visited Tony's in SF, we had a couple neapolitan slices that we simply could not finish.  I fully expected them to be dried out and awful the next day, but couldn't bring myself to leave them...  I was shocked that the next day, they were still really good, tender and fold-able and relatively moist inside.  His dough is not naturally leavened; I believe he uses CY.  It was definitely different than any NY-style leftover pizza I've ever eaten.   
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 04, 2011, 04:12:56 PM
Chau,  I can't speak to homemade yet but one of the times we visited Tony's in SF, we had a couple neapolitan slices that we simply could not finish.  I fully expected them to be dried out and awful the next day, but couldn't bring myself to leave them...  I was shocked that the next day, they were still really good, tender and fold-able and relatively moist inside.  His dough is not naturally leavened; I believe he uses CY.  It was definitely different than any NY-style leftover pizza I've ever eaten.   

That is good to know Robyn.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the CY itself as well.   Tom explained how (older) CY is able to tenderize the crumb here...at Reply #21

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14060.20 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14060.20)

That aside, I am impress to know that his crust was tender and moist the next day.  Thank you for reporting that. 

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: andreguidon on July 04, 2011, 04:22:38 PM
John, maybe its a mixture of a couple of things.... but i think that the most important step is no stressing the gluten wen slapping the dough open....
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: kiwipete on July 04, 2011, 04:38:29 PM
According to Marco (user pizzanapoletana):

"The difficulty and superiority of real Neapolitan pizza, is the fact that is soft, light and “melting" even when cold. Trust me it is not hard to make crackers or gummy pizza. The difficulty is to make a traditional pizza napoletana. To understand what I am talking about, you have to taste it."

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9301.html#msg9301 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9301.html#msg9301)

In other posts, he cautions against using too much salt (like 60g per litre of water) because that contributes to gumminess.

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 04, 2011, 04:48:01 PM
According to Marco (user pizzanapoletana):

"The difficulty and superiority of real Neapolitan pizza, is the fact that is soft, light and “melting" even when cold. Trust me it is not hard to make crackers or gummy pizza. The difficulty is to make a traditional pizza napoletana. To understand what I am talking about, you have to taste it."

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9301.html#msg9301 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9301.html#msg9301)

In other posts, he cautions against using too much salt (like 60g per litre of water) because that contributes to gumminess.

Peter

I'm with kiwipete and marco on this one. Granted we rarely have pizza that isn't immediately gobbled-up :D, but when there are slices remaining, they remain soft and light if they are not over-baked.  
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 05, 2011, 12:17:27 AM
Omid, your pies look so consistent, like copies of each other.  It makes sense that the higher hydrated pies are lighter.  Have you done a 66-68% hydration slow fermented dough? At what point is the hydration too high and the crust and crumb suffers?

Also do you mind posting pictures of the crumb for me?  I like to study the crumb.

The stone ovens that you posted with the floor made from river rocks.  Are the rocks cemented down or are they loose gravel?  Also how is the ash removed and the oven cleaned?  The floor looks so clean in there.  I would imagine all the crevices in the floor are good hiding spots for ash.

Dear Jackie Tran, yes, I have or used to make dough hydrated at 67% and using slow fermentation, with results that were not pleasing to me, for the crust—even with minimum handling—would be crispy and too thin in terms of flavor. Of course, keep in mind that those pizzas were not baked in a wood-fired brick oven. And, although my cheap gas oven does not burn as hot as a brick oven, it dehydrates dough discs more because of longer bake duration.

In regard to the traditional Iranian brick ovens, the rocks and/or pebbles are loose on the oven floor. However, in the US they have to be fixed to the oven floor if the state law or the health code requires it. These ovens are cleaned every so often by shoveling out all the pebbles and then reloading them inside the oven. Also, there are specialized rakes that can provide temporary relief before completely shoveling out the pebbles. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 05, 2011, 12:23:44 AM
Omid, attractive looking pizza.  :-*

Color corrected it....lookatdat milky cheese!


Dear Pizzablogger, the color-corrected photo is impressive. Thank you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 05, 2011, 12:27:45 AM
Omid, thank you for replying.  I'm a little confused though.  67% hydration left a thin crispy veneer but 55-58% does not even though you baked both pies in the same oven for about the same amount of time?

So it sounds like you are implying that an extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough or that it gives a different result?    Sorry I don't mean to add words to your post, just trying to make sense of them.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 05, 2011, 12:29:53 AM
Omid, what is the temperature of your 'fermented at 22 hours at controlled room temperature' ?  Thanks in advance :chef:

I too would like to see some crumb shots.  Maybe cut a couple pieces with scissors, so we can see what is inside. ::)

Dear Jet_deck, the ambient temperature, for the present climate here in San Diego, is about 64 to 70 degrees for the first 9 hours or so and about 70 to 77 degrees for the rest of the time. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 05, 2011, 12:35:29 AM
I would be interested to know if Omid's crumbs are tough or not considering he bakes in the home oven between 2.5m - 3m.  If he is developing the dough properly, which I suspect he is, his crumb should be soft and moist.

O yes, indeed!—even after all the dehydration in my oven.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 05, 2011, 12:42:34 AM
O yes, indeed!—even after all the dehydration in my oven.

So my theories are correct?  Sweet  8)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 05, 2011, 01:04:57 AM
Please, let me insert some unorthodox thoughts, just thoughts that may or may not be of practical use here:

I think one should keep consciously asking oneself, “What am I really trying to accomplish by increasing or decreasing the hydration level?” Or, "What is the problem to which high, moderate, or low hydration is the answer?" When Michelangelo was commissioned to redesign the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica at Vatican, he was asked by the papal commission as to how high he intended to build the dome. His legendary response was: Not too high to make us hubris before God, and not too low to make us aweless toward Providence. It is interesting that he did not answer the question in terms of quantity of the dome’s height or its architectonics. Instead, he answered it according to his own peculiar character or temperance.

In respect to level of hydration of Neapolitan dough, what is construed as too high and what is construed as too low? While the ancient Neapolitan tradition provides us with a framework in regard to making pizza, does it offer an objective measure of hydration so we all can adhere to? But that would be absurd if, as some aestheticians argue, art is not a realm of objectivity, neither of right or wrong in its total scope. From a classical point of view, art is a matter of imposing form upon formless, not irrationally, for the sake of man finding her or his place. Then, if not an objective measure, is there a temperate criterion, such as the one used by Michelangelo, obviating “hubris” and fostering “awe”?

Whatever criterion a pizzaiolo employs (for example a criterion motivated by the four gastronomical virtues—flavor, sourness, texture, and aroma—peculiar to the Neapolitan crust), I would add to it the inevitable artistic temperance of the pizzaiolo. Ultimately, the pizzaiolo has to be the poet of his own life, including his own pizzas!
 
According to theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg, increasing the accuracy of measurement of one observable quantity (cf. quantity of hydration) increases the uncertainty with which another conjugate quantity may be known. In other words, the more precisely one property is measured, the less precisely the other can be controlled or determined. This principle is knows as “uncertainty principle” in quantum mechanics. Of course, it is meant to be applied to the world of subatomic particles, yet many philosophers, poets, and artists have enthusiastically applied it to the macrocosm. Science is preoccupied with measuring and quantifying physical properties. However, once science rich the un-measurable, then art seem to be a possible resort!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 05, 2011, 10:05:59 PM
So it sounds like you are implying that an extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough or that it gives a different result?

Dear Jackie Tran, yes, that is a sound conclusion: extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 05, 2011, 10:48:51 PM
Dear Jackie Tran, yes, that is a sound conclusion: extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough.

Thanks Omid.  Even if both are divided and balled late in fermentation (close to bake time) ?  On my next bake or 2, I'll do both side by side to see the difference.   Member wheelman recently did this test and he noted a meaningful difference.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.0.html)

Did you add something to that picture above?  And if so what is the significance?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 06, 2011, 12:07:06 AM
Thanks Omid.  Even if both are divided and balled late in fermentation (close to bake time) ?  On my next bake or 2, I'll do both side by side to see the difference.   Member wheelman recently did this test and he noted a meaningful difference.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.0.html)

Did you add something to that picture above?  And if so what is the significance?

Dear Jackie Tran, at this point, I am not sure if I fully understand your question or aim. Going back to your initial concern (i.e., "you are implying that an extended fermentation is not the same as effectively hydrating the dough. . . ?"), I maintain that "effective hydration" (in certain ancient Roman texts referred to as animationem) is different than and should preferably take precedence to "extended fermentation". First hydrate your hair and then shampoo, as opposed to first shampooing your hair and then hydrating it! The hair, first, needs to be made responsive to what shall take place next.

In re Michelangelo's fresco entitled "The Creation of Adam", it is about the myth of creation of "Adam" (in Hebrew אָדָם, meaning "man" or "human"). As illustrated in the fresco, God's right arm is outstretched in order to impart the spark of life from His own finger into that of Adam. So, I placed a piece of dough in Adam's hand so that the finger of God would also animate it into life! This is of metaphoric significance to me.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 06, 2011, 12:47:25 AM
Omid thanks for the explanation of the picture.  It is as loaded as your posts!

I'll see if I can explain my thoughts or aim a bit better.  I understand that effective hydration and prolonged fermentation are 2 separate/different techniques with 2 different goals.  However my original contention is that given enough time during a long fermentation, the dough will become sufficiently hydrated regardless.  I say this because I've noted that during a long fermentation (without proper hydration) the dough becomes noticeable softer and much more fluid.  To the point that a much lower hydration can be used, even without "proper" hydrating first.  When this has happened in the past, I typically do more folds during the late reball to help the dough regain it's strength.  I have an idea that the same dough can be made with varying techniques as long as one knows how to make the adjustments.  It's just a silly idea and I could be wrong, so I'll do some tests to confirm it for myself.  It sounds like you are a believer of both techniques.  Thanks for the help.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 06, 2011, 11:22:58 PM
I understand that effective hydration and prolonged fermentation are 2 separate/different techniques with 2 different goals. However my original contention is that given enough time during a long fermentation, the dough will become sufficiently hydrated regardless.

Dear Jackie Tran, hoping that I have understood your concern, let us briefly consider your assertion, “I understand that effective hydration and prolonged fermentation are 2 separate/different techniques with 2 different goals. However my original contention is that given enough time during a long fermentation, the dough will become sufficiently hydrated regardless.” (I have added the italics to your statements, not knowing if you used “effective hydration” and “sufficient hydration” identically.) My knowledge of chemistry is very limited, but I am going to make a very crude attempt to construct the formulas for (1) chemical reaction of mixing flour and water together on one hand and (2) chemical reaction of mixing flour, water, salt, and lievito madre or yeast together on the other hand. Again, I am not a chemist or flour engineer, but I will try my best.

1. The two principal chemical constituents of wheat flour are starches (about 68% to 76%) and proteins (about 7% to 18%).

2. The starches are a division of “complex carbohydrates” whose molecules are chemically made up of several atoms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen: CXHXOX.

3. The proteins are chemically composed of several atoms of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen: CXHXNXOX.

4. Water molecule, used in hydrating flour, is chemically made up of two atoms of hydrogen and 1 atom of oxygen: H2O.

5. Accordingly, hydration of flour can be represented in the following formula:

CXHXOX + CXHXNXOX + H2O

6. Next, if you skip direct hydration of flour as demonstrated above, and instead opt for "prolonged fermentation" of flour by adding salt (made up of 1 atom of sodium and 1 atom of chloride: NaCl) and lievito madre or yeast (which produces ethanol CH2CHOH, carbon dioxide CO2, lactic acid C3H6O3, and etc.), then you will effectively change the chemistry of the flour-water mixture from this:

CXHXOX + CXHXNXOX + H2O
 
to this:

CXHXOX + CXHXNXOX + H2O + NaCl + culture/yeast + CH2CHOH + CO2 + C3H6O3

The outcome of these two chemical reactions may look the same to the naked eyes, but not to the deliberating mind because of the following pre-suppositions:

1. Addition of salt to the flour-water mixture seems to cause premature rupture of some organic cells within flour. Ingestion of salt molecules by the cells seemingly causes osmotic pressure/stress which prematurely ruptures the cells. Conversely, some other cells may undergo shrinkage because of osmotic pressure/stress or inequality of pressure outside and inside of the cell membranes. And, these reactions seem to interrupt consummate hydration and autolisi of flour. (Have you noticed that after intake of salty food, your body demands to be hydrated by intake of water? Bodily cells become dehydrated because of salt in food.) Further, autolisi is supposed to promote self-digestion by enzymes that are produced within the cells—not premature self-rupture or shrinkage by salt molecules.

2. Addition of lievito madre or yeast to the flour-water mixture generates alcohol that can further interrupt autolytic hydration of the organic cells within flour. (Have you noticed that after intake of alcoholic beverages, your body demands to be hydrated by intake of water due to diuretic reactions? Bodily tissues are dehydrated because of alcohol.)

3. Salt and alcohol are dehydrators. In case of alcohol, it causes what cellular biologists call “dehydration reaction”, which is, if I am not mistaken, deprivation of water molecules from cells for the sake of generating carbonic gases and hydroxyl-carbonic compounds.

Therefore, based on the above presuppositions and the results of my empirical experiments, I tentatively conclude that “extended fermentation”, regardless of the duration of time up to about 24 hours, does not yield the same results as "sufficient hydration" (used identically with “effective hydration” which is as same as autolisi—only in principle, but not in execution) as far as the formation of gluten and texture are concerned. However, if by "sufficiently hydrated" you do not mean "effective hydration", then that is a different issue, and the above argumentation would be probably moot. If by "sufficiently hydrated" you mean the quantity of water, then it would not be identical with "effective hydration", which is a modality or a way of effecting hydration.

You drive me nuts, making me examine my long-cherished beliefs!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 07, 2011, 11:31:50 AM
Wow Omid, thank you for taking the time to write a detailed response.  Thank you for showing the chemical difference in the 2 processes and explaining how they are foundationally different.

In my previous post, I was using sufficient hydration to mean the equivalent of effective hydration.  I was theorizing that long fermentation would achieve the same effect as a long classic autolyse (effective hydration).  At least this is what I think you mean by effective hydration.  If I am mistaken, please correct me on this.   Omid is there a quantitative time that you use for effectivity hydration dough?  Would autolysing with flour and water for say...4-5 hours be considered effectively hydrating the dough?  I will be doing this test so I want to make sure I am following a general standard if there is one.

I will take your word that the 2 don't produce the same or very similar doughs and I'll see for myself in this my next experiment.  In the mean time, a long fermentation still seems to hydrate a dough more than a straight mix dough with no autolyse.  

Last night I made a batch of dough for this Friday's bake.  I dropped my usual hydration by 2% to 66%.  Mixed the flour, water, and salt and allowed it to sit covered for 5hours.   I then mixed the yeast in and noted that the dough was more fluid than my normal 68% (with a 30min modified autolyse).  I kneaded the dough in the usual fashion and then bulked ferment in the fridge till morning, 9p-6a.  I divided and balled in the morning and again noted that the dough was softer and more extensible compared to my usual dough.

Omid, can you speculate what is going on here?  What is causing the dough to soften like this with less water?  Is it enzyme activity, improved hydration of the dough, hygroscopic action of salt, or a combination of the above?

I will also be making dough again tonight and will do 2 batches side by side.
 
Long Classic Autolyse (effective hydration) versus a long fermentation

Batch A (classic AL): water + flour (autolyse 6-8h), then mix in salt and IDY around 10pm, knead as usual, room temp ferment till 6am as usual, divide and ball, proof till bake.
Batch B (long ferm): water, salt, IDY, and flour.  Rest for ~5 hours (modified autolyse), knead as usual around 1015pm, room temp ferment till 6am, divide and ball, proof till bake.  

I will report the results here.

You drive me nuts, making me examine my long-cherished beliefs!

Oh come on Omid, you know you love it!  ;D

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 07, 2011, 03:57:47 PM
Omid, you are using an internet gathered picture of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but you have no idea how right you are.

When I visited the Sistine Chapel and took many pictures of the ceiling, archeologists and artistic forensic specialists had just discovered that some parts of the original ceiling had been cleverly plastered over...concealing the true, original works of Michaelangelo. They were gingerly removing the plaster concealing the original works and I snapped this pic.

Your idea is in fact reality...as clearly shown here.

In the beginning....dough!  :D
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on July 07, 2011, 07:02:17 PM
I remember a resident chemist ( I think red) called NOVEMBER who could probably at a minimum shed some light on Omids theories ? Is he still around?? I do miss his posts.
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 08, 2011, 08:14:38 AM
When I visited the Sistine Chapel and took many pictures of the ceiling, archeologists and artistic forensic specialists had just discovered that some parts of the original ceiling had been cleverly plastered over...concealing the true, original works of Michaelangelo. They were gingerly removing the plaster concealing the original works and I snapped this pic.

Dear Pizzablogger, I remember hearing, on NPR, about the concealment of other allegedly Michelangelo's artwork beneath the frescos. That man was a genius! By the way, that is a much healthier dough ball you placed in Adam's hand, thank you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 08, 2011, 09:41:25 PM
Omid is there a quantitative time that you use for effectivity hydration dough? Would autolysing with flour and water for say...4-5 hours be considered effectively hydrating the dough?

Dear Jackie Tran, you asked, “Omid is there a quantitative time that you use for effectivity hydration dough?”

As a prefatory remark, the chief objective of “effective hydration” (sometimes I like to refer to it as “hylozoic hydration”), not disjunct from quantity of hydration, is to make flour fluid enough (notice the adverb "enough") in order to be animated. As I have used the following analogy before, your hair (cf. flour) would not be responsive enough to shampoo (cf. culture/yeast) if it is not hydrated or fluid enough. Just as we are not able to consume hard, raw pinto beans, I hypothesize, in light of my experiments, that the fermentative micro-organisms within dough tend not to uniformly ferment the dough if it is not effectively hydrated. Un-hydrated flour is of no use to bacteria and/or fungi; the more fluid the particles of flour are the more fluently the micro-organisms can ferment the dough. So, I use this peculiar method of hydration in order to copiously exploit (explicāre, “to bring out the best”) the flour.

In my estimation, which could be erroneous, the timing—not exclusive of temperature—is indispensably critical in carrying out effective hydration, which I view as a musical overture to the opera of fermentation! “Overture” because it significantly sets the mood for the opera to follow. A poor overture can jeopardize a good opera! In regard to timing effective hydration, one should not just haphazardly pick an amount of time, such as 20 minutes or else. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts in this thread, according to Aristotle such natural processes, e.g. hydration, are “rational” (derived from ratiō, "ratio" or "proportion"), meaning that one needs to proportionately ratio-nalize time, temperature, and portions of flour and water in relation to one another. With that in mind, the amount of time depends on the following factors:

1. Strength of flour (stronger flour needs more time),
2. Quantity of water (lesser quantity of water requires more time),
3. Absorbency rate of flour (less absorbent flour needs more time),
4. Temperature of water-flour mixture in relation to ambient temperature (enzymatic reactions need proper temperatures to be activated and maintained),
5. Native moisture of dry flour,
6. The rate at which the starch content of flour is enzymatically converted to sugars,
7. The rate at which the protein content of flour is enzymatically restructured as gluten strands, and
8. Etc.
 
While keeping the above factors in periphery of your mind, employ your senses of sight, smell, and touch as a trustworthy implement to alarm you as to when enough is enough. There is really no set time. When the water-flour mixture is inspired (īnspīrāre, “to breathe in”) enough, it is no longer a mere mélange of water and flour, but quasi-pasta which immanently percolates an implicit pasta-esque aroma, color, and corporeal constitution—that can be learned mainly by repeated trials. Also, make sure to watch the temperature!

If you add a factor to one side of a mathematical equation, then the other side of the equation will suffer if you do not add a counterbalancing factor to it. Likewise, effectively hydrated dough requires less kneading afterwards, for the pasta-esque dough has already generated amino acids or gluten strands that can be over-fortified by superfluous kneading, which can oxidize dough beyond necessity. Therefore, effective hydration not only contributes to the flour being more responsive to cohesive fermentation, but also it reduces oxidation and its unpleasant impacts on dough by reducing the kneading time.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 09, 2011, 05:01:11 AM
Here are the specifications for the two pizzas baked last night (see the pictures below):

916 gr. Caputo "The Chef's Flour", tipo "00"
484 gr. Water
24 gr. Sea Salt
0.10 gr. Fresh Yeast

Effective hydration
Hydration percentage): 52.83%
Fermentation/levitation time: 22+4 hours at controlled room temperature
Dough ball weight: about 250 to 260 grams each
Oven temperature: about 729° F
Bake time: about 2 minutes and 41 seconds for the pizza margherita; about 2 minutes and 53 seconds for the sausage pizza
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 09, 2011, 05:03:31 AM
 See above for specifications.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 09, 2011, 08:37:37 AM
PN, your post about balancing the recipe out actually makes a lot of sense to me.  I can understand and appreciate your hesitation in sharing specific details of your technique here.  I was more or less wanting to see if I was in the ball park or not.   I did the experiment as mentioned above and got some rather suprising results.  I indeed had to make adjustments to the dough along the way to compensate for the effects of hydrating the dough and long fermentation.  

I posted the results of my experiment here at reply #20
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.msg145908.html#msg145908 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.msg145908.html#msg145908)
I was able to see a difference between effective hydration and extended fermentation. 

Thanks for posting those crumb shots, they look perfect to my eyes.  Your level of achievement will give me something to work towards.  

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: DannyG on July 09, 2011, 08:47:58 AM
I would assume, like a sponge soaking up water, that there is a point of maximum saturation where the flour becomes as hydrated as possible and no amount of time beyond that point would make a difference. Would that make sense?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on July 09, 2011, 10:01:15 AM
omid, that dough looks really tender and lite. very nice!!!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 09, 2011, 12:32:08 PM
I would assume, like a sponge soaking up water, that there is a point of maximum saturation where the flour becomes as hydrated as possible and no amount of time beyond that point would make a difference. Would that make sense?

Dear DannyG, it does make sense. I would assume that after the saturation point (the point at which wheat flour, CXHXOX + CXHXNXOX, receives no more of water, H2O) is reached, then the difference would be a matter of chemical reactions that generate alcohol CH2CHOH, carbon dioxide CO2, lactic acid C3H6O3, various sugars, gluten reformation, and etc. The more I study the chemistry of dough, the more I realize how complex and puzzling it is.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 09, 2011, 01:29:45 PM
omid, that dough looks really tender and lite. very nice!!!

Dear thezaman, talking about "tenderness", check out the tenderness of the da Michele pizza featured in the following Youtube video at "1:53" mark:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZntS3Hw2SY

No need for knife and fork!
I can hear the pizza serenading her, "Love me tender, love me true. . . ."
For me, that is the apotheosis of tenderness. This pizza makes me humble!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: randyjohnsonhve on July 09, 2011, 04:12:09 PM
Wow...I believe this encompasses the soul of NP....Have read lots of stuff regarding what it takes to make a great pizza (your understanding of materials, senses, process and simplicity), but Chris Bianco personally told me that that every pizza he makes reflects what he is about as a person(striving for perfection) (my words), and if you want to know what Chris represents, the Rosa mirrors what Chris is about (the epitome or metaphor)...You have shared in a philosophical way, truly what it takes to make an excellent pizza, and I believe have implied that this is a constantly moving target and truly an art form in which your improved skills over time will make you a better pizziolo, striving to, but never to, achieve true perfection...Once again, Wow....RJelli
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 09, 2011, 07:19:32 PM
Pizza Napoletana. Thank you for sharing that link. I've watched a lot of Da Michele videos, but have never seen that one.

The more I watch videos of this place, the more I am convinced it is not to my personal liking.

At 0:55 the pizzamaker literally pummels the skin with what I personally consider to be way, way...and way too much sauce. The pliability of the dough and tender characteristics looks enticing, but that is just a totally soupy mess. To be blunt, the texture of the pizza in the middle with all the sauce and oil running amok almost looks like the consistency of spinach which has been cooked far too long and gets that nearly "phlegmy" texture. It may respresent truly authentic, but that doesn't mean one has to like it.

Understand I completely respect the tradition of Neapolitan pizza, but I also know my personal tastes. To me, for a pizza style that is so focused on the crust, that amount of sauce is pushing a disrespect of the crust, IMO.

The video is interesting in that it gives a close-up shot which shows the left side of the oven....that is a monster ember pile working there!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 10, 2011, 02:06:51 AM
Here are the specifications for the two pizzas baked tonight (see the pictures below):

872 gr. Caputo "The Chef's Flour", tipo "00"
484 gr. Water
24 gr. Sea Salt
0.10 gr. Fresh Yeast

Effective hydration
Hydration percentage: 55.50%
Fermentation/levitation time: 18+3 hours at controlled room temperature
Dough ball weight: about 250 to 260 grams each
Oven temperature: about 711° F
Bake time: about 2 minutes and 34 seconds for the rossa; about 2 minutes and 49 seconds for the bianca
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 10, 2011, 02:12:40 AM
See above for the specifications.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on July 10, 2011, 08:07:11 AM
I also must agree with Pizzablogger on the sauce I realize this is the known as one of the best pizzas in the world But this "Pizza Napoletano" cooked here is more what I am in search of.   Nice fire (flame making love to the oven dome) quick (think it was 60 sec?) and (In my not so trained eye) Beautiful!! as well  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SSvfOsX_s8&feature=related   Dont get me wrong. De Michele will be one of my 1st stops when I make it to the promise land
 now that I can write off the entire trip on Flirting with ire  ;D I am starting to think "when?"
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 10, 2011, 08:31:56 AM
I would assume, like a sponge soaking up water, that there is a point of maximum saturation where the flour becomes as hydrated as possible and no amount of time beyond that point would make a difference. Would that make sense?

It makes perfect sense. You may not want to let the flour and water "hang out" for undetermined amounts of time besides.

One thing to remember is that the activity of the protease enzymes begin when flour and water are combined, regardless of whether yeast is added or not.

So, if you are already utilizing a long fermentation time and added a long autolyse period to your process, you are increasing the amount of time the proteolytic activity occurs over. While the impact of extended gluten degradation may be minimal, it is something you should account for...particularly if employing ambient temperature autolyse and fermentation where the enzyme activity occurs more quickly at these warmer temps (as opposed to retarded fermentations).

All the more reason to pay attention to your senses and what the dough is telling you along the way, as Omid has correctly pointed out. --K
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 10, 2011, 07:05:02 PM
Wow...I believe this encompasses the soul of NP....Have read lots of stuff regarding what it takes to make a great pizza (your understanding of materials, senses, process and simplicity), but Chris Bianco personally told me that that every pizza he makes reflects what he is about as a person(striving for perfection) (my words), and if you want to know what Chris represents, the Rosa mirrors what Chris is about (the epitome or metaphor)...You have shared in a philosophical way, truly what it takes to make an excellent pizza, and I believe have implied that this is a constantly moving target and truly an art form in which your improved skills over time will make you a better pizziolo, striving to, but never to, achieve true perfection...Once again, Wow....RJelli

Dear Randy, I sincerely thank you for your compliments. I hope I have treated the tradition justly. Please, give my regards to Mr. Chris Bianco!

Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 11, 2011, 01:27:56 AM
Tonight's pizza, made by special request for a dear friend!

All the percentages below are by "total weight", not baker's percentage.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
62.68% 866 gr. Caputo "The Chef's Flour", tipo "00"
34.57% 478 gr. Water
2.75%   24 gr.  Sea Salt
1.00%   14 gr.  Lievito Naturale
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
100% Total
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Effective hydration
Fermentation/levitation time: 26+3 hours at controlled room temperature
Dough ball weight: about 250 to 260 grams each
Oven temperature: about 691° F
Bake time: 2 minutes and 39 seconds
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: DannyG on July 11, 2011, 08:27:01 AM
Omid, the baked dough almost looks translucent. What a beautiful pie, I bet it tasted as good as it looks.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 12, 2011, 12:38:43 AM
Omid, the baked dough almost looks translucent. What a beautiful pie, I bet it tasted as good as it looks.

Dear DannyG, I thank you for your compliment! Frankly, I am not keen on pear pizza (fresh oregano, fior di latte, fresh diced Japanese pears, gorgonzola, fresh basil, and fruity olive oil). However, I think it is definitely worth your while to try it, if you have not already. I have noticed that some Californians believe that the pear pizza is of Californian origin. I really doubt it, for the simple balance of the ingredients do not implicate a Californian sensibility! In variance, some others believe that "California Pizza Kitchen" was the original inventor. The first time I had pear pizza was about 14 years ago in Rome, Italy–where the recipe is believed to have had its genesis. Thereafter, about 12 years ago, Trader Joe's (a california food market) commenced to import frozen pear pizzas from Italy. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 12, 2011, 08:01:16 PM
I'm going to have read this a few more times to find something I disagree with. There must be something you got wrong, but I haven't found it yet. Doesn't the Internet exist so that we can show others how wrong they are? How frustrating! Seriously, this is the best description of the beloved pizza of Naples that I have ever read. If you can bake pizzas as well as you write about them, you should open your own joint.

Dear Bill, I believe somewhere in this forum I read that you operate a forcella mixer by "Santos". Until a couple of months ago, I used a forcella mixer made in Iran, but it broke. So, today, my wife surprised me by disclosing that she has electronically purchased for me a Santos Dough Mixer (model #18). If you do not mind, I have several concerns. I am wondering how you like your mixer, and if you have any tips. Already, by watching some videos about the mixer, I have noticed that the fork rotation seems to be faster than I prefer. Moreover, according to the Santos' website, lifting the safety cover automatically stops the mixer. Can the rotation speed be decelerated (hoping that it will not jeopardize the rotation of the mixer bowl)? How about disabling the safety feature of lifting the cover? What is the smallest amount of dough that can be prepared with this mixer? At last, is there a difference between Santos "18" and Santos "18n"? Please, forgive me for asking too many questions! I thank you in advance for your trouble. Good night!

Follow up:
I have added a second picture of Santos mixer below, which I think is the model #18. Notice it has a different base than the first picture, which probably exhibits model #18N.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on July 12, 2011, 08:24:18 PM
Omid,
 I would like your thoughts on  the Bosch mixer and all the threads and praises Jackie Tran Is a big fan as am I and I know Scottr actually prefers the bosch to the point he  sold his Santos mixer. I personally use the diving arm now but all my home mixing is done witha a bosch produces a beautiful high hydration %60-%69 neapolitan dough.
thanks
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 12, 2011, 09:08:42 PM
I would like your thoughts on  the Bosch mixer. . . .

Dear John, I have never operated the Bosch mixer and, unfortunately, do not know anything about it. Please, let me know which model of Bosch mixer you use so I can look it up on the net. And, also, let me know which brand and model of diving arm mixer you own. Thank you!

Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 12, 2011, 09:22:09 PM
Omid - Congrats on your gift! I don't have a Santos, but here is a video of one modified for slower speed and the cover removed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9lU843ATI0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on July 12, 2011, 09:27:13 PM
The person who made that video is a member on this forum. You might want to pm him and see how he did it on his. His username is scpizza http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2823.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 12, 2011, 09:31:51 PM
Omid - Congrats on your gift! I don't have a Santos, but here is a video of one modified for slower speed and the cover removed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9lU843ATI0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

John

Now, that is sublime! Do you know how the two modifications are accomplished? Thank you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 12, 2011, 09:33:18 PM
The person who made that video is a member on this forum. You might want to pm him and see how he did it on his. His username is scpizza http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2823.

God bless your soul!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 12, 2011, 10:22:17 PM
Dear Bill, I believe somewhere in this forum I read that you operate a forcella mixer by "Santos". Until a couple of months ago, I used a forcella mixer made in Iran, but it broke. So, today, my wife surprised me by disclosing that she has electronically purchased for me a Santos Dough Mixer (model #18). If you do not mind, I have several concerns. I am wondering how you like your mixer, and if you have any tips. Already, by watching some videos about the mixer, I have noticed that the fork rotation seems to be faster than I prefer. Moreover, according to the Santos' website, lifting the safety cover automatically stops the mixer. Can the rotation speed be decelerated (hoping that it will not jeopardize the rotation of the mixer bowl)? How about disabling the safety feature of lifting the cover? What is the smallest amount of dough that can be prepared with this mixer? At last, is there a difference between Santos "18" and Santos "18n"? Please, forgive me for asking too many questions! I thank you in advance for your trouble. Good night!

Follow up:
I have added a second picture of Santos mixer below, which I think is the model #18. Notice it has a different base than the first picture, which probably exhibits model #18N.

Congratulations on your new mixer. You clearly have an awesome wife. Mine is the one shown in the top photo. Not sure what the difference is. Some quick answers:

1. It is easy to defeat the safety feature.  I just jammed a piece of wood into the switch and wrapped an elastic velcro band around the stand to hold it in place.

2. As of a few months ago, I have stopped (temporarily?) using it for pizza and baguette dough, preferring the Tartine fold method which allows me to create a more highly hydrated dough - for me a good thing although not a universally held position around this forum. I still use it with great success for my stiffer doughs like bagels, brioche, rye, struan, etc. At some point I'll make up a batch of pizza dough again with the Santos to see how much of the progress I attribute to the Tartine method is an artifact of other decisions or a shift in my preferences.

3. The smaller the batch of dough, the more manual intervention you'll have to do to insure even kneading. My standard batch size is 1250g but I've had no problems with 1000g. Don't think I've tried less.

4. There have been discussions in this forum about ways to slow down the mixer - rheostats, changing motor gears, etc. Not something I ever considered. It is my experience that is very hard to overheat or overknead the dough. However, I am also at 7000 feet above sea level with a lower partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere which could be a factor.

  
 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on July 12, 2011, 10:50:07 PM
Also I don't know if you know this or not but the bowl isn't driven by a motor. From what I've seen in videos and read from posts it's pushed by the dough while it's kneading. The bowl has a tension bolt or screw. Bill would know more about that to explain it for you.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 12, 2011, 10:51:16 PM
Also I don't know if you know this or not but the bowl isn't driven by a motor. From what I've seen in videos and read from posts it's pushed by the dough while it's kneading. The bowl has a tension bolt or screw. Bill would know more about that than more to explain it for you.

Exactly right.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 12, 2011, 11:15:23 PM
Congratulations on your new mixer. You clearly have an awesome wife. Mine is the one shown in the top photo. Not sure what the difference is. Some quick answers:

1. It is easy to defeat the safety feature.  I just jammed a piece of wood into the switch and wrapped an elastic velcro band around the stand to hold it in place.

2. As of a few months ago, I have stopped (temporarily?) using it for pizza and baguette dough, preferring the Tartine fold method which allows me to create a more highly hydrated dough - for me a good thing although not a universally held position around this forum. I still use it with great success for my stiffer doughs like bagels, brioche, rye, struan, etc. At some point I'll make up a batch of pizza dough again with the Santos to see how much of the progress I attribute to the Tartine method is an artifact of other decisions or a shift in my preferences.

3. The smaller the batch of dough, the more manual intervention you'll have to do to insure even kneading. My standard batch size is 1250g but I've had no problems with 1000g. Don't think I've tried less.

4. There have been discussions in this forum about ways to slow down the mixer - rheostats, changing motor gears, etc. Not something I ever considered. It is my experience that is very hard to overheat or overknead the dough. However, I am also at 7000 feet above sea level with a lower partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere which could be a factor.

Dear Bill, I thank you prodigally for all the information.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 12, 2011, 11:17:02 PM
Also I don't know if you know this or not but the bowl isn't driven by a motor. From what I've seen in videos and read from posts it's pushed by the dough while it's kneading. The bowl has a tension bolt or screw. Bill would know more about that to explain it for you.

Dear BrickStoneOve, I thank you for pointing that out.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: shango on July 12, 2011, 11:49:26 PM
Da Michele offers double sauce and double cheese as the ONLY available topping additions.  Truly Napolitan.  Gave me a tummy ache.  Gino Sorbillo and Salvo are the best in my opinion.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 13, 2011, 12:38:05 AM
Da Michele offers double sauce and double cheese as the ONLY available topping additions.  Truly Napolitan.  Gave me a tummy ache.  Gino Sorbillo and Salvo are the best in my opinion.

Dear Shango, I think double cheese and tomato can be burdensome gastronomically speaking.
I invite your attention to the three images hereunder. One form (or "ideal", Platonically speaking, as the source of inspiration), but three representations: da Michele, Sorbillo, and Salvo. There is unity within diversity!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on July 13, 2011, 08:53:00 AM
Salvo's pizza look truely amazing. That's what I would strive for personally. If it tastes half as good as it looks, then....
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 13, 2011, 10:20:27 AM
Salvo's pizza look truely amazing. That's what I would strive for personally. If it tastes half as good as it looks, then....

I agree, it looks perfectly balanced. It is also interesting to see the size of the cheese, with two being "strips" and the other being "dotted". I usually go with larger, ripped chunks. I am assuming the only reason for the size is that the cutting operation is done by machine for such a large volume of product in those restaurants. Thanks for the nice visuals, Omid.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on July 13, 2011, 10:35:36 AM
It is also interesting to see the size of the cheese, with two being "strips" and the other being "dotted". I usually go with larger, ripped chunks. I am assuming the only reason for the size is that the cutting operation is done by machine for such a large volume of product in those restaurants.

This is the prep of the cheese at Salvo and the pie before it goes into the oven.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 13, 2011, 12:58:28 PM
I am assuming the only reason for the size is that the cutting operation is done by machine for such a large volume of product in those restaurants. Thanks for the nice visuals, Omid.
John

John, in some instances you are exactly correct.

Zoom forward to 4:39 of this video and you'll see fior-di-latte being run through a shredding/cutting machine at Da Michele.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott r on July 13, 2011, 02:32:39 PM
Now, that is sublime! Do you know how the two modifications are accomplished? Thank you!

as bill stated, the lifting of the guard is a very simple easy mod, but slowing down the santos is quite the opposite.   I spent months trying to find someone that was qualified to do the mod, and finally gave up.    It involves installing a new motor and a variable speed drive, which is not as easy as you might think because the santos motor is a very unusual size.    Maybe Scpizza can chime in here, but im pretty sure there is a hidden motor frankensteined to the side that was hidden by the curtain in this video.    While the new motor and variable drive only costs around $500, finding someone with the metalworking skills to do this is no easy task, and the custom installation has the potential to be quite costly.   You also end up with a santos that has a hole in it with a motor sticking out of the side.

I hope I am wrong, but I fear that if you are accustomed to using a slower speed fork mixer you may find that the santos is unable to make the same quality dough.   I was happy with mine until I worked at a pizzeria that had an italian fork mixer (moving at half the speed as the unmodded santos).    I ended up doing a bunch of back and forth tests, and was never able to make a dough that was nearly as good with my santos as I was able to make in the italian fork mixer.      You would think that just mixing half as long would get you close, but in my experience that was not the case....even with a long autolyse given to the santos mix.   I ended up realizing that hand mixing was the only way to get a dough as good as what I could make in the full size italian fork mixer.   A close second was the bosch universal plus mixer, but the drawback with that mixer is that it really works best with doughs under about 63% hydration.   The electrolux dlx can also get pretty close, but only works wonders with doughs above 63ish hydrations and requires lots of babysitting.      

If you are able to modify your santos to go at half speed I do think you will end up with the ultimate home mixer for neapolitan style pizza.  
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 13, 2011, 02:52:31 PM
Fantastic post Scott!

Omid - Do you have any opinion on what percentage of salt Da Michele is using since they use the madre method?

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott r on July 13, 2011, 03:14:08 PM
Thanks John!    I know da michelle varies their salt depending on the weather.    Also, they no longer use a starter, a few years ago they went back to bakers yeast.   

Just thinking about this santos thing a little more.   Bills' pies made with his santos at full speed are totally amazing looking, and I wish he was my neighbor !!!!   Im not sure anyone can do much better than what he makes, but some day I hope to see him do a shootout between the santos and hand mixing.  I feel like we were doing the same methods, but clearly he is making some of the finest pies in the US with his santos.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 13, 2011, 04:41:23 PM
.... but clearly he is making some of the finest pies in the US with his santos.

My thoughts exactly when I see many of Bill's pies.

Another level.  :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 13, 2011, 05:01:02 PM
@BrickStoneOven

That picture of all the fior-di-latte balls at Salvo you posted is driving me NUTS.

I literally want to face plant into that pile of mootz!  :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 14, 2011, 01:15:46 AM
Omid - Do you have any opinion on what percentage of salt Da Michele is using since they use the madre method?
John

Dear John, you asked, "Do you have any opinion on what percentage of salt Da Michele is using . . . ?" I have no idea, for there are many ways to skin a cat! But let me quickly ascertain some points that can be extrapolated from the famous Youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pxmIFz5914) and from some other sources:

1. Da Michele, according to the video, uses the tap water of Naples. Having tasted it, I can indecisively conclude that it is hard water, containing high carbonates or mineral salts, over 400 parts per millimeter (PPM). (According to the City of San Diego, San Diego's water has about 229 to 325 PPM, which is one of the highest in the nation.) And, it is said that salts such as magnesium and calcium indurate the gluten in dough.

2. Da Michele, per the video, uses Caputo flour "Pizzeria tipo 00", which contains about 12.5% protein according to Caputo's own data sheet that was disseminated some years ago.
 
3. Da Michele, per the video, utilizes forcella mixer with a low RPM, implying that gluten formation during mechanical kneading is slow and gentle.

4. Da Michele, according to the video, uses pasta madre (i.e., "sourdough"), with the addition of baker's "yeast" during cold season. (An Italian friend of mine conveyed to me the quoted translations.)

5. Judging by the consistency of the dough in the video, Da Michele indubitably hydrates the flour at a high rate, in excess of 58% but probably below 67%. (I could be wrong.) I have personally witnessed their dough balls, during summer, going flat, akin to a pancake, inside the proofing trays. Nevertheless, the dough balls seem to stably hold their composition.

6. Da Michele, as stated in the video and in the Washington Post interview, applies long fermentation (at least 15 hours at room temperature in the cellar below the pizzeria). As seen in the video, fermentation takes place inside a large metal tub placed in the cellar (where the temperature is probably between 71° and 74° F during summer, and lower during winter). In addition, the tub is covered with a large lid that is not transparent to light waves. (Check out on the net the effects of absence of light waves on yeast cells fermenting sugar. There might be, however, no correlation in this case.)

7. Having tasted Da Michele's pizza, the crust usually has an exquisite texture, gentle flavor, and whispering sourness—intimating that the fermentation and levitation are not carried out in an overpowering manner. Also, indicating that the dough's acidic content is low, which in turn insinuates that the cellar's ambient temperature is probably below75° F.

8. At last, an Italian friend of mine, who is a brick oven builder, alleges that Da Michele does not put out the fire in the brick oven when the pizzeria is closed, and that they would not be able to produce the same pizza without the oven, which is well-seasoned and privileged with old age. This is a good point, if true!

So, given the scanty and fragmentary nature of the data above, can we inductively infer how much salt Da Michele uses? Probably over 2% but not exceeding 3.00%. Just a cautious conjecture based on inconclusive and incomplete data! Good luck in replicating Da Michele's dough, and please let me know about the outcome. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 14, 2011, 01:42:16 AM
If you are able to modify your santos to go at half speed I do think you will end up with the ultimate home mixer for neapolitan style pizza.

Dear Scott, I am thankful to you for your time and all the information. I have already talked to an electrical engineer (who used to fix the motors that rotate the blades used by brain surgeons to cut human parietal skull bone), and he told me it should not be difficult to modify the RPM of the Santos, depending on how it is built. However, the gentleman lives in San Fernando Valley, which is about 3 hours away from here. I do not know when I am going to find the time to drive up there. I will keep you up to date!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on July 14, 2011, 09:28:16 AM
6. Da Michele, as stated in the video and in the Washington Post interview, applies long fermentation (at least 15 hours at room temperature in the cellar below the pizzeria). As seen in the video, fermentation takes place inside a large metal tub placed in the cellar (where the temperature is probably between 71° and 74° F during summer, and lower during winter).

Omid,

According to Marco (pizzanapoletana), in a 2005 post at Reply 61 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg12548/topicseen.html#msg12548, the Da Michele dough is fermented at room temperature for 20+ hours and, in the summer, in the cellar at around 22 degrees C, which is around 71.6 degrees F. So your numbers line up with Marco's.

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 14, 2011, 02:53:07 PM
Bills' pies made with his santos at full speed are totally amazing looking, and I wish he was my neighbor !!!!   Im not sure anyone can do much better than what he makes, but some day I hope to see him do a shootout between the santos and hand mixing.  I feel like we were doing the same methods, but clearly he is making some of the finest pies in the US with his santos.

Wow! Thank you. I don't know what to say.  :-[

So I guess it is time for a shootout. Next batch will be a Santos 62% batch vs. a Tartine-fold 70+%, 2-day 60F doughs. Should be interesting.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott r on July 14, 2011, 03:01:38 PM
Dear Scott, I am thankful to you for your time and all the information. I have already talked to an electrical engineer (who used to fix the motors that rotate the blades used by brain surgeons to cut human parietal skull bone), and he told me it should not be difficult to modify the RPM of the Santos, depending on how it is built. However, the gentleman lives in San Fernando Valley, which is about 3 hours away from here. I do not know when I am going to find the time to drive up there. I will keep you up to date!

that is good news.  Unfortunately because of the single phaze capacitor start motor, the experts will tell you that it can not accept any type of speed control, and there is not enough room in there to make larger gears etc.    It is possible to have the motor rewound to three phaze which will allow the use of a variable frequency drive, but the price quotes I was getting for the rewind were in excess of $1000.    Another option is to remove the existing motor and mount one on the side that will accept a variable frequency drive.  The tricky part will be mating the two so that the new motor shaft will fit with the santos internal worm gear.   Good luck!    

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott r on July 14, 2011, 03:04:27 PM
Wow! Thank you. I don't know what to say.  :-[

So I guess it is time for a shootout. Next batch will be a Santos 62% batch vs. a Tartine-fold 70+%, 2-day 60F doughs. Should be interesting.

I love shootouts!   

also maybe do two with the same hydration, one by hand and one santos...... pretty please!!!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott r on July 14, 2011, 03:05:30 PM
oh yeah, im getting tired of keeping secrets......   the da michelle dough is 64.5% hydration  >:D


also, I am pretty sure they have now abandoned using a starter all together.    >:(
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wucactus1 on July 14, 2011, 05:40:50 PM
Share all secrets!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 14, 2011, 06:24:28 PM
Omid - I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experience with Da Michele. Many thanks.

Scott - Thank you as well for your insight.

My first attempt at Da Michele dough was a major failure, but I did learn some things. I guessed 63% hydration from the video, so I was not far off from what Scott said. I also noticed from the video that the dough showed no outward signs of fermentation - even when they go to use the balls there are no little air pockets and it looks a little dense. So I imagined that there was very little fermentation going on from "old dough" and decided on 1% of water for the starter (and a stiff one at that). It did not work out that well. The dough was very soft, but I did not have the forethought of developing the gluten more during stretch and folds to compensate for the low amount of starter. The crust was a bit dense, but did have a super soft texture.

I have some ideas on how to improve the formula, but for now here is a pic of the failed attempt. It tasted fine, though.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 14, 2011, 07:45:12 PM
Omid,

According to Marco (pizzanapoletana), in a 2005 post at Reply 61 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg12548/topicseen.html#msg12548, the Da Michele dough is fermented at room temperature for 20+ hours and, in the summer, in the cellar at around 22 degrees C, which is around 71.6 degrees F. So your numbers line up with Marco's.

Peter

Dear Peter, I thank you for the input! Please, allow me to ask you, who is Marco? Here in this forum, I occasionally encounter his name being mentioned by various members. By the way, I enjoy reading your posts, which I find illuminative and well written. Thank you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 14, 2011, 07:58:17 PM
Omid - I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experience with Da Michele. Many thanks.

Scott - Thank you as well for your insight.

My first attempt at Da Michele dough was a major failure, but I did learn some things. I guessed 63% hydration from the video, so I was not far off from what Scott said. I also noticed from the video that the dough showed no outward signs of fermentation - even when they go to use the balls there are no little air pockets and it looks a little dense. So I imagined that there was very little fermentation going on from "old dough" and decided on 1% of water for the starter (and a stiff one at that). It did not work out that well. The dough was very soft, but I did not have the forethought of developing the gluten more during stretch and folds to compensate for the low amount of starter. The crust was a bit dense, but did have a super soft texture.

I have some ideas on how to improve the formula, but for now here is a pic of the failed attempt. It tasted fine, though.

John

Dear John, thank you for sharing the results. I look forward to your future attempts!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on July 14, 2011, 09:26:47 PM
Please, allow me to ask you, who is Marco? Here in this forum, I occasionally encounter his name being mentioned by various members.

I'm going to make an educated guess and say the first time you tried to make your screen name it didn't let you because it was already taken http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=417. You have the same SN as him. I'll let peter or Scott explain who Marco is since they would be a better job than I would.

To be honest I thought he made the same SN and that you were him... :-D
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on July 14, 2011, 09:32:07 PM
John that pie looks good to me. I was wondering if you could make a different thread with your results on the Da Michele pies so we can all see what you and Chau have up your sleeves.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 14, 2011, 09:35:34 PM
I'm going to make an educated guess and say the first time you tried to make your screen name it didn't let you because it was already taken http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=417. You have the same SN as him. I'll let peter or Scott explain who Marco is since they would be a better job than I would.

To be honest I thought he made the same SN and that you were him... :-D

Dear BrickStone, the system actually gave me no problem in picking the name "Pizza Napoletana" as my screen name. I believe Marco's screen name is "pizzanapoletana", without any space in between. How come no one ever took my screen name before? I guess I am lucky!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on July 14, 2011, 09:51:36 PM
Dear BrickStone, the system actually gave me no problem in picking the name "Pizza Napoletana" as my screen name. I believe Marco's screen name is "pizzanapoletana", without any space in between. How come no one ever took my screen name before? I guess I am lucky!

I thought you tried to make your name the first time without the space and it said that the name was taken. So that's why you put the space in there. But either way it's nice to have you here.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on July 14, 2011, 09:57:13 PM
Please, allow me to ask you, who is Marco? Here in this forum, I occasionally encounter his name being mentioned by various members.

Omid,

Thank you for the compliment.

Marco is Marco Parente, a native of Naples who now lives and works in the UK. I believe his parents still live in Naples (the upper side) so he does visit Naples quite regularly. His contribution to the forum was introducing the members to the authentic Neapolitan pizza style, with an emphasis on the use of natural leavening agents (but not in preferment quantities). His first major post on the forum, in which he set forth his philosophy on the authentic Neapolitan style, was Reply 10 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,861.msg8679.html#msg8679. That philosophy evolved out of intensive research into the Neapolitan style from a technical/scientific and historical standpoint and from active participation in the Neapolitan pizza market where he became intimately familiar with the major Neapolitan pizza operators and their methods and practices. More recently, he has been a consultant to the Neapolitan pizza industry. Some of his clients include Il Pizzaiolo in Pittsburgh, PA (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3167.msg26875.html#msg26875), Bettola in Birmingham, Alabama (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3589.msg30256.html#msg30256) and Franco Manca in London (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6371.0.html). Marco has also been a valuable resource to many of our members on a private basis.

If you read Marco's posts, which I often recommend that members who are serious about the Neapolitan style do, you will see a decidedly purist approach to that style. That approach includes using only 00 flours, natural leavening systems (or fresh yeast as an alternative), sea salt (Sicilian sea salt is his favorite), direct methods for dough preparation, Italian mixers, room temperature fermentations, and very high temperature wood-fired ovens. You wil not see Marco advocate bread making methods such as preferments (such as poolish, bigas, etc.), autolyse, stretch and folds, use of planetary mixers, or cold fermentation. At one point, Marco contemplated putting everything he learned about the Neapolitan style in a book. Unfortunately, that book never came to fruition. But, through cross examination by our members and frequent pesterings, Marco ended up telling and teaching the members a great deal about the authentic Neapolitan style. At times he was cryptic in his writings, because he did not want to reveal matters that he was planning to write about in his book, and some members bristled at his reticence on many occasions, but enough useful information made its way onto the pages of the forum to allow our members to explore and exploit the Neapolitan style. Pretty much everything I learned about that style came from Marco. It also helped that I read all of his posts several times. I am always citing his posts to others so I am always refreshing my knowledge about the Neapolitan style.

One of the things that surprised some of our members who got to meet and know Marco is that when he came onto the forum, back in 2005, he was in his twenties. I believe he is now in his early thirties. I believe that is is also now married with a child. I have been told that he is quite engaging and funny in person. That was not a side of him that we saw on the forum.

Peter


Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 15, 2011, 10:00:14 AM
Omid,

Thank you for the compliment.

Marco is Marco Parente, a native of Naples who now lives and works in the UK. I believe his parents still live in Naples (the upper side) so he does visit Naples quite regularly. His contribution to the forum was introducing the members to the authentic Neapolitan pizza style, with an emphasis on the use of natural leavening agents (but not in preferment quantities). His first major post on the forum, in which he set forth his philosophy on the authentic Neapolitan style, was Reply 10 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,861.msg8679.html#msg8679. That philosophy evolved out of intensive research into the Neapolitan style from a technical/scientific and historical standpoint and from active participation in the Neapolitan pizza market where he became intimately familiar with the major Neapolitan pizza operators and their methods and practices. More recently, he has been a consultant to the Neapolitan pizza industry. Some of his clients include Il Pizzaiolo in Pittsburgh, PA (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3167.msg26875.html#msg26875), Bettola in Birmingham, Alabama (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3589.msg30256.html#msg30256) and Franco Manca in London (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6371.0.html). Marco has also been a valuable resource to many of our members on a private basis.

Peter

Dear Peter, I abundantly thank you for filling me in and for all the great links. Having briefly studied some of his posts, Mr. Marco Parente seems to be a Tory loyalist, defending and promoting the tradition. Interesting character! He does not seem to be active in this forum anymore. Too bad I arrived here too late!

Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on July 15, 2011, 10:06:31 AM
He does not seem to be active in this forum anymore. Too bad I arrived here too late!

Omid,

Marco sometimes reads some of the newer posts on the forum in the Neapolitan board but most of the time it is to respond to PMs that members send him.

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 15, 2011, 10:07:28 AM
I thought you tried to make your name the first time without the space and it said that the name was taken. So that's why you put the space in there. But either way it's nice to have you here.

Dear BrickStone, I never tried formulating my screen name without the space. Regardless, it is indeed great to be here amongst you all! Have a great weekend.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on July 15, 2011, 11:29:46 AM
Omid, It is nice that you are with us. I have learned so much from this forum,there are so many knowledgeable people here both amateur and professional. the professionals respect this forum because they know there are some serious home pizza cooks here.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 16, 2011, 03:58:32 AM
Friday Night's Pizzas:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
100.00% 870 gr.  Caputo "The Chef's Flour", tipo "00"
56.00%  487 gr.   Water
2.75%    24 gr.    Sea Salt
0.011%  0.10 gr.  Fresh Yeast
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Effective hydration
Fermentation/levitation time: 21+4 hours at controlled room temperature
Dough ball weight: about 250 to 260 grams each
Oven temperature: about 639° F
Bake time: 3 minutes & 9 seconds for the rosa; 3 minutes & 14 seconds for the blanca
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 16, 2011, 03:59:32 AM
See above for the specifications.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on July 16, 2011, 09:44:47 AM
Ohmid, is the chefs flour the red bag or blue? Also,do you have any preferences on your tomato sauce,possible favorite tomato and processing method?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Phar Lap on July 16, 2011, 09:55:43 AM
Omid,

Another great looking set of pizzas...nice job!

Since you have been baking your pizzas in your home oven at relatively "mild" temperatures by Neapolitan standards, I was wondering how much better and/or different you think your pizzas would be if you baked them in a wood-fired brick oven at 850-900 degrees for 60-90 seconds, versus your current configuration in your home oven of 625-725 degrees for 2.5-3.5 minutes?  Your pizzas look so consistently good in your home oven set-up, I am really curious as to whether or not there would be a marked difference in your pizzas if they were baked at much higher temperatures in a brick oven.

Also, I have been talking with Giuseppe Crisa at Forno Classico about purchasing one of his Forno Piccolo ovens, and he mentioned that you may be purchasing one of his ovens.  Is that correct?  

Thanks...Adam  
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 16, 2011, 06:50:26 PM
Omid, is the chefs flour the red bag or blue? Also,do you have any preferences on your tomato sauce, possible favorite tomato and processing method?

Dear Thezaman, Caputo's "The Chef's Flour" comes in a red bag, as demonstrated in the picture below. To this day, it is still a mystery to me whether "The Chef's Flour" is a mini version of Caputo's "Pizzeria" flour (blue bag), Caputo's "Rinforzato" flour (red bag), or else. Judging by my personal experience, the "The Chef's Flour" seems to behave somewhat differently than the "Pizzeria" flour. Given the methods I use, I get slightly better results—in terms of flour hydration, dough consistency, and tenderness of crust—using the latter.

In terms of my preference for the brand of canned tomatos, I am limited to what I can find here in San Diego. Overall, I have had satisfactory and consistent results with the "Strianese" brand (whole peeled tomatoes from San Marzano, D.O.P.). However, on rare occasions, they are either too monotonous (with poor bass and treble!), too sweet (too much bass!), or too acidic (too much treble!). Consider a well-consturcted flamenco guitar whose three bass strings (generating crisp notes with depth and great projection) and three treble strings (begetting bright and lyrical notes) are well-balanced and do not overwhelm one another. By analogy, in my opinion, a good can of tomatoes should strike a reciprocal balance between its sweetness (bass) and acidity (treble). In principle, whatever brand of tomatoes I use, I would want it to pay tribute to the monarch—i.e., the crust—by being conducive toward its flavor, without overpowering and condescending its dignity!

In terms of my processing method, it is simple. First, I store the tomato cans (especially for long term storage) in a relatively cool and dry place, like wine bottles always resting on their sides (to minimize the pressure on tomatoes at the bottom of the can, and to evenly distribute the temperature and chemical processes inside the can), as shown in the picture below. (It might be worthwhile to cite that tomato farmers advise us that fresh, non-canned tomatoes stop producing the red color at temperatures below 50° F and above 85° F. In addition, it is said that temperatures below 50° F, such as inside a refrigerator, can cause fresh, non-canned tomatoes to lose flavor. I do not know to what degree these factors apply to canned tomatoes.)

About 1 hour before I begin to prepare pizzas, I open a can of tomatoes, empty its entire content in a glass jar, and let the tomatoes rest and breathe for 30 minutes while greeting the world again! Thereafter, depending on the quality of the tomatoes, I either crush them by hand, or I crush them by utilizing an immersion/hand blender.

The stainless steel blade of the hand blender that I use is deliberately made dull in order not to pulverize and dilute the tomato pulps in the juice, and the blender itself has a rotary RPM control which I set to the slowest speed (the faster the blending speed, the more color and flavor loss), and I use no more than 5 or 6 strokes (each lasting no more than 3 seconds) for 400 grams of tomatoes. I do not add any salt, sugar, herbs, garlic, or oil to the tomato solution. Moreover, to comply with the well-intentioned Neapolitan tradition, I avoid cooking the tomato solution. For the purpose of making Pizza Margherita or Marinara, in my opinion, cooking the solution desecrates the tomatoes and divests them of their freshness, life-affirming color, and solemn flavors. Have an illustrious weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 16, 2011, 09:59:42 PM
Omid, the  1kg Caputo Chef's Flour that you are using is the same flour as the 25kg bags of Caputo Pizzeria flour. So it is indeed the "mini version" of Pizzeria flour (the Chef's Flour is aimed towards retail customers, the blue Pizzeria bag for wholesale)

The Rinforzato flour is a different flour. -k
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 16, 2011, 10:46:09 PM
Omid,

Another great looking set of pizzas...nice job!

Since you have been baking your pizzas in your home oven at relatively "mild" temperatures by Neapolitan standards, I was wondering how much better and/or different you think your pizzas would be if you baked them in a wood-fired brick oven at 850-900 degrees for 60-90 seconds, versus your current configuration in your home oven of 625-725 degrees for 2.5-3.5 minutes?  Your pizzas look so consistently good in your home oven set-up, I am really curious as whether or not there would be a marked difference in your pizzas if they were baked at much higher temperatures in a brick oven.

Also, I have been talking with Giuseppe Crisa at Forno Classico about purchasing one of his Forno Piccolo ovens, and he mentioned that you may be purchasing one of his ovens.  Is that correct?  

Thanks...Adam

Dear Adam, I have actually tried baking my dough in a Ferrara oven that was primed to 996° F. Looking at my data sheet from that episode, which was 3 years ago, my Caputo "pizzeria" dough was effectively hydrated at 55.80%. And, it, pizza Margherita, baked beautifully in 57 seconds, after the dough had fermented (using fresh yeast) for 23 hours and rested as dough balls for 5 hours. Of course, the quality of oven immensely counts as well. The dome and floor of that Ferrara knew how to communicate with one another well! Two or three months later, when I tried the same recipe in a 48-inch wood-fired cement oven burning at 904° F, it scarified the bottom of the crust while the face, with all the toppings on it, was left partially baked! I repeated the same recipe, except this time used 60% hydration. The result was not much different. Of course, I could be misjudging the oven, for the variables are many. In general, for the sake of not developing bad dough-making habits, I think it is a good practice to factor in, at least theoretically, the infernal impacts of a Neapolitan oven when formulating a home dough recipe for pizza napoletana.

In respect to purchasing a  Forno Classico oven, for me it is not a matter of "may", but a matter of "will"! I almost purchased one over a month ago, but given the state of our economy, I decided to wait until my flamenco guitar is sold. In my opinion, building a good oven is not an exact science. Let me, please, compare it with constructing a flamenco guitar. Manuel Reyes of Cordoba, Spain builds the best flamenco guitars in the world. They are priced at over $20,000 each, does not matter used or brand new. If I were to special order one today, he would put my name on a waiting list that will take about 20 years before my turn arrives. He is that busy! A friend of mine, after 5 years of waiting, received his Reyes guitar about 3 years ago. That guitar, in terms of sound, was no better than an average flamenco guitar that you can buy for $3,000 at your local Guitar Center store. Luck matters! Good night.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 16, 2011, 11:14:04 PM
Omid, the  1kg Caputo Chef's Flour that you are using is the same flour as the 25kg bags of Caputo Pizzeria flour. So it is indeed the "mini version" of Pizzeria flour (the Chef's Flour is aimed towards retail customers, the blue Pizzeria bag for wholesale)

The Rinforzato flour is a different flour. -k

Dear Pizzablogger, I thank you for the information. Not long ago, I read somewhere on the net that when Caputo was asked via email which flour "The Chef's Flour" is, Caputo contradicted itself by responding "Pizzeria" to one inquirer and "Rinforzato" to another inquirer. If it is no trouble, please let me know about the virtues of Rinforzato. Thank you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on July 16, 2011, 11:42:34 PM
 Omid, thank you for your input on your pizza sauce. do you find it necessary to  salt the top of  your pizza because of the lack of salt in the sauce?most pizzerias add salt nothing more.  also, thanks for the information on the flour. my distributor has 55 pound bags of red and blue. i always buy the blue, this week i am going to try the red.i can also call the importer to see what the differences are.
 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 17, 2011, 04:49:28 AM
Pizza for Sabbath:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
100.00% 870 gr.  Caputo "The Chef's Flour", tipo "00"
60.00%  522 gr.   Water
2.75%    24 gr.    Sea Salt
0.011%  0.10 gr.  Fresh Yeast
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I used direct mixing (No "effective hydration", for the dough, at 60% hydration, would have run like wildfire!)
Fermentation/levitation time: 20+2 hours at controlled room temperature
Dough ball weight: about 250 to 260 grams each
Oven temperature: about 687° F
Bake time: 2 minutes & 56 seconds
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 17, 2011, 04:51:12 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on July 17, 2011, 08:22:48 AM
Dear Pizzablogger, I thank you for the information. Not long ago, I read somewhere on the net that when Caputo was asked via email which flour "The Chef's Flour" is, Caputo contradicted itself by responding "Pizzeria" to one inquirer and "Rinforzato" to another inquirer. If it is no trouble, please let me know about the virtues of Rinforzato. Thank you!

Omid, this topic has come up on this forum a couple of times over the past few years, with the confirmation that the Chef's Flour and Pizzeria flour are indeed the same flour.

The Rinforzato is very similar to the Pizzeria flour, but among other things is milled a little differently and has a slightly different mineral content which makes it a better candidate for longer, retarded fermentations than pizzeria flour. You can follow along some of this discussion in a recent query I posted:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14175.0.html

Omid, back earlier in this thread, you mentioned that the Caputo Pizzeria flour was not the ideal choice to meet your description of what would make a great example of Pizze Napoletana. I am curious as to why you have not used a different flour in your various bakes that you have been posting photos and details of. Is it because more suitable flours are difficult to obtain in your area, or for some other reason?

Finally, do the Solea brand tomatoes you are using come with salt included (an ingredient listed on the can)? I sometimes do not salt my tomato sauce, depending on how salty the tomatoes in the can already are. Most have some salt included, but some do not.

Interesting is the pH of the tomatoes. I have no idea if canned tomato producers make attempts to balance the pH of their product so that the product is more consistent on a year to year basis. As we all know, tomatoes grown in one year may taste different than tomatoes grown in another year...with weather (particularly the amount of rain around the time the tomatoes are to be picked) being a primary driver in differences. A newer pizzeria in town has cited that they balance out the sauce by helping to ensure the acidity is the same, regardless of year or manufacturer used for the sauce.

From my perspective only, the best tasting tomatoes I have ever tasted come from the Puglia region of Italy. I find the overall quality of the tomatoes from the San Marzano area to be good (with some, like the Miracles of San Gennaro http://www.gustiamo.com/cgi-bin/front_end/prodotto?id=37 , among others, excellent quality indeed), but I feel there is a lot of hype over the tomatoes in general from the San Marzano area and too many manufacturers can a product that is not discernably better than canned tomatoes from outside of San Marzano, or outside of Italy all together.  --K
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on July 17, 2011, 09:33:44 AM
Omid, your pies look great as always!  how would you say the end product differs as a result of not using effective hydration?  Does the 60% mask those differences? thanks,
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 17, 2011, 04:44:29 PM
Omid, your pies look great as always!  how would you say the end product differs as a result of not using effective hydration?  Does the 60% mask those differences? thanks,
bill


Dear bill, the difference between the Margherita (60% hydration & no effective hydration) baked yesterday and the Margherita (56% hydration, using effective hydration) baked the day before yesterday—was quite obtrusive! Let us go over the data:

Yesterday’s Margherita (referred to as “Pizza A” hereinafter):
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
100.00%   870 gr.   Caputo’s Chef Flour
60.00%   522 gr.   Water
2.75%   24 gr.   Sea Salt
0.011%   0.10 gr.   Fresh Yeast
Direct mixing implemented (no effective hydration)
Fermentation time: 20+2 hours at controlled room temperature (66°-76° F)
Oven temperature: about 687° F
Bake time: 2 minutes & 56 seconds
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The day-before-yesterday’s Margherita (referred to as “Pizza B” hereinafter):
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
100.00%   870 gr.   Caputo’s Chef Flour
56.00%   487 gr.   Water
2.75%   24 gr.   Sea Salt
0.011%   0.10 gr.   Fresh Yeas
Effective hydration implemented
Fermentation time: 21+4 hours at controlled room temperature (67°-79° F)
Oven temperature: about 639° F
Bake time: 3 minutes & 9 seconds
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As evinced above, the differences between the two are: (1) the amount of water, (2) modality of hydration, (3) fermentation periods, and (4) the oven temperatures. In addition, the dough for “Pizza A” was kneaded for 15 minutes, whereas the dough for “Pizza B” was kneaded for 9 minutes and 40 seconds.

After all said and done, “Pizza A” had a noticeably much harder crust and cornicione than “Pizza B”. My wife also confirmed this fact. Indeed, the crust of “Pizza A” was crackery in certain areas underskirt. Both crusts enjoyed almost the same flavors, except I did not care to eat the cornicione of “Pizza A” since it was texturally tough. There is no doubt that some of these differences are due to my home gas oven which dehydrates dough during the relatively long bake time; nevertheless, “effective hydration” clearly and indubitably makes a discernible difference and is a practical alternative to using oil in Neapolitan dough if you have no WFO. I cannot wait to get one. I have arranged below six of my pizzas with the following hydration rates:

1. 48% hydration & effective hydration (fresh yeast)
2. 52.83% hydration & effective hydration (fresh yeast)
3. 55% hydration & effective hydration (lievito madre)
4. 55.50% hydration & effective hydration (fresh yeast)
5. 56% hydration & effective hydration (fresh yeast)
6. 60% hydration & NO effective hydration (fresh yeast)

As you can see they all look nearly identical to the naked eyes, regardless of the amount of hydration. Hydration is a tricky business! Have a great day!

Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 17, 2011, 05:30:10 PM
Omid, all your pies look great.  In the 2 recipes you listed, you have the 60% dough with effective hydration and the 56% dough without.  Did you switch them by accident?

Also do you knead to the same consistency each time regardless of effectively hydrating or not?  That is to say, does effectively hydrating dough require less kneading (gluten development)?

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 17, 2011, 05:42:10 PM
Omid, thank you for your input on your pizza sauce. do you find it necessary to  salt the top of  your pizza because of the lack of salt in the sauce?most pizzerias add salt nothing more.  also, thanks for the information on the flour. my distributor has 55 pound bags of red and blue. i always buy the blue, this week i am going to try the red.i can also call the importer to see what the differences are.

Dear Thezaman, you asked, "Do you find it necessary to salt the top of your pizza because of the lack of salt in the sauce?" If the sauce, in relation to the entire pizza, lacks salt, I will sprinkle some on the unbaked pizza as a last ingredient prior to olive oil. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 17, 2011, 07:37:13 PM

Omid, back earlier in this thread, you mentioned that the Caputo Pizzeria flour was not the ideal choice to meet your description of what would make a great example of Pizze Napoletana. I am curious as to why you have not used a different flour in your various bakes that you have been posting photos and details of. Is it because more suitable flours are difficult to obtain in your area, or for some other reason?

Finally, do the Solea brand tomatoes you are using come with salt included (an ingredient listed on the can)?

Dear Pizzablogger, thank you for the information on Caputo flours.

In re my flour preference, I do not have ready and convenient access to quality low-protein flour here in San Diego. Of course, they are abundantly available on the online stores, which I use on rare occasions. So I have settled for Caputo’s “The Chef Flour” which I can buy any day and in any quantity from a local deli here in Little Italy, San Diego. That is about the only quality “00” flour I can get my hands on here in San Diego. There are certain stores in Los Angeles, which is a 2-hour drive from here, that sporadically carry great fine-milled, low-protein flours from Iran (such as Ard Ferdos), Egypt (such as Al Nada), Turkey (such as Osman Ali), and Italy (such as San Felice and variety of Caputo flours). Whenever I feel like driving to Los Angles, I come back as a happy camper!

I do not use the Solea canned tomatoes. I do not even think they are available in the US. The picture I posted yesterday I found it somewhere on the net, and I thought it nicely demonstrates how tomato cans should be stored for long term storage. Have a great day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on July 17, 2011, 09:42:35 PM
Omid-
I thought that I had been following your ideas pretty closely, but I am confused now.  Exactly what is the difference between "effective" hydration and non effective hydration?  I believe you also call non effective hydration "direct dough"  Thank you if you can again explain the difference. :angel: :chef:

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 17, 2011, 09:51:45 PM
Omid, all your pies look great.  In the 2 recipes you listed, you have the 60% dough with effective hydration and the 56% dough without.  Did you switch them by accident?

Also do you knead to the same consistency each time regardless of effectively hydrating or not?  That is to say, does effectively hydrating dough require less kneading (gluten development)?

Chau

Dear Chau, I thank you for the compliments! (By the way, I liked your Youtube video.) And, I thank you for pointing out my mistakes in misidentifying the two recipes. I have already corrected them.

You asked, "Does effectively hydrating dough require less kneading . . . ?" Yes, as I stated earlier in this thread at "Reply 124":

"Effectively hydrated dough requires less kneading afterwards, for the pasta-esque dough has already generated gluten strands that can be over-fortified by superfluous kneading, which can oxidize dough beyond necessity. Therefore, effective hydration not only contributes to the flour being more responsive to cohesive fermentation, but also it reduces oxidation and its unpleasant impacts on dough by reducing the kneading time."

Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 17, 2011, 10:05:57 PM
Omid, thanks for saying you liked my video.  I have done a couple of test regarding effectively hydrating the dough versus a straight mix and have seen the same thing, that a hydrated dough is allows for stronger gluten development and requires less kneading.   

Thanks for pointing out that you had posted that info already.  I get so many things in my mind that I often forget much of what I read unless I do the test(s) for myself.   Don't worry, I may ask you the same question sometime in the near future.   ;)

And thanks for introducing the forum to effective hydration.  That is a technique that I have incorporated into my regular dough routine. 

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: parallei on July 17, 2011, 10:25:49 PM
Quote
I thought that I had been following your ideas pretty closely, but I am confused now.  Exactly what is the difference between "effective" hydration and non effective hydration?  I believe you also call non effective hydration "direct dough"  Thank you if you can again explain the difference.

+1 

For the slow......

Are we just talking a straight mix vs. rest periods, or something new?

Go ahead, give it to me straight.  I can take it (in fifty words or less).
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 17, 2011, 10:26:37 PM
I thought that I had been following your ideas pretty closely, but I am confused now.  Exactly what is the difference between "effective" hydration and non effective hydration?  I believe you also call non effective hydration "direct dough"  Thank you if you can again explain the difference.

Are we just talking a straight mix vs. rest periods, or something new? Go ahead, give it to me straight.  I can take it (in fifty words or less).

Dear Jet_deck and Parallei, according to my understanding, "direct dough", as Jet_deck calls it, is the outcome of sequentially mixing the four basic elements (i.e., water, salt, fermentative agent, and flour) in a particular order without or with intermittent pauses. Further, the "direct dough" method does not utilize bigga, poolish, or the like.

On the other hand, "effective hydration", which can be construed as a subspecies of autolyse, is preoccupied with first hydrating the flour—without inclusion of salt or any fermentative agent—at the right mixture and room temperature and for the right amount of time. Thereafter, the salt and leaven will be added to the hydrated flour and kneading begins. Like the "direct dough", effective hydration does not employ bigga, poolish, or the like. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: parallei on July 17, 2011, 10:32:42 PM
PN,

Thanks!  A good night to you also.....

Parallei
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on July 17, 2011, 10:40:01 PM
Omid,

Your description of effective hydration seems to be the classic description of autolyse. The use of autolyse for the Neapolitan style is not common, although Bill/SFNM used it a few years ago to make a Neapolitan style dough in a food processor, as he described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6322.msg54238/topicseen.html#msg54238. Is what he did in that thread different from what you have been talking about?

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 18, 2011, 01:00:48 AM
Your description of effective hydration seems to be the classic description of autolyse. The use of autolyse for the Neapolitan style is not common, although Bill/SFNM used it a few years ago to make a Neapolitan style dough in a food processor, as he described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6322.msg54238/topicseen.html#msg54238. Is what he did in that thread different from what you have been talking about?

Dear Peter, you asked, “Is what he [Mr. Bill] did in that thread different from what you have been talking about?” Please, let us review his procedure as he set forth in the thread:

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


What may differentiate, not falsify, Mr. Bill’s procedure is as follows:
1. No consideration was given to the temperature of water in relation to the temperature of flour;
2. No consideration was given to the temperature of the mixture in relation to the ambient temperature;
3. The amount of water (“pour in all of the water”) should be a certain ratio in relation to the amount of flour;
4. Although I do not know what the ambient temperature and the temperature of the mixture was and changed to during the period, and although I do not know what kind of flour was used, the amount of time (i.e., 5 + 20 minutes) does not seem rational or proportionate to the dough consistency that should be achieved, under the right temperature, by the end of the time period;
5. I am not sure what the “blade” and its speed might do to the starch granules of the flour. If the blade breaks and/or ruptures the flour's starch granules during mixing, then the amylase may generate a higher percentage of sugars than usual. And, I am not sure of the impact of the blade on the proteins. So, I just do not know how this may change the chemistry of the mixture and its impact on effective hydration.

I admire your passion, resourcefulness, and helpfulness toward all of us members. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on July 18, 2011, 11:06:28 AM
Omid,

Thank you for the explanation. I know that Bill/SFNM has temperature control equipment for controlling the dough temperature during fermentation but I do not know if he controls water temperature to achieve a particular finished dough temperature based on ambient room temperature, flour temperature and the machine used to make his doughs. In his book, The Taste of Bread, Professor Calvel talks about these matters (he gives the formula for calculating water temperature to achieve a desired finished dough temperature) and he also states the desired finished dough temperatures for the various bread dough recipes in the book. I had completely forgotton one of my early experiments using the 00 flour in an autolysis context, but several years ago (2004), I attempted a Neapolitan style dough using autolyse and in which I used cold water to control the finished dough temperature. Like Bill, I also used a food processor, but only the pulse feature. I described my results at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,637.msg5794.html#msg5794. I was one of the early experimenters on the forum with autolyse in the context of pizza dough but there were other members before me who had mentioned autolyse in their posts, going back to 2003. I have been following the subject ever since, trying to learn as much as possible on the subject.

As you perhaps know, the Calvel autolyse method has been twisted and turned into so many different variations, including the amount of flour to be autolysed and the duration of the autolyse. There are also those who add a levain to their autolysed doughs, and even commercial yeast, if the autolyse period is to be short and terminate before the yeast can start to acidify the dough. For some of the mysteries and incarnations of the Calvel autolyse method that I have noted from my reading and research, see Reply 47 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg12126/topicseen.html#msg12126, Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8576.msg74242.html#msg74242, and Reply 45 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg11637/topicseen.html#msg11637.

Since you appear to have a specific regimen for your autolyse (or whatever you prefer to call it), would you mind in a future effort laying out in detail how you make and ferment a particular dough, including the proportion of flour subjected to autolyse, the duration of the autolyse, mix times and machine used, if any, to do the mixing, and the various temperatures that are implicated in your dough? That might be helpful to those who want to understand better what you are doing and possibly to replicate what you are doing.

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 18, 2011, 11:19:36 AM
Omid,

Thank you for the explanation. I know that Bill/SFNM has temperature control equipment for controlling the dough temperature during fermentation but I do not know if he controls water temperature to achieve a particular finished dough temperature based on ambient room temperature, flour temperature and the machine used to make his doughs.

My food processor technique is derived from the book, The Best Bread Ever, by Van Over. He is very particular about flour and water temps before and after kneading. When Cooks Illustrated reviewed the book when it first came out, they stated they had better results ignoring his temperature directives. My own tests confirmed that the effects of temps during mixing, even with rest periods, are minimal compared those of the fermentation environment, especially for 24-48 hour doughs.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on July 18, 2011, 11:35:13 AM
Thanks Omid.  You have mad skills and theories, both of which seem to make perfect sense.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TheDude on July 21, 2011, 12:08:55 AM
Dear Peter, you asked, “Is what he [Mr. Bill] did in that thread different from what you have been talking about?” Please, let us review his procedure as he set forth in the thread:

What may differentiate, not falsify, Mr. Bill’s procedure is as follows:
1. No consideration was given to the temperature of water in relation to the temperature of flour;
2. No consideration was given to the temperature of the mixture in relation to the ambient temperature;
3. The amount of water (“pour in all of the water”) should be a certain ratio in relation to the amount of flour;


Omid,

Can you expand on the above?  What would be the "Ideal" temp ratios...and what temp range are we trying to achieve in the pasta after the mixing process?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 23, 2011, 01:28:17 PM
Can you expand on the above?  What would be the "Ideal" temp ratios...and what temp range are we trying to achieve in the pasta after the mixing process?

Dear TheDude, I will try to answer your questions hopefully sometime this weekend. Thank you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 23, 2011, 01:32:45 PM
Dear colleagues, here are two interesting new Youtube videos from EatItalina.com:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvbYcABI2IA&feature=feedu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEVCrqbfRJ4

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 23, 2011, 01:57:47 PM
Congratulations on your new mixer.

Dear Bill/SFNM, I received my Santos mixer two day ago. It is very different, way different, than my previous fork mixer. It is going to take me a while to understand her language and moods! It seems to have many potentials to be unlocked. This is definitely not an auto-pilot type of mixer when using lower quantities of water and flour. (The mixer's capacity is 4,000 grams or 4 kilos.) As shown in the picture below, at 56% hydration, the dough (about 1500 grams) keeps sticking to the wall of the mixer bowl without human intervention. For now, I am not going to make any attempts to modify the fork's rotation speed until I understand the mixer as it is. I will keep you posted. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: DannyG on July 23, 2011, 02:17:42 PM
Dear colleagues, here is an interesting new Youtube video from EatItalina.com:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvbYcABI2IA&feature=feedu



Can't wait to see the next episode.
Just guessing -
I could see a 20 liter mark on the water but it was short of that, maybe 16 liters (1000 grams/liter)  or 16,000 grams
50 lb bag of flour? 22,680 grams.
Thats about 70% water?
2 to 2-1/2 cups salt?  2-1/2 to 3%?

No apparent autolyse
Mix for no more than 10 minutes. Salt is added a few minutes into the mix.
Take dough out and rest for 1 hour. (direct method) He also mentioned an indirect method which was a double rise.

Am I close?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on July 23, 2011, 02:59:54 PM
I could see a 20 liter mark on the water but it was short of that, maybe 16 liters (1000 grams/liter)  or 16,000 grams
50 lb bag of flour? 22,680 grams.
Thats about 70% water?

If you listen closely at 2:55 he says it's 15 liters of water, so you were close. A bag of caputo is 25kg(55lbs=24,947.58g). So considering if they had 15,000g of water and 24947.58g of flour it would 60.12% hydration. This is probably not always the case though because of the weather like he was saying in the video.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on July 23, 2011, 03:08:51 PM
1) why was the water already "dirty" like it had yeast already in there at 2:56 ?

2)  is this the same Keste that we were talking a bout the flat grown together dough balls in the trays?  But he says to ball them this way by hand so they don't slump?  Or is he just saying that if you don't make them this tight, then you will wind up with a tray of pizza in teglia dough when it finishes proofing?

Thanks for the video, Omid.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 23, 2011, 03:16:13 PM
I could see a 20 liter mark on the water but it was short of that, maybe 16 liters (1000 grams/liter)  or 16,000 grams

Dear Danny, this might help!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 23, 2011, 03:47:38 PM
the dough (about 1500 grams) keeps sticking to the wall of the mixer bowl without human intervention. For now, I am not going to make any attempts to modify the fork's rotation speed until I understand the mixer as it is. I will keep you posted. Have a great weekend!

Congrats on your shiny new toy. You have already found that the fork will push dough out of the way to the side of the bowl if it is rotating too fast. Sometimes I simply use one hand to control the speed of the bowl and the other with a rubber spatula to keep the dough engaged in the fork and using one eye to judge the consistency of the dough and the other eye to watch YouTube videos of Rebecca Black.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott123 on July 23, 2011, 04:08:11 PM
Dear colleagues, here is an interesting new Youtube video from EatItalina.com:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvbYcABI2IA&feature=feedu

Quote
Yeast depends on the temperature inside, depends on humidity on it's other place, how long of fermentation you want to do it at, what kind of fermentation you want to do it- if you want to use the cooler or just use the natural way.

So, every place have a different way of making the dough in Italy. There's no formula, can you use for change that, we change all the day.

No formula for yeast quantities? Where have I heard that before?  ;D
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott123 on July 23, 2011, 04:19:33 PM
1) why was the water already "dirty" like it had yeast already in there at 2:56 ?

I'm about a 30 minute drive south of A Mano and I just poured a glass of water and it was crystal clear (it tastes like a swimming pool, but that's another story). My best guess is that he added the yeast once and then someone said "hey, we need to film that, let's do it again" or perhaps it was a second take.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 23, 2011, 09:42:02 PM
You have already found that the fork will push dough out of the way to the side of the bowl if it is rotating too fast.

Dear Bill, I am beginning to understand or, perhaps I should say, "realize" this mixer's virtues. She is moody and has a peculiar rhythm. The last batch of dough I made with her had a texture to die for, a true pleasure for the hands to touch and hold. Since this afternoon I have been doing nothing but mixing one batch of dough after another. (Almost all my neighbors now have a piece of dough to bake!) As you rightly mentioned earlier, the rotation of the mixer bowl ought to be slowed down manually by use of hands. (I learned to do away with the spatula.) And, as the amount of dough hydration is increased, less intervention is needed. Making dough with this mixer is a task. She makes me sweat; nonetheless, she makes it worth your while with the beautiful texture she endows the dough with. The picture below shows before (the left one) and after (the right one) I learned to touch her!!! I still need to explore her more.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 23, 2011, 10:12:57 PM
Omid:

One important step in my particular regimen using this mixer: after the main mixing phase, I give the dough a riposo for about 20 minutes and then turn on the Santos for a few more turns around the bowl. The difference in texture after this is notable. Whether it matters down the line in the final product is debatable.

FWIW, I have a batch of Santos dough fermenting to be baked tomorrow to verify whether the Tartine method is superior. I'll post results tomorrow in a separate thread.



 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 12:35:20 AM
Below are the pictures of my first Santos-mixer pizzas (56% Hydration):
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 12:36:21 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 12:37:24 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on July 24, 2011, 09:36:06 AM
Geez!!............Beautiful !!....now I'm so hungry for  :pizza:!!



Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on July 24, 2011, 10:47:33 AM
Omid, attractive looking pizza.  :-*

Color corrected it....lookatdat milky cheese!





Piece of art!!


Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Barry on July 24, 2011, 10:53:42 AM
Hi Omid,

If you view the Eat Italiano video again, at about 7:20 , you will notice a "fixed paddle" positioned flat against the side of the rotating bowl, and directly in front of the rotating fork. This seems to scrape the dough away from the sides, and into the arms of the rotating fork.

Your Santos mixer appears to be identical to that used at A Mano, excepting for the "fixed paddle" feature.

Your new dough looks great. I suspect your pizzas would be even better if you could cook them is a 900 deg F wood-fired oven!

Kind regards.

Barry in Cape Town
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 11:58:26 AM
Geez!!............Beautiful !!....now I'm so hungry for  :pizza:!!

Dear Louis, thank you! Have a great day.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 12:31:32 PM
Hi Omid,

If you view the Eat Italiano video again, at about 7:20 , you will notice a "fixed paddle" positioned flat against the side of the rotating bowl, and directly in front of the rotating fork. This seems to scrape the dough away from the sides, and into the arms of the rotating fork.

Your new dough looks great. I suspect your pizzas would be even better if you could cook them is a 900 deg F wood-fired oven!

Dear Barry, I thank you very much for pointing out the horizontal and vertical "paddles" fixed inside the mixer bowl. Soon I will have a customized "Piccolo" wood-fueled brick oven by Guiseppe Crisa (Forno Classico). He had already built me one, which I sold and asked him to build me another one with a slightly lower dome, smaller mouth, and slightly larger floor diameter. I can't wait! Have a great day.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on July 24, 2011, 12:37:58 PM
omid,
those pies look amazing as always. 
did you find any further info on making the Santos run at lower speed? 
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 12:56:28 PM
omid,
those pies look amazing as always.  
did you find any further info on making the Santos run at lower speed?  
bill

Dear Bill, I thank you for the compliment! I have already talked to an electrical engineer who thinks it is probably possible to decrease the RPM. He lives about 2 or 3 hours away from here, and I just have to find some time to drive to him. I will post the results here as soon as I find out. Have a great day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on July 24, 2011, 03:21:09 PM
PN,
I am interested in the fornoclassico. You say you had one and sold it?They do look really nice and ell constructed Giuseppa is an Italian builder/artisan , and  sells  on ebay? I assume  No big overhead probably allows him to be so competitive. Several posts on these ovens here  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14314.0.html and
  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13386.0.html I noticed he posted pics and I asked him about the measurements and he did not reply. Exactly as you have requested the dome looked a little and the opening quite large. My other concern was the clay chimney Pipe, are you changing that or adapting a cover to keep moisture out? Little more room is also nice what size floor? opening and dome hieght are you requesting?
Thanks for sharing.
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 06:32:45 PM
Omid:

One important step in my particular regimen using this mixer: after the main mixing phase, I give the dough a riposo for about 20 minutes and then turn on the Santos for a few more turns around the bowl. The difference in texture after this is notable. Whether it matters down the line in the final product is debatable.

Dear Bill, I thank you for the information. Today, I kept experimenting more with the mixer. The more I use it, the more I like it! My tentative conclusion in regard to operating the mixer handsfree while making a small volume of dough is that one needs to understand her rhythm and accordingly attune the dough—in terms of hydration, temperature, and consistency—to flow with the rhythm, as opposed to working against it. Manual intervention is definitely needed in the outset. However, once the dough is oriented to the mixer's rhythm, then the hands can be retired. I hope this makes sense; it is not easy to explain.

Below is my Youtube link showing how I have tamed my Santos. Have a great night!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axzYfyzKDls
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 24, 2011, 06:47:11 PM
However, once the dough is oriented to the mixer's rhythm, then the hands can be retired. I hope this makes sense; it is not easy to explain.

Perhaps there is a zen-like harmony which includes the rhythm of the mixer, but it has been my experience with smaller batches that "less is more" and that the crust can be a little chewier than I like if I knead it to the "hands-free" stage.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 08:36:35 PM
PN,
I am interested in the fornoclassico. You say you had one and sold it?They do look really nice and ell constructed Giuseppa is an Italian builder/artisan , and  sells  on ebay? I assume  No big overhead probably allows him to be so competitive. Several posts on these ovens here  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14314.0.html and
  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13386.0.html I noticed he posted pics and I asked him about the measurements and he did not reply. Exactly as you have requested the dome looked a little and the opening quite large. My other concern was the clay chimney Pipe, are you changing that or adapting a cover to keep moisture out? Little more room is also nice what size floor? opening and dome hieght are you requesting?
Thanks for sharing.John

Dear John, Giuseppe Crisa's wood-fired brick ovens are all his own designs. (He has more designs than shown on his website http://www.fornoclassico.com/) Having conversed with him on many occasions and having tried his ovens, he is great at what he does. He has a sound rationale underlying his oven designs and features. Since he has immigrated from Italy to the United States as his new home, which is a different market than the one in Southern Italy, he had to come up with a design to meet the popular demand here in America—without compromising the pizza-baking virtues of his ovens, which is his principal priority. For instance, in respect to the size of the oven opening, many Americans like to simultaneously stick an entire turkey and other food items inside their brick ovens; and, if the oven opening is not wide enough, it can be problematic! Nonetheless, the oven is awesome for backyard pizza napoletana—one of the best of its kind.

His "Piccolo" model is small, yet powerful! I do not know of many wood-fired oven builders that use real specialized bricks inside their mini ovens, probably because, as he once told me, building a mini brick oven is more difficult and requires more labor and time. Giuseppe's philosophy goes against cement ovens, which are utilized in many small-sized ovens in the US.

In regard to the clay chimney pipe, Giuseppe sells full-size cover which protects the entire oven from the elements. In terms of the specifications of my oven to be built, I can not remember the measurements, which I had written down somewhere. However, I was thinking that I should go back to his original design. Since I already have had good results using his original piccolo design, I should probably stick to what I already know works! Good night.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on July 24, 2011, 09:18:08 PM
Looks like a great Value indeed
good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 11:44:58 PM
Tonight's Queen (dough prepared with Santos Mixer at 60% Hydration):
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 24, 2011, 11:45:50 PM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 25, 2011, 12:07:05 AM
Omid:

One important step in my particular regimen using this mixer: after the main mixing phase, I give the dough a riposo for about 20 minutes and then turn on the Santos for a few more turns around the bowl. The difference in texture after this is notable.

Dear Bill, you're right on point with the "twenty-minute riposo"! It does make a difference. Next weekend, I will try "autolyse" and "effective hydration". Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 27, 2011, 12:03:20 AM
Here's another outcome of Santos fork mixer, baked tonight:

Hydration: 65%
Mixing Time: 4 minutes
kneading Time: 9 minutes
Fermentation (lievito madre): 15+4 at controlled room temperature 67° - 77°
Home Gas Oven: 695° F
Bake time: 2 minutes & 46 seconds
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 27, 2011, 12:04:04 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 27, 2011, 12:39:05 AM
Omid, the crumb looks a bit over developed to me compared to your KA mixed pies.   Was this the case?  How would you compare the eating qualities of these pies to your previous pies.  Aesthetically, the are just as pretty.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 27, 2011, 01:03:21 AM
Omid, the crumb looks a bit over developed to me compared to your KA mixed pies.

Dear Chau, please let me ask you that, what do you mean by "over developed"? I am still in an experimental phase with the Santos mixer. It is very different than any other mixer I have ever had before. I can form better and more tender crust using my Santos (depending on dough volume) than my wife's Kitchen Aid, but not softer than my previous fork mixer. My pivotal problem is the rotation speed of the Santos' fork, which is fast for making Neapolitan dough. While the mixer gives me a lot of control in making dough, it is not forgiving when it comes to the speed of the fork! Also, this is the first time I am using a lievito madre that is indigenous to San Diego. I should have used fresh yeast for the sake of comparison with my previous pizzas made with Santos and using fresh yeast. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 27, 2011, 09:55:41 AM
Omid - Beautiful pies. I like that you reduced the fermentation time when using the madre to compensate for acidification.

When you mention 4 minutes mixing and 9 minutes kneading, is all that time in the Santos or are you hand kneading for 9 minutes? I do all of my doughs by hand, and if you add up the amount of time my hands are touching the dough, as I do rest/stretch, it might total under a minute. You may well already know this, but you might consider lowering your mix/knead time until you get the Santos speed reduced. Either way, your crumb looks beautifully developed - showing that the Santos produces a stronger gluten structure than your previous postings.

I also have a cultivated local madre, and it produces very good lift with little sourness. How was the sourness level with yours?

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 27, 2011, 10:50:50 AM
Dear Chau, please let me ask you that, what do you mean by "over developed"? I am still in the experimental phase with the Santos mixer. It is very different than any other mixer I have ever had before. I can form better and more tender crust using my Santos than my wife's Kitchen Aid, but not softer than my previous fork mixer. My pivotal problem is the rotation speed of the Santos' fork, which is fast for making Neapolitan dough. While the mixer gives me a lot of control in making dough, it is not forgiving when it comes to the speed of the fork! Also, this is the first time I am using a lievito madre that is indigenous to San Diego. I should have used fresh yeast for the sake of comparison with my previous pizzas made with Santos and using fresh yeast. Good night!

Omid, I meant to say that the crumb looks a bit over mixed because it looks a bit toothy to me.  This is compared to the crumb shot you posted in reply #126.  I often see this in my own pies when I over mix the dough.  This could be a faulty assessment on my part as one crumb shot doesn't necessarily represent the whole pie.  I am very interested in seeing your results when you can do a side by side comparison of the dough and pizza from your Santos vs your KA.

I believe that the difference will be minimal because I believe that your skill level can make up that for any short comings of the KA.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 27, 2011, 11:31:59 PM
When you mention 4 minutes mixing and 9 minutes kneading, is all that time in the Santos or are you hand kneading for 9 minutes? . . . You may well already know this, but you might consider lowering your mix/knead time until you get the Santos speed reduced. Either way, your crumb looks beautifully developed - showing that the Santos produces a stronger gluten structure than your previous postings.

I also have a cultivated local madre, and it produces very good lift with little sourness. How was the sourness level with yours?

Omid, I meant to say that the crumb looks a bit over mixed because it looks a bit toothy to me.

Dear John and Chau, I am still in an experimental stage with the Santos mixer, trying to understand its language. As I am sure you know, every type of mixer has its own moods, tempers, and distinguishing traits. And, to understand the ways of this mixer, I have been doing different experiments, some by using the machine in its default state and some by indirect manipulations. I simply have to figure out exactly what the mixer's fork, as it is and at that angle and speed, does to the dough at different measures of time, hydration, and etc. Indeed, the mixer's fork is more powerful than I initially estimated. And, this mixer is NOT designed for—making low quantity of dough. I am not saying that it is impossible, but it calls for some sacrifices! As I have had mentioned before in this thread, my central problem is the fast RPM of the fork, as far as making Neapolitan dough is the concernment. So far, most of my experiments have proven that point.

For the above-referenced pizza dough, baked last night, I used 1570 grams of "00" flour (75.3° F) and 1021 grams of soft water (69.1° F). By premeditated design, I let the mixer mix the water and flour together until they were only incorporated and nothing beyond. And, that took about 4 minuets. At that point, I let the machine knead the dough—with some interruptions due to my thermometer and timer falling inside the mixer bowl!—until my targeted dough consistency was reached, which took about 9 minutes. As you correctly appraised, the baked dough was not tender enough for Neapolitan pizza. (Of course, my home gas oven is another contributor to this drama.) With that fork speed, I need to change my perception of the dough consistency that I am looking for. Of course, I have had my moments of unexpected surprises with this machine too! As I am looking at my log, I have 18 more experiments to go.

Dear John, in respect to the sourness and quality of the San Diegan bacteria-fungus culture, it seemed average, but I have had better cultures than that. This December, a baker friend of mine is bringing me some culture (khamir torshe barbari) from Iran, which I have used before and which I deem quite worthy of pizza napoletana. It is unusually subtle in sourness and delicately sweet, gentle and steady in its fermentative ability, generous rise, quite distinctively aromatic, and stable. By the way, do you know about the "Camaldoli" and "Ischia" cultures? How would you characterize them as far as making pizza napoletana is concerned? Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 28, 2011, 09:07:53 PM
Below is a link to a short article on Pizzeria Pallone that was featured on "No Reservation" with Anthony Bourdain:

http://www.lucianopignataro.com/articolo.php?pl=4522
http://www.travelchannel.com/Video/perfect-neapolitan-pizza-15494
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on July 28, 2011, 09:12:30 PM
Thank's Omid!

I also like the picture of this one!


Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: shuboyje on July 28, 2011, 10:12:29 PM
holy horizontal flu batman!  I'm shocked that room isn't full of smoke.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: widespreadpizza on July 28, 2011, 10:43:48 PM
Shui,  agreed,  30 degrees max bend allowed here in the states.  That stack looks like it was designed as a drain in reverse direction.  That being said.  I am always amazed at the draw my oven has with a straight &inch ID pipe.  I could actually see that that stack might work once its hot,  but maybe not until then.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 29, 2011, 01:11:57 AM
In respect to Mr. Roberto's (of Pizzeria Kesté) advice to place the toppings on the "face of pizza" as opposed to placing them on the base as the face, please take notice in the Youtube link, below, that the Da Michele pizzaiolo avoids garnishing the base as the face of the dough discs. This modality is clearly manifest at the marks 1:14 to 1:22.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXW4RrZM6h0&feature=related

As I mentioned in another thread, long time ago I was told that the gravitational pull of the earth for hours orients the dough mass in the ball downward toward its base. Hence, the base becomes heavier and denser than the face. And, if the base is used as the garnished face, then the baked dough may experience a minute loss of puff, depending on how the hands manipulate the dough, on the temperature of the oven, and on some other factors. Moreover, since the base seems to be denser than the face, the base might be less susceptible to tears.

Last, I think Mr. Scott123's thought—i.e., "I'm wondering if face positioning plays any role in blister generation"—is cogent. The pizzaiolo (mentioned in my opening article in this thread) that I met at the pizza festival in Naples back in 1989, always treats the base as the base and the face as the blank canvas for the garnishes. And, I have always witnessed the blisters on the cornicione and face of his pizzas, as demonstrated in the pictures of his pizzas that I have re-posted below.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: kiwipete on July 29, 2011, 05:01:40 AM
You can't account for taste, but to me the blisters in the pizzas shown above are too large and too prominent and I would consider them to be close to a defect. I've been to Napoli regularly and always visit the usual places for good pizza (including Da Michele, Salvos and the others), but those would not be to my taste..

Just my 2 cents...
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 29, 2011, 08:20:03 AM
. . . To me the blisters in the pizzas shown above are too large and too prominent and I would consider them to be close to a defect. I've been to Napoli regularly and always visit the usual places for good pizza (including Da Michele, Salvos and the others), but those would not be to my taste..

Dear kiwipete, I thank you for your vantage point. I truly would like to be able to perceive and comprehend your point of view on the issue of the blisters being “too large”, “too prominent” and “close to a defect”. Could you, please, elaborate in detail on the nature of the “defect” or “nearly defective” which renders the referenced pizza as such? What is the standard for the value judgment? I sincerely thank you in advance. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on July 29, 2011, 08:48:24 AM
Da sloppy? and who gets to eat the 1 piece of basil? Is the dough there 100% room temp? I have never been to the promise land and never tried the real deal but from what I have read and understand I believe Da Michelle is one of the best!  correct? Its  Just that if I served that pizza as shown in America at one of my parties I would be asked If I could make one thats not burt. The peolple just dont understand.  One the other other hand Personally I would love to taste the one shown..
So Just in simple terms Base stays down (against the hearth) right? I did 68 pizzas last night in just under 2 hrs. a real record for me! and a huge success! I am  not even sure which way I was doing it up ,down base, face...  just trying to keep, up but I looked at each one out of the oven and did not see any noticable difference. no time for pics believe me but I got a few pre I will post over in FWF thread. I will do a test next time up and down same pizza.
Thank you again.
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on July 29, 2011, 09:06:33 AM
We did close to 500 covers yesterday between lunch & dinner.  With that type of volume it's inevitable that the odd pizza will hit the pass burnt.  Every single pizza is inspected top to bottom prior to being sent out.  If I was working the pass all 3 of those would be redo's.

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on July 29, 2011, 10:23:55 AM
We did close to 500 covers yesterday between lunch & dinner.  With that type of volume it's inevitable that the odd pizza will hit the pass burnt.  Every single pizza is inspected top to bottom prior to being sent out.  If I was working the pass all 3 of those would be redo's.

Matt

Matt, why is it inevitable a defective product will slip through? It it was your place of business, and you received a complaint from a customer, and when you looked into the cause, one of your employees told you "it's inevitable," what would you say to that employee?

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on July 29, 2011, 11:11:58 AM
Matt, why is it inevitable a defective product will slip through? It it was your place of business, and you received a complaint from a customer, and when you looked into the cause, one of your employees told you "it's inevitable," what would you say to that employee?

CL

????  
My point was that anything that slips by the Fornaio is caught at the pass.  My place or not; neither of those 3 pizzas would of made it through the pass.  


Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on July 29, 2011, 11:38:38 AM
Dear kiwipete, I thank you for your vantage point. I truly would like to be able to perceive and comprehend your point of view on the issue of the blisters being “too large”, “too prominent” and “close to a defect”. Could you, please, elaborate in detail on the nature of the “defect” or “nearly defective” which renders the referenced pizza as such? What is the standard for the value judgment? I sincerely thank you in advance. Have a great weekend!

Omid, with all due respect, this is strikes me as more of a red herring than a question. One does not need, and may not even be able to define, a “standard for a value judgment” to make a personal determination that something is not appealing. As Justice Stweart wrote in Jacobellis v. Ohio: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.

I personally agree with kiwipete that the pies in reply 255 are not visually appealing. If I was served the first one, I would send it back. I'm also surprised with the da Michele pie you posted. I agree with John on the basil. I wonder where the cheese is, and I don't find large continuous sections of virtually solid black appealing.

If where you were going is that a particular restaurant should have a standard for value judgment, I agree with you. If a restaurant wants to put out a consistent product that measures up to a certain quality standard, they need to define the standard and train the employees how to evaluate the product to that standard – and everyone does it the same way every time. This could be as simple as pictures or as complex as a written quality standard – whatever makes sense for the particular business.  I’ve been in many restaurants that have reference pictures of acceptable and unacceptable products posted where all the employees can see them.  For a written standard, one might start with “no black bubbles with a diameter >1/2 inch inside the cornice…”

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: foolishpoolish on July 29, 2011, 11:47:32 AM
re: consistency
I've been to Franco Manca in Brixton (where Marco Parente consulted and arranged the installation of their oven) and watched pizzas come out one after another. What struck me was the wildly differing char patterns (some fairly blonde, some spotty, some pretty black-looking).
So even with a top-of-the-line oven and supposedly well-trained pizzaiolos and fornai, you're still apt to get differences from one pie to the next. I think it's the nature of the beast.

What I didn't notice was anyone sending their pies back.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 29, 2011, 02:03:57 PM
Oh oh! I mistakenly deleted whatever I had posted in this spot earlier. Sorry!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on July 29, 2011, 04:06:20 PM
Omid, I respectfully submit that I did think your comment worked to draw away from the central issue as I saw it - personal preference. I don’t think it is a matter of conscious vs. subconscious. I simply think it is difficult to put into words with suitable precision, and the simple fact of the matter is there is no compelling reason to do so unless it is your restaurant and the product being served is a reflection on you and your brand. Then it is critical.

I am speaking only for myself here. If I were to say that I thought something looked defective (this probably would not be my choice of words, but I will continue with it to avoid confusion), I would mean as compared to my personal preference or standard and not to any higher standard or authority. I recognize there are other preferences, and I respect that.  When it comes to pizza, if I was served a pie that I would be disappointed to see come out of my oven, I would consider it defective. You might think the same pie is the most beautiful ever. Praise God. Disagreement makes all both better.

I have nothing against char. It can be absolutely beautiful and is a central part of the flavor and texture balance. Notwithstanding, at a baseline, I think big black blisters in the middle of a pie are a defect. I think when substantially the majority of the curst is covered in big black blisters, it is a defect. I think when the blisters are so big and dense that large sections of the crust appear inedible, it is a defect. I think if I have to scrape them off to eat the pie, it is a defect.

For many Americans, there probably is a bias against charred pizza, but that is a wholly different issue. Here we are talking about a forum of people who enjoy Neapolitan pizza – for many of whom, such as me, it is their favorite style. I have certainly never seen anyone here lay claim to authority on what is or is not defective.

I do think there is a line between charred and burnt – between char and big black blisters. I can’t define it for you, nor would I attempt to impose it on you, but I know it when I see it.  I think we both agree that pizza is much about balance. Would you say the pie in reply 257 is balanced? Is more char than cheese balance?

Here is a picture of pie from Da Michele I took from Jeff Varasano’s website. It is rather different from the one you posted. If neither is “defective,” the range of acceptable variance is rather large, don’t you think?

Thank you again for the kind words on the Acunto. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on July 29, 2011, 04:58:49 PM
Personally !

I prefer the look of the first one , I think the second one
is over the line and would be perfect for someone who asked for it.

If you serve 3 pies like the first one at a table of 4 , the one person that gets
the over chared one would probably be mouth watering on the look of
the other 3 pies that have a balanced look.

I bet both were excellent though!!


Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Moondance on July 29, 2011, 05:53:21 PM
Omid,

I enjoyed very much reading your Philosophy as well as the rest of the thread, which I am trying to get through.  I am new to making pizza but I have found indeed that there is a real wakening of the senses when mixing and handling dough.  I admit I have never had Neapolitan pizza and now I am craving it very much.  Here in the Northwest, there are no pizza establishments where I will likely find it.  My oven goes to 550 degrees but I am trying to get more heat with different stones.  So perhaps I will attempt my own Neapolitan pizza some day. 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: PaulsPizza on July 29, 2011, 07:10:05 PM
OMG
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: PaulsPizza on July 29, 2011, 07:15:38 PM
OMG, are people being serious?  :P
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on July 29, 2011, 08:58:47 PM
OMG, are people being serious?  



OMG = Oh My God !!



Louis Hi ! Hi !
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 29, 2011, 09:18:21 PM
Oh oh! I mistakenly deleted whatever I had posted in this spot earlier. Sorry!

Dear friends, now that I reflect back on our dialogue, I realize it was absurd, not in a bad way! There are certainly cultural and, on top of that, personal differences, none of which are truer or falser than the other. What matters the most is our camaraderie and goodwill, which are worth more than any pizzas—with or without blisters! :-D And, with the glass of wine in my hand, I drink to our health and prosperity, hoping that some day we all can gather at Craig's Neapolitan garage and have a taste of his Acunto oven. Salute!  
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on July 29, 2011, 09:25:33 PM
 Salute.  To open dialogue, opinions and good pizza just the way you like it. :chef:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on July 29, 2011, 09:30:53 PM
Dear friends, now that I reflect back on our dialogue, I realize it was absurd, not in a bad way! There are certainly cultural and, on top of that, personal differences, none of which are truer or falser than the other. What matters the most is our camaraderie and goodwill, which are worth more than any pizza—with or without blisters! :-D And, with the glass of wine in my hand, I drink to our health and prosperity, hoping that some day we all can gather at Craig's Neapolitan garage and have a taste of his Acunto oven. Salute!   

Omid!!.........you are a true Gentleman !!  :angel:

If more men would be Peace-minded like you are,war would be over !!


Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on July 29, 2011, 09:32:50 PM
And, with the glass of wine in my hand, I drink to our health and prosperity, hoping that some day we all can gather at Craig's Neapolitan garage and have a taste of his Acunto oven. Salute!   

It would be my honor!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on July 29, 2011, 09:38:13 PM
It would be my honor!

Geez!!.. I hate when friendly Historical gatherings are happening
far from where I live!!  :(


Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on July 29, 2011, 10:43:56 PM
So someday we will share the experience of tasting each others pizzas much in the same way we currently enjoying seeing photos of our efforts - from the comfort of our own home computers. Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to Taste-O-Vision (patent pending). Instead of the camera that digitizes reflected light and video displays that pump that data back into light into the eyes of anyone in the world, imagine a box that simulates the mouth and nose. Put a slice of pizza in the Taste-O-Vision and it creates an industry-standard file that represents the eating experience - tastes, textures, smells. That file can be transmitted anywhere into a device that you place into your own mouth and ..... well, our crack engineers are still working on this.

Seriously, odor simulators (remember Smell-O-Vision?) do exist and they are currently limited to a small percentage of the tons of smells that comprise the human experience. Taste might be a little easier since, in theory, all tastes are a combination of a relatively small number of components (salt, sweet, sour, etc.). Texture is mechanical and should be easily simulated.

So just as cameras and displays have dramatically improved over the years to the point that we easily accept them as substitutes for natural vision in many activities, someday the resolution of the Taste-O-Vision components may be useful for our forum. Imagine downloading a pizza from Da Michele or Keste!

This is just my way of wrapping my brain around the difficulty we face here, limited by our relatively primitive technology for communicating with each other about the beauty of food. Pizza is not words. Pizza is not pixels - well for a few moments before it enters our mouths it is light. The meager tools we have - words and pretty photos - are entertaining and educational, but they really do fail us when it comes to making judgements from afar.

So, you can pre-order my Taste-O-Vision from Amazon, but until it hits the streets, see you in Craig's garage!
  
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Tscarborough on July 29, 2011, 10:54:45 PM
Salute!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: RobynB on July 30, 2011, 12:33:53 AM
The references to Craig's garage have me wondering:  I'm trying to decide if, in our cult of pizza, "The Place Where The Acunto Dwells" would more accurately be a temple or heaven itself.  It is a place of worship, but also the place to which we aspire to go....  :-D
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 30, 2011, 04:01:17 AM
Another outcome of Santos fork mixer, baked Friday night:

Hydration: 57.50%
Flour: Caputo Pizzeria
Total dough wight: 2505 grams
Mechanical mixing time: 2 minutes
Mechanical kneading Time: 9 minutes
Fermentation (fresh yeast): 19+5 at controlled room temperature 67° - 75°
Home Gas Oven: 640° F
Bake time: about 3 minutes & 30 seconds each
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 30, 2011, 04:04:51 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wucactus1 on July 30, 2011, 07:51:37 AM
I have been lurking for the last 15 pages.  Reading, contemplating, wanting to type something, but not doing so.  Ever since your first photo post I have been wanting to ask you a question, Why not get your oven hotter?  You seem to admire the Neopolitan tradition very much, but you are producing pies that imo, at least visually, are very far from the mark.  Has this ever crossed your mind?  It is obvious you have a great understanding of what you are doing, but your pizzas atleast those you have posted, visually are not representing that.  I seems as though you are getting a wfo soon(or already have one?), but the home oven should not be an obstacle there are ways around it.  Turn the heat up char the rims and get rid of the blondie pies...Your Cornicone is begging you to do so.  The higher heat and short times will rid the crumb of "tooth" and dryness and bring out the best in caputo 00.  If you are going to keep with these temps I suggest adding some bf or hg flour, the malt will add color unless this is what you prefer and if so by all means ignore all I just wrote.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on July 30, 2011, 10:39:03 AM
Wu - you may have missed earlier posts on page 2 that reference his modified sears oven and temps of over 800 degrees. And I respect Omid's considerable knowledge is this style of pizza making.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on July 30, 2011, 04:11:47 PM
Dear Scott, I am thankful to you for your time and all the information. I have already talked to an electrical engineer (who used to fix the motors that rotate the blades used by brain surgeons to cut human parietal skull bone), and he told me it should not be difficult to modify the RPM of the Santos, depending on how it is built. However, the gentleman lives in San Fernando Valley, which is about 3 hours away from here. I do not know when I am going to find the time to drive up there. I will keep you up to date!

Dear Omid !

I've sent a question to Santos to ask them if they would have one day a mixer
with a lower speed option and they ansered my email today in french so
here is the english translation,
oh! by the way ,he think's I'm a professionnal which I'm not.
He is waiting for an answer or suggestions,very nice of him.

Louis

.....................................................................................


Hello,
  
Are you talking about our mixer No. 18, with a capacity of 4 to 5 kg for making hard dough?

This device is very popular in Europe, and we have no complaints.

In North American zone, the speed is actually 20% higher due to the 60Hz frequency, but for most users the operation is perfect.

We understand that you are an expert, and we actually had some people in the past  who wanted a lower speeds.

I find it difficult to suggest a 50Hz supply, I think it's impossible.
  

We know of one successful experiment by adding a frequency, but it is very expensive, and it must be a specialist in electrical engineering.

We had considered making a never ending gear wheel  "specific USA" to reduce speed, but we should achieve minimum volumes to consider concrete, and then does it just drop the rate of 20%, or does it go beyond (30%?)?

We had thought about doing a new 2-speed mixer, but this would increase the price of the product drastically reduce its legendary reliability and ...  

  
Stay in touch and think about a solution.
  

Sincerely
  

Mr. Nicolas Fouquet

SANTOS - Technical Director and Development - Managing Director

Tel: 04 72 37 35 29 - Fax: 04 78 26 58 21

www.santos.fr


Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 30, 2011, 05:10:23 PM
I have been lurking for the last 15 pages.  Reading, contemplating, wanting to type something, but not doing so.  Ever since your first photo post I have been wanting to ask you a question, Why not get your oven hotter?  You seem to admire the Neopolitan tradition very much, but you are producing pies that imo, at least visually, are very far from the mark.  Has this ever crossed your mind?  It is obvious you have a great understanding of what you are doing, but your pizzas atleast those you have posted, visually are not representing that.  I seems as though you are getting a wfo soon(or already have one?), but the home oven should not be an obstacle there are ways around it.  Turn the heat up char the rims and get rid of the blondie pies...Your Cornicone is begging you to do so.  The higher heat and short times will rid the crumb of "tooth" and dryness and bring out the best in caputo 00.  If you are going to keep with these temps I suggest adding some bf or hg flour, the malt will add color unless this is what you prefer and if so by all means ignore all I just wrote.

Dear Wucactus1, you impatiently asked me, "Why not get your oven hotter?" O dear, do you know what kind of oven I have? Please, allow me to relate to you the story of my oven, which won't be as interesting as dear Craig's Acunto oven! (I envy him!) My humble home gas oven was purchased at Sears Essentials for only $99.00, plus tax. It is equipped with no cleaning cycle, no electric pilots, no timer . . . just the bare bones. I remember that after the purchase, the oven was so light that I, single-handely and effortlessly, picked it up at the store and walked to my car. A large bag of Caputo Pizzeria flour is probably heavier than my oven!

I used the oven in its default state for baking the first pizza that ever entered its chamber. Before baking the pizza, I let the oven run continuously for 2 hours, after which my infrared thermometer gave me a reading of a little below 500° F on my pizza stone! Nonetheless, I let the test pizza (made with Caputo Pizzeria and medium hydration) honor the oven with its presence. After over 4 minutes of baking, the pizza did not look whole lot different than when it entered the oven! (See the picture below.) At that point, I knew what I was up against. I had done this kind of thing before, you know!

Upon closer inspection of the inside of the oven, I noticed several one-inch round holes, besides the large oval exhaust hole, on the thin metal walls, where heat could easily escape, not to mention that the oven floor below the broiler was open, like 7-11, to the outside world! The seals around the oven door were ineffectual and flimsy. In fact, they broke after a month of using the oven. To make a long story short, it took me about 3 weeks of experiments to make the oven work the way it does today.

Under the present circumstances and after all the modifications (which I do not recommend to anyone at all), this humble gas oven can go as high as 750° F after 3.5 hours of running non-stop. (You should see my gas bills!) After baking a first pizza in it, the temperature will depreciate to about 640° F or less. And, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to build up heat back to 750° F. Of course, I can build up heat, as I have done before, up to 880° F or slightly beyond, but that would require modifications that are totally unsafe. I could get into more details about the limitations of my $99 gas oven, but I think this much should suffice in satisfying your concern.

It is a miracle that I can do this much with this oven, and I should have no complaints. I enjoy some of the Biblical myths or legends built around the character of Jesus of the Cross. According to one of them, a poor man went to Jesus and complained: "I have no shoes; I can't walk." Next, another man crawled over to Jesus and voiced his grievance, "I have no legs; I can't walk." I should be grateful for what I have! Soon, I should be getting a wood-fueled brick oven, custom-hand-made by Giuseppe Crisa of Forno Classico.    

I have noticed that you are from the State of Kentucky. Lucky you!—you can have all the muttons and burgoos you like. For Thanksgivings, I usually order some online from Moonlight Bar-B-Q in Owensboro, KY. Californians know virtually nothing about mutton and burgoo. I would not know anything either if my wife was not from the great Commonwealth of Kentucky. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 30, 2011, 05:11:48 PM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 30, 2011, 05:12:29 PM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 30, 2011, 07:11:22 PM
Dear Omid !
I've sent a question to Santos to ask them if they would have one day a mixer with a lower speed option. . . .

Dear Louis, I most sincerely convey to you my gratitude for doing this. You are celestial! Indeed, it does not matter how I have manipulated the Santos mixer thus far, its fast fork speed remains the only significant obstacle toward making a tender-crust pizza. Otherwise, it is an outstanding, well-built, and high quality mixer. Good enough that I have decided not to return it for a refund. Even with the fast fork speed, the mixer formulates a peculiar dough texture that is new to me. We shall see what kind of result I will get tonight:

Santos fork mixer dough for tonight:

Hydration: 57.50% (like last night)
Flour: Caputo Pizzeria (like last night)
Total dough weight: 2505 grams (like last night)
Mechanical mixing time: 2 minutes (like last night)
Mechanical kneading Time: 7 minutes (2 minutes less than last night)
Fermentation (fresh yeast): 19 hours and counting . . . at controlled room temperature 67° - ?° (so far like last night)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 30, 2011, 08:40:43 PM
You can't account for taste, but to me the blisters in the pizzas shown above are. . . .

Dear Kiwipete, your username just inspired me with the idea, which I am certain that has been brewing subconsciously for the past couple of days, to use slices of "kiwi" on my pizzas, maybe tomorrow or next weekend! I have never done so before. I will post the pictures. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on July 30, 2011, 10:56:15 PM
Omid !........Thank's for the kind words!

I was wondering about your nice white sauce pizza with
what looks to be pears on top, are they sliced pears ?


Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on July 31, 2011, 12:42:26 AM
..... I should be grateful for what I have! Soon, I should be getting a wood-fueled brick oven, custom-hand-made by Giuseppe Crisa of Forno Classico.    


Omid, please excuse my intrusion but will the oven be installed at  your home kitchen, or at your business?  Can I try to burn some coal in the new oven before I try it on my oven?  Thanks Omid, I enjoy reading your post. :chef: :pizza:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 31, 2011, 12:52:37 AM
Omid !........Thank's for the kind words! I was wondering about your nice white sauce pizza with what looks to be pears on top, are they sliced pears ?

Louis

Dear Louis, yes, they are pears. However, since I could not find fresh Japanese pears, which I prefer, at the market, I used regular canned pears. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 31, 2011, 01:05:47 AM
Omid, please excuse my intrusion but will the oven be installed at  your home kitchen, or at your business?  Can I try to burn some coal in the new oven before I try it on my oven?  Thanks Omid, I enjoy reading your post. :chef: :pizza:

Dear Jet_deck, thank you! And, there is absolutely no intrusion; this is your home as much as mine! The brick oven will be situated in my little patio. I have been waiting a long time to rent a house, like this, with a patio—where I can use a wood-fired oven again. I am no longer in exile! I would assume that it is possible to use coal instead of wood in the brick oven. I will send Giuseppe a text right now in this regard. I will let you know. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on July 31, 2011, 01:53:22 AM
We shall see what kind of result I will get tonight:

Santos fork mixer dough for tonight:

Hydration: 57.50% (like last night)
Flour: Caputo Pizzeria (like last night)
Total dough weight: 2505 grams (like last night)
Mechanical mixing time: 2 minutes (like last night)
Mechanical kneading Time: 7 minutes (2 minutes less than last night)
Fermentation (fresh yeast): 19 hours and counting . . . at controlled room temperature 67° - ?° (so far like last night)

Dear Louis, I am sorry to report to you that I have no pictures to post for the above-referenced pizzas. For some reason I can not upload the images from my camera to my laptop! Instead, I am going to post a picture that I think you will appreciate. The picture, below, is of my friend, who is an excellent baker in Iran. He specializes in making a traditional type of flat bread as shown in the picture below. I miss those breads so much!  
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 01, 2011, 02:02:07 AM
Pizzas baked tonight (dough prepared with Santos fork mixer):

Hydration: 57.50% (like two nights ago)
Flour: Caputo Pizzeria (like two nights ago)
Total dough weight: 2505 grams (like two nights ago)
Mechanical mixing time: 2 minutes (like two nights ago)
Mechanical kneading Time: 7 minutes (2 minutes less than two nights ago)
Fermentation (fresh yeast): 19 + 3.5 hours at controlled room temperature 67° - 76° F
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 01, 2011, 02:02:49 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 01, 2011, 07:27:46 PM
It would be my honor!

Dear Craig, I think I have found your oven's brother in Singapore! Check out the following Youtube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd_D-7Ep0wE
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: chickenparm on August 02, 2011, 12:06:49 AM
Omid,
Do you have a salt amount preference and/or type of salt for your doughs?
Like sea salt or other type?

If so,what amount do you like to use? If you already answered,I missed it.The thread is very long.
Thanks.

-Bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on August 02, 2011, 06:58:31 AM
Dear Craig, I think I have found your oven's brother in Singapore! Check out the following Youtube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd_D-7Ep0wE

Maybe it is just me but, the floor must have been on the cold side.  The bottom of the pizza looked like it could have used another 20 seconds or so.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 02, 2011, 11:04:46 AM
Dear Craig, I think I have found your oven's brother in Singapore! Check out the following Youtube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd_D-7Ep0wE

I think you're right. She has some fancy clothes, but other than that they're identical twins. I'm going to go shopping for a dress for my baby girl this winter.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 02, 2011, 11:18:12 AM
Omid,
Do you have a salt amount preference and/or type of salt for your doughs? Like sea salt or other type? If so,what amount do you like to use?

Dear bill, I use Sicilian sea salt or, alternatively, French sea salt, both of which are hand-harvested, sun-&-sea-wind dried, damp, gray, unbleached, unfiltered, chemically unaltered, and contain high mineral content. (Williams-Sonoma, either at the malls or online, carry both; however, I think now they carry only the gray and white French sea salt from île de Ré.) In terms of amount of salt, I use between 2.30% to 3.00%, depending on the amount of mineral salts already present in my hard water, amount of hydration, percentage of flour protein, duration of fermentation, dough gumminess, and so on. I think 2.7% is a suitable datum point for the purpose of making Neapolitan dough.

Some hard waters, such as the ones from Armenia (which I really like due to their tangible flavors and body), are unusally high on mineral salts. When I drink them, I can so noticeably taste the salt in them. (By the way, Armenia is well-known for its delicious, fluffy, flat breads.) When I use the Armenian water for making pizza dough, I reduce the salt to about 2%; otherwise, my dough may end up being almost like the acrobatic dough. Have a beautiful morning!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 02, 2011, 11:21:11 AM
Maybe it is just me but, the floor must have been on the cold side.  The bottom of the pizza looked like it could have used another 20 seconds or so.

Dear Jet_deck, I entertained the same thought when I viewed the video. Maybe that is the way they like it in Singapore. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on August 02, 2011, 12:52:04 PM
Omid, SaltWorks USA (www.saltworks.us (http://www.saltworks.us)) has a nice selection of salts as well:

Their bulk selection is nice and they have retail Trapani salt as well.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on August 02, 2011, 12:56:43 PM
Dear bill, I use Sicilian sea salt or, alternatively, French sea salt, both of which are hand-harvested, sun-&-sea-wind dried, damp, gray, unbleached, unfiltered, chemically unaltered, and contain high mineral content.


Recently I switched from Trapani to Maine sea salt due to the lower carbon footprint and "locally produced" product. It comes very wet, and it astonishingly flavorful:

http://www.maineseasalt.com/natural-sea-salt.html

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on August 02, 2011, 01:09:18 PM
John, do you know if the crystals are more flat-like flakes or are they more like coarse sea salt.  I've been searching for a good sea salt that is in the form of flakes.

Thx
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 02, 2011, 01:47:41 PM
John, do you know if the crystals are more flat-like flakes or are they more like coarse sea salt.  I've been searching for a good sea salt that is in the form of flakes.

Thx

Try Maldon seal salt flakes. I love it.  It's relativly easy to find in Houston. I would think you can find it locally or get it on line for sure. I'm pretty sure Williams-Sonoma sells it too. http://www.maldonsalt.co.uk/

Another one I like a lot is the Murray River pink flakes from Australia.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on August 02, 2011, 02:39:21 PM
John, do you know if the crystals are more flat-like flakes or are they more like coarse sea salt.  I've been searching for a good sea salt that is in the form of flakes.

Thx

Chau - They are a mix of course flat flakes and crystals.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott r on August 02, 2011, 02:42:54 PM
chau, another great unrefined course sea salt is Ravida.  Its sicilian.    I use cheaper sea salt in my dough, but as a finishing salt I really notice the difference in flavor.       
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on August 02, 2011, 03:06:43 PM
chau, another great unrefined course sea salt is Ravida.  Its sicilian.    I use cheaper sea salt in my dough, but as a finishing salt I really notice the difference in flavor.       

Exactly what I am currently using Scott. You are a man with impeccable taste!  ;) :P
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: chickenparm on August 02, 2011, 03:15:17 PM
Thats really good info to know everyone. I'm not a salt fan/person to begin with,but switching the form of salt and upping it to 3% over my average of 2% gave me a dough that really stood out over previous ones.

I'm still going to experiment with the brands and the amounts,but very happy to see a nice change in the doughs I made so far.


Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on August 02, 2011, 03:20:30 PM
One more that I have enjoyed as well, although not as flakey as some may like.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on August 02, 2011, 03:21:24 PM
Thanks guys.  I will read up and pick a really nice gourmet sea salt for finishing out my NP pies.  Scott or Kelly, that Ravida comes in flakes?

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 02, 2011, 03:47:56 PM
Thanks guys.  I will read up and pick a really nice gourmet sea salt for finishing out my NP pies.  Scott or Kelly, that Ravida comes in flakes?

Chau

The Maldon flakes are great for finishing many hearty items - meats, salads, etc, but might be too large for a delicate Neapolitan pie. Personally, I like an extremely fine salt for finishing my pies; I generally take whatever good sea salt I have handy and grind it into a powder in my mortar and pestle.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on August 02, 2011, 04:29:08 PM
Craig I've been using a flake sea salt from England sent to me by member Paulspizza.  I like to partially grind the flakes between my fingers over the pies right before serving.  The flakes I'm using are delicate though, and that's what I'm looking for.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 02, 2011, 05:06:49 PM
Craig I've been using a flake sea salt from England sent to me by member Paulspizza.  I like to partially grind the flakes between my fingers over the pies right before serving.  The flakes I'm using are delicate though, and that's what I'm looking for.

Chau

The Maldon flakes are also from England. They are plenty delicate to grind with your fingers. I find they have a very pure and delicate flavor - as far as salt goes anyway. They don't have that bitterness that some salts have that can really clash with good EVOO (admittedly, I notice this more on raw fish - not so much on pizza).

I sometimes finish certain pies with smoked salt. It can be an excellent addition. I really like it on pies with onion for some reason. I smoke my own starting w/ Kosher salt. Maldon also has a smoked flake. I've never tried it, but I would lay odds that it is good.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on August 02, 2011, 05:19:12 PM
i get this salt from markethallfoods and use it in all my doughs.  i always get the fine version.  they also have Maldon and some other ones i haven't tried.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on August 02, 2011, 06:18:25 PM
I don't think I'd ever waste great salts like these in a dough (I use kosher salt for all my baking), but these big crunchy flakes are great for finishing. The black adds a nice visual touch when needed.

 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 02, 2011, 11:49:14 PM
Dear friends, while I was searching the net for a recipe for the Turkish "pide", I came upon the pictures which I have posted below. As illustrated in the pictures, those Turkish pides intimately resemble an Italian calzone or a pizza that almost made it through a black hole!

From 1983 to 1984, I spent 7 months in Istanbul, Turkey. Being geographically situated partly in Europe and partly in Asia Minor or Middle East, Istanbul is a synthesis of some of the best cultural offerings of the two worlds. Istanbul is truly a goldmine for food lovers (and ethnic music enthusiasts)! Many of the ordinary ingredients we enjoy here (such as milk, butter, cheese, tomato, potato, garlic, onion, eggs, lamb, and etc.), their flavors are naturally amplified manifold in that part of the world. Beyond belief! Further, the variety of Turkish cheeses, which unfortunately are not found in the US and most of Europe, are quite unique and out of this world. In fact, they have certain types of cheeses that even some French and Italian cheese makers look upon with envy! They have so many varieties of cheeses that one would not know where to begin.

And, have I told you about their ethnic flat breads? They are pure bliss! The best place to enjoy a fresh and savory pide is in a traditional Turkish bakery, where the baker, like a pizzaiolo, before you opens a dough ball, stretches it open into a roundish disc, tops it with garnishes, tucks over the flaps into a gondola-shaped dough, slides it over to the wooden peel, and finally lets it rest and breathe on the hearth of his brick oven. O dear, why do they all start with the letter "P": pita, Pide, pizza, pie? Is there something subconscious at work in our collective psyche . . . something that we just can't quite put our fingers on?

From a historical perspective, the Italians, particularly the Florentines and Venetians, did much trade and cultural exchange with the Turkish Ottoman Empire, which at its height of power encompassed parts of Eastern Europe, the Balkan states, Greece, Armenia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and parts of North Africa. In terms of Architectural design and civil engineering, there are parts of Istanbul that strikingly resemble Venice, not because the Turks borrowed such designs from the Venetians, but the other way around, according to historians.

But, here is the irony! While pide is an ancient national Turkish nourishment (which is structurally and elementally akin to a calzone mutated into a gondola), the very first pizzeria in Istanbul was established in April of 1984 while I was there, right next to my hotel in Tepebaşi district! That is pretty late when the first pizzeria opened in the neighboring country to the East, Iran, in the mid or late 60s. The grand opening was a blast. People had to wait hours to get inside the pizzeria. The Turks were mesmerized and hypnotized; they had never seen anything like it. But, what is "it" in particular? New York style pizza*, which looked and tasted like the very first pizza I made at the age of 16! I thought to myself, "A pide looks and tastes more like pizza napoletana than the pizzas produced by the unprecedented pizzeria." Is it too far fetched to fancy that while pizza was imported to the United States from Italy, the same was exported, at least ideologically, to the rest of the world from the United States? Have we hijacked the pizza? Good night every one!

*I hope I have not made an impression that New York Pizza is a negative deviation and not good. I LOVE NEW YORK PIZZA. May God bless it and keep it far away from dough-press machines!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 02, 2011, 11:51:03 PM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 02, 2011, 11:58:10 PM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: parallei on August 02, 2011, 11:59:04 PM
Omid,

Your pide look real tasty! Nice work.  I'm thinking a nice ground lamb mixture........
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 03, 2011, 12:00:33 AM
Omid,

Your pide look real tasty! Nice work.  I'm thinking a nice ground lamb mixture........

Yummy!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on August 03, 2011, 12:11:40 AM
Omid, you constantly impress me with your world knowledge, experience, and skills.  I have never even heard of a pide, but I sure would like to taste them.  They look delicious, particularly yours. 

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 03, 2011, 12:16:34 AM
Omid, you constantly impress me with your world knowledge, experience, and skills.  I have never even heard of a pide, but I sure would like to taste them.  They look delicious, particularly yours.

Dear Chau, first, I thank you for your compliment. Second, unfortunately, none of those pides were prepared by me. Do you think I am that good? All those pides were photographed by somebody in Turkey and put on the net. Have a great night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on August 03, 2011, 02:42:28 AM
ahhh sorry for the mistake.  The picture quality seem very similar to your other pictures, I thought it was your work.   With your dedication, scrutiny, and meticulousness to the Neapolitan style pizza I think you can do anything you want to do with possibly time being your only constraint.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: andreguidon on August 03, 2011, 06:20:14 AM
are pide's like sfeeha? i made some about 2-3 months ago...
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13922.msg140252.html#msg140252
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dhs on August 03, 2011, 08:18:12 AM
Omid, in the pics it looks like you made lamachun? Care to share your recipe? It is a favorite of mine and yours looks quite delicious. thanks, David
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 03, 2011, 08:28:22 AM
Omid, in the pics it looks like you made lamachun? Care to share your recipe? It is a favorite of mine and yours looks quite delicious. thanks, David

Dear David, none of those pides and lamachun in the preceding pictures were prepared by me. They were all prepared by some Turkish chef and photographed by somebody else in Turkey and made available on the net, where I copied them. Have a great morning!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: norma427 on August 03, 2011, 08:43:03 AM
Omid,

I have enjoyed reading your thread and seeing your pizzas.  They do look delicious.  :) I had made something like a pizza boat at Reply 759,  just for fun, with a little piece of dough.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.msg125074.html#msg125074
Why couldn’t almost any decent dough be used to make Pide?

Your knowledge is impressive.

Norma
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: napoletana4germany on August 03, 2011, 08:56:51 AM
hi Omid,
thanks for this great thread!

Pide indeed is great food! in Germany pide is very common because of the large turkish community.
actually we have more excellent Pide over here than Pizza!

here is a link of pide bakers preparing dough balls. without scales, very raw and fast and the balls size look quite similar.
what surprised me a bit is the ball size which looks huge! normally pide balls got the size of a tennis ball or even smaller.   
the dough seems to be quite wet but it didn't stick to their hands. and the balls stay in shape though the guys don't really close the balls airtight like a pizzaiolo would do it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st0UL8iDn70

Todi
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Tscarborough on August 03, 2011, 09:49:08 AM
I made one of those pide, but I didn't know the name.  I was talking to someone online in a game, and he described it, so I made it.  It was good, too.

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: norma427 on August 03, 2011, 10:53:18 AM
This also looks like a video for Pide   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a7m7pdy1yE&NR=1

Norma
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: napoletana4germany on August 03, 2011, 11:22:26 AM
traditional preparation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofYhhSSDjis
usual nowadays pide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjSip2rTzxQ

when shaped traditionally by hand it really got a lot in common with Pizza Napoletana.
a main difference is the crust: they fold up the border and brush it with melted butter.
another option is to bake the pide (without brushing butter) half the way, take it briefly out of oven, and brush the hot crusts with a butter stick and then put it back into the oven.

another similarity to pizza napoletana: it's not really made for takeaway. it sweats to much in the box and the Crust gets chewy.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Tman1 on August 03, 2011, 08:31:24 PM
This also looks like a video for Pide   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a7m7pdy1yE&NR=1

Norma

That is one deeeeeeep oven.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TheDude on August 03, 2011, 11:49:19 PM
Omid,

In your opening post you mentioned that you were looking for work as a pizzaiolo...how has the search gone in southern cali?  Any luck?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TheDude on August 03, 2011, 11:57:42 PM
And on the salt discussion....Salfiore di Romagna....Pope's Salt....and yes you will taste the difference....the sweetness and clarity cannot be matched imo.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 04, 2011, 02:02:18 AM
are pide's like sfeeha?

Dear Andreguidon, you asked, “Are pides like sfeeha?” Yes, “pide” is very much like “sfeeha”. However, the answer to your question can be more enlightening if it is examined from anthropological and historical perspectives. Although I am sure that my excruciatingly brief effort to do so will not be free of errors, I think it will shed some light on the subject and beyond it. In addition, I will have to sacrifice a considerable amount of details in order to make this composition short. Many of the cuisines that we enjoy today, including pizza napoletana, were not formed in vacuums; they are partially products of economic, political, and historical forces that should not be simply ignored.

Having lived in different parts of the Middle East and Europe and having studied their respective histories as much as time has allowed me, I hypothesize that a baked piece of dough burdened with certain simple garnishes is typically a—Mediterranean phenomenon. In other words, baking a leavened and flattened piece of wheat dough that is topped with certain basic ingredients and baked in a wood-fueled oven is fundamentally Mediterranean. Mediterranean regions such as Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and etc., they all have their own characteristic flat breads that hold specific, traditional ingredients on top. The typical topped-flat-bread in Egypt is known as “fiteer” (فطير), in Palestine as “managhish” (مناقیش), in Lebanon as “sfeeha” (صفيحة), in Syria as same as the preceding, in Turkey as “lahmacun” and “pide”, (in Armenia as “lahmajoun”, although it is not a Mediterranean land), “pizza” in Italy, and so on. (Please, see the pictures and their attendant titles below.) As manifest in the pictures, all these topped-flat-breads have certain attributes, ingredients, and recipes in common. And, of course, many of the Levantine countries endlessly argue amongst each other that, for instance, topped-flat-breads are originally from Turkey, Syria, or Egypt. If such topped-flat-breads, as some scholars argue, have evolved and disseminated around the Mediterranean territories from an eminently distant past, when there were no nation-states, then it might be nonsensical to assert, for example, that topped-flat-breads are originally from Syria or Italy and nowhere else.

Some scholars posit that the rise of Islam played a crucial role in shaping or modifying much of the cuisines of the Mediterranean areas. About 100 years after death of the founder and prophet of Islam, Mohammad, in 632 A.D., the Arab empire stretched all the way from the Arabian Peninsula, through the Northern Africa, to Spain, where they ruled for 700 years. Thereafter, they conquered parts of France and Italy. And, to the East, the empire expanded all the way to the Western parts of China. As the Muslim armies conquered the lands around the Mediterranean Sea, they also culturally homogenized the inhabitants of those lands under the banner of Islam. The founder of Islam deliberately meant this religion to be a unifying force. In this manner, many cultural elements of the conquered people were diffused around the Mediterranean areas, including Arabia and Southern Italy. Such cultural influences spread to wherever the empire expanded to and beyond. So, it is no surprise that this kind of cuisine can today be found even in Balkans, Armenia, Georgia, Baku, parts of South Western Russia, Iran, Iraq, and so on.    

It is important to understand that many of the conquered people—such as the Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians, and etc.—whom we consider as Muslim Arabs today, were originally neither Muslims nor Arabs until they were conquered by the Arabs. So, the “pita bread” which is often referred to as the "Arabic bread" might be a misconception, for the Arabic alphabet is devoid of the letter "P"! The Arab civilization of that time was quite sophisticated and progressive in realms of arts, literature, math, and science—which fueled and made possible the Renaissance (rebirth) in Italy and the rest of Europe. The free Greek thinking of the classical Greece was revived and promoted under the rule of Arabs, which needed the ancient wisdom in order to be able to administer the ever expansive empire. In fact, Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived in harmony together (for the first, and hopefully not the last, time in the history of Western civilization) under the rule of Arabs in Andalusia and elsewhere. And, they committed themselves to preserving and translating the ancient wisdom embodied in the Greek, Persian, and other texts of antiquity (not excluding culinary texts) into Latin which during the Crusades made their way into Europe, changing many aspects of European cultures. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 04, 2011, 02:06:06 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 04, 2011, 02:07:27 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 04, 2011, 02:23:44 AM
Omid,

I have enjoyed reading your thread and seeing your pizzas.  They do look delicious.  :) I had made something like a pizza boat at Reply 759,  just for fun, with a little piece of dough.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.msg125074.html#msg125074
Why couldn’t almost any decent dough be used to make Pide?

Your knowledge is impressive.

Norma

Dear Norma, I thank you very much for all the compliments! And, thank you for the link, which I enjoyed. In respect to your question (i.e., "Why couldn’t almost any decent dough be used to make Pide?"), I must say that I am not knowledgable enough about making Pide dough to address your concern. I have eaten it many times, but have never attempted to make and bake one for myself. I am slowly getting there though. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: andreguidon on August 04, 2011, 04:52:21 AM
thanks Omid for the brief explanation of how each region adapted this kind of food, here in Sao Paulo (Brazil) the arab food is mainly dominated by Lebanese, and the sfiha or sfeeha is what every one is used to, it is a common fast-food here, some with allot of quality and others with very poor quality, another interesting bread that they (the Lebanese) make here is a very thin bread like this video http://youtu.be/jn4y1Za8Z0I , hope this discussion enlightens every one to try new forms of food!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: DannyG on August 04, 2011, 08:14:41 AM
This has been become one of the most interesting threads on the board.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on August 04, 2011, 12:22:16 PM
I feel like I'm back in Armenian Saturady and Sunday school every time I read one of Omids posts.

I took some pictures of Persian bread couple days ago and will upload them when my laptop decides to work.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 04, 2011, 05:03:19 PM
Pide indeed is great food. . . .

Dear Todi, danke for the Youtube links! I was a bit surprised to see someone from Hamburg, Germany in this forum. Interesting! Truly, pizza knows no borders. I have never been to your hometown Hamburg, but I have heard great things about it. Back in early 90s, I attended the University of Freiburg for one year of studying German philosophy. That was fun, but hard work. Guten Tag!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: napoletana4germany on August 04, 2011, 06:31:54 PM
one might say that you have been around...  awsome!!!
actually Hamburg isn't my hometown. my hometown is Stuttgart - perhaps you've been there!?
i've lived in Freiburg i. Breisgau from 1999 to 2001, too: just missed!

because there is no German forum like this i am doubly blessed that there is an American/English one!
great place, greater people, greatest pizzas ;)

Todi
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 04, 2011, 11:10:28 PM
I feel like I'm back in Armenian Saturady and Sunday school every time I read one of Omids posts.

Dear BrickStoneOven, it is great to have an Armenian amongst us here! Have you ever been to the city of Glendale within the Los Angeles county? The city, which is about 2 hours from here, houses perhaps one of the largest Armenian communities within the United States. Almost on daily basis they arrive there from Armenia. They pretty much own the city; even the mayor and most of the city authorities are Armenians. During the course of last 28 years, they have turned Glendale into a very sophisticated and chic place to live and work. I alway look forward to going there. Some of the best restaurants and bakeries of the LA county are owned and run by them in Glendale or, as some call it, Armenia-dale. O boy, do they know good food and how to party and show great hospitality? Great people! Բարի գիշեր!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 05, 2011, 10:19:03 AM
Omid,
In your opening post you mentioned that you were looking for work as a pizzaiolo...how has the search gone in southern cali?  Any luck?

Dear TheDude, I have not really applied myself toward that objective yet. However, sometime next week, I will be sending out my résumé to various pizzerias, hoping that I can find employment as a pizzaiolo at some pizzeria here in San Diego. The entire San Diego County has only two Neapolitan pizzerias: Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano and Pizzeria/Caffé Calabria. Hence, I may end up working at a non-Neapolitan establishment. We shall see! Have a great weekend.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on August 05, 2011, 10:29:41 AM
Dear BrickStoneOven, it is great to have an Armenian amongst us here! Have you ever been to the city of Glendale within the Los Angeles county? The city, which is about 2 hours from here, houses perhaps one of the largest Armenian communities within the United States. Almost on daily basis they arrive there from Armenia. They pretty much own the city; even the mayor and most of the city authorities are Armenians. During the course of last 28 years, they have turned Glendale into a very sophisticated and chic place to live and work. I alway look forward to going there. Some of the best restaurants and bakeries of the LA county are owned and run by them in Glendale or, as some call it, Armenia-dale. O boy, do they know good food and how to party and show great hospitality? Great people! Բարի գիշեր!

Yea, I have a lot of family that lives there. Good luck with the job search.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on August 05, 2011, 12:05:37 PM
Dear TheDude, I have not really applied myself toward that objective yet. However, sometime next week, I will be sending out my resumes to various pizzerias, hoping that I can find employment as a pizzaiolo at some pizzeria here in San Diego. The entire San Diego County has only two Neapolitan pizzerias: Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano and Pizzeria/Caffé Calabria. Hence, I may end up working at a non-Neapolitan establishment. We shall see! Have a great weekend.

Omid !...do you know who made these ovens ?
they look quite the same.


Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on August 05, 2011, 12:49:22 PM
Omid !...do you know who made these ovens ?
they look quite the same.


Louis

The Bruno oven is by Stefano Ferrara. The second one looks like it's made from Forno Napoletano, because of the flat top on the exterior of the dome.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 05, 2011, 12:51:05 PM
Omid !...do you know who made these ovens ?
they look quite the same.
Louis

Dear Louis, both of the brick ovens in the pictures above were crafted by Stefano Ferrara of Naples. Have a superb weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 05, 2011, 11:02:22 PM
Can I try to burn some coal in the new oven before I try it on my oven?

Dear Jet_deck, according to Giuseppe of Forno Classico, you can not use coal in the Forno Piccolo. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 06, 2011, 02:14:35 PM
Dear Nbickett, you asked, "Suppose one wanted to dress the face [of dough ball], would one avoid exposing the face to pressure while shaping and stretching? In other words, might there be structural disadvantages to pressing the face into a surface while shaping and then flipping it to dress it?"

I am not sure if I fully understand your question. One way or other, whether the face of dough ball is pointing upward (away from the marble top) or downward (against the marble top), the face will be inevitably pressed into the surface either directly or indirectly while shaping the dough disc. However, some pizzaioli hardly let the face be directly pressed against the work surface. (Please, check out the following youtube link below.) I would assert that a dough disc fashioned in this manner would yield a softer crust than a dough disc that is manually pressed against the work surface on both the face and base. Have a delightful weekend!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq-qRZtG1FM
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 06, 2011, 03:23:52 PM
Dear friends, I have a tip for the beginners who would like to begin to learn the stretch-slap technique, as masterfully demonstrated in the youtube video that I earlier posted above. (Here is the link again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq-qRZtG1FM). The following are the simple steps for preparing your virtual dough disc, which will be used to simulate stretch-slapping!

1. Take a towel that is not too thin or too thick;
2. With the aid of a pair of scissors, cut the towel into a circle with a diameter of 12 or 13 inches;
3. Pick any area on the circumference of the circular towel and mark it with a black magic marker and let the ink thoroughly dry;
4. Douse the towel with water just enough to make it uniformly damp and somewhat stretchable. Done!

Now you can use the towel, your virtual dough disc, to patiently figure out how the technique works. This is a great tool which facilitates learning the subtleties of the stretch-slap method—without waisting precious dough and while taking as much time as needed without the towel, unlike a piece of dough, over-stretching itself into pieces. Once you can confidently and controllably perform the technique with the towel, then you can apply the method to a live piece of dough. And, you shall see improvements day by day. Trust me! This tool is actually utilized for preliminary training in some pizza schools in Naples, where I learned it. Sometimes they use a round sheet of rubber; nevertheless, a round piece of towel is just as good, if not better.

By the way, the purpose of "step 3", above, is to measure the rotation of the towel disc, which should be about 1/4th of a complete turn per slap. I have posted below more videos about the technique. Good luck!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIqS8c8nmps
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReBcXSIoEOo (See mark 0:41)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2Y8BIDFuyE


Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 07, 2011, 01:32:43 AM
Pizzas baked tonight (dough prepared with Santos fork mixer):

Hydration: 57.50%
Flour: San Felice Tipo "00" (Protein 10%)
Total dough weight: 2505 grams
Mechanical mixing time: 1.5 minutes
Mechanical kneading Time: 6 minutes
Fermentation (fresh yeast 0.4 gr.): 2 + 22 hours at controlled room temperature 67° - 75° F
Oven: Home gas oven 648° F
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 07, 2011, 01:33:41 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: chickenparm on August 07, 2011, 01:51:24 AM
Omid,

Wow,those pizzas are super nice! You make it look so easy too!Wonderful rim rise,from such low hydration percentages.
 :chef:

I wanted to ask,do you sometimes get bubbles in your doughs while they rise,or is that a thing from the past for you?I don't make Neapolitan style pies just yet,however, once in a while,I get a dough that grows a large bubble.I thought I had the the technique down but once in a while,they show up in a dough ball,when some others do not have that problem,but were made the same time or same mix.

Thanks for sharing.
 :)
-Bill










Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 07, 2011, 04:41:06 AM
Omid,
I wanted to ask,do you sometimes get bubbles in your doughs while they rise,or is that a thing from the past for you?I don't make Neapolitan style pies just yet,however, once in a while,I get a dough that grows a large bubble.I thought I had the the technique down but once in a while,they show up in a dough ball,when some others do not have that problem,but were made the same time or same mix.

Dear Bill, if I understand you correctly, you would like to know why sometimes bubble formations of unusual magnitude occur in your dough balls during fermentation/levitation. While I do not know how you produce your dough and how you, thereafter, craft and treat your dough balls, I am going to, first, speculate that perhaps you are not making your dough balls properly. So, my advice to you would be to pay close attention to how you fashion your dough balls. Make sure they are divested of air bubbles within as much as possible. Such air bubbles can act as depositories for the carbon dioxide that is produced by fermentation. Under average circumstances, I think a dough ball, right after it is shaped, can benefit from having the following characteristics:

1. Round like a ball;
2. Moderately tight, but not rigid and inflexible, with even distribution of dough inside the ball and with no sizable air bubbles trapped inside;
3. No cracks as much as possible;
4. Evenly smooth dough skin all around the ball; and
5. Properly healed umbilical chord.

Second, I am going to hypothesize that perhaps your dough balls are near a source of heat, which can hyper-activate production of carbonic gases within your dough balls.

At last, but not least, I surmise that the dough might be suffering of uneven formation of gluten network, which might be attributed to uneven kneading, uneven mixing of dry flour with pre-hydrated or autolyzed flour, uneven mixing of two different types of flours, or etc.

Good night!

(You are the second gentleman from Kentucky that I have met here. Lucky you!—there are no muttons and burgoos in California.)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 07, 2011, 01:14:49 PM
Dough balls for tonight (prepared with Santos fork mixer):

Hydration: 57.00%
Flour: San Felice Tipo "00" (Protein 10%)
Total dough weight: 2497 grams
Dough ball weight: about 250 gr. each
Mechanical mixing time: 1.5 minutes
Mechanical kneading Time: 5 minutes
Fermentation (fresh yeast 0.4 gr.): 5 + 10 hours and counting . . . at controlled room temperature 67° - ?° F
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 07, 2011, 10:22:12 PM
Dough balls for tonight (prepared with Santos fork mixer):

Hydration: 57.00%
Flour: San Felice Tipo "00" (Protein 10%)
Total dough weight: 2497 grams
Dough ball weight: about 250 gr. each
Mechanical mixing time: 1.5 minutes
Mechanical kneading Time: 5 minutes
Fermentation (fresh yeast 0.4 gr.): 5 + 10 hours and counting . . . at controlled room temperature 67° - ?° F

Tonight's pizzas:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 07, 2011, 10:23:19 PM
Continuation from the previous page:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 07, 2011, 11:10:03 PM
Dear friends, for the first time I drizzled walnut oil, instead of olive oil, on the margherita and spinach pizza above. I really enjoyed it, and I welcome the change! While I was enjoying my pizza tonight, I kept dipping my cornicione into the oil before devouring it. Walnut oil, which is softly aromatic, has a unique and gentle smokey flavor and is lighter on the stomach than olive oil. It is also less acidic than the latter. Moreover, there are two types of walnut oil: regular and smoked. Mine is regular, as shown in the picture below. I wish you all a great week to come!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: chickenparm on August 08, 2011, 12:58:21 AM
Omid,

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my questions.Im always learning something new here.

By the way,Im not having problems with dough bubbles all the time,just they show up once in a while.Your reply # 358,the upper dough on the right hand side,has some small bubbles in it.My doughs look just like that at times,yet,its not until 3-4 days of fridge rise,that I sometimes get a larger bubble growing out of them.Thats kinda expected with my doughs.3-4 days is a bit long for them!Yet sometimes I was wondering if I was doing something wrong.

Those doughs are usually past their time of use or have over fermented by then.Thats ok,I am not out to make doughs last 4-7 days in the fridge right now.I believe I can adjust the yeast and mix times if I need to do so.I was just curious more if you ever had bubbles and what you did to compensate for it.

By the way,Im not a KY native,I was born and grew up in NY. I relocated out here some years back,and because the lack of good Italian food or pizza out here,I started my quest to learn more how to make it at home.

 :)

Thanks again for your time.

-Bill

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: chickenparm on August 08, 2011, 12:59:30 AM
Wanted to add I seen your new pictures of your pizzas.They look wonderful.Thanks for posting your continuing work.
 :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on August 08, 2011, 06:59:20 AM
Omid - I love the spinach and pine nuts pizza. A beautiful pairing. I can also attest to walnut oil being great on pizza - the one I use comes from your neck of the woods. It is the roasted version:

http://www.latourangelle.com/products_detail.php?product=walnut

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: RobynB on August 08, 2011, 12:59:52 PM
Oooh, I have the La Tourangelle hazelnut oil.  I never thought of trying it instead of olive oil - I'll try it!  Thanks for the idea!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 08, 2011, 10:30:01 PM
Wanted to add I seen your new pictures of your pizzas.They look wonderful. . . .

Omid - I love the spinach and pine nuts pizza. . . .

. . . Thanks for the idea!

Can you please stop make our mouth watery with your pictures! . . .

Thank you guys! By the way, dear John (dellavecchia), that is a great website (http://www.latourangelle.com/products.php). I have to try the pistachio and avocado oil sometime in future! Good night everyone.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on August 08, 2011, 10:34:00 PM
Omid!

Can you please stop make our mouth watery with your pictures!  >:(



No !..........please dont stop!!  :P


Louis  ;)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 08, 2011, 11:58:17 PM
Can you please stop make our mouth watery with your pictures!  >:( No !..........please dont stop!!  :P
Louis  ;)

Dear Louis, I was wondering if the Santos officials have had any more contacts with you. Please, let me know.

I think you have probably discerned the differences, in terms of appearance and texture, between my early and the latest pizzas produced by using the speedy Santos fork mixer. Since I have commenced using the mixer two weeks ago until present, I have come a long way in learning how to tame the beast! See the pictures below, which show my very first and latest pizzas produced by using the Santos mixer. I never posted the pictures of my 1st-attempt pizzas since they looked undesirable and were rough in terms of texture. All the doughs for the pizzas in the pictures below used the same exact specifications, with the exception of the refinement of the method of manipulating the mixer and the amount of mechanical kneading. The cornicione of my 1st-attempt pizza, as exhibited below, had no character. If you were to ask her to tell you a tale of her life, she would have nothing to tell you!

If only the rotation speed of the fork could be reduced in half, then the resulting dough would tell my cheap gas oven: "Although you do not know how to embrace and kiss me, I will show you how tender I can be!" Good night.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on August 09, 2011, 08:15:19 PM
Dear Louis, I was wondering if the Santos officials have had any more contacts with you. Please, let me know.



Omid ,, after you 've wrote that the speed was finaly
fine for you , I've sent a message to ask them where could I get one  in Canada near Montreal ,
If you ever think that the speed is not right for the Napolitain Pizza , let me know with more details
and I will contact Mr Fouquet and explain to him the issues and I'm sure that he will help.



Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 09, 2011, 09:08:09 PM
Omid ,as for the Santos , after you 've wrote that the speed was finally fine for you , I've sent a message to ask them where could I get one  in Canada near Montreal, If you ever think that the speed is not right for the Napolitain Pizza , let me know with more details and I will contact Mr Fouquet and explain to him the issues and I'm sure that he will help.
Louis

Dear Louis, perhaps I miscommunicated my thoughts before in respect to the rotation speed of the fork, yet the undisputed fact remains that the fast rotation speed of the fork is a significant problem toward producing a soft crust Neapolitan pizza. I have learned to mitigate, not solve, this annoying problem in various ways, which I would be glad to share with you if you are to buy a Santos mixer. If you really desire to get one, I suggest that we talk over the phone where I can express my thoughts more clearly. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Rustica on August 09, 2011, 09:22:02 PM
Dear Omid,

I too have a Santos and would love to hear your strategies as to how you have addressed some of the speed issues by applying alternative techniques.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 09, 2011, 09:34:13 PM
Dear Omid,
I too have a Santos and would love to hear your strategies as to how you have addressed some of the speed issues by applying alternative techniques.

Dear Pizza Rustica, I am going to send you a personal message containing my cell number. Then you can call me in this regard.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 09, 2011, 10:23:28 PM
Dear friends, I have a question. Today I received the following message from the Pizza Making Forum Team:

Subject: Topic split: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
A topic you are watching has been split into two or more topics.
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What does this mean? I thank you in advance for your assistance!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on August 09, 2011, 10:34:23 PM
Omid,

A member entered a couple of posts that did not belong in this thread and, in my Moderator role, I split them out. It was simply an administrative action that did not affect any other posts in the thread.

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 09, 2011, 10:38:30 PM
Omid,

A member entered a couple of posts that did not belong in this thread and, in my Moderator role, I split them out. It was simply an administrative action that did not affect any other posts in the thread.

Peter

Dear Peter, I thank you for your feedback and all your great services to the pizza community. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on August 09, 2011, 11:08:30 PM
Omid I would like to borrow your brain for a few minutes.  A discussion was/ is underway about hand mixing neopolitan dough.  The method of mixing and "correctly"  hydrating the flour, or " effective  hydration" is shown again in a different light compared to your Santos mixer.  Will you explain the "point of dough" or the "point of pasta" ?  It very easily may not be something explainable, but you are a world traveler, scholar, and a very well versed person.  Could you explain to someone stranded on a desert island with Antimo Caputo Pizzeria flour, a diving arm mixer, yeast and a cell phone how to know when the dough is ready?

Peter referenced a post by Marco, and he used the following words :"It is very difficult to explain  how to recognize my dough point. I just happen to know by experience. I could tell you that when the dough start coming away from the side of the bowl, but still stick to the bottom, that is a good sign."

Reference:http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15036.msg149187.html#msg149187 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15036.msg149187.html#msg149187)

I await your words of wisdom. :chef:

I wish to crank up the diving arm mixer with knowledge, not blindly.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13913.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13913.0.html)

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 11, 2011, 12:55:43 AM
Omid I would like to borrow your brain for a few minutes.  A discussion was/ is underway about hand mixing neopolitan dough.  The method of mixing and "correctly"  hydrating the flour, or " effective  hydration" is shown again in a different light compared to your Santos mixer.  Will you explain the "point of dough" or the "point of pasta" ?  It very easily may not be something explainable, but you are a world traveler, scholar, and a very well versed person.  Could you explain to someone stranded on a desert island with Antimo Caputo Pizzeria flour, a diving arm mixer, yeast and a cell phone how to know when the dough is ready?

Peter referenced a post by Marco, and he used the following words :"It is very difficult to explain  how to recognize my dough point. I just happen to know by experience. I could tell you that when the dough start coming away from the side of the bowl, but still stick to the bottom, that is a good sign."

Reference:http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15036.msg149187.html#msg149187 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15036.msg149187.html#msg149187)

I await your words of wisdom. :chef:

I wish to crank up the diving arm mixer with knowledge, not blindly.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13913.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13913.0.html)

Dear Jet_Deck, I remember that the very first time I made dough at the age of sixteen, my mother looked at it and asked me, "Is this dough or a patchwork?" From a professional point of view, "point of dough" or "point of pasta" can be a very technical subject. If you were to ask your question from the technicians at Antico Molino Caputo, I would not be surprised to see them answering it in fully technical and quantitative terms, such as the "W" factor, P/L ratio, and so on. Moreover, in my view, the point of pasta is of philosophical (critical thinking) importance since it is—after a point, which may not be pinpointed with precision—subject to interpretation! While it may be easy to delineate the point of pasta, it may not be as easy to precisely define it. And, your concern is definitely not unique to us pizza devotees in this wonderful forum. Some pizza lovers belonging to Italian forums of the same kind also wonder about the same issue as us. You may like to check out how Italians go about this subject in one of the Italian forums at the following links (use "Google Translate" to read the content in English):

http://www.pizza.it/content/34punto-di-pasta34-ed-idratazione-x-pixior-ma-non-solo
http://www.pizza.it/content/punto-di-pasta-un-impasto-con-metodo-poolish-come-riconoscerlo

As a prefatory remark, first, I would like to posit that the point of pasta (il punto di pasta) is a real locution, not an ignis fatuus or purely subjective perception of reality as some are inclined to think. I say "not purely subjective" in the sense that, from a multi-cultural perspective, the point of pasta is a concept that other bread cultures, besides the Italian,—such as many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures that I have known—employ in order to describe the same phenomenon. And, this commonality of conceptualization and terminology are pregnant with the implication that such cultures share a common, concrete experience when it comes to formulating dough.

Second, the American Heritage Dictionary defines the English word "dough" as follows: "A soft, thick mixture of dry ingredients, such as flour or meal, and liquid, such as water, that is kneaded, shaped, and baked, especially as bread or pastry." In terms of etymology of the word, "dough" is a derivative of the Gothic term daigs ("a kneaded lump"), second stem of deigan ("to knead"), which in turn is a derivative of the Indo-European root term dheigh, meaning "to build", "to form", or "to become". (The English word "lady" is also derived from the same root term, qualifying a lady as a mistress [master] of a household that is the "bread kneader", amongst other cultural refinements.)

I think here is the pivotal point: "to become"! The point of pasta is indubitably the point at which a corporeal transformation (a becoming) occurs. But, how can this transformation or becoming be characterized? While the experience of the transformation seems to be the same for dough kneaders, the interpretations of the same experience are many. Hence, my construal will be one amongst many. Consequently, I will keep my interpretation as general as possible in order to maintain a level of objectivity.

The way I construe this experience (i.e., the point of pasta) is the point at which the mixture of water and flour are no longer a mélange. The metamorphic dough formation is no longer a hodgepodge of dissimilar ingredients, that is the liquid and solid elements. A unification of both elements is achieved to a point whereby one cannot tell one element from the other. Furthermore, I would stipulate the point of pasta as follows:


1. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when the mixture visibly and tactilely reaches a state or degree of homogeneity in terms of constitution, shape, texture, and temperature;

2. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when it reaches tactilely a state or degree of consistency (i.e., an agreement, coherence, or uniformity throughout the texture of the mass);

3. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when it possesses a structure of its own, rather than being amorphous (lacking organization and definite form);

4. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when there is a relative skin formation—or when the mixture is encompassed by or embodied in its own skin. (I believe this statement correlates with Mr. Marco Parente's statement: "[W]hen the dough start coming away from the side of the bowl, but still stick to the bottom, that is a good sign." A "good sign" because now the dough skin, as opposed to the walls of the bowl, can contain its own dough mass.);

5. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when it reaches a degree of flexibility/plasticity, extensibility, and elasticity; and

6. Having thus far entertained the attributes that are detected through the senses of sight and touch, let us also not underestimate and ignore the subtle and gentle attribute of dough aroma, detected by the olfactory. Often people laugh at me and do not take me seriously when I talk about this topic, but I have known a blind baker who completely relies upon his acute sense of smell at different phases of making dough. For him "seeing is believing" is obsolete; he must smell it in order to believe it! When he bakes his dough, he firmly stands right by the oven door, focusing his nostrils on the rising aroma in order to determine when the bread is baked. Amazing!—he sees the world through his nose. (Have you seen the movie "Perfume"?)


So, as cheese is a manifestation of milk, I would assert that a degree of homogeneity, consistency, structure, skin formation, flexibility, extensibility, elasticity, and aroma of dough are manifestations of point of pasta. And, as beef stake lovers have their own personal preferences as to how lightly or intensively a piece of stake should be cooked (rare, medium-rare, medium, or well-done), the intensity or degree to which the above-referenced attributes are developed during kneading is also a matter of personal preference. In addition, the percentage of hydration, type of flour, kind of mixer, method of kneading, the type of pizza or bread intended to be prepared, and etc.—they all can have minute or substantial impacts upon the above-referenced stipulations. Therefore, Mr. Marco's statement makes sense: "It is very difficult to explain how to recognize my dough point. I just happen to know by experience."

Please, notice I mentioned in the preceding paragraph that the "kind of mixer" you use will have an impact upon how and when the above-enumerated attributes are reached. So, to make dough with your diving arm mixer may take some trials and errors, especially if you are not cognizant of the virtues of your machine. Incidentally, the thesis of this post reminds me of the crucial point that if you are the type who kneads the mixture of water, flour, slat, and leaven non-stop until it arrives to your point of pasta, how can you determine whether the point has been reached if the dough mixer does not  allow you to easily and safely access, touch, and feel the dough while the mixer is running? My wife's Kitchen Aid mixer almost broke one of the metacarpal bones in my left hand about a month ago when I cautiously tried to feel the dough while the mixer was in operation. That was foolish! The bone is still in the process of healing.

I hope I have clearly articulated my thoughts (although I doubt it because of my constraint of time) on the subject. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: cornicione54 on August 11, 2011, 03:50:14 AM
.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 11, 2011, 08:09:26 AM
.

Please use reasoned, not emotionally charged, argument (a group of premises that are logically connected to one another and either by deduction or induction point to a definite conclusion) in order to make your stance. The emotive image you posted above is no argument and is indicative of no refinement of character!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Mmmph on August 11, 2011, 09:42:29 AM
Omid,

I dig your posts. It is the critical thinking aspect of cooking, baking and food preparation that makes it exciting for me. Your explanations are refreshing in light of all the scientifically based questions directed towards you. I do not find them evasive or confusing, only enlightening and thought provoking.

Just last night a friend commented on my way of speaking about dough. His comments were focused on my perception of it as a living organism and treating it well, nurturing it and watching it grow and develop successfully....like a child. He thought it strange.

I recall the first occasion where I attempted to make dough without measuring the flour. I just kept adding the flour until it looked, felt, and "seemed" ready. I don't know the hydration, I could only guess. As I baked the pizze and talked with my guests about this batch, they all agreed it was as fine a  batch of dough that I had ever made. This experience guides me today as I use my senses more and more to "know" if what I'm doing is correct.

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on August 11, 2011, 10:12:25 AM
I hope I have clearly articulated my thoughts (although I doubt it because of my constraint of time) on the subject. Good night!

Yes, crystal clear and thanks.

It is unfortunate about that soup picture.  It reminds me of summer; no class.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 11, 2011, 09:50:38 PM
I dig your posts. . . .

Yes, crystal clear. . . .

Thank you guys!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 14, 2011, 03:26:08 AM
Pizzas baked last night (dough prepared with Santos fork mixer):

Hydration: 57%
Flour: Caputo Pizzeria
Total dough weight: 2507 grams
Mechanical mixing time: 1 minute & 20 seconds
Mechanical kneading Time: 5 minutes
Fermentation (lievito madre): 4 + 14 hours at controlled room temperature 67° - 78° F
Oven: Home gas oven floor 678° F
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 14, 2011, 03:27:51 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 14, 2011, 02:45:28 PM
Will you explain the "point of dough" or the "point of pasta"? . . . Peter referenced a post by Marco, and he used the following words :"It is very difficult to explain  how to recognize my dough point. I just happen to know by experience. I could tell you that when the dough start coming away from the side of the bowl, but still stick to the bottom, that is a good sign."

Dear Jet_Deck, I made the following addition to my earlier post on "point of pasta":

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.360.html (See Reply #377)

"4. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when there is a relative skin formation—or when the mixture is encompassed by or embodied in its own skin. (I believe this statement correlates with Mr. Marco Parente's statement: "[W]hen the dough start coming away from the side of the bowl, but still stick to the bottom, that is a good sign." A "good sign" because now the dough skin, as opposed to the walls of the bowl, can contain its own dough mass.)"

Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on August 14, 2011, 03:04:54 PM
Your skin analagy was one big thing that stood out to me from reading your post.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on August 14, 2011, 05:01:47 PM
Omid,
I notice different look than the cheese slices/strips any reason for change or just keeping it fresh? and you must have been hungry taking bites out of the crust before Taking pictures ? :-D  I am just kidding obviously they look great as usual! The skin analogy is helpful too. Is that the 10 qt Santos model you have?
thanks
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 14, 2011, 07:39:23 PM
Marco is Marco Parente, a native of Naples who now lives and works in the UK. . . . If you read Marco's posts, which I often recommend that members who are serious about the Neapolitan style do, you will see a decidedly purist approach to that style. . . . Marco ended up telling and teaching the members a great deal about the authentic Neapolitan style. At times he was cryptic in his writings, . . . It also helped that I read all of his posts several times. . . .

Peter referenced a post by Marco, and he used the following words :"It is very difficult to explain  how to recognize my dough point. I just happen to know by experience. I could tell you that when the dough start coming away from the side of the bowl, but still stick to the bottom, that is a good sign."

Dear Jet_Deck, I made the following addition to my earlier post on "point of pasta":
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.360.html (See Reply #377)

"4. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when there is a relative skin formation—or when the mixture is encompassed by or embodied in its own skin. (I believe this statement correlates with Mr. Marco Parente's statement: "[W]hen the dough start coming away from the side of the bowl, but still stick to the bottom, that is a good sign." A "good sign" because now the dough skin, as opposed to the walls of the bowl, can contain its own dough mass.)"

Over the course of past week, I took some time to read many of Mr. Marco Parente's worthful posts (thanks to dear Peter) in this forum. I find him an interesting character and quite knowledgeable, as a young man, on the subject of la pizza napoletana! I wished he was still amongst us.

Like Mr. Peter, I had to read his posts many times to embrace their full merit and to grasp their unstated logical inferences. (English language not being my mother tongue, I can understand the limitations of his English.) I think that often what he wrote here is of less importance than what he either intentionally or subconsciously implied. I had to read between the lines to catch the full meaning and significance of what he attempted to get across. (That is a good teaching method when a teacher makes his pupil think and give birth to an answer to a question.) Do you gentlemen know any website that illustrates his pizzas? Does he have a website or blog? Thank you!

Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 14, 2011, 08:18:38 PM
Omid,
I notice different look than the cheese slices/strips any reason for change or just keeping it fresh? and you must have been hungry taking bites out of the crust before Taking pictures ? :-D  I am just kidding obviously they look great as usual! The skin analogy is helpful too. Is that the 10 qt Santos model you have?

Dear John, sometimes I get weary of my pizzas looking all the same! So, I try to be creative by slicing the cheese in different geometric shapes and configuring the cornicione differently to keep me regaled.

In regard to my Santos mixer (model #18), yes, its capacity is 10 quarts (or 10 liters, which translates to 5 kg or 11 lbs of dough). Have a great night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 15, 2011, 12:20:18 AM
Pizzas baked tonight (dough prepared with Santos fork mixer):

Hydration: 57%
Flour: Caputo Pizzeria
Total dough weight: 2507 grams
Mechanical mixing time: 1 minute
Mechanical kneading Time: 4 minutes and 30 seconds
Fermentation (fresh yeast, 0.20 gram): 1 + 24 hours at controlled room temperature 67° - 76° F
Oven: Home gas oven floor 669° F
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on August 15, 2011, 12:23:50 AM
Are you open for business yet?  ;D
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 15, 2011, 12:33:28 AM
Are you open for business yet?  ;D

I have not even begun sending out my resumés to the San Diego pizzerias yet!  ??? Anyone hiring?  ::)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on August 15, 2011, 12:54:43 AM
I have not even begun sending out my resumés to the San Diego pizzerias yet!  ??? Anyone hiring?  ::)

Perhaps your photography skills are keeping you afloat?   Regardless, they look melt in my mouth good.

In general what is the price range of the oven that you have posted pictures of?  $3,000 or less, or above $3000.00?  None of my business, but I don't really feel like contacting them directly.  Thanks.

Just how do you measure .2 gram of fresh yeast?  You must have one of those fancy California herb scales? :-D
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 15, 2011, 09:49:21 AM
Just how do you measure .2 gram of fresh yeast?  You must have one of those fancy California herb scales? :-D

It's easy. Dissolve 1g fresh yeast in 99g water and then take 20g of the mixture. You'll have 0.2g yeast and 19.8g water.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on August 15, 2011, 10:31:29 AM
It's easy. Dissolve 1g fresh yeast in 99g water and then take 20g of the mixture. You'll have 0.2g yeast and 19.8g water.

CL

This is a great technique.  I take 1 gm of CY and mix it in 9ml of water.  Then use 2ml (0.2gm) of the solution.  I also leave out 2cc when measuring out the water initially for the formula.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: chrisgraff on August 15, 2011, 11:06:02 AM
I have not even begun sending out my resumés to the San Diego pizzerias yet!  ??? Anyone hiring?  ::)

Omid,
This thread has been accessed over 13,000 times since your original entry, posted 51 days ago.  Perhaps you should start your own blog.

Chris
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 15, 2011, 01:09:11 PM
In general what is the price range of the oven that you have posted pictures of?  $3,000 or less, or above $3000.00?  None of my business, but I don't really feel like contacting them directly.  Thanks.

Just how do you measure .2 gram of fresh yeast?  You must have one of those fancy California herb scales?

It's easy. Dissolve 1g fresh yeast in 99g water and then take 20g of the mixture. You'll have 0.2g yeast and 19.8g water.

This is a great technique.  I take 1 gm of CY and mix it in 9ml of water.  Then use 2ml (0.2gm) of the solution.  I also leave out 2cc when measuring out the water initially for the formula.

Dear Craig and Chau, that is a sagacious way of weighing 0.20 grams of fresh yeast. Very wily! However, I utilized, as Jet_Deck put it, a "fancy California herb scale" to weigh 0.20 grams of fresh yeast. In particular, I used a professional food scale (manufactured by Ohaus, model Valor V31XH402), which can weigh ingredients as light as 0.1 grams and as heavy as 4000 grams. (A cheaper alternative is a Ohaus pocket jewelry scale, which is about $40 to $60 dollars and can weigh an object as light as 0.01 gram and as heavy as 100 or 200 grams.) Of course, using such diminutive amount of fresh yeast, I had to first hydrate and thoroughly dissolve the fresh yeast in 50 grams of cold water, which was later (i.e., after no more than 10 minutes, as advised by some professional bakers) added to 845 grams of water. From that point forward, I used the direct method:

Flour: 1570 gr. (datum)
Water: 895 gr. (57%)
Yeast: 0.2 gr. (0.0127%)
Salt: 43 gr. (2.73%) 

(50 gr. Water → 0.2 gr. Yeast) → 845 gr. Water → 1570 Flour → 43 gr. Salt → 1 Hour Ferm. → Dough Balls → 24 Hours Ferm.

In reality, by doing all these experiments, I am trying to find a way to compensate for the fast kneading-speed of the Santos fork mixer. The fast speed takes its toll on the tenderness!

Dear Jet_Deck, the Forno Piccolo Rosso (which is constructed with a brick dome, as opposed to cement dome, and is topped with several layers of insulation) is $2,600.00 dollars. A regular Forno Piccolo, without the red or whatever color tiles, is, I think, about $300.00 cheaper.

Good day gentlemen!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on August 15, 2011, 01:42:44 PM
Omid,

When you state that the dough is fermented at a "controlled room temperature of x", is that a typical room temperature range at the place where the dough is fermented or do you actually "control" the room temperature range?

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 15, 2011, 04:53:21 PM
Omid,

When you state that the dough is fermented at a "controlled room temperature of x", is that a typical room temperature range at the place where the dough is fermented or do you actually "control" the room temperature range?

Peter

Dear Peter, to fully answer your question, and perhaps to benefit some beginners here in this forum, I need to do a little explaining. For the purpose of making pizza dough and fermenting it for a long period of time (about 24 or more hours) with as little as leavening culture or fresh yeast possible, my optimal temperature range is 77° to 67° to 78°-81° F under the extant conditions in and around my kitchen during summers. To that effect, I usually begin making dough around 9:00 PM, during nighttime, when the outdoor and indoor temperatures are subsiding. As the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel stated in his masterpiece, "Only when the dusk starts to fall does the owl of Minerva spread its wings and fly!" Given my particular situation and logistics, the nighttime heat diminution confers greater temperature manipulation than the daytime heat escalation.

By 10:00 PM, after the dough is made in my kitchen (which is about 77° F during summer, with the kitchen door, to the outside, and window fully open), I transfer the dough to the small entrance room, whose 3 out of 4 walls are made of glass and iron frames. Further, the entrance room is never subject to direct sunlight because of the tall trees surrounding it. With one window open, both the in and out doors closed, one small fan, not AC, running on medium speed by the open window, and the dough container placed inside a protective (against the direct fan blow) and roomy marble chamber (constructed with 5 white carrara marble tiles 19x19 inches, no top) placed on the naked floor,—the temperature at the floor-level of the chamber reaches about 70° F by 10:00 PM. By 12:00 AM, the floor-level temperature reaches about 67° F, and it is maintained all the way until around 9:00 or 10:00 AM, whereby the temperature gradually escalates to about 78° F by 4:00 PM. (If the floor-level temperature becomes hotter than necessary, I will place a couple of frozen water bottles inside the marble chamber to keep it cool. They work so well!) Thereafter, if needed, I transfer the dough balls back to the kitchen to enjoy warmer temperatures and to be relaxed and levitated. I use this method mostly during warm seasons; during cold seasons the dough stays in the kitchen most of the time. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on August 15, 2011, 06:56:55 PM
Omid,

Thank you for the explanation. Where I live in Texas, just outside of Dallas, we just ended a string of 40 consecutive days of temperatures over 100 degrees F, just two days short of the all-time record of 42 days set in 1980. The only realistic option that I have, and others similarly situated may have, at least in summer, is to use some kind of temperature control unit and hope that it holds the amount of dough and number of dough balls that you have been making.

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 15, 2011, 10:34:29 PM
Omid,

Thank you for the explanation. Where I live in Texas, just outside of Dallas, we just ended a string of 40 consecutive days of temperatures over 100 degrees F, just two days short of the all-time record of 42 days set in 1980. The only realistic option that I have, and others similarly situated may have, at least in summer, is to use some kind of temperature control unit and hope that it holds the amount of dough and number of dough balls that you have been making.

Peter

Dear Peter, temperature control is indeed an obligatory art in respect to making dough. This is even truer when one, out of a spirit of identifying with the past traditions, commits oneself to preclusion from use of modern refrigeration, electric cellars, or other modern technologies, as can still be seen in a number of pizzerias and bakeries in Naples, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Right next door to Naples, the ancient Pompeians did not have the benefits of the modern amenities, yet they reportedly produced myriad of baked goods for the entire city to enjoy throughout summers, when the temperature was often infernal according to the historical records. Upon a visit to the ancient Pompeii many years ago, the guide, who was neither a scholar nor a baker, informed me that theoretically the Pompeian bakers controlled their dough temperature by using deep vats or vessels (sometimes half buried below ground) made out of volcanic or earthenware materials, as shown in the pictures I gathered from around the net below. (Again, please, keep in mind that this is all speculation. There are many other rival theories.) Hence I became inspired to construct my "marble chamber", which seems to have a peculiar heat-repulsion property, for dough fermentation. Sometime soon, I am planning to move and cement the marble chamber below the ground-level under the house, right below one of the rooms that already contains a hatch on the floor. It would be like a mini cellar where the temperature would be more stable than above the ground. As the ancient Roman poet Virgil elegantly stated in his Aeneid: Flectere si nequeo Superos, Acheronta movebo. ("Since I cannot move the gods above, I shall move the gods below.")

I think we have much to learn from the antiquity. The ancient bakeries and the telltale brick-ovens of Pompeii have already become a place for clue-hunting for some modern bakers and oven builders. I recently learned that one reason the Colosseum in Rome has well-survived centuries of erosions, arsons, vandalisms, and wars is because it was built of certain materials out of which they built their ovens. That is fascinating! Good day.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 15, 2011, 11:17:00 PM
Omid,
This thread has been accessed over 13,000 times since your original entry, posted 51 days ago.  Perhaps you should start your own blog.

Chris

Dear Chris, I sincerely appreciate your comment, which is characteristic of affection and benevolence! However I feel right at home amongst all you impassioned pizza sectarians here in this wonderful forum, where I have been learning tremendously from both the absolute beginners  ??? and professionals :chef:. And, one crucial philosophical point that at times we may neglect: as true science and philosophy can never be individualistic pursuits, that they are inherently cultural and collective efforts, likewise culinary arts as cultural pursuits are cooperative efforts that can enrich the existence of one another. Thanks to the organizers and members of this forum. Good night friend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on August 16, 2011, 08:55:37 AM
Omid,

your thread has been an amazing eye opener for me and many others here.  your suggestions have led me into several uncharted alleys on my pizza trek.  one theme in particular has been especially facinating and i and others have experimented wildly over the last weeks to gain our own knowledge.  that is what you call effective hydration.  i was thinking that the masonry vats might have been a recepticle for hydrated flour....  anyway, i wonder if now that many of us have tried many different interpretations of EH, if you would tell us what that means to you and how your process achieves it. 
thanks again for this remarkable thread and good cheers to you!
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 16, 2011, 11:13:23 PM
Omid,

your thread has been an amazing eye opener for me and many others here. . . . One theme in particular has been especially fascinating and i and others have experimented wildly over the last weeks to gain our own knowledge. that is what you call effective hydration. anyway, i wonder if now that many of us have tried many different interpretations of EH, if you would tell us what that means to you and how your process achieves it. thanks again for this remarkable thread and good cheers to you!
bill

Dear Bill, I thank you for your generous remarks! What is mesmerizing about the baker’s marble (i.e., the wheat flour) is all the potentials that—lay hidden—within its grains! The longer one experiments with wheat dough, the more one realizes its multidimensional propensities. As such, effective hydration still remains a mystery to me!

Please, let me explain after making some preliminary remarks. First, this method is not prominent at all within the Neapolitan circle in Naples, and it is superfluously beyond what is sufficient within that context. In other words, there is nothing Neapolitan about this method of hydration as far as making pizza dough is the concern. Second, although effective hydration and “autolyse” seem to have certain characteristics and functions in common, I refrain from calling it “autolyse” insomuch as I do not know enough about it and its procedure(s). Third, this method is a hyperactively modified version of a hydration method that is still in use in different regions of the Middle East. (In Iran, they even hydrate rice grains for a period of time before actually cooking them, for they believe such hydration helps the rice to cook faster, better, softer, and tastier. Same principle!) Fourth, this method originally meant to be an alternative to using oil, milk, or the like in dough in order to make the crust moist and tender—particularly where there is no wood-fired oven that can generate high levels of heat. At last, effective hydration does not carry the implication that if you hydrate your flour differently, then you are ineffectively hydrating your flour.

Unfortunately, at this point in time, it is not easy and possible for me to compose a written description and explanation of effective hydration for several reasons. Doing so involves technical writing which is laborious and time consuming. Further, since the subject matter is multifaceted, with many variables and scenarios at hand, the end result of putting it down in writing is prone to being confusing and misleading. And, add to that the fact that dough is a territorial being, in the sense that it behaves, either slightly or substantially, differently in various environments, seasons, and atmospheric conditions. Not all dough mixers seem to work with this type of hydration method! Winters or cold seasons seem to be most instrumental in implementing the method, not so much the warm seasons. At last, most important of all, although I have been experimenting with this method for a long time, at times it fails me without any apparent reason. And, this indicates that I have not fully understood and mastered the method. Until then, please excuse me from answering your question, for which first I need to fully answer for myself. However, if it is of any help, let me quote some of the statements I have made about effective hydration in my previous posts in this thread:


Reply 28:
And, that is precisely my point: fluidity, making the flour fluid enough in order to be materially causative or creative. . . . The floured wheat endosperm is solid, not fluid. And, it has certain regulatory resistance to hydration, which, if I am not mistaken, flour scientists often refer to as “kinetics of water transport” or “hydration dynamics of endosperm”. This resistance barrier can be overcome “at some time and in some way”, which calls for a “methodology” or “methodic handling”. . . . A way is to get the flour’s own natural enzymes “to adequately turn the starch content of flour into sugar and to reconfigure the protein content of flour into gluten—after mixing, but prior to kneading. . . . By analogy, if your hair is not wet enough, shampooing your hair would not be effective. First, adequately (quantity) and effectively (quality) hydrate your hair, and then shampoo! Adequately (indicative of “quantity”) and effectively (indicative of “quality” or “how”) hydrating flour will beget dough of superior extensibility, flavor, sourness, texture, and aroma.” So, there are two distinct, but not separate, factors: quantity of hydration and quality (or how) of hydration.

Reply 56:
“Ockham’s razor”, a principle of simplicity, can definitely be applied to the situation at hand. According to the scholastic philosopher William of Ockham, Entita non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitate: “Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity” or “The number of entities used to explain phenomena should not be increased unnecessarily”. In other words, of two or more possible explanations for a phenomenon, choose the one that explains what is to be explained with the fewest assumptions and explanatory principles. And, of course, as the great Aristotle stated, this is a rational (ratio, proportion) process.

Reply 124:
The chief objective of “effective hydration” . . . , not disjunct from quantity of hydration, is to make flour fluid enough (notice the adverb "enough") in order to be animated. As I have used the following analogy before, your hair (cf. flour) would not be responsive enough to shampoo (cf. culture/yeast) if it is not hydrated or fluid enough. Just as we are not able to consume hard, raw pinto beans, I hypothesize, in light of my experiments, that the fermentative micro-organisms within dough tend not to uniformly ferment the dough if it is not effectively hydrated. Un-hydrated flour is of no use to bacteria and/or fungi; the more fluid the particles of flour are the more fluently the micro-organisms can ferment the dough. So, I use this peculiar method of hydration in order to copiously exploit (explicāre, “to bring out the best”) the flour.

In my estimation, which could be erroneous, the timing—not exclusive of temperature—is indispensably critical in carrying out effective hydration, which I view as a musical overture to the opera of fermentation! “Overture” because it significantly sets the mood for the opera to follow. A poor overture can jeopardize a good opera! In regard to timing effective hydration, one should not just haphazardly pick an amount of time, such as 20 minutes or else. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts in this thread, according to Aristotle such natural processes, e.g. hydration, are “rational” (derived from ratiō, "ratio" or "proportion"), meaning that one needs to proportionately ratio-nalize time, temperature, and portions of flour and water in relation to one another. With that in mind, the amount of time depends on the following factors:

1. Strength of flour (stronger flour needs more time),
2. Quantity of water (lesser quantity of water requires more time),
3. Absorbency rate of flour (less absorbent flour needs more time),
4. Temperature of water-flour mixture in relation to ambient temperature (enzymatic reactions need proper temperatures to be activated and maintained),
5. Native moisture of dry flour,
6. The rate at which the starch content of flour is enzymatically converted to sugars,
7. The rate at which the protein content of flour is enzymatically restructured as gluten strands, and
8. Etc.
 
While keeping the above factors in periphery of your mind, employ your senses of sight, smell, and touch as a trustworthy implement to alarm you as to when enough is enough. There is really no set time. When the water-flour mixture is inspired (īnspīrāre, “to breathe in”) enough, it is no longer a mere mélange of water and flour, but quasi-pasta which immanently percolates an implicit pasta-esque aroma, color, and corporeal constitution—that can be learned mainly by repeated trials. Also, make sure to watch the temperature!

If you add a factor to one side of a mathematical equation, then the other side of the equation will suffer if you do not add a counterbalancing factor to it. Likewise, effectively hydrated dough requires less kneading afterwards, for the pasta-esque dough has already generated amino acids or gluten strands that can be over-fortified by superfluous kneading, which can oxidize dough beyond necessity. Therefore, effective hydration not only contributes to the flour being more responsive to cohesive fermentation, but also it reduces oxidation and its unpleasant impacts on dough by reducing the kneading time.

Reply 206:
"Effective hydration" . . . is preoccupied with first [ratio-nally] hydrating the flour—without inclusion of salt or any fermentative agent—at the right mixture and room temperature and for the right amount of time [which does not always remain the same]. Thereafter, the salt and leaven [separately dissolved in water] will be added to the hydrated flour and kneading begins. Like the direct method, effective hydration does not employ bigga, poolish, or the like.

Reply 209:
[The following factors need to be regulated:]


1) . . . the temperature of water in relation to the temperature of flour;

2) . . . the temperature of the [water-flour] mixture in relation to the ambient temperature;

3) The amount of water . . .  should be a certain ratio in relation to the amount of flour;

4) . . . the amount of time [need to be] proportionate to the dough consistency that should be achieved, under the right temperature, by the end of the time period.


You need to be patient and do a number of trials until you discern the difference between each trial and learn by experience. I recommend that you accurately record all the details (periodic outside and room temperatures, periodic inner and surface mixture temperatures, type of flour and water, amount of time, season, mixture smells, colors, textures, transformations, and etc.) of every episode, and compare them with one another to understand the underlying principles. The temperature of your water (the hydrator), in relation to the temperature of your flour (the hydratee) which depends on the ambient temperature, needs to be tuned low enough for the enzymatic reactions to be minimally triggered and nothing beyond. You may want to commence with 60˚ F and keep reducing it by increments of 5 degrees per episode until you reach 35˚ F. (At 32˚ F water freezes.) To this end, mixing the hydrator and the hydratee should not take long enough to heat up the mixture. Further, at this point we are merely mixing, not kneading, to simply embody the mixture and nothing more. Start the ratio of the hydrator at 50% in relation to the hydratee. If you take it any higher, do not exceed 51% or 51.5%.

Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 18, 2011, 02:19:02 AM
Pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia of Napoli makes some crucial points in respect to spiral, fork, and kneading arms mixers:


"There are several models of mixers, but because the technique of mixing is very important, not all are suitable for the Pizza Classica Napoletana. Before the biological rising there is a physical rising, which is an increase in the volume, caused by a mechanical action, i.e. by blowing air into the dough.

The spiral mixer is characterized by a main body where there are a basin (rotating) housing the dough and the spiral (the mixing organism) rotating during the mixing phase on its own shaft to help the dough making. The spiral rotates along its axis, generating an stretching and extension action in the gluten net. With this mixer it is possible to knead for a maximum of 20 minutes and is not recommended for beginners because, causing a friction, unless you have a great experience, it causes heat in the dough.

With the fork mixer, thanks to the unique shape of the mixing body and the natural movement, it is possible to achieve not heated and well-oxygenated dough, to a very high quality final product. The system of dough making with the fork is ranked as one of the best, second only to the system with the kneading arms [cf., the diving arms mixer].

In fact, this last model [the kneading arms], with its operating system, which reminds of the typical movements of human being arms and hands, is the most tested and efficient model existing to work the dough. The product obtained is very homogeneous, well oxygenated, without any heat in the dough, ready for a perfect, slow rising, the only problem is that you have to work with medium or large amounts of dough." (http://www.blogpizzanapoletana.com/en/pizza-and-equipment/)


His statements bring to my mind the fast speed, not the physical design, of the Santos mixer's fork which over-oxygenates and heats up (not as much as many other mixers such as the Kitchen Aid) the dough—which in turn results in a crust that is not tender enough for Neapolitan pizza. In addition, the fast speed buttresses the gluten network throughout the dough mass.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 18, 2011, 10:38:21 AM
To follow-up on the preceding post, per Mr. Marco Parente (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.0.html Replies 14, 16, 17, & 22):

By the way this is a fork mixer, which gives the best results for pizza dough: http://www.yourdelight.com/santos.htm
I am not sure about the producer, but the technology is no1

I would like again to point out that I do not know the brand. However I do know for a fact that some fork mixers are passed on in the testament of some families back in Naples. I have also seen a 40 year old fork mixer working as if it was new... The best are Pietroberto's, but it is like the Bentleys or Ferrari of the brands. Anyway, the fork mixer action incorporate a lots of air in the dough, and does this very slowly without overheating the dough (virtually no heating is caused my the mixing action). This also allows you to work high hydration dough very easily. The good thing about the Santos, seams to be the low capacity (commercial models like Pietroberto are much bigger), and the relatively low cost (Pietroberto's mixers cost around $10,000). If you are considering a serious mixer for home use, the Santos would be the No 1 choice.  The only question is if the bowl does rotate...

. . . the Fork mixer is superior. The dough get folded over and over again incorporating a lot of air. As you may know, the yeast then just works on this air and makes the bubble bigger... The whole happen very slowly, so you can control the mixing and doesn't heat the dough.

For professionals, the best option would be a double arm diving mixers. . . . The Positive side is that it gives you the best oxygenation into the dough. The negative side is that it heat up the dough too much too quickly...
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott r on August 18, 2011, 12:58:09 PM
Another thing to take into consideration is the hydration of the dough you are looking to make.   Once you start getting into very high hydrations the spiral mixer can actually handle the dough better, and on the other side of things I know a pizzeria with a pietroberto diving arm mixer that has trouble getting it to do full batches of 60% hydration dough with a high gluten flour.... even with an autolyse.    Mixers need to matched to the style of your pizza.   There is no clear "best" for all hydrations/flours.   This may account for maco's conflicting advice.... once saying the fork is best, than another time saying the diving arm mixer is the best.

ALso, I have worked with a few spiral mixers now, and while I highly respect Enzo, I have to say that 20 minutes in a spiral mixer would probably turn any dough into a tire.  They are meant to develop dough faster than a fork or diving arm mixer.   Of course it would heat up the dough too much if you are mixing that long in a spiral!  The more typical mix times I see with a spiral are closer to 7 minutes, and one highly respected pizzeria I know of is mixing for under 5 minutes in their spiral with a VERY wet dough.  
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: chrisgraff on August 18, 2011, 01:08:16 PM
---
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 18, 2011, 01:47:26 PM
Another thing to take into consideration is the hydration of the dough you are looking to make.   Once you start getting into very high hydrations the spiral mixer can actually handle the dough better, and on the other side of things I know a pizzeria with a pietroberto diving arm mixer that has trouble getting it to do full batches of 60% hydration dough with a high gluten flour.... even with an autolyse.    Mixers need to matched to the style of your pizza.   There is no clear "best" for all hydrations/flours.   This may account for maco's conflicting advice.... once saying the fork is best, than another time saying the diving arm mixer is the best.

Dear Scott, I think you eloquently expressed a pragmatic point: "Mixers need to [be] matched to the style of your pizza." In respect to Mr. Marco's statements, when he asserted "the fork mixer is superior" and "for professionals, the best option would be a double arm diving mixers", it seems to me that he spoke of them in superlative terms (e.g., good, better, best). Accordingly, I think, he made a distinction, however awkwardly, between "superior" (referring to fork mixers) and "for professional, the best" (referring to double diving arm mixers). So, he may not had contradicted himself. Incidentally, I doubt it if he was cognizant, back in 2005, of the fast kneading speed of the Santos mixers that are customized for the US consumers. Perhaps, that is why he wrote, "I am not sure about the [Santos] producer, but the technology is no1." Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on August 18, 2011, 06:40:41 PM
..... I have to say that 20 minutes in a spiral mixer would probably turn any dough into a tire....  

I would have agreed with you until I watched this the other night.  Start at 4:00 if you like. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6qN0GnYNHs&feature=player_embedded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6qN0GnYNHs&feature=player_embedded)

There is a part 2 of this video also.  The dough balls in part 2 look suprisingly perfect.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on August 18, 2011, 10:03:35 PM
This debate could go on for many many pages. However I agree with scottr about the Knead to know what type of flour hydration and style of pizza you want to make. I have been blessed, using the diving arm mixer at Vesta Pizzeria shown here, for my Caputo 62% hydration dough for all my dough for my events. Frank has been very kind to me. I have made many batches now from 8 lbs of flour to 26 lbs (max for this machine) of flour and the dough does NOT heat up and comes out identical each and every time. I do 5 min mix/kneed rest a few minutes and 2 , 1 minute quick kneed to build the gluten. So I guess what I am trying am saying that the quantity? of dough you are wanting to make is also important. Amano uses a fork mixer that takes one full bag and There are spiral mixers that make 100's of pounds of flour in one shot. Is there a diving arm that will do that much.? I am eying this mixer http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330594974654&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT on ebay and feel it would be a great addition to my Neapolitan garage (sorry Craig) affordable and perfect for Neapolitan dough I would appreciate any feed back on such a mixer as I have 0 experience with a spiral But I have heard they also do not overheat the dough at say a 6-7 minute mix. Maybe Omid or someone else in California would be kind enough to go have a look at the machine before I "Dive" in  ;) thanks John
Thanks
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on August 18, 2011, 11:47:49 PM
John I have no experience with spirals either but I did read that Italian mixers run slower than others like french mixers. The santos is a french mixer and runs faster than what you would see in normal Italian forks. Same with the SP5 mixer Matt has, runs faster than Italian spirals. I tried finding who makes the Sinmag mixer but their site is down.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott r on August 19, 2011, 02:48:07 PM
I would have agreed with you until I watched this the other night.  Start at 4:00 if you like.  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6qN0GnYNHs&feature=player_embedded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6qN0GnYNHs&feature=player_embedded)

There is a part 2 of this video also.  The dough balls in part 2 look suprisingly perfect.

Thats a planetary, not a spiral mixer.  Its normal to go 15- 20 min in a planetary, especially with gradual addition of flour like this guy is doing.    
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 20, 2011, 06:17:27 PM
Maybe Omid or someone else in California would be kind enough to go have a look at the machine before I "Dive" in.

Dear John, if the place was near San Diego, I would have been happy to inspect the mixer for you. La Habra is a 2-hour drive or more from where I live. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 20, 2011, 07:10:24 PM
---

Dear Chrisgraff, I went to make some comments about your yesterday post re your experimentations with "effective hydration", but the post is gone! I do remember that you refrigerated the dough for about over 12 hours or more in the process of effectively hydrating it. I would personally avoid any refrigeration, which can cause the dough itself to toughen and, hence, not to be conducive to kneading afterward. Also, 12 hours or so is quite excessive. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on August 24, 2011, 10:15:17 PM
Most of the posts regarding the Santos mod have been moved to a new thread in a more appropriate forum:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15282.msg150154.html#msg150154 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15282.msg150154.html#msg150154)

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 24, 2011, 10:46:23 PM
Most of the posts regarding the Santos mod have been moved to a new thread in a more appropriate forum:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15282.msg150154.html#msg150154 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15282.msg150154.html#msg150154)

Dear bill, five minutes ago, I received an email from a youtube member who asked me, "What happened to all the posts on Santos?" Hence, with your permission, I added the Santos picture below as an attention-catcher for the non-members who have been following the development from other websites. I thank you for all your great service!

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15282.msg150154.html#msg150154
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: tinroofrusted on August 25, 2011, 12:20:56 PM
Hello Omid and other pizza friends. I have been offline for a while and seem to have missed a lot with respect to this thread and others.  I, like others, am fascinated with the tantalizingly enigmatic discussion of effective hydration.  It seems to be somewhat mystical, and I find myself wishing for more concrete instructions even as I read why they cannot be more clearly set forth.  Something like the Tao.  So I will continue to read and learn as the experiments unfold.

I am particularly drawn to Omid's idea of a roomy "marble chamber" for fermenting dough.  It seems fitting that Omid, a classicist, would favor such a vessel. He mentions that it was constructed of five 19x19 squares of Carrera marble. Omid, would it be possible for you to (a) post a photo of your marble chamber, and (b) to provide some instructions to those who might be interested in constructing one of their own.

Best regards,

Tin Roof
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 25, 2011, 10:57:03 PM
Hello Omid and other pizza friends. I have been offline for a while and seem to have missed a lot with respect to this thread and others.  I, like others, am fascinated with the tantalizingly enigmatic discussion of effective hydration.  It seems to be somewhat mystical, and I find myself wishing for more concrete instructions even as I read why they cannot be more clearly set forth.  Something like the Tao.  So I will continue to read and learn as the experiments unfold.

I am particularly drawn to Omid's idea of a roomy "marble chamber" for fermenting dough.  It seems fitting that Omid, a classicist, would favor such a vessel. He mentions that it was constructed of five 19x19 squares of Carrera marble. Omid, would it be possible for you to (a) post a photo of your marble chamber, and (b) to provide some instructions to those who might be interested in constructing one of their own.

Best regards,

Tin Roof

Dear Tin Roof, welcome back! Indeed, a couple of days ago I was thinking about you. Where have you been?

In re the effective hydration, I will restart my experiments once the warm season is over here in San Diego. I will share my results. For now I am preoccupied, as you probably have noticed, with taming the shrew, my new Santos mixer. Also, I have been getting many job interviews for the pizzaiolo and pizza maker positions in and out of San Diego. Last week, I had to fly all the way to New York for that purpose!

Fortunately, San Diego has been alluring the attention of several corporate restaurateurs who think that the US market, not just San Diego, is getting ripe for Neapolitan pizza business! Some of them are taking the pizza business with a spirit of seriousness and some of them are taking it with a rather epenthetic orientation. I speculate that waves of Neapolitan pizzerias will be hitting the US market (and markets abroad) within next 3 to 5 years. They are watching us!

I remember when I arrived to the US in 1984, pizza napoletana was virtually unheard of. Now, they are popping up in all kinds of places that I could not even imagine: Alabama, Kentucky, Iran, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, China, Singapore, and etc. I hope this means that the years of exile are over!  

Respectfully,
Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: tinroofrusted on August 25, 2011, 11:45:45 PM
I have been around but preoccupied with things other than pizza, sadly.  I am whipping up a batch of dough right now as a matter of fact. I created a poolish this morning with the following ingredients:

400 grams pure spring water
100 grams high gluten flour
100 grams whole durum wheat atta flour*
100 grams all purpose flour
25 grams rye flour
25 grams spelt flour
15 grams wheat germ
a very small pinch of instant yeast

I mixed this up and left it on the counter all day. When I returned home this evening it had blossomed very nicely. I added about 300 grams of high gluten flour and 1.5 tsp of salt and did my best imitation of "effective hydration". I'm right now in the middle of a series of turns, every 15 minutes, after which I will put it in the fridge for an overnight rest.  I do wish I had a carrera marble vessel in which to store it.  Speaking of which, I am still hoping that you may provide some instructions on how one of those vessels is best constructed.  I am ready to head up to Anaheim to the marble yards to seek out some white marble as soon as I have my instructions in hand.  

*Durum atta flour, as you probably know, is an interesting ingredient for pizza makers. It is a very high protein flour, made entirely from hard wheat, and is classically used for making Indian breads. I find it very delicious when used in modest quantities in pizza dough.  

Regards,

Tin Roof
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 27, 2011, 02:04:34 AM
I am whipping up a batch of dough right now as a matter of fact. . . . I am still hoping that you may provide some instructions on how one of those vessels is best constructed.

Dear Tin Roof, your recipe sounds complex, yet fantastic. I have never crafted a dough of that stature. The final product must be delicious, with its own particular flavor and texture. Please, take some pictures of the final products and post them here.

In my previous post, I completely forgot to discuss the construction of the marble chamber. It is very simple and elementary. Below is a list of what you need:

1) Five 18×18 polished "bianco carrera" marble tiles. (The denser and thicker the carrera marble tiles are, the better they will sustain their cool temperature. Mine is slightly less than half of an inch thick.)
2) Clear, wide scotch tape of good quality. Alternatively, you can use silicon sealant.  

The pictures attached hereunder should be self-explanatory. Basically, you need to construct a topless cube with the tiles, and use the tape or silicon to conjoin the edges. (Sometimes I do use a top in conjunction with some frozen water bottles placed inside.) Take heed that the five carrera marble tiles together are quite heavy. So, I recommend not to cement or permanently join the tiles together (unless you would like to permanently situate the marble chamber below ground level under your house), or you will have a difficult time moving the chamber around.

Where in a room you place the chamber will have an impact upon the interior temperature of the chamber. Sometimes I place the chamber right below an open or closed window. For obvious reasons, make sure the bottom marble tile sits directly on naked floor, as opposed to on a carpet or rug. Also, make sure there is no hot water pipes running below the floor. On hot days, I use a small electric fan (positioned close to an open window) to blow air above the mouth of the chamber in order to gently refresh and keep cool the air inside, kind of like a heat sink on a microprocessor. (As you may know, many Pentium microprocessors would fry themselves within a short period of time without heat sinks.) If the temperature gets too hot, I place frozen water bottles inside the chamber, which work great. It is a good practice to keep a thermometer inside the chamber to be alert of the interior temperature.

I hope the marble chamber works for you. Again, make sure to pick a right spot for it. And, every season may require a different spot in your house. You may want to read my "reply #399" in this tread to examine my setup: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.380.html.  

By the way, you can use a single marble tile to ferment your dough balls on. There is evidence that the ancient Pompeians practiced this. There are some bakeries in Iran that place their dough balls on an overly large marble table. Try it and you will see the difference! Bianco carrera marble absorbs moisture relatively well; hence, making it easy to pick up a dough ball with aid of a spatula or dough scraper. Also, the marble can better regulate and sustain the internal temperature of the dough balls. Good luck!

Respetfully,
Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Tman1 on August 27, 2011, 08:33:18 AM
Truly an abundance of info within this thread!! 

Omid,

I wonder if you might have some more info (comments, web links?) on the 'old world vessels' used for proofing? I started another thread here to discuss, but I fear not many have knowledge.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15271.0.html
My internet searches have turned up mostly refrigerator methods, not the methods of old.

Good day!!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: tinroofrusted on August 27, 2011, 09:38:21 AM
Good morning Omid,

Thank you so much for the pictures of your marble vessel and instructions on how to make it. Simple and effective.  I am going to give this a try.  i have a nice quiet place under the stairs that should be perfect, and won't require me to move the vessel around too often. I wonder if I might be able to purchase slightly smaller marble tiles (12x12?) to make it a bit more manageable. Obviously I limit my ability to make larger batches but I rarely ferment more than a kilo or two of dough at a time.

My complex recipe is sitting in the fridge at the moment, hopefully gaining complexity in an extended fermentation. I will make some pizzas out of it later this afternoon and post a photo of the results if they are photo-worthy. 

I'm off to the marble store...

Regards,

Tin Roof
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 27, 2011, 03:14:07 PM
I'm off to the marble store.... I wonder if I might be able to purchase slightly smaller marble tiles (12x12?) to make it a bit more manageable.

Dear Tin Roof, I have tried 12x12 marble tiles with not pleasant results. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that 12x12 marble tiles lack enough mass to sustain cool temperatures. In addition, they may not provide enough depth or height to trap and keep cool air at the bottom of the chamber.

Right now it is 12:12 PM here in San Diego. It is a hot day and will get hotter later! Right now, the temperature inside my 1000 square feet house, with 2 small fans running and 4 windows open, is 86° F. (It would have been about 92° F or more if the the fans were off and the windows closed.) Given the above conditions, the marble chamber is competently keeping my dough balls (see the pictures below) cool. Notice the frozen water bottle inside the chamber; it does wonders! The balls have been sitting inside the chamber since 11:00 PM last night. Good day!

Update: The frozen water bottles do not have to be placed inside the marble chamber; they can also be placed on the floor outside of the chamber, adjacent to the walls, which will absorb the cold temperature from the ice and distribute it though out the mass.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 27, 2011, 06:13:04 PM
I'm off to the marble store...

One more point: The frozen water bottles do not have to be placed inside the marble chamber; they can also be placed on the floor outside of the chamber, adjacent to the walls, which will absorb the cold temperature from the ice and distribute it throughout the marble mass, which has good temperature conductivity.

Another point: Since carrera marble absorbs moisture well, the inside of the chamber is much less likely to sweat, even with a top on. When I used to use a coleman cooler, such as the one shown below, it would make its own interior and the dough balls very sweaty—probably because the plastic walls inside coleman do not absorb moisture. Right now (2:58 PM) the indoor temperature is 88° F and the inside of my marble chamber, not the walls, is 71° F. (The ice inside the bottle is fully melted.) As I touch the walls inside the chamber, there is no sweat. The same goes with the container holding the dough balls, which are hydrated at 60%. Good luck!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 29, 2011, 12:14:01 AM
Truly an abundance of info within this thread!!  

I wonder if you might have some more info (comments, web links?) on the 'old world vessels' used for proofing? I started another thread here to discuss, but I fear not many have knowledge. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15271.0.html My internet searches have turned up mostly refrigerator methods, not the methods of old.

Dear Tman1, the ancient baking methodology is a fascinating subject, but a subject with thorns! our knowledge of the ancient Roman bread culture is very scanty, fragmentary, and highly speculative. In an effort to research this subject, one needs to spread one's attention over manifold sources: historical records, archaeological findings, ethnographical accounts, doxographical reports, indirect accounts by ancient poets (such as Virgil and Martial), statesmen (such as Marcus Tullius Cicero and Marcus Porcius Cato), naturalists (such as Gaius Plinius Secundus), historians (such as Mestrius Plutarchus), travelers' diaries (such as Vincenzo Corrado's), gourmets (such as Marcus Gavius Apicius), and many more. Another great source, I should say "live source", is a traditional bakery that is still unspoiled by modernity. Such rare bakeries are extant in remote villages in Europe and Middle East. About six years ago, the Discovery Channel aired a documentary about a Bedouin tribe that is still manually milling grains of wheat and baking breads in hot ashes under sands. It was amazing to see them make dough, all by hands, in the heat of the desert, without any refrigeration.      

In regard to the vats or "old world vessels", what I know is very elementary and frequently dubious, often relying on inductive inferences that are based on parallel occurrences. For instance, many traditional bakeries in modern Iran employ similar deep vessels, which the bakers use for hand-kneading and/or proofing dough. (See marks 2:15, 3:26, and 5:40 in the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HBrtMV9x6I.) Some of these vessels are so unusually deep that the baker inserts his full-length arms inside the vessel to reach the bottom. (Think about all the air that gets incorporated inside the dough when it is repeatedly picked up and let down to the bottom of the vessel. This is very much a philosophy underlying the fork mixers and diving arms mixers. I presume that without such method, the highly hydrated dough in the video would be runny and hyper-sticky. I have tried this method—which is specifically meant for highly hydrated dough—in a deep clay pot with outstanding results. Basically, you let the gravity do the work for you! However, it does take some practice to refine the rhythm and motion of your hands and arms.)

Perchance, the ancient Pompeians used the deep vats for the purpose of employing the same method of kneading dough. And, the thickness of the vats probably has to do with controlling the temperature inside the vats for the purpose of fermentation. I can only speculate! And, if you are using sourdough culture to ferment your dough, this method of incorporating air inside the dough will optimally animate the bacterial and fungal micro-organisms in the culture.

I had complied an extensive list of books and websites on ancient baking; however, my hard drive crashed a year ago and l lost them all. By the way, have you heard of the first bread museum in the world? It is known as "High 5 Bread Town Museum". And where is this museum? Malaysia. Here's the website: http://www.high5breadtown.com/. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: jasonjamie on August 29, 2011, 09:17:13 AM
Hi Omid, Do you have any pictures of your pizzas? I've read your great postings, but would love to see the outcome. thx
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 29, 2011, 10:32:40 AM
Scroll back through this thread. He has posted many pictures of his beautiful pies here.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 29, 2011, 07:06:53 PM
Thus far, having been in this forum for the past couple of months, two happenings have really enchanted and transfixed me: (1) Mr. Craig's spirited audacity to house an Acunto oven inside his garage and (2) Mr. Scpizza's tantalizing experiment with his Santos fork mixer. As to the latter, while it is not a miracle, it is miraculous nonetheless! View for yourself and take a walk to the dark side of the moon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V56gb2wGSSg
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 29, 2011, 09:38:24 PM
Needless to say I'm very proud to be on that short list!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 30, 2011, 12:13:32 AM
A gentleman sent me a message and asked me to describe the kneading method used in the video above about the Iranian baker. Here is a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HBrtMV9x6I. (See marks 2:15 and 5:40.)

Since it is difficult for me to describe the kneading method (known as "varzidan" or "varz daadan"), I decided to express it pictorially below. (The images are chronologically ordered from top to bottom.) As I mentioned in my previous post in this thread (reply #426):

". . . The air . . . gets incorporated inside the dough when it is repeatedly picked up and let down to the bottom of the vessel. This is very much a philosophy underlying the fork mixers and diving arms mixers. . . . Without such method, the highly hydrated dough in the video would be runny and hyper-sticky. I have tried this method—which is specifically meant for highly hydrated dough—in a deep clay pot with outstanding results. Basically, you let the gravity do the work for you! However, it does take some practice to refine the rhythm and motion of your hands and arms. . . . If you are using sourdough culture to ferment your dough, this method of incorporating air inside the dough will optimally animate the bacterial and fungal micro-organisms in the culture."

Constant speed and rhythm are important in carrying out this method, just as machine mixers maintain the same factors. In addition, the dough needs to be picked up and let down in a way to trap air beneath it on the way down, akin to a parachute that traps air inside its canopy. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 30, 2011, 12:14:44 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 30, 2011, 12:18:23 AM
Hi Omid, Do you have any pictures of your pizzas? I've read your great postings, but would love to see the outcome. thx

Scroll back through this thread. He has posted many pictures of his beautiful pies here.

Dear Jasonjamie, I thank you for your interest! As Mr. TXCraig kindly pointed out, the pictures are spread out throughout this tread. I'll repost some of them below. And, keep in mind that none of the pizzas were baked in a wood-fired oven; they were baked in my humble, modified, home, gas oven which I purchased for $99.00 from Sears! And, "00" grade flour was used in all of them. If I am lucky enough, one day I will own a real Neapolitan oven like Mr. TXCraig's. (Make sure to check out his photos and the story behind his Acunto Classico. Look for "Craig's Neapolitan Garage" in the index.) Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: jjdec05 on August 30, 2011, 07:19:34 PM
Pizza Napoletana,

A while ago you said you were thinking of getting a Forno Classico oven.  Did you ever go through with it?  If so I can't wait to see the results.

JJ
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on August 31, 2011, 09:36:33 AM
Pizza Napoletana,

A while ago you said you were thinking of getting a Forno Classico oven.  Did you ever go through with it?  If so I can't wait to see the results.

Dear JJ, I have asked the builder to put the brick oven on ice! There is a possibility that I may move to a house with a real backyard as opposed to the small, enclosed patio that I have now. If that materializes, then I would want a larger oven. Have a great day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: jjdec05 on August 31, 2011, 07:35:01 PM
Thanks for the update!  Best of luck if you decide to  move.

JJ
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 03, 2011, 04:59:30 AM
Last night, I went to Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano, San Diego County's very first Neapolitan pizzeria which was established in 2009. The pizzeria, which is within walking distance from my house, was quite busy. There were over fifty patrons, one Stefano Ferrara Neapolitan oven, and only one pizzaiolo. The pizzaiolo, Mr. Peter, is a humble, generous, and passionate man. He literally pours out his whole being into every pizza he crafts! The pictures posted hereunder do not really do justice to what my eyes laid upon. I wished I had my good camera with me.

I normally order a Pizza Margherita at Bruno; however, this time I ordered a Blanco (fior di latte, gorgonzola, fresh garlic, roasted onion, pancetta, and arugula) and my wife ordered a Quattro Formaggio. Both pizzas were divine. (At Bruno the dough is naturally risen.) Nicely polka-dotted with chars, the puffy cornicione characteristically crowned the crust—which was as tender as Da Michele's. The crust was so light and soft that my knife cut through it with ease. With every bite the exquisite crust announced its presence and subtle flavors to my taste buds. The toppings were well in harmony with one another and with the crust. Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano is definitely driven by the virtue of excellence. In conclusion, I wished you guys were there!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 03, 2011, 08:02:42 AM
RE: Using a cooler and the walls sweating.  Was the lid closed all the way or tight?  What if you try cracking the lid with a spacer to allow the moisture to escape.  Would that work? 

Amazing looking pies Omid.  Did you take any pictures of the crumb?  Can you do that next time you are there?

Any guesses at their hydration level?  Thank you for sharing your experience.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on September 03, 2011, 08:18:36 AM
Omid,
Pete is a friend of mine.  We corresponded quite a bit during the early stages of Bruno (named after his wife's grandfather).  He a super guy and very passionate about what he does.  That is the reason why he is the lone ranger behind the oven. 

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 03, 2011, 11:09:59 PM
RE: Using a cooler and the walls sweating. Was the lid closed all the way or tight?  What if you try cracking the lid with a spacer to allow the moisture to escape.  Would that work? Amazing looking pies Omid.  Did you take any pictures of the crumb?  Can you do that next time you are there? Any guesses at their hydration level? Thank you for sharing your experience.
Chau

Dear Chau, your insatiable curiosity amazes and inspires me! I would not be surprised if one day in feature I come to learn that you, like Pasquale Makishima, have won the pizza championship in Naples. In regard to the Coleman cooler that I used long time ago, its lid was closed all the way. Cracking the lid with a spacer is definitely an option, which I implemented many times to increase the interior temperature. However, if I remember correctly, the iced-water bottles inside the cooler kept causing aggregation of moisture along the walls and the floor inside the cooler. I remember that sometimes the excessive sweating inside the proofing tray itself would annoyingly change my dough recipe in terms of the hydration percentage. Naturally, the sweat is contingent upon a number of factors: humidity levels, temperatures, and etc. in the room and inside the cooler. In respect to the Bruno pizzas, I neglected to take pictures of the crumbs, which were quite soft and fluffy, like a croissant. One piece that I saved, keeping it inside my refrigerator, is still maintaining its softness. I will take some crumb pictures next time. At last, in terms of the Bruno dough hydration level, my best educated guess would be equal to or over 60% or 61% but lower than 64%.

By the way, I recall reading somewhere that you were told the charred bubbles and/or spots on Neapolitan cornicione are signs of "over-fermentation". To my thinking, that defies the logic of fermentation, depending on how the term is defined. I am suspicious of an over-fermented dough engendering wholesome blisters within a 60-second bake in a Neapolitan oven. Please allow me to explain as far as my limited knowledge can guide me forward in this highly complex subject, which I had never consciously given it a whole lot of thought. And, the model that I will propound below probably won't be free of flaws. Hence, I would appreciate any efforts that would ameliorate or rule out the model.

The two principal chemical constituents of wheat flour are "starches" and "proteins". Basically, once a dough (composed of water, wheat flour, salt, and fermentative agent) is formed, the natural amylase enzyme of the flour is activated under proper conditions such as the right range of temperatures and hydrations. Once activated, the amylase enzyme commences to convert the starch content (the complex sugars) of the flour into simple sugars (such as dextrin and maltose), which are consumed and digested by the yeast cells in the process of fermentation. In fact, the simple sugars fuel the process of fermentation. To be more particular, the starch is composed of long carbonic chains of molecules. The amylase enzyme breaks down the molecular structure of these long chains into shorter chains, known as "dextrin" and "maltose" sugars. The maltose, consumed by the yeast, contributes to the process of fermentation, and the dextrin conduces the baking process. Hence, the amount of amylase enzyme present in flour is quite critical, while the conversion of starch into simple sugars plays a pivotal role in fermenting the dough and baking it into pizza crusts. Deficient amount of amylase in dough can lead to slow fermentation, whereas high amount of amylase can result in over-fermented dough that becomes stiff and gummy.

Now, what is the role of salt in relation to fermentation and charred bubbles? Salt seems to play an evasive role in the crust formation and coloration. Inasmuch as salt slows down the enzymatic processes (essentially decreasing the rate at which amylase converts the starch into simple sugars) and inasmuch as salt reduces the fungal activities (essentially diminishing the rate at which yeast cells consume and digest the simple sugars), by the time a pizzaiolo feels the dough balls have been fermented enough (before stretching them into dough discs) hopefully there are enough residual sugars (unprocessed by the yeasts) left in the dough discs that can form those elusive bubbles on the cornicione! In a saltless dough, the yeast would rapidly deplete the sugars; hence, the dough would become bloodless and produces pale, albino crusts.

Based on the above premises, I hypothesize that a Neapolitan dough that contains adequate levels of the simple sugars—in addition to containing certain hydration levels, density levels, and reposed glutinous tension levels, which are beyond the amount of time available to me to explore at the moment—is a necessary precondition for formation of the charred bubbles, spots, and/or dots on the cornicione. When a dough disc is subject to intense heat in a Neapolitan oven, the residual sugars that are left unprocessed in the cornicione become caramelized and more kinetic (mobile). Hence, they congregate together (like drops of water attracting each other) and turn, under the intense heat, into charred blisters, spots, and/or dots in various locations on the landscape of the cornicione and crust. (As the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche says, "Come, assist, complete, bring together what belongs together. . . !") An over-fermented dough may not have enough residual sugar left in it to turn into blissful blisters.

A couple of days ago, I did two ad hoc, not fully scientific, experiments that may shed some light on this issue. The first experiment involved baking 2 small dough discs made with the same exact recipes, portions, and techniques. (See the pictures below). The left dough disc was over-fermented at room temperature for 60 hours while the right dough disc was fermented at room temperature for 10 hours. Both dough discs were simultaneously exposed to 500° F for 5 minutes. Notice the over-fermented dough, in the picture below, did not brown much, perhaps because all the sugars were depleted by the yeasts during fermentation.

The second experiment involved making two piles of a mixture of dextrin and maltose (50/50), except the left pile contained few drops of distilled water. Both piles were simultaneously subjected to 500° F for 5 minutes. In that duration, the water quickly absorbed all the sugar particles in the left pile into one almost amorphous mass which began to boil in an agitated manner, while the particles of sugars in the right pile began to liquify, caramelize, and pull one another into a single, globular, tar-like mass. The smell of the smoke caused by the reaction had a certain resemblance to the smell of a charred pizza crust. Perhaps, this is a kind of reaction that underlies the leopard marks on a Neapolitan cornicione. Again, here I have completely ignored the roles of dough hydration, dough density, gluten networks that harbor water inside the dough, and air flow throughout the crust. Yet, it appears to me that the role of the simple sugars in dough might be of primary concern in formation of the charred bubbles. Have a great Labor Day weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 03, 2011, 11:12:11 PM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 03, 2011, 11:33:21 PM
Perhaps you were sincere in your comments about me someday winning the pizza championship in Naples, but it gave me a great laugh.  Thank you for that.  I can not see that ever happening, since pizza is but a hobby for me and not my life's work.  I am curious, but that is about it.   

You on the other have a much greater chance than I.  You are not only skillfull in dough and pizza making, but also intelligent, extremely well read, articulate, and a gentleman.  I think I can safely speak on behalf of many here in saying that your posts are always a treasure to read. 

Very interesting experiments Omid.  Perhaps if you get a chance or inclination you can show 2 doughs baked with vastly differing levels of salt.  Perhaps no salt vs 3% to show the difference.  I have a wedding to attend this weekend, but can do this experiment as soon as I get some time. 

The pictures of the Motorino pies are gorgeous.  Thank you for the description of the Bruno crumb as well.  And what an excellent description it is to compare the softness to a croissant.  Aside from having the proper dough, do you think the softness also comes from the use of (aged) cake yeast?  I can only dream of one day making a crumb like that.  Perhaps then, I will enter the pizza contest.   :-D

cheers,
Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 03, 2011, 11:36:17 PM
Perhaps you were sincere in your comments about me someday winning the pizza championship in Naples. . . . I am curious, that is about it.  

You on the other have a much greater chance than I.  You are not only skillfull in dough and pizza making, but also intelligent, extremely well read, articulate, and a gentleman.  I think I can safely speak on behalf of many here in saying that your posts are always a treasure to read.  

Very interesting experiments Omid.  Perhaps if you get a chance or inclination you can show 2 doughs baked with vastly differing levels of salt.  Perhaps no salt vs 3% to show the difference.  I have a wedding to attend this weekend, but can do this experiment as soon as I get some time.  

The pictures of the Motorino pies are gorgeous.  Thank you for the description of the Bruno crumb as well.  And what an excellent description it is to compare the softness to a croissant.  Aside from having the proper dough, do you think the softness also comes from the use of (aged) cake yeast?  I can only dream of one day making a crumb like that.  Perhaps then, I will enter the pizza contest.  

cheers,
Chau

Dear Chau, I was very sincere in stating that. The sky is the limit if we do not lose our childlike, as opposed to childish, curiosity! And, I thank you and others, in truth, for holding such gracious sentiments toward me and my posts. I hope they are worthy of your attention. Your marvelous attitude and mentality encourage me to put more weight on the "philosophy" (derived from the ancient Greek word philo-sophia, meaning "love of wisdom") aspect of "pizza napoletanismo", without deviating from the established topics of this forum. What could be the object of this "love" of pizza that many of us share? Often I fall back on habit and forget why I am here (not just here)! When I stated in my initial post that "I have joined this forum with one main interest in mind: amore per la pizza napoletana [love of Neapolitan pizza]", that was no understatement. I do not think many of us are here just be-cause we like to learn how to make pizza! It is crucial not to confuse means and ends. A fundamental question to ask is: What is the problem to which making pizza is supposed to be an/the answer? Perchance, the problem for many of us is of existential nature, an ontological interest in our own existence and our own time-being-in-the-world. In that sense, pizza making may manifest itself as a mean toward a higher end. Perhaps, learning how to make pizza is more about how to re-create ourselves. In this pursuit, art definitely has the power to seduce us to life!

In regard to "aged cake yeast", I did some experiments so long ago that I can not remember the results. However, what I do remember is that aged cake yeast can sometimes produce irregular, unpredictable, and/or surprising results! Sometimes desirable and sometimes not so desirable. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 04, 2011, 12:27:12 AM
Thanks again for the vote of confidence.  At the rate I'm going, I may never achieve such a feat.   :-[

Chau

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 04, 2011, 11:44:47 PM
Tonight I went to Caffé Calabria, within which dwells Pizzeria Calabria. Caffé Calabria, in my opinion, has the best coffee I have ever had in San Diego and in the US. They do not compromise! Reportedly,they adhere to the Italian traditions of coffee roasting and coffee brewing. (Yes, Calabria is also a coffee factory, a rare gem of San Diego.) Perhaps, this is the closest you can get to Italian coffee here on the US soil. If you ever happened to be there, try the cappuccino which is flawless: the proper temperature, right consistency, delicate texture, subtle flavors, divine aroma, and luscious crema on top. In respect to making coffee, Caffé Calabria has done that which I thought was impossible in the United States!

Early this year, Calabria officially added Pizza Napoletana to the menu, although the Caffe's white, bride-like, Ferrara oven has been beautifying the place since five or six years ago! Below are some pictures of the Pizza Margherita I had tonight. I wish Calabria the best in their new challenging pizza enterprise.

http://www.caffecalabria.com/
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: parallei on September 04, 2011, 11:57:46 PM
No offense to Pizzeria Calabria Omid, but by the looks of it, I think you could show them a thing or two about producing a real Pizza Napoletana!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 05, 2011, 01:10:43 AM
No offense to Pizzeria Calabria Omid, but by the looks of it, I think you could show them a thing or two about producing a real Pizza Napoletana!

Dear Paralleli, needless to say that Caffé Calabria roasts and brews extraordinary coffee, I think their pizzas will in time catch up to the status of their outstanding coffee. Not long ago, Calabria had a pizzaiolo, Mr. Anthony Rubino, whom reportedly had learned the trade at Kesté, but he is not with the pizzeria anymore. I had tried some of his pizzas which I liked. Below are some of his pictures at Calabria before his departure. Notice that his pizzas, in terms of appearance, look like the Del Presidente's. I remember that he seemed fond of that pizzeria in Naples. Good night!

Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 05, 2011, 02:51:37 PM
Here are my dough balls for tonight. About 31 hours ago, the dough was hand-inoculated, using exactly 1 gram of fresh yeast (42° F) fully dissolved in 30 grams of water (70° F) within a 10-minute period. After my right hand was fully doused with the yeast-water mixture (1 gr. + 30 gr. = 31 gr.), 29 grams of the mixture was left behind, which I discarded. Then immediately, within the 10-minute period, I used my hand (doused with the 2 grams of the yeast-water mixture) to knead the dough (71.6° F), which had been hydrated for about 75 minutes in my marble chamber at 67° F. The salt, in dry format, was added later on during kneading. Throughout the 31 hours, the interior temperature of the marble chamber was kept steadily at 67° F.

Flour      1000 gr.   (Datum Point) Caputo Pizzeria "00"
Water     560 gr.    (56%)
F. Yeast  ≈0.06 gr. (≈0.006%)
Sea Salt  28 gr.     (2.8%)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Tman1 on September 05, 2011, 05:32:11 PM
They sure are nice looking dough balls. Has anyone queried you on where the little pizzaman came from?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 05, 2011, 08:28:52 PM
They sure are nice looking dough balls. Has anyone queried you on where the little pizzaman came from?

Dear Tman1, the little pizzaman is known in Napoli as "Pulcinella", which is akin to a good luck charm and more! Pulcinella is a mythical figure and an integral part of the Neapolitan culture. It is of obscure origin and has been integrated with many aspects of the neapolitan life, such as pizza, macaroni, music, various crafts, and etc.

According to Wikipedia:
"His [Pulcinella's] main characteristic is his extremely long nose, which resembles a beak. . . . Always dressed in white with a black mask (hence conciliating the opposites of life and death), Pulcinella stands out. . . . According to Pierre-Louis Duchartre, his traditional temperament is to be mean, vicious, and crafty: his main mode of defense is to pretend to be too stupid to know what's going on, and his secondary mode is to physically beat people."

My Pulcinella statuette was given to me as a gift in Napoli some years ago. I used to have a much larger one, standing on his feet and holding out a Pizza Margherita on his palm. When Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano opened back in 2009 in San Diego, I gave it as a good-luck gift to the pizzaiolo (Mr. Peter) of the pizzeria. His pizzas are scrumptious!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on September 05, 2011, 11:00:29 PM
thanks Omid for the pucinella details.  i have often wondered about that.  He shows up often.
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 05, 2011, 11:51:08 PM
Here are my dough balls for tonight. About 31 hours ago, the dough was hand-inoculated, using exactly 1 gram of fresh yeast (42° F) fully dissolved in 30 grams of water (70° F) within a 10-minute period. After my right hand was fully doused with the yeast-water mixture (1 gr. + 30 gr. = 31 gr.), 29 grams of the mixture was left behind, which I discarded. Then immediately, within the 10-minute period, I used my hand (doused with the 2 grams of the yeast-water mixture) to knead the dough (71.6° F), which had been hydrated for about 75 minutes in my marble chamber at 67° F. The salt, in dry format, was added later on during kneading. Throughout the 31 hours, the interior temperature of the marble chamber was kept steadily at 67° F.

Here are the results for the pizzas I baked tonight. . . The dough balls were sorcerous! And, the crusts were magical: buoyant, tender, aromatic, and delectable! The dough balls had such a great constitution that I used a tiny amount of flour to open and stretch-slap them into discs.

Flour      1000 gr.   (Datum Point) Caputo Pizzeria "00"
Water     560 gr.    (56%)
F. Yeast  ≈0.06 gr. (≈0.006%)
Sea Salt  28 gr.     (2.8%)

Fermentation Period: 31 hours at 67° F + 9 hrs at 67° F - 78° F
Oven: My $99-dollar humble home gas-oven at 899° F (floor)
Bake time: 65 seconds (Pizza Margherita) & 69 seconds (Pizza Pera)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 05, 2011, 11:52:00 PM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 06, 2011, 12:15:01 AM
As always, great job Omid.  It looks like you made a few changes to your routine to get a different outcome.
One obvious change is that you baked at a much higher temp in your home oven and shortened the bake time.  How did you achieve this? Was it a difference in setup? Getting the stone closer to the broiler?

Also it sounds like this batch was hand mixed rather than with the Santos.  If so, what was the reasoning?

Thanks,
Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Ev on September 06, 2011, 07:56:51 AM
Beautiful! I think those look like your best yet! Such a tiny amount of yeast. I must try this.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: redsun100 on September 06, 2011, 04:25:42 PM
Hey all,
Great looking pies Omid!
I was wondering why don't you use a scale like this one:
http://www.amazon.de/TS-Schwarz-Feinwaage-Taschenwaage-Kalibriergewicht-Digitalwaage/dp/B00372YUKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315340284&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.de/TS-Schwarz-Feinwaage-Taschenwaage-Kalibriergewicht-Digitalwaage/dp/B00372YUKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315340284&sr=8-1)
Would be much easier to work with. I have this one at home :)
kriss


Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 06, 2011, 07:34:32 PM
thanks Omid for the pucinella details.  i have often wondered about that.  He shows up often.
bill

Dear Bill, you are welcome! Let me add that Pulcinella seems to transpire as a character with a status such as that of Don Juan, Faust, or Don Quixote. Like them, he has been used as a theme in literary works and musical compositions. Igor Stravinsky set the character in motion in one of his Operas. Unfortunately, Wikipedia does not disclose much about Pulcinella's origin and his relation to Pizza Napoletana and other dimensions of Neapolitan culture. You won't find many people in Naples that know about this celebrated, but elusive, character. Perhaps, Mr. Ettoro can enlighten us in this respect. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 06, 2011, 10:09:05 PM
Sorry! I accidentally erased whatever was the content of this post.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 07, 2011, 01:01:54 PM
Here are my dough balls for tonight. About 31 hours ago, the dough was hand-inoculated, using exactly 1 gram of fresh yeast (42° F) fully dissolved in 30 grams of water (70° F) within a 10-minute period. After my right hand was fully doused with the yeast-water mixture (1 gr. + 30 gr. = 31 gr.), 29 grams of the mixture was left behind, which I discarded. Then immediately, within the 10-minute period, I used my hand (doused with the 2 grams of the yeast-water mixture) to knead the dough (71.6° F), which had been hydrated for about 75 minutes in my marble chamber at 67° F. The salt, in dry format, was added later on during kneading. Throughout the 31 hours, the interior temperature of the marble chamber was kept steadily at 67° F.

Flour      1000 gr.   (Datum Point) Caputo Pizzeria "00"
Water     560 gr.    (56%)
F. Yeast  ≈0.06 gr. (≈0.006%)
Sea Salt  28 gr.     (2.8%)

Beautiful! I think those look like your best yet! Such a tiny amount of yeast. I must try this.

Great looking pies Omid! I was wondering why don't you use a scale like this one:
http://www.amazon.de/TS-Schwarz-Feinwaage-Taschenwaage-Kalibriergewicht-Digitalwaage/dp/B00372YUKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315340284&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.de/TS-Schwarz-Feinwaage-Taschenwaage-Kalibriergewicht-Digitalwaage/dp/B00372YUKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315340284&sr=8-1)
Would be much easier to work with. I have this one at home :)
kriss

Thank you gentlemen for your kind comments! It is generally held that the way dough is inoculated impacts the quality of the end product, either tenuously or substantially. Accordingly, the "hand-inoculation" technique is geared toward protracted and gradual fermentation at controlled room temperature, giving dough the possibility to cultivate flavorous complexity, gentle texture, buoyancy, and superb extensibility—without the dough becoming unpleasantly acidic, gummy, and unmanageable. And, by design, the technique does away with micro-measuring the yeast via use of instrumentation. There seems to be something magical about the warmth of human hand that enchants the yeast cells.

Dear Kriss, I thank you for the link. That is a nice scale.

Dear Ev, if you are going to try the technique, I suggest the following:
1. Before hand-inoculating the dough, make sure your "00" flour (1000 gr.) is sifted and nicely hydrated (560 gr.) for a long enough period of time (about 70 minutes or less for fresh Caputo Pizzeria) whereby there is moderate conversion of complex sugars to simple sugars, which are readily attacked by the yeast cells as food.
2. Keep the internal temperature of the hydrated flour at 70° F or 71°F.
3. Assuming that you are going to use 1000 grams of Caputo Pizzeria flour hydrated with 560 grams of water, thoroughly mix 1 gram of fresh yeast (I have never tried this with dry yeast) in 30 grams of water in a glass container, such as a shot glass, within less than 10 minutes.
4. Pour the yeast-water mixture in a concaved, non-absorbent plate.
5. Place your clean hand (one side at the time) in the mixture for about 30 seconds per side, letting your hand get soaked in the mixture while the yeasts adapt to the warmth of your hand. (You may decide to use both hands rather than just one. Alternatively, some bakers use a cheese cloth, instead of using their hands, that is soaked in a yeast-water mixture. Thereafter, the cheese cloth is wrapped around the dough for 5 to 10 minutes.)
6. Before the 10-minute period is over, fully immerse your yeast-doused hand inside the dough and keep it therein for about 3 to 5 minutes before you commence kneading.
7. After kneading the dough for a while, begin to add the sea salt—a little at a time.
8. After kneading is over, let the dough rest at room temperature (about 76°-78° F) for about 2 or 3 hours before you form your dough balls.
9. Thereafter, the dough balls need to be kept at controlled room temperature of 67° F. I personally avoid refrigerating the dough. At controlled room temperature of 67° F, the dough balls require a long time before they begin to bloom. Before the blooming occurs, you can judge the fermentation activity of your dough balls by the aroma and lively white color of the dough.  

Good day, gentlemen!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Ev on September 07, 2011, 02:23:39 PM
Omid,
Thank you so much for the step by step instructions! I'm looking forward to trying this method!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on September 07, 2011, 06:53:21 PM
 omid, i am trying your method today and have questions on different points. first can you dilute the yeast and use 2 grams to get the same results? i used your method today using the wet palm fingers and back of my hand to make the dough. my first mix was done very shaggy and the resting  temperature was 79 degrees, my finished dough came out at 80 degrees. my hand mix time was about 9 minutes. my kitchen was 81 degrees. i gave the bulk dough 3 hours of rise it gained some volume. it is now balled and sitting at 67 degrees. what should i look for before i know it is ready?i want to bake Thursday evening 8 pm or so. that would be 28 hours at room temperature. is that possible with the small amount of yeast??
  when you first started to post i though that you would give us just enough information to wet our appetites. i was very wrong thanks for your knowledge and willingness to help!!
  another thing is that 67 degrees that the vpn pizzerias talk so much about ,as in there controlled dough making environment. i believe you just explained the in your above post.
   i have enclosed steps in picture form the first is my shaggy dough that sat for 60 minutes.
 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Ev on September 07, 2011, 08:17:27 PM
I started my batch today as well. I used the one side of both hands approach. My dough has been resting in bulk for the last 3 hrs or so at about 70 degrees. I'll ball this evening and add a frozen water bottle to my chamber. Sorry, no pictures. ;)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on September 07, 2011, 09:18:05 PM
Eve at what stage did you take the first mix to ? Was it developed further than where I stopped at?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 08, 2011, 03:35:01 AM
omid, i am trying your method today and have questions on different points. first can you dilute the yeast and use 2 grams to get the same results? i used your method today using the wet palm fingers and back of my hand to make the dough. my first mix was done very shaggy and the resting  temperature was 79 degrees, my finished dough came out at 80 degrees. my hand mix time was about 9 minutes. my kitchen was 81 degrees. i gave the bulk dough 3 hours of rise it gained some volume. it is now balled and sitting at 67 degrees. what should i look for before i know it is ready?i want to bake Thursday evening 8 pm or so. that would be 28 hours at room temperature. is that possible with the small amount of yeast?? when you first started to post i though that you would give us just enough information to wet our appetites. i was very wrong thanks for your knowledge and willingness to help!! Another thing is that 67 degrees that the vpn pizzerias talk so much about ,as in there controlled dough making environment. i believe you just explained the in your above post. i have enclosed steps in picture form the first is my shaggy dough that sat for 60 minutes.

I started my batch today as well. I used the one side of both hands approach. My dough has been resting in bulk for the last 3 hrs or so at about 70 degrees. I'll ball this evening and add a frozen water bottle to my chamber. Sorry, no pictures.

Dear Thezaman, as you know, making dough is chemistry. Indeed, viewed from a limited perspective, it is pure chemistry! For instance, analogously speaking, when a molecular chemist bonds a single atom of oxygen to a molecule of water, she or he in effect changes the water (H2O) to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which has different chemical and reactive properties than water. In the same vein, here we are dealing with micro-organisms that are highly sensitive and reactive to the chemistry and temperatures of the environments in which they find themselves.

With that in mind, you asked, "Can you dilute the [1-gram] yeast [in 30 grams of water] and use 2 grams [of the mixture] to get the same results?" As the proverb goes, "There is more than one way to skin a kit." In other words, there is more than one way to do the same thing. However, your question is not easy to answer, for getting the same result is contingent upon various factors, such as temperature, quality of hydrated flour, method of kneading, duration of kneading, quality of fermentation, treatment of the dough balls, and etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And, we should beware of the generalization that, "the way dough is inoculated impacts the quality of the end product, either tenuously or substantially."

At this point, although I do not know the nature of your ingredients and do not know in detail how you are treating your dough and under what conditions, I am inclined to speculate that if you dissolve 1 gram of fresh yeast in 30 grams of water, and then directly add (without the use of "hand inoculation") only 2 grams of the mixture to the hydrated flour and then commence kneading, you will probably get the same result. If any detectable differences transpire, they would be probably negligible, I hope. Theoretically, you are using the same amount of yeast-water mixture, except at a lower temperature since your hand does not initially and directly warm up and nourish the yeast cells in the mixture. Nonetheless, as they claim, there is [seemingly] something magical (the Midas touch!) about the warmth of the human hands. Heat definitely excites yeast cells into action, besides accelerating the enzymatic reactions of amylase to convert starch into simple sugars.

Bear in mind that since you are using such diminished amount of yeast (theoretically about ≈0.06 grams), it is of importance that your hydrated flour is ready and up to the task, akin to a well cultivated and well plowed soil that is rich with nutrients and is ready to be sowed with seeds! I construe the consummate hydration of flour (in this case, without adding any salt and yeast) as an overture to the opera of fermentation—because, in my opinion, it, the proper hydration of flour, sets the mood and the stage for the rest of the process.

Again, not knowing the whereabouts of your dough, your techniques, and your methodology, it is really difficult for me to formulate advice or instructions that are relative to your particular situation. Nevertheless, I posit that you make sure that by the end of hydrating your flour, you have a smooth, almost homogenous, and pasta-esque mixture of water and flour—without any subsequent intervention, such as using your hands to bring about the aforementioned qualities. (Needless to mention, the procurement of these qualities varies time-wise in accordance to the ambient temperature, the temperature and qualities of your flour, and the temperature and percentage of your water.) Hence, the water and flour need to be skillfully mixed and incorporated together prior to the autolytic hydration of your flour. If the very first picture you posted above is the end result of mixing and incorporating the water and flour together, prior to the autolytic hydration of your flour, the mixing was not done well or long enough for the purpose of making this kind of dough. The mixture of water and flour, in the picture, looks too lumpy and unincorporated, which means that the moisture won't be able to effectively circulate and evenly disseminate throughout the mass during the autolytic hydration phase.

Of course, if your Caputo flour is old and ill, meaning that the flour has lost its native moisture and potency, that kind of result can be expected. Conversely, if your Caputo flour has excessively absorbed environmental moisture during storage and gone stale after somewhat or fully desiccating, again the same result can be expected. As a generalization, if a Caputo Pizzeria flour has a mild malodor or has a moldy or damply smell (like an old damply cellar), I consider the flour inferior and unfit for making a superb Neapolitan dough. Also, if the Caputo flour is chunky—chunks that do not easily crumble—, I consider the flour unsuitable for making a favorable Neapolitan dough. At last, as a test, pour some of your Caputo flour (about 2 inches thick) inside a clear glass cup and level it. Next, add some room-temperature water (about half of the weight of the flour) right on top of the flour, without any mixing. Let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. If after the end of the time period you observe osmotic lines of dark yellowish color in the hydrated flour, the flour is probably sick or dead! (Please, be aware that here I am making a number of presuppositions based on my personal experiences.)

Next, you asked, "It [the dough] is now balled and sitting at 67 degrees. What should I look for before i know it is ready?" Again, since I am not fully certain as to the whereabouts of your dough and the circumstances under which it was formed, it is hard to tell. Assuming that the dough, after consummate hydration, was hand-inoculated with about ≈0.06 grams of fresh yeast and thereafter rested for about 3 hours at 79° F, with the finishing internal temperature of 80° F, and assuming that the dough, as balls, are currently undergoing fermentation at the steady temperature of 67° F, by now you should be able to discern the subtly sweet and very gentle aroma of fermentation, which I do not know how to describe. Also, (this is really difficult to describe, but I will try!) assuming that you used healthy flour, your dough balls should appear vivacious, alive, and more white than yellowish; they should not appear as if carrying a dead weight. Also, as fermentation and levitation go on, if at all, the dough balls should gradually become more voluminous or pompous than timid. If possible, gently and partially lift one of the dough balls to see if you can detect any bubble formations on the base of the dough. If you perceive these signs, then your dough balls are indeed rising to the occasion!

So, when are the dough balls ready? It depends on how much fermentative and levitational activities are conduced under the extant circumstances. How much volume do you prefer? How relaxed do you like them to be? It may take up to 40 hours or more or less, since the dough balls were formed, before they come to fruition. Judge by their volume and relaxed corporeality. I hope I have been helpful. Good luck and good night!

Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Ev on September 08, 2011, 08:01:03 AM
Eve at what stage did you take the first mix to ? Was it developed further than where I stopped at?

I would say that my dough was developed further than yours. I made sure all the flour was incorporated into a firm moist ball and then lft to rest(hydrate) for about 2 hrs. I then kneaded with yeasty hands for about 8 minutes, adding the salt slowly as I went.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Ev on September 08, 2011, 08:08:48 AM
I got caught up watching the weather(lots of rain)and forgot to ball my dough last night, so it's been bulk fermenting overnight. The temp was just about 68 degrees and so far maybe just the slightest signs of rising. I'll ball now and let them rise at as close to 67 as I can get, using my cooler and water bottle.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 10, 2011, 08:03:58 AM
Dear friends, I would like to share with you (particularly with those of you who use Kitchen Aid mixers) an experiment I conducted yesterday. If your experience has been as same as mine in making pizza dough with your Kitchen Aid mixer (utilizing the "spiral dough hook"), you may have generally noticed:

1) The dough can quickly heat up during kneading, and
2) Not much air, as much as using a "fork" or "diving arms" mixer, is incorporated in the dough during kneading.

Let me provide you with an example, which contains the details of my experiment. Yesterday, I hand mixed, not knead, the following ingredients together with the following attendant temperatures:

2000  grams of Caputo Pizzeria Flour   (73.7° F)
1130  grams of water                        (60.8° F)
2.00   grams of fresh yeast                (41.4° F)
55.40 grams of sea salt                     (78.0° F)

Next, in order to fully homogenize the temperature throughout the mixture, I let it rest for 1 hour. By the end of the rest period, the mixture had a uniform temperature of 71.9° F. Afterward, I divided the mixture into two equal portions: portion "A" and portion "B". With help of a friend, we simultaneously used two identical Kitchen Aid stand mixers (Professional 600) to knead the two equal portions at the slowest speed for 9 minutes each, with one exception. I used a USB fan to gently insert air, for the entire 9-minute period, inside the mixer bowl assigned to portion "B". (See the pictures below. The USB fan in the picture cost me $3.95 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.) After kneading was over, my friend and I clearly noticed:

1) Portion "A's" temperature rose from 71.9° F to 79.2° F while portion "B's" temperature rose from 71.9° F to 74.9° F.
2) Portion "B" seemed to have more volume than portion "A", tentatively due to incorporation of air into the former.
3) Portion "A" was looser, gummier, and stickier than portion "B". Consequently, portion "B" was easier to handle.
4) After several hours of fermentation, portion "B" proved to be easier to make dough balls out of than portion "A". In addition, portion "B" left much lesser amount of gummy-dough residue on my fingers than portion "A".

I assume that using a slow speed fan, in conjunction with the Kitchen Aid mixer, can be helpful in making a high hydration dough that is less looser, less stickier, and easier to handle. In addition, the incorporation of air can be instrumental toward stimulating the fermentative micro-organisms in the dough. Basically, it seems to me that this mode of kneading simulates, to a limited extent, certain effects of using a fork mixer or diving arms mixer, which integrate a healthy amount of air into dough. If you will employ this method, please let me know about your results. (I recommend not using the fan for the entire duration of kneading. The more air is pumped into the dough, the stiffer it becomes. Also, maintain a distance between the fan and the mouth of your mixer bowl. The faster the fan speed, the more distance should be allowed.) I need to do more experiments with this method for the sake of better understanding it. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 10, 2011, 08:43:57 AM
Brilliant experiment Omid.  It makes a lot of sense.  Keep the dough cool and incorporate more air into the dough. To some extent, it would create a similar effect to the way dough was made in those large vats as you have previously posted.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: norma427 on September 10, 2011, 09:27:32 AM
Omid,

I find your observations interesting.  I have a Kitchen Aid Professional HD and also a Hobart 20 qt. planetary mixer.  I have watched how my planetary mixer mixes dough, and think I can almost produce the same doughs in my Kitchen Aid mixer, if I watch the final dough temperature and also how my doughs mix, with different hydrations.  I am not done with the experiments, but so far it seems I can achieve about the same doughs in both my Kitchen Aid and my 20 qt. Hobart.  I have also tried the flat beater in different experiments with my Kitchen Aid, and let higher hydration doughs rest, then mix again.  That seems to work well too.

Norma
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 10, 2011, 10:25:51 AM
Omid, I find it hard to believe that more air is incorporated by the use of a fan, caeteris paribus. A fan does not increase air pressure, so I have to wonder what would be the mechanism by which more air is incorporated? To determine if more air is actualy incorporated, I think you would need to do a water immersion test to see if the blown dough was less dense. Even then, you could not rule out that the difference was the result of the cooler temperature rather than the air being blown on the dough.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Tscarborough on September 10, 2011, 01:33:30 PM
To incorporate more air into mortar, you use a mixer in which the paddles move inside the drum.  To reduce air entrainment in concrete, you use a drum that rotates. 

The corollary for dough would be fork for more air, spiral for less, I would think.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 10, 2011, 09:17:08 PM
Brilliant experiment Omid.  It makes a lot of sense.  Keep the dough cool and incorporate more air into the dough. To some extent, it would create a similar effect to the way dough was made in those large vats as you have previously posted.
Chau

Omid, I find your observations interesting. . . .
Norma

Omid, I find it hard to believe that more air is incorporated by the use of a fan, caeteris paribus. A fan does not increase air pressure, so I have to wonder what would be the mechanism by which more air is incorporated? To determine if more air is actualy incorporated, I think you would need to do a water immersion test to see if the blown dough was less dense. Even then, you could not rule out that the difference was the result of the cooler temperature rather than the air being blown on the dough.
CL

To incorporate more air into mortar, you use a mixer in which the paddles move inside the drum.  To reduce air entrainment in concrete, you use a drum that rotates. The corollary for dough would be fork for more air, spiral for less, I would think.

Dear friends, I appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Dear Craig, I like your critical point in re "air pressure", which makes me more cautious in examining the results of this experiment. Could you, please, explain what you mean by "air pressure"? And, what is its significance or role in relation to incorporating air into dough? The fan blowing air into the mixer bowl is indubitably causing palpable effects in terms of dough texture and constitution. At this point, I think the fan increases the probability of air entrapment inside dough. Perchance, a faster rate of water evaporation as a result of the air-blow should be also taken into account.

About 5 minutes ago, I examined the air-blown and non-air-blown dough balls, which have been undergoing fermentation since last night. The air-blown dough balls, unlike the non-air-blown dough balls, have a strong glutenous dough skin all around them (see the picture below), just like dough balls produced by the fast fork speed of my Santos mixer. (For the sake of making a tender pizza crust, blowing air into the Kitchen Aid mixer bowl for the entire duration of kneading is a bad idea. The air-blown dough balls, unlike the non-air-blown dough balls, are too stiff! This definitely evinces the potentials of this method in respect to making high hydration dough.) I wonder what is the correlation between "air blow" and "gluten development" in dough?

Upon opening and stretching one of the air-blown dough balls, I immediately noticed the same kind of feel and dough consistency as a dough ball made with my Santos. This remarkable resemblance leads me to speculate that perhaps the air-blown dough was oxygenated to a degree comparable to a dough made with Santos mixer. Of course, keep in mind, that Santos' fork has a much stronger kneading power than the dough hook of the Kitchen Aid, meaning that Santos, at its present fork speed, really batters the dough without considerable increase in temperature. Based on my experiences, 5 minutes of kneading a dough with Santos is probably equivalent to 20 minutes of kneading the same dough with Kitchen Aid.

If I can figure out the proper amount of time, which I will try tonight, for blowing air into the mixer bowl of Kitchen Aid during kneading, then, in my opinion, Kitchen Aid will produce a Neapolitan dough far superior to a Neapolitan dough produced by Santos mixer at its default fork speed of 84 RPM! However, if I can manage to considerably reduce the fork speed of my Santos, then the same would not hold anymore. Good weekend to you all!

(Dear Tscarborough, having used both types of mixers, your assertion [i.e., "fork for more air, spiral for less"] makes sense to me.)

UPDATE:
I am so dismayed about this business of blowing air into the dough! I just closely examined all the dough balls:

1) The air-blown dough balls are susceptible to tears upon being stretched into dough discs. In addition they are of tough texture, like rubber.
2) On the other hand, the non-air-blown dough balls pleasantly stretch into dough discs without any tears. And, they are gratifyingly soft and extensible.

I need to find out how much air-blowing is enough during kneading in order to keep the dough temperature low enough and keep the dough texture agreeable enough. This has been an enlightening experiment: the effects of air on dough during kneaing. Interesting!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 10, 2011, 09:34:23 PM
Craig, perhaps the fan does not increase air pressure around the dough but only air circulation, which can potentially make a difference in how much air is trapped in the dough while kneading. 

From Tom's example, you can trap more air by mixing or kneading the dough with different types of mixers as well as using different hand techniques, despite the same air pressure around the dough. 

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: alex_chef2000 on September 10, 2011, 10:10:16 PM
I have been thinking in using the double bowl with the mixer, the second bowl may contain water at certain temperature to control the final temperature of the dough. 

By controlling the temperature and adding more air aswell I beleive to have a better dough. 

I think if I can use water at 37 C which is the human temperature, the dough will rise better as if it was kneaded by hand.

This is a fantastic World of trial and error and any upgrade to our pizzas is greatly appreciated. 

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 10, 2011, 11:09:59 PM
This is a fantastic World of trial and error and any upgrade to our pizzas is greatly appreciated.

UPDATE:
I am so dismayed about this business of blowing air into the dough! I just closely examined all the dough balls:

1) The air-blown dough balls are susceptible to tears upon being stretched into dough discs. In addition they are of tough texture, like rubber.
2) On the other hand, the non-air-blown dough balls pleasantly stretch into dough discs without any tears. And, they are gratifyingly soft and extensible.

I need to find out how much air-blowing is enough during kneading in order to keep the dough temperature low enough and keep the dough texture agreeable enough. This has been an enlightening experiment: the effects of air on dough during kneaing. Very interesting! As our friend Alex_chef put it, "This is a fantastic World of trial and error. . . ."
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 11, 2011, 12:18:49 AM
Craig, perhaps the fan does not increase air pressure around the dough but only air circulation, which can potentially make a difference in how much air is trapped in the dough while kneading. 

I don’t think it will. I’ll address why I think this in my response to Omid below.

Quote
From Tom's example, you can trap more air by mixing or kneading the dough with different types of mixers as well as using different hand techniques, despite the same air pressure around the dough. 
 

Tom is comparing different mechanical mechanisms. To compare it to what Omid did is an apples and oranges. Like Tom said, his example is somewhat analogous to a spiral vs. a fork mixer. This is not at all the same as the same mixer with and without a fan blowing air across the dough.

Dear Craig, I like your critical point in re "air pressure", which makes me more cautious in examining the results of this experiment. Could you, please, explain what you mean by "air pressure"? And, what is its significance or role in relation to incorporating air into dough? The fan blowing air into the mixer bowl is indubitably causing palpable effects in terms of dough texture and constitution. At this point, I think the fan increases the probability of air entrapment inside dough. Perchance, a faster rate of water evaporation as a result of the air-blow should be also taken into account.

Air is incorporated into the dough by forming a pocket that is filled with air and subsequently closing it thus trapping the air. It is the mechanical action of the mixer that opens the pockets, exposing them to the air, and then closes them to trap the air. If a pocket is opened, it will fill completely with air – at 101kPa ambient pressure, there is a 100% probability it will – 0% chance it will not. I don’t care how fast the mixer opens and closes it. Blowing the dough with a fan is meaningless to this end. What would be meaningful (but not recommended in my opinion) would be increasing air pressure as it would increase the amount of air trapped either by enclosing more air in the same space at a higher pressure or, more likely, expanding the space and trapping more air at ambient pressure. An open fan can not compress air nor will that little fan blow hard enough to build up enough pressure inside a void to expand it. Stick a hose with compressed air in your dough, and I guarantee you will trap more air… or explode your dough.

The reason the fork mixer incorporates more air than say a spiral mixer is due to mechanical action. The twisting and folding motion of the fork mixer opens and closes voids that fill with air with each turn. The action of the spiral mixer doean't do this. The fork mixer action is almost like the stretch-and-fold action on a very small scale.

Is it possible that the fan is causing other mechanical or chemical changes in the dough (such as accelerated evaporation as you mentioned) that work to favor the incorporation of air? Yes but we would need to do some immersion testing to see if there is any reason to believe this may be the case.

Craig
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 11, 2011, 01:07:34 AM
Tom is comparing different mechanical mechanisms. To compare it to what Omid did is an apples and oranges. Like Tom said, his example is somewhat analogous to a spiral vs. a fork mixer. This is not at all the same as the same mixer with and without a fan blowing air across the dough.

Craig


Craig don't get me wrong here, I wasn't comparing what Tom stated about mechanical mixing to Omid's experiment.  I understand that they are 2 different concepts.  I was merely pointing out that you can have incorporation of air into dough despite having the same air pressure surrounding the dough. 

If you will note, I did compare Tom's example to "using different hand techniques" as I also believe air can be incoporated via methods like stretch and folds or slap and folds. 

As it sounds like the fanned dough is behaving noticeably different, I also agree that it's possible that the increase air circulation is causing a physical change in the dough for better or worse.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 11, 2011, 09:24:22 AM
I also believe air can be incorporated via methods like stretch and folds or slap and folds. 

For my money, that is the best way to incorporate air into the dough. This is the first place I ever saw the technique: http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough He specifically talks about capturing air. This is the mixing and kneading technique I use most of the time I make bread.

CL

EDIT (7/4/15): For an updated version of the Bertinet Gourmet video, see http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough.html
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 11, 2011, 11:35:46 AM
For my money, that is the best way to incorporate air into the dough. This is the first place I ever saw the technique: http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough.html (http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough.html). He specifically talks about capturing air. This is the mixing and kneading technique I use most of the time I make bread.

Dear Craig, thank you for posting the video! The kneading technique portrayed in the video is similar to the method I described in this thread at "Reply 431": http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.msg151346.html#msg151346. This is an ancient technique (known as "varzidan" or "varz daadan") which has been traced back to over a millennium ago. According to the bread scholar and baker Seyyed Davood Roghany, the oldest inscribed reference to this technique dates back to 1651 A.D. in Persia. Using this technique, I have made pizza dough hydrated at 71%, without it being runny or sticky; except, I prefer using a clay vat that is round, concaved, and with smaller diameter at the base. A flat tabletop might be a bit harsh on the dough for the purpose of making Neapolitan style pizza dough. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 11, 2011, 12:42:07 PM
A flat tabletop might be a bit harsh on the dough for the purpose of making Neapolitan style pizza dough.

I agree completely. I only use a flat surface for bread.

Craig
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 11, 2011, 01:56:42 PM
UPDATE:
I am so dismayed about this business of blowing air into the dough! I just closely examined all the dough balls:

1) The air-blown dough balls are susceptible to tears upon being stretched into dough discs. In addition they are of tough texture, like rubber.
2) On the other hand, the non-air-blown dough balls pleasantly stretch into dough discs without any tears. And, they are gratifyingly soft and extensible.

I need to find out how much air-blowing is enough during kneading in order to keep the dough temperature low enough and keep the dough texture agreeable enough. This has been an enlightening experiment: the effects of air on dough during kneaing. Very interesting! As our friend Alex_chef put it, "This is a fantastic World of trial and error. . . ."

Last night, I made another "air-blown" dough mass with my Kitchen Aid mixer:

1000  grams of Caputo Pizzeria Flour (Datum Point) (72.4° F)
600    grams of water                     (60%)            (59.9° F)
1.00   gram  of fresh yeast              (1%)             (43.3° F)
27.70 grams of sea salt                   (2.77%)         (75.1° F)

I used the same, exact percentages as the day before yesterday, except I increased the hydration level to 60%. Unfortunately, since I did not have my friend's Kitchen Aid mixer and his assistance, I did not make an identical non-air-blown dough batch to compare with my air-blown batch. I followed the same procedure (described in Reply #467) in making the dough:

1. I hand mixed, not knead, all the above ingredients.
2. I let the mixture rest for 1 hour.
3. By the end of the rest period, the mixture had an internal temperature of exactly 71.9° F (wow, just like the day before yesterday!).
4. Using my Kitchen Aid mixer (Professional 600) and its spiral dough hook, I kneaded the dough for 11 minutes (9 minutes, the day before yesterday) while the USB fan blew air into the mixer bowl for only the first 5 minutes of the 11-minute kneading period.
5. After the kneading was over, the dough mass reached an internal temperature of 77.4° F and a surface temperature of 79.5° F.
6. After a short rest period and 1 hour of initial fermentation, I formed dough balls out of the dough mass. (See the first picture below.)

The dough did not feel like having a 60% hydration; it felt like a 56%-hydration dough. It was neither runny and loose, nor sticky and gummy. Great texture and constitution! However, according to an old proverb, "Chicks should be counted by the end of autumn!"

The second picture below (shot today at 9:12 AM, Pacific time) exhibits the dough balls, which have been undergoing fermentation since 9:11 PM last night. I believe the tiny bumps on the surface of the dough balls, in the first picture, were due to the air-blow. Obviously, blowing air during kneading has significant impact upon dough.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on September 11, 2011, 07:29:56 PM
I have the same timer, small one of left.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 11, 2011, 07:47:26 PM
I have the same timer, small one of left.

Cool! It is a nice timer.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 11, 2011, 07:56:33 PM
Omid, I noticed that these last several batches, you divided and balled the dough after a relatively short period of bulk fermentation compared to some of your previously posted doughs.  Why the change in workflow and what differences are you noticing between balling the dough early versus late?

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 11, 2011, 07:58:50 PM
One obvious change is that you baked at a much higher temp in your home oven and shortened the bake time.  How did you achieve this? Chau

In regard to my home gas-oven, I have made a number of modifications. . . . Tonight, after some fine-tuning, the floor of the oven (i.e., the pizza stone) reached 903 F in 20 minutes. At that temperature, I need to build, as I have done before, an interior oven door, acting as a fixed second door, that will have a half-moon opening through it. This way the oven hopefully will neither overheat, nor lose a lot of heat, and I will be able to observe, rotate, and dome the pizzas as they bake.

Dear Chau, here it is! I will be testing the oven tonight!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 11, 2011, 08:06:32 PM
Omid, I noticed that these last several batches, you divided and balled the dough after a relatively short period of bulk fermentation compared to some of your previously posted doughs.  Why the change in workflow and what differences are you noticing between balling the dough early versus late?

Chau

Dear Chau, the change in my workflow is due to the hot weather. I basically slow down fermentation by making the dough balls early in the process. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: flyboy4ual on September 12, 2011, 12:21:26 AM
Good luck with the test.  I can't wait to see the results.

Scott D
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 12, 2011, 12:45:08 AM
Dear Chau, the change in my workflow is due to the hot weather. I basically slow down fermentation by making the dough balls early in the process. Good day!

I don't understand yet, but perhaps in due time.  In the meantime, your home oven looks fantastic!

Besides the cleaning cycle hack (a la Varasano), this could very well be the missing link for the home oven baked NP for those of us whose ovens don't have a cleaning cycle.  This is potentially a huge step forward for home pizza making.  Bravo Omid!

Do you bake with the oven door open?  That 2nd faux door, is that made with sheet metal?  Again, fantastic work Omid!  

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on September 12, 2011, 06:30:09 AM
Dear Chau, here it is! I will be testing the oven tonight!

Omid - your home oven is astounding. You never cease to amaze me with your experiments.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 13, 2011, 03:53:04 PM
Good luck with the test.  I can't wait to see the results.
Scott D

Dear Scott thank you! I will post the results later today. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 13, 2011, 04:56:19 PM
Omid - your home oven is astounding. You never cease to amaze me with your experiments.
John

Dear John, thank you! Yesterday, I bagan to redesign the oven, changing the interior walls and floor, in addition to building a ceiling/dome made with thin terracotta bricks. Have a good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizza dr on September 14, 2011, 10:26:53 PM
What the..........  It has taken me three days to read this thread (I have unfortunately been to busy to lurk like I usually do)... rushed home from work, rode 25 miles on my bike, made some dinner, drank a fine glass of Oregon Pinot and logged on to see how Omid is gonna roll with this thing.  Nothing.  I guess I'll just have to have another glass and wait it out 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 15, 2011, 02:54:49 AM
Besides the cleaning cycle hack (a la Varasano), this could very well be the missing link for the home oven baked NP for those of us whose ovens don't have a cleaning cycle. This is potentially a huge step forward for home pizza making. That 2nd faux door, is that made with sheet metal? Bravo Omid!

Do you bake with the oven door open?

What the..........  It has taken me three days to read this thread (I have unfortunately been to busy to lurk like I usually do)... rushed home from work, rode 25 miles on my bike, made some dinner, drank a fine glass of Oregon Pinot and logged on to see how Omid is gonna roll with this thing. Nothing.  I guess I'll just have to have another glass and wait it out

Dear Chau, you asked, "Do you bake with the oven door open?" Yes, that is the idea, at least one of them! However, I have to let the oven run for about 2 hours before I can do so. And, I keep the oven door open only during baking. In between the bakes, the oven door is kept closed. Now the oven can burn wood too (inside a small cast iron skillet placed below the broiler), just a small amount for the sake of the smoke flavor!!! I still need to do more work on the oven; the job is not finished yet. At last, you inquired, "That 2nd faux door, is that made with sheet metal?" Yes, it is made with thick, heavy duty, aluminum sheets.

By the way, I had to move the oven from my kitchen to the patio. This kind of oven is not fit for indoor purposes at all. In addition, I had to use heavy duty insulation to protect various mechanisms and parts of the oven. Moreover, this kind of design ought not be implemented with gas ovens that have electronic parts and/or draw electricity from an electric outlet. And, the oven must not be placed near walls and/or electric outlets. Good night!

Dear Pizza Dr., how am I going to roll with what "thing"? For the past three days, I have been busy with redesigning my oven, amongst other matters. I have already dismantled and rebuilt the oven 3 times in order to optimize it for generating and sustaining high heat. It is stunning how a minute change in design can make a significant difference! A great deal of considerations and calculations have been put into this design. It has been quite educational. This Friday, I will test the oven again. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizza dr on September 15, 2011, 06:23:11 AM
Omid

The "thing" I was referring to was your modified oven.  Sorry, I was trying to convey my excitement for your project.  I am very intrigued by your design and can't wait to see some pizza come out of it!  Thanks for all the pictures.    

Scot
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Mick.Chicago on September 15, 2011, 10:25:47 AM
I am also looking forward to seeing this ovens progress!  I've been following this thread with great interest!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 16, 2011, 12:58:40 PM
I am very intrigued by your design and can't wait to see some pizza come out of it!
Scot

I am also looking forward to seeing this ovens progress!  I've been following this thread with great interest!

Dear Scot. and Mick.Chicago, I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I am not wholly done with the oven yet! Yesterday, I detected some irregular "airflow" problem, which caused the oven to hiccup. I think I have fixed the issue. More than ever I realize the importance of constant and steady "airflow" in gas and wood-fired ovens. In addition, yesterday, I cemented the bricks together, installed the exhaust drain, sealed the ceiling/dome, and insulated the walls and the dome. That was a lot of work; cutting bricks is painfully difficult without the right tools! If the bricks and mortar are dry enough by tonight, I will test the oven. Otherwise, I will have to wait until tomorrow night. I wish you all a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on September 16, 2011, 07:28:32 PM
Omid look who I bumped into at APizz  ;D The guy was very imoressed this irishman knew the story of the Pucinella!
all thanks to you !
John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 17, 2011, 03:35:10 AM
Omid look who I bumped into at APizz  ;D The guy was very imoressed this irishman knew the story of the Pulcinella! all thanks to you!
John

Nice! Thank you for the picture.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 18, 2011, 02:07:00 PM
Dear Scot. and Mick.Chicago, I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I am not wholly done with the oven yet! Yesterday, I detected some irregular "airflow" problem, which caused the oven to hiccup. I think I have fixed the issue. More than ever I realize the importance of constant and steady "airflow" in gas and wood-fired ovens. In addition, yesterday, I cemented the bricks together, installed the exhaust drain, sealed the ceiling/dome, and insulated the walls and the dome. That was a lot of work; cutting bricks is painfully difficult without the right tools! If the bricks and mortar are dry enough by tonight, I will test the oven. Otherwise, I will have to wait until tomorrow night. I wish you all a great weekend!

This project has proven to be a lot more challenging than I expected! I had to discard my previous design as it was not safe. It rapidly generated too much heat in a short period of time. (About 975° F in less than an hour!) The heat was too dry and very brutal, putting a lot of stress on the broiler. GAS-OVEN BROILERS THAT ARE DESIGNED FOR HOME USE ARE NOT MADE TO HANDLE HIGH HEAT; THEY CAN GET DEFORMED AND DAMAGED UNDER HIGH HEAT. As you can imagine, this can create a very dangerous situation. I had to come up with a new design and do some upgrades. Once the bricks and mortar are dry, I will test the oven.    
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 18, 2011, 11:24:41 PM
This project has proven to be a lot more challenging than I expected! I had to discard my previous design as it was not safe. It rapidly generated too much heat in a short period of time. (About 975° F in less than an hour!) The heat was too dry and very brutal, putting a lot of stress on the broiler. GAS-OVEN BROILERS THAT ARE DESIGNED FOR HOME USE ARE NOT MADE TO HANDLE HIGH HEAT; THEY CAN GET DEFORMED AND DAMAGED UNDER HIGH HEAT. As you can imagine, this can create a very dangerous situation. I had to come up with a new design and do some upgrades. Once the bricks and cement are dry, I will test the oven.    

Bingo! Below is the result after my gas-brick oven ran for 1 hour & 30 minutes:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 18, 2011, 11:32:16 PM
Omid, is that the stone temp or the air temp?  Congrats! Now let's see some pizzas!  :chef:


Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 18, 2011, 11:49:39 PM
Omid, is that the stone temp or the air temp?  Congrats! Now let's see some pizzas!  :chef:
Chau

Dear Chau, 953° F was the floor temperature, while the brick ceiling/dome was about 915° F. Now the pizza stone is surrounded by terra-cotta bricks, both on the walls and on the ceiling/dome. No more sheet metal! It appears that bricks radiate a very tempered heat while sheet metal radiates crude and dry heat. I can not wait to try this oven. It took me about 6 days of trying one design after another to get it to this point. We shall see! (By the way, the half-moon opening makes a significant difference in minimizing heat loss. I should have tried this a long time ago.)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 19, 2011, 07:26:28 PM
Dear friends, while surfing the net this morning, I came across a pictorial Pizza Napoletana recipe that I had encountered many years ago, probably back in 2005. The instructions also include certain techniques for executing the recipe. For whatever it is worth, I thought I post a link to the recipe here. The recipe is narrated by Mr. Frank Milward (the corporate chef of Wood Stone) after he took pizza-making lessons from the eminent Pizzaiolo signor Enzo Coccia of Napoli. However, I am not sure how accurate is Mr. Milward's account of the recipe. For instance, I do not believe "53% hydration" is Coccia's style. Below are the links to the recipe:

Part 1) http://www.woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style_dough.htm
Part 2) http://www.woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style_pizza.htm
Part 3) http://www.woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style_oven.htm
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on September 19, 2011, 08:22:09 PM
Those are great links Omid. I refer back to those pages every once in awhile - especially the oven management section. It is one of the only places on the web that actually talks about how to cook many pies at a time in a real NP oven.

Looking at those pics, it reminded me of a question I have been meaning to ask you. Do you think the rim of a good NP pizza should be puffy and have an irregular crumb, or do you just need to have a light texture - flat or otherwise? Many of the NP pics you see do not have much rise, and it seems the Neapolitans like it that way.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizza dr on September 19, 2011, 08:58:08 PM
Thanks Omid!!!!  Those are really helpful.  Scot
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 20, 2011, 02:31:41 PM
Looking at those pics, it reminded me of a question I have been meaning to ask you. Do you think the rim of a good NP pizza should be puffy and have an irregular crumb, or do you just need to have a light texture - flat or otherwise? Many of the NP pics you see do not have much rise, and it seems the Neapolitans like it that way.

John

Dear John, you asked and postulated, "Do you think the rim of a good NP pizza should be puffy and have an irregular crumb, or do you just need to have a light texture - flat or otherwise? Many of the NP pics you see do not have much rise, and it seems the Neapolitans like it that way."

Factually speaking, the cornicione is categorically and indubitably one of the identifying characteristics of Pizza Napoletana. With the exception of tender "texture", however, the "size", "shape", "airiness", and regularity/irregularity of the inner "crumb" of the cornicione have practically proven to be, to a degree, matters of personal preference, in my opinion. The aesthetically sensible pizzaioli of Napoli often esteem the cornicioni as their own unique signatures on the art works that they create, akin to a painter who places her signature or the peculiarity of her style on her painted canvas to claim it as her own creation.

Although some pizzaioli find the "Disciplinare", stipulated by Italy's Ministry of Agriculture, not entirely admissible, let us see if the pertinent parts thereof can satisfy your concern. According to the §§3 (entitled "Product Specification") of "Application for Registration of a TSG" [Council Regulation (EC) No 509/2006; (EC No. IT/TSG/007/0031/09.02.2005)]:

'Pizza Napoletana' TSG is round with a . . . raised rim . . . 1-2 cm thick. The overall pizza must be tender, elastic and easily foldable into four. . . .

'Pizza Napoletana' TSG is distinguished by a raised rim, a golden color characteristic of products baked in the oven, and a tenderness to touch and to taste. . . .

The consistency of 'Pizza Napoletana' is tender, elastic and easily foldable; the product is easy to cut and has a characteristic, savory taste conferred by the raised rim which has a taste typical of bread which has risen and been baked well. . . .

[T]he pizza chef shapes a disc of dough . . . 1 to 2 cm on the edges, thus forming a raised rim.

The pressure exerted by the fingers of both hands causes the air contained in the pockets of the dough to move from the centre to the edges of the disc of dough, where it starts to form the raised rim of the pizza. This technique constitutes a fundamental characteristic of the 'Pizza Napoletana' TSG, with the rising of the rims of the disc allowing all the ingredients in the garnish to be retained.

[R]aised rim . . . is one of the main characteristics of the 'Pizza Napoletana' TSG.


Furthermore, according to "Article 5" of Italy's "Ministry of Agriculture Communication" (dated 5/24/2004):

Features of the final product:

a. Description of the product: "Pizza Napoletana" STG is presented as a product from the oven, round in shape, . . . with the edge raised (crust), and with the central covered by the ingredients. The central of the pizza base will be 0.3 cm, (.11 inch thick), with crust 1-2 cm (.4-.8 inch). The pizza should be soft, elastic, and easily foldable into a "booklet".

b. Appearance: "Pizza Napoletana" STG is characterized by a raised crust of golden color -- a definite product from oven, soft to the touch and to the mouth."


Please, take notice that the §§3 states, "'Pizza Napoletana' TSG is round with a . . . raised rim . . . 1-2 cm thick." Later, it adds, "[T]he pizza chef shapes a disc of dough . . . 1 to 2 cm on the edges." There seems to be an inconsistency between the former and latter statement. Unless a pizza dough has lost its suppleness, how can the raw dough disc measuring "1 to 2 cm on the edges" bake into a cornicione "1-2 cm thick"? A motive dough with a rim 1 to 2 cm thick will probably bake into a cornicione 1 to 2 times thicker than its initial size.

If the above-referenced assertions of the Ministry of Agriculture are representative of a general consensus and, further, if the Ministry favors a baked cornicione 1 to 2 cm thick, then your postulate (i.e., NP pics not having much rise) does not seem off the mark. However, If the ministry favors a raw dough disc 1 to 2 cm thick on the rim, then the necessity of a more inflated cornicione becomes eminent.

As a matter of personal preference, I like to see a cornicione that is prominent and aesthetically pleasing. I like to see a cornicione that has character or personality, such as that of Scheherazade's—who kept the Persian king amused incessantly with her tales for One Thousand and One Nights! If the cornicione is all uniform in magnitude and configuration inside-out, I get board looking at it, although it may taste delectable. From an artistic viewpoint, I like to deem the cornicione as an occasion for stamping my being on it!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 20, 2011, 02:42:49 PM
As a matter of personal preference, I like to see a cornicione that is prominent and aesthetically pleasing. I like to see a cornicione that has character or persona, such as that of Scheherazade—who kept the king amused incessantly with her tales for One Thousand and One Nights! If the cornicione is all uniform in magnitude and configuration inside-out, I get board looking at it, although it may taste delectable. From an artistic viewpoint, I like to deem the cornicione as an occasion for stamping my being on it!

I agree. It is also the one element that is present on all Neapolitan-style pizza. As such, I see it is the key artistic element that ties all the pizzaiolo's pies together into his or her distinctive style.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on September 20, 2011, 03:17:14 PM
Thanks for taking the time to expound on the subject Omid. I completely agree with yours and Craig's views.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on September 21, 2011, 12:04:58 AM
Man that second Salvo pizza always makes me hungry.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Martino1 on September 21, 2011, 10:49:29 AM
Back in early 90s, I attended the University of Freiburg for one year of studying German philosophy. That was fun, but hard work. Guten Tag!
Dear Omid,
Hoped you liked in in my home town, unfortunately you must have suffered lack of Pizza napoletana  ;)

I like the tutorial vids of Totopizzaiolo in youtube. With >60% hydration doughs i have my problems though. The center gets quite too thin and the edge puffy, so have to work.
WIll try your towel training equipment... Loved the idea. Thanks .
Martin
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 22, 2011, 10:37:47 AM
Dear Omid,
Hoped you liked in in my home town, unfortunately you must have suffered lack of Pizza napoletana  ;)

I like the tutorial vids of Totopizzaiolo in youtube. With >60% hydration doughs i have my problems though. The center gets quite too thin and the edge puffy, so have to work.
WIll try your towel training equipment... Loved the idea. Thanks .
Martin

Dear Martin, of course I enjoyed being in your hometown Freiburg, Germany, the home of some of the greatest thinkers of the Western civilization, such as Max Weber, Edmund Husserl, and Martin Heidegger. Germans are definitely the leaders in the realm of philosophy. Although there were no Neapolitan Pizzas, there were plenty of other cultural activities to be captivated by. Perhaps, one day you should establish the first Neapolitan pizzeria in Freiburg! If you do, then I will move there and will work for you!!! ;D Good luck in your pizza quest.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 23, 2011, 02:06:53 AM
Dear friends, below are some interesting and relatively fresh pictures (dated January 30, 2011) by Captain Scooter of Flickr. (Thank you Captain!) The title of each picture discloses the pizzeria that produced the pizza. Enjoy!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/captainscooter/sets/72157625899034949/with/5436274514/
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 23, 2011, 02:07:59 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 23, 2011, 02:12:10 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 23, 2011, 02:13:21 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 23, 2011, 02:14:03 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Martino1 on September 23, 2011, 03:50:25 AM
Perhaps, one day you should establish the first Neapolitan pizzeria in Freiburg! If you do, then I will move there and will work for you!!! ;D Good luck in your pizza quest.

Dear Omid, you are a humble guy, but you know that I will be washing the dishes in your Pizzeria Napoletana nella foresta nera   ;)
Have you tried tarte flambee/Flammekueche in the Alsace region or the area around Freiburg ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarte_flamb%C3%A9e
I love the simplicity with sour cream, bacon, onions, salt, pepper, nutmeg. Actually my grandparents used to bake WF bread in their home oven (which served as a heating source as well) and Flammekueche was done with the leftover dough and testing the heat.

Legend says that the "creators" of this dish were Alemannic-speaking farmers from Alsace, Baden or the Palatinate who used to bake bread once a week or every other week. In fact, the tarte flambée was originally a homemade dish which did not make its urban debut until the "pizza craze" of the 1960s. A tarte flambée would be used to test the heat of their wood-fired ovens. At the peak of its temperature, the oven would also have the ideal conditions in which to bake a tarte flambée. The embers would be pushed aside to make room for the tarte in the middle of the oven, and the intense heat would be able to bake it in 1 or 2 minutes. The crust that forms the border of the tarte flambée would be nearly burned by the flames.[3] The result resembles a thin pizza.

Hope you and others don't mind me posting in your thread. I will try to do it this weekend and post a picture.

Best wishes
martin
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on September 23, 2011, 10:39:47 AM
Omid, good post of pictures of Jason from I Dream of Pizza and Scott Weiner of Scott's Pizza Tours in the previous posts.

http://www.idreamofpizza.com/

http://www.scottspizzatours.com/
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 23, 2011, 11:20:11 AM
Omid, good post of pictures of Jason from I Dream of Pizza and Scott Weiner of Scott's Pizza Tours in the previous posts.

http://www.idreamofpizza.com/

http://www.scottspizzatours.com/

Dear Pizzablogger, thank you for the links! Jason and Scott are quite funny and animated. Look at their faces . . . so vivacious, childlike, and adorable. They make great pizza buddies!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: alex_chef2000 on September 23, 2011, 11:10:08 PM
Hi there, this kind of alsatian pizza is what I bake for myself everytime.

I use for the sauce 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1 egg yolk, pepper, nutmeg and salt.  Sometimes I use Gouda cheese or Mozzarella or Gruyere and caramelized onions

The origin of this flat bread is Alsacia, before WW1 was part of Germany, today is a region of France, with all German influence like the use of beer, apples, sausages, bacon, etc.

I share a picture of one of them from couple of months ago, I hate to take pictures...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibianamorelos/5784767760/in/photostream

With my culinary regards,


Alex.:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 24, 2011, 02:31:09 PM
Below are some interesting pictures illustrating Da Michele's style of sliding garnished pizza discs from the bancone to the pizza peel. (In the third picture, the right and left rims overlap the pizza peel so that the the high-hydrated and silky pizza disc would form a circular configuration as it slides on the peel and lands on the oven floor. Basically, the right and left rims overlapping the peel increase resistance toward being slid from the peel to the oven floor; hence, the square pizza disc becomes elongated into a circle as it slides and lands on the oven floor.) Good weekend everyone!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzUIy7PuV1g&list=FLHFQoUdLaXQ1L0-44jRfdzQ&index=75
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rYUPvJxYhA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36jxM7D1NhE
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 24, 2011, 03:53:57 PM
Dear Omid, you are a humble guy, but you know that I will be washing the dishes in your Pizzeria Napoletana nella foresta nera   ;)
Have you tried tarte flambee/Flammekueche in the Alsace region or the area around Freiburg ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarte_flamb%C3%A9e
I love the simplicity with sour cream, bacon, onions, salt, pepper, nutmeg. Actually my grandparents used to bake WF bread in their home oven (which served as a heating source as well) and Flammekueche was done with the leftover dough and testing the heat.

Legend says that the "creators" of this dish were Alemannic-speaking farmers from Alsace, Baden or the Palatinate who used to bake bread once a week or every other week. In fact, the tarte flambée was originally a homemade dish which did not make its urban debut until the "pizza craze" of the 1960s. A tarte flambée would be used to test the heat of their wood-fired ovens. At the peak of its temperature, the oven would also have the ideal conditions in which to bake a tarte flambée. The embers would be pushed aside to make room for the tarte in the middle of the oven, and the intense heat would be able to bake it in 1 or 2 minutes. The crust that forms the border of the tarte flambée would be nearly burned by the flames.[3] The result resembles a thin pizza.

Hope you and others don't mind me posting in your thread. I will try to do it this weekend and post a picture.

Best wishes
martin

Dear Martin, what do you mean by, "Hope you and others don't mind me posting in your thread"? This thread belongs to anyone who is passionate about Pizza Napoletana and the culture(s) it entails. So, please, feel free to make your posts here any time.

I am not sure if Schwarzwald (the "Black Forrest") would be an ideal location for opening a Neapolitan Pizzeria! ??? Nonetheless, that is where my favorite German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, remains buried! Can you imagine this: "Filosofico Pizzeria di Heidegger" or "Philosophische Pizzeria von Heidegger"? We can share washing the dishes!

Yes, I have tried tarte flambée on several occasions, but not in Deutschland. I always enjoyed their unique texture and flavors. There used to be a French restaurant here in San Diego that prepared them. Unfortunately, the recent recession forced the restaurant to be closed for good.

I look forward to the pictures of your Flammekueche. Guten tag!

Respectfully,
Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 24, 2011, 04:46:27 PM
Opps, I did it again! I inadvertently erased whatever I had posted here in this spot. Sorry!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 24, 2011, 10:12:30 PM
I hope what happened to me never befalls you! A week and a half ago, I purchased 12 bags of Caputo "The Chef's Flour", which is reportedly the mini version of Caputo "Pizzeria", type "00". Each bag had an expiration date of "12/13/2011". (If I had remembered to check the expiration date before the purchase, I do not think that I would have bought the flours that were so close to the expiration date.)

1st Caputo Bag:
Last Monday, I grabbed one of the Caputo bags to make some Neapolitan pizza dough, using my wife's Kitchen Aid mixer and employing the direct method, as I have done hundreds of times before with the same type of flour. I used the following ingredients, portions, and temperatures:

1000 gr. Capto Flour (Datum Point) (72.2° F)
600   gr. Water        (60%)            (67.1° F)
28     gr. Sea Salt     (2.8%)           (74.3° F)
1       gr. Fresh Yeast (0.1%)

As the dough was being mechanically kneaded inside the bowl, I noticed it was not reaching the "pasta point" as defined in this thread at "Reply #377". (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.msg149303.html#msg149303) Basically, the 1629.50 grams of dough, after about 4 minutes of mixing and about 10 minutes of kneading lacked the level of homogeneity, consistency, structural formation, skin formation, extensibility, and elasticity that I normally reach after the same amount of time and under the same circumstances. I let the mixer knead the dough for two more minutes. No point! Again, two more minutes. No point! Again, two more minutes. No point in sight! Two more . . . Jesus! I tentatively concluded that either this particular flour has gone bad or it contains unusually lower amount of gluten-begetting protein. The kneaded dough just could not pass the dough-film test; it easily tore into pieces upon being stretched. The dough simply had very little strength.

2nd Caputo Bag:
I grabbed a second bag of the Chef's Flour and repeated the same recipe, portions, almost the same temperatures, and procedure as above. The results were no different than the preceding! I began to question and scrutinize the methods that I employed. I could not find any contributory cause in them. How about the flour? Nothing looked out of the ordinary to my naked eyes. It did not smell rancid or stale, and it felt as usual when I compressed it between my fingers. How about the pH level of the water (Evian natural spring water)? I had no means of testing its acidity or alkalinity. To take my skepticism to the extreme, I even questioned the sea salt (Trapani wet sea salt).

3rd Caputo Bag:
I grabbed a third bag of the Chef's Flour and repeated the same recipe, portions, almost the same temperatures, and procedure as above, with the following exceptions: I used Acqua Panna natural spring water and île de Ré wet sea salt. The results were as mediocre as above. At this point, I was almost convinced that something was wrong with the flour. Nevertheless, I did not discard the dough. I kept it and prepared, after 24 hours of fermentation, the inferior pear pizza shown in the pictures below. I had to be extremely cautious in stretching the dough into a disc; otherwise, it would have developed tiny holes all over the dough disc. Although the floor of my oven was 958° F and the dome about 894° F, it took a little over 4 minutes for the pizza to bake to this point! Strange!

4th Caputo Bag:
Next day, on Tuesday, I grabbed a fourth bag of the Chef's Flour and repeated the same recipe, portions, almost the same temperatures, and procedure as the 1st bag above, with the exception of using Tripani dry, not wet, sea salt. In addition, this time, I did a true 20-minute autolisi. The outcome was as repulsive as above.

5th Caputo Bag:
Next day, on Wednesday, I grabbed a fifth bag of the Chef's Flour and repeated the same recipe, portions, almost the same temperatures, and procedure as the 1st bag above, with the exception of substituting 30% of the Caputo flour with King Arthur all-purpose flour. The result was no different than above!

6th Caputo Bag:
Two days later, on Friday, I grabbed a sixth bag of the Chef's Flour and repeated the same recipe, portions, almost the same temperatures, and procedure as the 1st bag above, with the exception of substituting 10% of the Caputo flour with "80% gluten flour". The result was no different than above!

7th Caputo Bag:
I grabbed a 7th bag of the Chef's Flour and repeated the same recipe, portions, almost the same temperatures, and procedure as the 1st bag above, with the exception of substituting 20% of the Caputo flour with "80% gluten flour". (I hope it is realized how high this is!) In addition, I used my Godzilla mixer (Santos fork mixer) to knead the dough. The result was no different—even with all the gluten added to the Caputo flour! I was so perplexed.

A New Bag of Caputo:
This morning I went to Bristol Farms and purchased one bag of Caputo "The Chef's Flour", with the expiration date of "2/18/2012". I came back home and repeated the same recipe, portions, almost the same temperatures, and procedure as the 1st bag above. The dough reached the "pasta point" after 9 minutes of kneading. Beautiful!

I think one moral of the story is that one should not readily blame oneself and one's methodology for formation of substandard dough. Is it possible that Caputo placed a wrong type of flour, such as weak cake flour, in the bags? Or, did the flour simply lost its essence? Any comments?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: alex_chef2000 on September 24, 2011, 10:53:53 PM
Gee, I did it again! I inadvertently erased whatever I had posted here in this spot. Sorry!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibianamorelos/5784767760/in/photostream/

Hi there, you quoted on my Alsatian pizza and daughter. Thankyou.

Sometimes ingredients come bad that way, you never know when a product was shipped, if the container was left at the sun for  a long time or if the shipment came in a frozen container with other foods, etc.

I made another Alsatian tonight, for me, it is still my favorite, the bad thing is that I will start cutting back, last Friday my blood pressure was way high and the doctor ask me to cut back, he will check me again next October 28.  So I decided to be in a mediterranean diet but no carbs at all for the first months, I don't want to take high pressure pills.

We use to bake our own breads ( sourdough, rye and Pumpernikel ) to make sandwiches and I am fan of the Key Lime Pound Cake.

From now on I will not be doing many home experiments using carbs.

My culinary regards,


Alex.:

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizza dr on September 24, 2011, 11:37:19 PM
Well I think we have a definite conclusion.  The flour was ill. 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on September 24, 2011, 11:45:23 PM
 Omid,
i've had a bad experience with the red 1kg bags of Chef's Flour too.  it was chunky and hard out of the bag and the dough was a flop.  happened on a night when i needed everything to work well.  i've used pizzaria since.  
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 25, 2011, 01:50:01 AM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibianamorelos/5784767760/in/photostream/

Hi there, you quoted on my Alsatian pizza and daughter. Thankyou.

Sometimes ingredients come bad that way, you never know when a product was shipped, if the container was left at the sun for  a long time or if the shipment came in a frozen container with other foods, etc.

I made another Alsatian tonight, for me, it is still my favorite, the bad thing is that I will start cutting back, last Friday my blood pressure was way high and the doctor ask me to cut back, he will check me again next October 28.  So I decided to be in a mediterranean diet but no carbs at all for the first months, I don't want to take high pressure pills.

We use to bake our own breads ( sourdough, rye and Pumpernikel ) to make sandwiches and I am fan of the Key Lime Pound Cake.

From now on I will not be doing many home experiments using carbs.

My culinary regards,

Alex.:

Dear Alex, I am sorry to hear about your health problem. Yet, your precious daughter must be the best medicine for your blood pressure! I wish you a fast recovery. By the way, I apologize for accidentally quoting over and erasing my previous response to your post. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on September 25, 2011, 04:43:54 AM
Omid,
FWIW, when I was purchasing Caputo flour for personal use, I always purchased the 55 lb bag & in some cases used it past its expiration date with no issues whatsoever.  I know that Antimo is very conscious about quality control and that the flour destined for export does not sit in silos.  It is milled by order and shipped out right away.  So I don't believe that it was incorrectly bag although anything is possible.  With respect to  issues that you experienced my conclusion would be without question poor storage by your supplier.  We let the flour acclimatize for at least 48 hours prior to using it.  The reason being is that sometimes our flour is sent to us along with other products in refrigerated trucks and the flour can & will pick up some moisture.  I have spoken with our supplier about this and in future I will refuse any flour delivered in a refrigerated truck.  I cannot risk a bad batch of dough.  It is difficult enough dealing with all the factors associated with a naturally fermented dough in a commercial environment, the last thing I need is a bag of flour that is not performing due to poor storage.

Best of luck,
Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pete-zza on September 25, 2011, 08:32:26 AM
Omid,

Several years ago, in 2005, I had a discussion with Fred Mortati, of Orlando Foods, the importer of Caputo flours into the U.S., about the recommended window of usability of the Caputo 00 flours. I believe at the time the only Caputo 00 flours that were being imported into the U.S. were the Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour and the weaker Caputo Extra Blu 00 flour. Fred said that officially the window of usability was 8 months. However, he thought that that was unrealistically low, especially when compared with U.S. flours, and we both felt that if the flour was kept in a cool, dark place with adequate ventilation, one could expect to use the flour over a period of 1-2 years. I have no idea as to whether the above still applies today.

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Martino1 on September 25, 2011, 11:06:29 AM
Dear Alex,
I hope you get better soon. i don't think avoiding Pizza is a good advise. Good olive oil, lycopene from the tomatoes and a bit of bread c an't be wrong. Just cut out "french fries and sugar "  ;)
Dear omid, I loved your shot of black forest, makes me missing home. The people like the sun then wine, good quality food, so maybe there is a spot for a pizzeria napoletana.
I did the Tarte Flambee which was quite nice, though i prepared it a bit like a pizza bianca. I tried to push the rim down and also some of the sour cream has dried out a bit, but the simple taste is really nice.

Your flour desaster shows your comittment to achieve the perfect result. I hope you find out what the problem was. Would be interesting to know. Pizzamaking is a bit like golf: you think you know how it works and this is the time when you receive a drawback. So we will never think we can master a pizza, so we keep on improving... isn't this sad ? Maybe you can explain philosophically ?  ;)
Have a good week all pizza makers.
Martin
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 25, 2011, 05:04:40 PM
I hope what happened to me never befalls you! A week and a half ago, I purchased 12 bags of Caputo "The Chef's Flour", which. . . .

Sometimes ingredients come bad that way, you never know when a product was shipped, if the container was left at the sun for  a long time or if the shipment came in a frozen container with other foods, etc.

Well I think we have a definite conclusion.  The flour was ill.

Omid, I've had a bad experience with the red 1kg bags of Chef's Flour too.  it was chunky and hard out of the bag and the dough was a flop. happened on a night when i needed everything to work well.  i've used pizzaria since.  
bill

Sometimes our flour is sent to us along with other products in refrigerated trucks and the flour can & will pick up some moisture.  I have spoken with our supplier about this and in future I will refuse any flour delivered in a refrigerated truck.  I cannot risk a bad batch of dough.  It is difficult enough dealing with all the factors associated with a naturally fermented dough in a commercial environment, the last thing I need is a bag of flour that is not performing due to poor storage.
Best of luck,
Matt

Omid, several years ago, in 2005, I had a discussion with Fred Mortati, of Orlando Foods, the importer of Caputo flours into the U.S., about the recommended window of usability of the Caputo 00 flours. I believe at the time the only Caputo 00 flours that were being imported into the U.S. were the Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour and the weaker Caputo Extra Blu 00 flour. Fred said that officially the window of usability was 8 months. However, he thought that that was unrealistically low, especially when compared with U.S. flours, and we both felt that if the flour was kept in a cool, dark place with adequate ventilation, one could expect to use the flour over a period of 1-2 years. I have no idea as to whether the above still applies today.
Peter

Your flour desaster shows your comittment to achieve the perfect result. I hope you find out what the problem was. Would be interesting to know. Pizzamaking is a bit like golf: you think you know how it works and this is the time when you receive a drawback. So we will never think we can master a pizza, so we keep on improving... isn't this sad ? Maybe you can explain philosophically ?  ;) Have a good week all pizza makers.
Martin

Dear friends, I thank you all for your comments. I would like to add another moral of my story, above, in Reply #524. And, I do so, with outmost earnestness, as a most beneficial advice to the beginners who strive to become better pizzaioli:

It is imperative to understand through and through the "point of pasta", which is a concrete, not fanciful or abstract, term. One got to know its various, empirical manifestations in terms of look, feel, range of temperatures, shades of color, and so on. One got to train one's senses to be able to detect such vital attributes. Not testing a freshly kneaded dough for signs of "point of pasta" is like jumping out of an airplane without inspecting the parachute! Unfortunately, I have known a few pizzerias that neglect to look for such signs during and after kneading their doughs. All they are concerned about is if their doughs thicken into a clustered mass, which is not enough. If a flour shows no signs of illness, as was the case in my story, testing for "point of pasta" may bring to light the defects of the flour and save you time and the reputation of your pizzeria, if own one.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 25, 2011, 07:35:57 PM
Below are some interesting pictures illustrating Da Michele's style of sliding garnished pizza discs from the bancone to the pizza peel. (In the third picture, the right and left rims overlap the pizza peel so that the the high-hydrated and silky pizza disc would form a circular configuration as it slides on the peel and lands on the oven floor. Basically, the right and left rims overlapping the peel increase resistance toward being slid from the peel to the oven floor; hence, the square pizza disc becomes elongated into a circle as it slides and lands on the oven floor.)

Someone emailed and asked me outstanding questions, "Why not lay a disk of dough on a pizza peel and then put the toppings on it . . . instead of laying the dough disk on a countertop, garnish it and slide it over to the peel? Why do it the hard way? What is the difference?" Great questions! Indeed, why go through all the trouble of doing it the Neapolitan way? Why not just do it the easy way, the way commonly done by non-neapolitan pie makers? I am not sure if I have the right answers, so I will try to examine the Neapolitan method of transporting a topped dough disc onto a pizza peel.

§Tenderness:
I recall that a long time ago I was told: The way a garnished pizza disc is transferred to a peel and is stretched—correlates with the tenderness of the crust. Is there, in fact, such a correlation? When a garnished dough disc is slid over to a pizza peel and is stretched, does the dough acquire a certain tenderness after it is baked? If a piece of dough is compressed right before its placement inside an oven, it can bake into a less tender baked good. What if the same piece of dough is stretched, not compressed, before being transferred inside the oven? My assumption is that it will bake into a more tender baked good, for stretching causes the gluten strands to move away, rather than move against, one another—akin to the "Big Bang" which theoretically has brought about a universe that is less dense because all the celestial bodies and galaxies keep moving away from one another, expanding the universe. By analogy, if one places dots (representing gluten strands) on a deflated ballon, the distance between the dots will increase as the balloon is inflated and stretched with air. (The applicability of this analogy might be questionable.)

§Avoiding Excess Flour:
Well, the stretching can definitely be done after a dough disc is placed on a pizza peel and after it is garnished. However, this method will not shake off the excess flour, if any, beneath the dough disc. The excess flour aggregated below the dough disc definitely has a negative impact on the tenderness and flavor of the crust. Moreover, the ash from the excess flour can quickly accumulate on the oven floor in a high-volume pizzeria.

§Release of Tension in the Rim:
At last, it has been said that the Neapolitan method of transferring a garnished dough disc from a bancone to a pizza peel relinquishes the tension that builds up in the rim during opening of the dough ball. Hence, the rim bakes into a softer [and more aesthetic looking] cornicione.

§Tradition:
An explanation underlying the Neapolitan way of transporting a garnished dough disc onto a pizza peel may simply lay in the fact that it is a "tradition". For instance, why do Jews daven (repeatedly sway forward and backward) when they recite the Torah? No one knows, except it is a tradition! That reminds me of the line from the movie "Fiddler on the Roof" which I find quite relevant to the topic at hand:

"A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy! But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask 'Why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous?' Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition!"

For sure, in general, the Neapolitans favor a pizza that is tender in crust and cornicione. And, they go extra miles to achieve that. If a Pizza Napoletana could talk, it would agree with Elvis Presley when he sang, "Love me tender, love me true. . . ."! After all said and done, I do not believe the Neapolitan method is a prerequisite to a great pizza; there is more than one way to skin a cat! Below are pictures of different styles of pizza transportation by Da Michele, Pasquale Makishima, Trianon, and Gino Sorbillo.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
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Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 25, 2011, 10:11:50 PM
Dear omid, I loved your shot of black forest, makes me missing home. The people like the sun then wine, good quality food, so maybe there is a spot for a pizzeria napoletana. I did the Tarte Flambee which was quite nice, though i prepared it a bit like a pizza bianca. I tried to push the rim down and also some of the sour cream has dried out a bit, but the simple taste is really nice.
Martin

Dear Martin, I just noticed that you are in Vietnam, far away from the Fatherland! I hope your are enjoying the rich tradition of the Vietnamese cuisine. And, I hope one day I can visit Germany again, Italy and Spain too! There is an old saying which goes, "Germans make you think (e.g., philosophy and science), Spanish make you dance (e.g., Flamenco), and Italians make you eat (no need to mention what)! Your tarte flambée looks nice, danke.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on September 26, 2011, 09:23:31 AM
nice shots of Gina Sorbilla.  that's some soft dough!  i always like seeing how traditional places prop their peel for hands free loading.  i think that place props the handle on the oven and the flange shown in your pics.  that mahogany peel has seen some action.
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 27, 2011, 08:46:37 PM
Here is a couple of statements that you may find of interest. In respect to baking Pizza Napoletana in a Neapolitan oven, not long ago, the Sicilian oven builder Giuseppe Crisa of Forno Classico told me that, "It is the flame that should bake the pizza. [Home] gas oven or grill can't make pizza napoletana."

Yesterday, at Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa, I met an elderly gentleman from Naples who told me very much the same thing: "Real pizza napoletana is done with flame, not just hot wood. Need flame."

Please, let me know your thoughts on this subject.

 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on September 27, 2011, 09:11:41 PM
Need flame. Need coals. If I could have only one, I would take coals.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 27, 2011, 09:20:55 PM
I would agree with Bill - IF we had to choose one - thank goodness we don't because fire is critically important, IMO. I have noticed a huge difference in my pies baked with beautiful flames such as those you have pictured above as compared to pies baked as the flames are dying out. When in doubt, I throw on another piece of wood.

Craig
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Zeppi on September 27, 2011, 09:31:10 PM
Geez!!........the chemistry of making a good Pizza !!


Louis
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: andreguidon on September 27, 2011, 09:57:36 PM
flames!! you need flames....
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 27, 2011, 10:08:54 PM
Here is a couple of statements that you may find of interest. In respect to baking Pizza Napoletana in a Neapolitan oven, not long ago, the Sicilian oven builder Giuseppe Crisa of Forno Classico told me that, "It is the flame that should bake the pizza. Gas oven or grill can't make pizza napoletana."

Yesterday, at Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa, I met an elderly gentleman from Naples who told me very much the same thing: "Real pizza napoletana is done with flame, not just hot wood. Need flame."

Thank you guys for your thoughts. Please, allow me to make a clarification, just in case I miscommunicated the statements by my way of presentation. I do not believe that neither Giuseppe nor the Neapolitan gentleman denied the necessity of hot coals. It would be nonsensical to make such negation, I think. Yet, they both seem to point out the primacy of the flames (produced by burning wood) in the process of baking pizza napoletana.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on September 27, 2011, 10:20:34 PM
Yet, they both seem to point out the primacy of the flames (produced by burning wood) in the process of baking pizza napoletana.

My point was, indeed, to refute the primacy of flames. In fact, I would refute the primacy of coals. First and foremost is the heat from the deck that is conducted into the bottom of the pie. Next is the heat radiated from the coals. Flames actually radiate less energy than coals. When in contact with the pie, they do serve to help finish the top of the pie, but that can also be effectively achieved by doming the pie for a few seconds. The entire trinity must be in perfect balance, but in my experience, flames are useful, but not as critical as other factors. For completeness, we must mention the air temp, which in the short time the pie is in the oven and the relatively poor transfer characteristics of air, is almost inconsequential.

     
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: alex_chef2000 on September 27, 2011, 11:14:30 PM
IMO: :chef:

First take a look @   http://anticapizzeria.net/vpn/VPNAmericas_frames-index-new.html

The statements are VERY SPECIFIC, including the recipe and even the proper kind of wood to be used, the ideal is to have a WFO inside the house, but I don't have it, so I try to make it close to the original, playing with diferent materials like stones, cast iron, wood chips, oven with high temperatures.
 
The important thing is to enjoy what we can do with what we have at home. Sometimes is a big challenge, but it really worth it when you put on your table this delicacies to share with others.

Some weeks ago I made a cooking class for my daughter and friends, somebody told my wife last weekend that I change the life of many families, their chldren were so impressed that they actually bake their own pizzas at home,  that they don't want to buy pizza anymore.  That they can make better pizza than any business around.

My culinary regards,


Alex.:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on September 28, 2011, 12:08:19 AM
Please, let me know your thoughts on this subject.

 

The materials of the oven, in conjunction with the design of the mouth and the height of the dome, should be considered.  Not withstanding the design of the exhaust, dough managment and general attitude of the cook, all things should be equal.  But, they are not.  Therefore, we have the answer.  :chef:

My little oven requires direct flames to get the results that I like. As soon as it cools off, lots of testing is my plan. :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 28, 2011, 01:36:04 AM
My point was, indeed, to refute the primacy of flames. In fact, I would refute the primacy of coals. First and foremost is the heat from the deck that is conducted into the bottom of the pie. Next is the heat radiated from the coals. Flames actually radiate less energy than coals. When in contact with the pie, they do serve to help finish the top of the pie, but that can also be effectively achieved by doming the pie for a few seconds. The entire trinity must be in perfect balance, but in my experience, flames are useful, but not as critical as other factors. For completeness, we must mention the air temp, which in the short time the pie is in the oven and the relatively poor transfer characteristics of air, is almost inconsequential.

Your point on the "trinity" and "balance" are well-taken. I am not a fornographer, but based on the experience that I have had thus far with wood-fired ovens, I do not find it helpful to dichotomize, unless conceptually, the various factors that are conjointly involved in baking pizza napoletana. Naturally, for the pizza to bake properly, there needs to be a thermal balance between the floor and the dome, which receive their thermal energy from the coals and the flames, which in turn need sufficient air flow (oxygen) to fuel the combustion of the wood. I definitely need to ask Giuseppe to elaborate on his statement about the "flame" baking the pizza. I find this an interesting subject to explore.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 28, 2011, 01:38:24 AM
The materials of the oven, in conjunction with the design of the mouth and the height of the dome, should be considered.  Not withstanding the design of the exhaust, dough managment and general attitude of the cook, all things should be equal.  But, they are not.  Therefore, we have the answer.  :chef: My little oven requires direct flames to get the results that I like. As soon as it cools off, lots of testing is my plan. :)

Hi Jet_deck! What kind of oven do you use? Is your profile picture that of your oven? Thank you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: doodneyy on September 28, 2011, 01:54:24 AM
My point was, indeed, to refute the primacy of flames. In fact, I would refute the primacy of coals. First and foremost is the heat from the deck that is conducted into the bottom of the pie. Next is the heat radiated from the coals. Flames actually radiate less energy than coals. When in contact with the pie, they do serve to help finish the top of the pie, but that can also be effectively achieved by doming the pie for a few seconds. The entire trinity must be in perfect balance, but in my experience, flames are useful, but not as critical as other factors. For completeness, we must mention the air temp, which in the short time the pie is in the oven and the relatively poor transfer characteristics of air, is almost inconsequential.

    
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 28, 2011, 02:18:36 AM
In regard to wood-fired ovens, below is an enlightening article by Mr. Greg Blonder (who, according to his website, is an inventor and scientist):

"My favorite pizza style is Neapolitan- the crust is bubbly and nearly charred in spots, evenly baked on top and bottom, yet the interior still smells of warm, yeasty, almost uncooked dough. This simple pie is a miracle of timing and balance, leaping from peel to perfection in about 90 seconds.

In a conventional oven, almost all the heat comes from 'convection'. That is, heat is transferred from the burner elements to the air, and from the air to the pizza. Convection is a relatively slow form of heating, because air is, well, 'airy', and 1000 times less dense than the pizza. Simply put, the air does not transfer in much heat, because it doesn't carry much weight.

In a wood-fired pizza oven, the dough is placed on the hot stones lining the oven. These bricks are at 800F or more, and the limp dough comes into intimate contact with the bricks. Heat efficiently moves by 'conduction' into the dough- and very quickly because the bricks are nearly as dense as the pizza. The same reason you sear in a frying pan but bake in an oven.

Yet the wood-fired pizza oven offers a third source of intense heat- 'radiative' heat from the light emitted by the fire.

Radiative heat is all around us, but usually too weak to be noticed. The bricks are emitting radiation, as is the air, and even the baker. Unlike conductive or convective heating, where energy transfer rates depend mostly on thermal conductivity, radiative heating power grows in strength according to the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, i.e. proportional to the temperature raised to the fourth power.

This means a 300F oven is radiating 1300x less heat intensity than an 1800F orange wood flame (=[1800/300]4, which is why you can feel the heat from a fireplace ten feet away, but barely notice the warmth from an open oven door at the same distance. And why you must turn on the broiler in a home oven to brown dinner). It also means at some point radiative heating will outrun either conduction or convection- a little higher in temp it will burn the crust, a little lower and it will be too cool to matter. Building a proper wood fire is an art.

Thus the dance of a pizza baker. If they want to produce a crust where the bottom surface (mostly heated by conduction) is exactly as crispy as the top crust (mostly heated by radiation), they have to discover the perfect location within the oven, along with the exact dough water content and bubble density, so these two heating mechanism are in sync. All the while cooking the toppings at the same time.

Often the simple things in life are the most elegant." (End of quote. I have added the italic and bold letters for emphasis.)

http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/pizzaOvenStall.html
_________________________________________________________________________________

So, per the above assertions, it appears that there are three principal factors involved, hand-in-hand, in heating a pizza napoletana in a wood-fueled, brick oven, namely the "trinity" of:

1) "Convection heat" through the extant air inside the oven,
2) "Conduction heat" through the oven floor (mainly responsible for heating the base of pizza), and
3) "Radiative heat" principally from the light of fire (mainly responsible for heating the face of pizza).

In a home gas oven or grill, the element of "radiative" heat seems to be miserably deficient in comparison to a Neapolitan oven; hence, the home oven or grill mainly depends on "convection" and "conduction" heat to bake a pizza on a pizza stone that is situated above the source of heat. In light of this particular observation, I can see the importance of Giuseppe's and the Neapolitan gentleman's statements, respectively: "It is the flame that should bake the pizza. [Home] gas oven or grill can't make pizza napoletana" and "Real pizza napoletana is done with flame, not just hot wood. Need flame".

Also, Mr. Blonder's elucidation explains why the peculiar structure of the Neapolitan oven is circular with a hemispherical dome closely approximated to the plane of the oven floor: efficient radiation confluence, radiation reflection, and efficient distribution of convection and conduction heat. A well-built Neapolitan oven transpires as a harmony of various dynamics!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on September 28, 2011, 07:34:13 AM
I do not find it helpful to dichotomize, unless conceptually, the various factors that are conjointly involved in baking pizza napoletana.

This topic is not only interesting, but is of absolute critical importance in the mastery of fornology. The WFO is a highly dynamic environment, changing second by second - unstable and unpredictable - with little room for error. A smallish, general-purpose WFO like mine is particularly challenging.

Split second decisions need to be made to ensure all parts of the pie are perfectly cooked at the same time. Knowing the heat of the deck in different locations, the mass of the coals, and the location of flames at any given moment is essential to be able to decide when to rotate, whether to move the pie closer or further from the coals or flames, and when to pull the pie from the oven. At some point, this skill becomes second nature, but to get there requires careful observation of the different sources of heat.

Of particular interest to me is the post-masticum: while eating the pie, judging the how well each objective has been achieved and what factors were responsible for success or lack thereof - not just in the baking but in every step of preparation.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on September 28, 2011, 08:52:54 AM
I have been a "silent observer" here for a few months now, but have finally decided to respond in order to credit Omid with finding an article I believe succinctly describes the process taking place.  Mr. Blonder illustrates the keys to baking all things, not just pizza, and provides us with a wonderful primer. 

I am a breadmaker who has become enamored with the art of making Pizza Napoletana, and have to admit the learning curve has been a steep but wonderful climb!  Thanks to everyone for... the love of the craft!

Grazie tante,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on September 28, 2011, 09:08:49 AM
i too think the perfect balance in WFOs depends on all three components of baking, but find that an active live fire is necessary to get the best results.  i've always found it interesting that Anthony Mangieri continually fine tunes his live fire by adding wood shavings from a pile beneath his oven.  i guess he would agree.
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 28, 2011, 09:36:33 AM
Flames actually radiate less energy than coals.   

Bill, can you give a little more color on this conclusion? Intuitively, it does not sound correct to me. Without a good supply of air, wood coals are what – about 1000F – maybe a little more. Wood flames, on the other hand, are 1200-1500F during incomplete combustion. Flames are also brighter. I’m not sure how you make an apples to apples comparison; clearly a huge bed of coals radiates more heat than a match flame, but in similar proportions I don’t think that is necessarily the case. It’s also certainly not my experience having sat in front of many campfires.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on September 28, 2011, 10:09:20 AM
Hi Jet_deck! What kind of oven do you use? Is your profile picture that of your oven? Thank you!

Omid, the picture is of a propane fired oven that I built.  The wood fired oven that I was speaking of is here, the il Forno Cheapo : http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12521.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12521.0.html)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on September 28, 2011, 11:09:25 AM
Bill, can you give a little more color on this conclusion? Intuitively, it does not sound correct to me. Without a good supply of air, wood coals are what – about 1000F – maybe a little more. Wood flames, on the other hand, are 1200-1500F during incomplete combustion. Flames are also brighter. I’m not sure how you make an apples to apples comparison; clearly a huge bed of coals radiates more heat than a match flame, but in similar proportions I don’t think that is necessarily the case. It’s also certainly not my experience having sat in front of many campfires.

CL

I am referring to the energy radiated from a flame. Hold your hand next to a recently started campfire that has no coals. Then hold your hand the same distance over the fire. Most of the energy from the combustion is convected up. A much smaller portion of the energy, mostly in the form of visible light, is radiated from the flame.  

For those not having a campfire handy, try this with a candle. See how long you can hold your hand to the side of the flame vs. over the flame.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 28, 2011, 12:02:28 PM
I am referring to the energy radiated from a flame. Hold your hand next to a recently started campfire that has no coals. Then hold your hand the same distance over the fire. Most of the energy from the combustion is convected up. A much smaller portion of the energy, mostly in the form of visible light, is radiated from the flame.  

For those not having a campfire handy, try this with a candle. See how long you can hold your hand to the side of the flame vs. over the flame.

I don't disagree with anything you wrote here, but I don't think it demonstrates or even addresses your original proposition either. Sit next to a campfire that has burned down to coals compared to a similar sized fire with open flame. I've had many raging campfires that I had to move back from because of the heat. I can't say the same about a bed of coals no matter how large (within reason - not an Aggie bonfire). For that matter, I can't think of a case where I couldn't walk all the way up on one. Certainly that is not true of an open fire - including those that are not particularly large.

You correctly note that most of the energy from combustion is convected up, but you ignore the fact that, in any given amount of time, there is much more total energy being released by the flame as compared to the coals. Burning wood (the mass that is actually burning) is consuming fuel and releasing energy much faster than the same mass of coals.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on September 28, 2011, 12:27:49 PM
Craig,

We'll have to agree to disagree here. I have also cooked with fire all my life  - both above the fire and next to the fire. There is no question in my mind about the vast difference in heat between radiated and that convected by the flames. So in the WFO, where is all this heat going? Up to the dome in my WFO. The flames that arc back down to the pie are important. The amount of heat radiated from the dome down onto the pie - not so sure. The air heated by the flames - not much of a factor. I just know that in my oven, I can produce pies I love with little or no flame as long as I have a rocking bed of coals. To be honest, sometimes I stoke the fire only to produce light to help me see what is going on in the oven.

Sorry to sidetrack this excellent thread.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 28, 2011, 12:53:54 PM
We'll have to agree to disagree here. I have also cooked with fire all my life  - both above the fire and next to the fire. There is no question in my mind about the vast difference in heat between radiated and that convected by the flames. So in the WFO, where is all this heat going? Up to the dome in my WFO.

I really don’t think we disagree on very much, if anything, here. As you note, much or most of the heat from the flame is carried (via air and convection) up into the dome of the WFO. Some is absorbed by the mass of the structure, but a lot (maybe most) of it is convected (is this really a word?) right out the door and up the chimney.

Quote
The flames that arc back down to the pie are important. The amount of heat radiated from the dome down onto the pie - not so sure. The air heated by the flames - not much of a factor. I just know that in my oven, I can produce pies I love with little or no flame as long as I have a rocking bed of coals. To be honest, sometimes I stoke the fire only to produce light to help me see what is going on in the oven.

The only thing I think is missing from your analysis is that there is so much more energy produced during combustion that even if only a small % is radiated, it is still greater than the energy radiated by the coals. Regardless, as you note, you can bake a beautiful pie without a flame – I’ve seen yours. No doubt there. Whether you or I or anyone else can personally produce a better pie with or without open flame, I think, comes down to the technique employed by the individual pizzaiolo. For me, it seems to be with more flames.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on September 28, 2011, 01:27:29 PM

convected (is this really a word?)


I reserve the right create inventations of words, especially on the Internets where less formalosity is the norm. Surprised no one called me on post-masticum
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on September 28, 2011, 05:32:24 PM
I was done making pizza and there were 4-5 pieces of wood left so I thought I would see how hot I could get the oven. This was the hottest I have ever gotten up to. I tried to find the hottest area of the bed of coals with no flames and I got 1700F. The other side of the wall was almost 1100F. From what I remember when I pointed it at the flames the hottest it got was 1400F almost 1500F.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on September 28, 2011, 06:53:31 PM
BSO, your marble landing is bitchin' awsome! 
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 28, 2011, 07:08:47 PM
I have been a "silent observer" here for a few months now, but have finally decided to respond in order to credit Omid with finding an article I believe succinctly describes the process taking place.  Mr. Blonder illustrates the keys to baking all things, not just pizza, and provides us with a wonderful primer. 

I am a breadmaker who has become enamored with the art of making Pizza Napoletana, and have to admit the learning curve has been a steep but wonderful climb!  Thanks to everyone for... the love of the craft!

Grazie tante,
Salvatore

Signore Salvatore, I sincerely thank you for the credit. Last night, first, I found some other fascinating papers on the thermal physics of wood-fueled ovens, which were quite technical, complicated, and lengthy. Thereafter, when I came upon Mr. Blonder's article, I was immediately captivated by its simplicity and conciseness. I really do not know how scientifically conclusive his conceptual analyses are; nonetheless, I find them instrumental in understanding the phenomenon of baking pizza in a wood-fired oven.

I wish you success in your pizza quest. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 28, 2011, 07:14:53 PM
Omid, the picture is of a propane fired oven that I built.  The wood fired oven that I was speaking of is here, the il Forno Cheapo : http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12521.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12521.0.html)

Dear Jet_deck, I thank you for the link. You are very creative, building your own oven and, now, diving arms mixer. Impressive!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 28, 2011, 07:21:02 PM
I was done making pizza and there were 4-5 pieces of wood left so I thought I would see how hot I could get the oven. This was the hottest I have ever gotten up to. I tried to find the hottest area of the bed of coals with no flames and I got 1700F. The other side of the wall was almost 1100F. From what I remember when I pointed it at the flames the hottest it got was 1400F almost 1500F.

BSO, your marble landing is bitchin' awsome!  
bill

Dear BrickStoneOven, I agree with dear Bill! Please, could you post a picture illustrating your oven in its entirety? That is the smallest half-moon opening I have seen in a non-Neapolitan oven. Could you, also, provide some of the specifications of your oven, please? Who built it? Is the dome composed of bricks or cement? Thank you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on September 28, 2011, 08:18:03 PM
Dear BrickStoneOven, I agree with dear Bill! Please, could you post a picture illustrating your oven in its entirety? That is the smallest half-moon opening I have seen in a non-Neapolitan oven. Could you, also, provide some of the specifications of your oven, please? Who built it? Is the dome composed of bricks or cement? Thank you!

Thanks Bill and Omid. It's an Ambrogi oven. The interior is ~43" and the dome is 12.2-.3"(forget which one). Other than the Acunto prefab ovens I think Ambrogi's are the only ones that are close to Neapolitan WFO specs. It has the same vertical rise on the wall(~8") then it domes, you cant really tell in the pictures. I don't use that iron door anymore, I had a SS insulated one made.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on September 28, 2011, 08:19:56 PM
.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 28, 2011, 09:37:01 PM
It's an Ambrogi oven. . . .

In the name of God of Abraham, I am breathless! Is this a dream of chance or is my soul in trance? I thank you the world for posting all these illustrious pictures. Elegant design, beautiful bancone, enticing white marble... You are clearly a man of taste! I cherish the white marble on the workbench. White marble slabs allure me more than women do! (My wife would kill me if she reads this.) I have a feeling that you, like Craig, are on the Silk Road! Again, I thank you very much for everything.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 28, 2011, 10:08:35 PM
Wow
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: RobynB on September 28, 2011, 10:31:33 PM
Wow, indeed.  That is one beautiful set-up.  I covet your marble prep area more than I am comfortable with, somehow.  That marble table is gor-gee-ous.  Your overall set-up is really fantastic!

I think the proportions of your oven are the same as mine, which was the closest I could find to the low-dome Neapolitan specs.  Mine is a French import, 39" deck with a dome that tops out at 10". 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: BrickStoneOven on September 28, 2011, 11:18:32 PM
Thanks guys and girl. I think the entrance is 17.5" wide I forget how high though. This is the door.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 29, 2011, 12:51:23 AM
I think the proportions of your oven are the same as mine, which was the closest I could find to the low-dome Neapolitan specs.  Mine is a French import, 39" deck with a dome that tops out at 10".

Dear RobynB, please, feel free to edify our eyes with the pictures of your brick oven!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: RobynB on September 29, 2011, 01:12:14 AM
Hi Omid,

The thread on my build is here:  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13956.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13956.0.html)

We will be putting in an island with a marble top, and that prep table of BrickStone's is now a big inspiration! 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dhs on September 29, 2011, 10:54:03 AM
That SS door is a think of beauty! Very nice
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on September 30, 2011, 08:16:26 AM
Hi Omid,

The thread on my build is here:  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13956.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13956.0.html)

We will be putting in an island with a marble top, and that prep table of BrickStone's is now a big inspiration! 

Dear RobynB, I thank you for the link to your beautiful brick oven. It is an interesting design by the French. And, it is interesting how you incorporated the oven as an addition to your house. Have a great Napolic weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: tscaife on September 30, 2011, 12:56:29 PM
deleted
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 01, 2011, 04:18:17 AM
Now let's see some pizzas!  :chef:

Chau

Last night, finally, I got to test the oven, after another redesign! I have mixed feelings about it; I may need to, again, restructure the interior of the oven. I need better heat distribution, as there is one blind spot inside the oven and some other problems. The picture below is before I applied mortar to the bricks. As to the dough, the specifications are as follows:

1000 gr. Capto Pizzeria          (Datum Point)
575   gr. Water                     (57.50%)
28     gr. Sea Salt                 (2.8%)
30     gr. Sourdough Culture    (3%)

Hand-mixed and hand-kneaded, using the direct method and the ancient method of "varzidan" for about 15 minutes non-stop.
Fermentation: 5 + 20 hours at controlled room temperature
Oven temperature: 993 (floor) & 935 (dome)
Bake time: 66 seconds
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 01, 2011, 04:23:27 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 01, 2011, 04:23:55 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 01, 2011, 04:47:33 AM
Very impressive Omid.  Your skill is commendable!

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 01, 2011, 06:18:46 AM
Very impressive Omid.  Your skill is commendable!

Matt

Dear Matthew, thank you!

Please, let me ask you a question. Have you ever used HÄUSSLER ALPHA and/or AVANCINI SP5 dough mixer? If you have, what do you think of them/it? I thank you in advance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqg1kzYbIgs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYBF1V30B78&feature=related
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 01, 2011, 06:34:51 AM
Dear Matthew, thank you!

Please, let me ask you a question. Have you ever used HÄUSSLER ALPHA and/or AVANCINI SP5 dough mixer? If you have, what do you think of them/it? I thank you in advance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqg1kzYbIgs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYBF1V30B78&feature=related

Hi Omid,
I own an Avancini SP5.  It is an excellent mixer & works extremely well for all levels of hydration.  I also owned the Santos a couple of years back along with an Electrolux DLX.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8266.0.html
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10884.0.html

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on October 01, 2011, 06:43:05 AM
Omid - Those are some of the best pies I have seen you post in this thread. The char and crumb are masterful. Well done with your new oven - you are a mad scientist!

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: andreguidon on October 01, 2011, 07:59:41 AM
Now those pizzas look GOOD!! the crumb looks perfect.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on October 01, 2011, 08:40:44 AM
excellent!  i always like the way you cheese that pie.  is the oven door open or shut during the 66 sec?  do you spin the pie as it cooks any?
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 01, 2011, 08:59:03 AM
Omid, I have always liked the looks of your home oven pies.  These latest ones are a step up and look better than my wfo NP pies!  You are a true pizza master!  I'm curious to know how these ate compared to your older home oven pies?  Were they a lot different considering the different bake times?

Congrats Omid!  A significant first for Pizzamaking.com.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: norma427 on October 01, 2011, 09:22:35 AM
Omid,

Congrats on your oven design and pizzas!  :chef: You did a great job on both your oven mod and your pizzas.  The crumb on your pies looks amazing.

Norma
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on October 01, 2011, 09:45:32 AM
omid,
  great setup, those pizzas are almost to pretty to eat. the bake looks perfect, was the underside acceptable at 900 degrees+ on the floor ?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: alex_chef2000 on October 01, 2011, 12:06:07 PM
omid,
  great setup, those pizzas are almost to pretty to eat. the bake looks perfect, was the underside acceptable at 900 degrees+ on the floor ?

Omid, did you change something in the oven to reach such temperatures?

BTW congratulations for your pizzas and oven modifcation, you can put a small metal box with soaked wood chips in the oven to add the smoky flavor on your pizzas.  You can fnd them in Academy store.  That way you will be 99% close to a WFO.

I bake my pizzas on a regular oven reaching 650 F, because of that I use a cast iron pizza pan, for me the results are more than great.  If I use a pizza stone with this temperature, the results are less than mediocre.

I want to play with my grill in two months, once I start baking again...

My culinary regards,


Chef Alex.:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 01, 2011, 05:12:45 PM
Dear friends, I thank all of you for your compliments! Have a great weekend.

Omid - Those are some of the best pies I have seen you post in this thread. The char and crumb are masterful. Well done with your new oven - you are a mad scientist!
John

Dear John, I agree with you, this is "mad"! I definitely do not intend to keep the oven in this state. Once my curiosity is satisfied, I will dismantle the oven and discard it before my wife discards me. Good day!

Now those pizzas look GOOD!! the crumb looks perfect.

excellent!  i always like the way you cheese that pie.  is the oven door open or shut during the 66 sec?  do you spin the pie as it cooks any?
bill

Dear Bill, first, my entire pizza session last night was a test to see how the oven behaves. When I warmed up the oven for a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes, I kept the oven door closed. It takes time for all the bricks to warm up, thermally harmonize with one another, and function as a "thermal battery" inside the oven. After the first hour, the floor reached about 700° F. Naturally, the floor is always hotter than the brick dome and the brick walls, because the stone is directly situated above the source of heat. So, the walls and the dome are usually cooler by more or less than 50° F to 80° F. By the end of the second hour, the floor reached about 800° F. However, once the bricks in the dome reached the 800° F threshold (thermal battery threshold), the entire oven commenced to heat up at a more accelerated rate which caught me off-guard as suddenly I had some surprise guests that I had to entertain. I got so distracted! Thereafter, when I baked the pizza, I left the oven door open because too much heat had accumulated inside the oven. In fact the heat was so intense that it, within few seconds, melted the tip of the barrel of my thermometer gun as I was measuring the floor and doom temperatures. (See the picture below.) Fortunately, the thermometer is still operational. I definitely need to make some adjustments in terms of time for priming the oven and other issues.

At last, yes, I do rotate the pizza as it bakes. Good day!

Omid, I have always liked the looks of your home oven pies.  These latest ones are a step up and look better than my wfo NP pies!  You are a true pizza master!  I'm curious to know how these ate compared to your older home oven pies?  Were they a lot different considering the different bake times? Congrats Omid!  A significant first for Pizzamaking.com.

Dear Chau, of course, the high heat changed both the flavor and the texture of the crust. Both the cornicione and the crust were much more tender in comparison to my previous pizzas. Good day!

Omid, congrats on your oven design and pizzas!  :chef: You did a great job on both your oven mod and your pizzas.  The crumb on your pies looks amazing.
Norma


omid, great setup, those pizzas are almost too pretty to eat. the bake looks perfect, was the underside acceptable at 900 degrees+ on the floor?

Dear thezaman, the first pizza that entered the oven, stayed therein for 81 seconds. That was not good, as the underside became charred more than I desired. Hence, I kept the next pizza, of which I posted the pictures above, for only 66 seconds inside the oven. And, of that 66 seconds, about 10 seconds of it was for the doming purpose, which made a significant difference. Good day!

Omid, did you change something in the oven to reach such temperatures? BTW congratulations for your pizzas and oven modifcation, you can put a small metal box with soaked wood chips in the oven to add the smoky flavor on your pizzas.  You can fnd them in Academy store.  That way you will be 99% close to a WFO. I bake my pizzas on a regular oven reaching 650 F, because of that I use a cast iron pizza pan, for me the results are more than great.  If I use a pizza stone with this temperature, the results are less than mediocre. I want to play with my grill in two months, once I start baking again...
My culinary regards,
Chef Alex.:

Dear Alex, that is exactly what I did, placing soaked wood chunks (mesquite) below the broiler before placing the pizzas inside the oven. The mesquite produced such a great aroma. Have a great day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 01, 2011, 05:23:53 PM
Dear Matthew, thank you!

Please, let me ask you a question. Have you ever used HÄUSSLER ALPHA and/or AVANCINI SP5 dough mixer? If you have, what do you think of them/it? I thank you in advance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqg1kzYbIgs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYBF1V30B78&feature=related

Dear Matthew, thank you very much for the links. I am thinking about buying a SP5, but I do not like the fact that the bowl and the spiral hook are non-removable. By the way, I like the "breaker bar" you inventively installed inside your mixer. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 01, 2011, 06:07:01 PM
deleted

Dear Todd, this morning I went to give you feedback in respect to your inquiry about "point of pasta", but your post had been deleted. I think this topic of point of pasta is too important to be ignored! And, please forgive my delay in responding to your post. If my memory serves me right, you wanted to know when point of pasta is procured during kneading a batch of dough.

As I earlier posted in this thread (Reply #377):

The word, "dough" is a derivative of the Gothic term daigs ("a kneaded lump"), second stem of deigan ("to knead"), which in turn is a derivative of the Indo-European root term dheigh, meaning "to build", "to form", or "to become". . . . I think here is the pivotal point: "to become"! The point of pasta is indubitably the point at which a corporeal transformation (a becoming) occurs. But, how can this transformation or becoming be characterized? While the experience of the transformation seems to be the same for dough kneaders, the interpretations of the same experience are many. Hence, my construal will be one amongst many. Consequently, I will keep my interpretation as general as possible in order to maintain a level of objectivity.

The way I construe this experience (i.e., the point of pasta) is the point at which the mixture of water and flour are no longer a mélange. The metamorphic dough formation is no longer a hodgepodge of dissimilar ingredients, that is the liquid and solid elements. A unification of both elements is achieved to a point whereby one cannot tell one element from the other. Furthermore, I would stipulate the point of pasta as follows:

1. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when the mixture visibly and tactilely reaches a state or degree of homogeneity in terms of constitution, shape, texture, and temperature;

2. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when it reaches tactilely a state or degree of consistency (i.e., an agreement, coherence, or uniformity throughout the texture of the mass);

3. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when it possesses a structure of its own, rather than being amorphous (lacking organization and definite form);

4. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when there is a relative skin formation—or when the mixture is encompassed by or embodied in its own skin. (I believe this statement correlates with Mr. Marco Parente's statement: "[W]hen the dough start coming away from the side of the bowl, but still stick to the bottom, that is a good sign." A "good sign" because now the dough skin, as opposed to the walls of the bowl, can contain its own dough mass.);

5. A kneaded mixture of water and wheat flour reaches the point of pasta when it reaches a degree of flexibility/plasticity, extensibility, and elasticity; and

6. Having thus far entertained the attributes that are detected through the senses of sight and touch, let us also not underestimate and ignore the subtle and gentle attribute of dough aroma, detected by the olfactory. Often people laugh at me and do not take me seriously when I talk about this topic, but I have known a blind baker who completely relies upon his acute sense of smell at different phases of making dough. For him "seeing is believing" is obsolete; he must smell it in order to believe it! When he bakes his dough, he firmly stands right by the oven door, focusing his nostrils on the rising aroma in order to determine when the bread is baked. Amazing!—he sees the world through his nose. (Have you seen the movie "Perfume"?)

So, as cheese is a manifestation of milk, I would assert that a degree of "homogeneity", "consistency", "structure", "skin formation", "flexibility", "extensibility", "elasticity", and "aroma" of dough are manifestations of point of pasta. And, as beef stake lovers have their own personal preferences as to how lightly or intensively a piece of stake should be cooked (rare, medium-rare, medium, or well-done), the intensity or degree to which the above-referenced attributes are developed during kneading is also a matter of personal preference. In addition, the percentage of hydration, type of flour, kind of mixer, method of kneading, the type of pizza or bread intended to be prepared, and etc.—they all can have minute or substantial impacts upon the above-referenced stipulations. Therefore, Mr. Marco's statement makes sense: "It is very difficult to explain how to recognize my dough point. I just happen to know by experience." Please, notice I mentioned in the preceding paragraph that the "kind of mixer" you use will have an impact upon how and when the above-enumerated attributes are reached. (End of quote)

As I stated elsewhere in this thread (Reply #532), to perceptually detect the above-enumerated attributes of point of pasta, "One got to know its various, empirical manifestations in terms of look, feel, range of temperatures, shades of color, and so on. One got to train one's senses to be able to detect such vital attributes. Not testing a freshly kneaded dough for signs of 'point of pasta' is like jumping out of an airplane without inspecting the parachute!"

Also, I remember that you made a reference, in your post, to the wonderful video by Pasquale Makishima (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrMYLg_9Tpc), wanting to know what he tried to demonstrate at time-mark 6:20. If I am not mistaken, he is demonstrating the points made above, i.e., he is scrutinizing the dough for signs of point of pasta. Although the video is of low resolution, I took some snapshots of it for the sake of pictorially illustrating below the points made above.

Starting at time-mark 2:40, please notice that the dough mass has relatively poor "homogeneity", "consistency", "structure", and "skin formation". (See pictures 1a to 1f below.) And, by time-mark 2:47, when he performs the "dough-sheet test", notice that the dough is not possessed of adequate degree of "flexibility", "extensibility", and "elasticity" in order to hold its own structure. Hence, as shown in the pictures below, the dough parchment tears asunder. (I refrain from referring to the "dough-sheet test" as the "window-pane test", for the latter carries an implication that the stretched layer of dough should be thin enough to the point of translucency or transparency, akin to an ordinary glass window held by a pane. In my opinion, the classic Neapolitan dough does not require that degree of refinement, unless one desires to customize her or his dough with a particular end-result in mind. For the purpose of making a classic Neapolitan dough, generally it should suffice for the dough, upon being stretched between the fingers, to form a flat and unbroken surface that is thinner in relation to its length and width, as pizzaiolo Pasquale demonstrates in his video. I assume that the degree of thinness of the dough sheet is subject to style and interpretation.)

So, pizzaiolo Pasquale resumed kneading the dough after the initial test failed. After several more minutes of kneading, starting at time-mark 6:20, please notice that the dough mass, in comparison to time-mark 2:40, is characteristic of better "homogeneity", "consistency", "structure", and "skin formation". (See pictures 2a to 2d below.) Moreover, by time-mark 2:47, upon conducting the dough-parchment test, notice that the dough has much better structural integrity: "flexibility", "extensibility", and "elasticity". Clearly, the dough underwent a physical transformation, which will continue and ameliorate during the subsequent fermentation. To acquire the skills for distinguishing the point of pasta, one needs to make it part of one's own active and conscious perception until it becomes a second nature. To that end, one needs to make repeated experiments and careful observations. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 01, 2011, 06:07:26 PM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 01, 2011, 06:18:36 PM
Dear Matthew, thank you very much for the links. I am thinking about buying a SP5, but I do not like the fact that the bowl and the spiral hook are non-removable. By the way, I like the "breaker bar" you inventively installed inside your mixer. Good day!

Thanks Omid, I have since removed the breaker bar. If your concern is with respect to cleaning, it's a breeze to clean & disinfect.

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: tscaife on October 01, 2011, 07:55:51 PM
Thanks so much for taking the time to discuss the "point of pasta".

I have so much to learn! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Todd
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 02, 2011, 03:10:20 AM
The only difference between tonight's pizza and last night's pizza is that tonight's pizza was prepared with Santos fork mixer instead of my hands. I prefer my hands over Santos!

1000 gr. Capto Pizzeria          (Datum Point)
575   gr. Water                     (57.50%)
28     gr. Sea Salt                 (2.8%)
30     gr. Sourdough Culture    (3%)

Dough prepared with Santos (direct method)
Mix and Kneed time: 7 minutes
Fermentation: 5 + 20 hours at controlled room temperature
Oven temperature: 912 (floor) & 856 (dome)
Bake time: 95 seconds
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 02, 2011, 03:10:37 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: wheelman on October 02, 2011, 08:15:09 AM
Fermentation: 5 + 20 hours

Omid, does that mean you bulk rise for 5 and then ball for 20 hours?  your dough balls always look fantastic, do they ever run together like the photos from Keste with such a long time after balling? 
thanks,
bill
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 02, 2011, 01:56:24 PM
Omid, does that mean you bulk rise for 5 and then ball for 20 hours?  your dough balls always look fantastic, do they ever run together like the photos from Keste with such a long time after balling?  
thanks,
bill

Dear Bill, yes, "5+20 hours" indicates that the dough mass is initially fermented for "5 hours" (inside my marble chamber), after which it is formed into individual dough balls which undergo "20 hours" of fermentation (partly inside the marble chamber and partly on the kitchen counter). And, the dough balls do "run together" if they are left for over 20 hours. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 02, 2011, 02:39:02 PM
Omid.....fantastic looking pizzas and excellent breakthrough with the oven.

I'm several pages behind here, so I need to catch up on this exciting breakthrough. Awesome!  :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 02, 2011, 03:12:31 PM
Omid.....fantastic looking pizzas and excellent breakthrough with the oven.

I'm several pages behind here, so I need to catch up on this exciting breakthrough. Awesome!  :)

Dear Pizzablogger, I thank you sincerely! Very kind of you! Right now, I am re-designing the oven, again. Basically, I am elevating the pizza stone almost by half, so it would be closer to the brick dome. In addition, I will have only one layer, as opposed to two layers, of bricks in the dome. This way, I am hoping to create a better thermal balance between the floor and the dome. Again, thank you and have a good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: parallei on October 02, 2011, 03:43:14 PM
Nice work Omid!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 02, 2011, 05:36:11 PM
Omid,

Can you tell me why you use a 5+20 fermentation method?  Currently, I do the exact opposite:  20+4. 

Grazie tante,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 02, 2011, 10:33:15 PM
Omid, your ingenuity is mind boggling, and your pies aren't far behind.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 03, 2011, 11:02:21 AM
Omid,

Can you tell me why you use a 5+20 fermentation method?  Currently, I do the exact opposite:  20+4.  

Grazie tante,
Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, when I employ sourdough culture as a fermentative agent, I often, not always, use the "5+20 fermentation" mode for a number of reasons. The principal reason is that it works, for me! It procures the soft, yet stable, texture and mild sourness I favor in a dough fermented with sourdough culture. If you ask "why", this is where I need to speculate, without hopefully falling into error, as to what causes those qualities.

Given the type of flour and the hydration level I use, five hours of bulk fermentation does not considerably breakdown the gluten bonds throughout the dough; consequently, it is more efficacious toward making dough balls of stronger, unbroken, and uninterrupted skin. Another reason pertains to the exponential growth of the bacteria and fungi in dough. Since the fermentative micro-organisms within dough multiply exponentially, I assume that the sooner the dough mass is divided into dough balls, the slower will be the rate of fermentation, which in turn is productive of less lactic acid (sourness). Needless to mention, it is crucial to control the temperature throughout the process. Also, the "5+20 fermentation" mode reduces the annoying gummy residues, if any at all, on your fingers when making dough balls. (I do not know how cogent my preceding rationale, i.e., the exponential growth, is.)

At last, for me, the "5+20 fermentation", in contrast to "20+5 fermentation", produces dough balls that are more relaxed, softer, and easier to stretch into dough discs that bake into more tender crusts. Naturally, the "5+20 fermentation" mode requires use of minimal amount of yeast or sourdough culture. After all said and done, when it comes to making sourdough pizza dough, it is often recommended to follow "21+5 fermentation" or a variation thereof. Have a great day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 03, 2011, 11:12:09 AM
Omid,

Thank you very much for your reply.  I must think on this a bit, and examine the benefits of changing my method in a similar fashion.  Every day we learn such fantastic things!

Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 03, 2011, 04:40:55 PM
Nice work Omid!

Omid, your ingenuity is mind boggling, and your pies aren't far behind.

CL

Thank you guys! Soon, I should finish re-designing my oven. My poor gas oven has taken so much abuse! We'll see how it will perform. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Tman1 on October 03, 2011, 08:46:36 PM
Omid's pictures don't really make me want to post mine... those pies are far ahead of me.   :chef:  Any luck with employment?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 03, 2011, 11:06:50 PM
Here is my newly re-designed home gas oven! Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture before sealing the interior and installing the front panel. This is a much lighter construction than the previous design. I am using half as much bricks than before so the oven can breathe more freely. Also, in comparison to the previous design, the floor is half as much farther from the broiler and half as much closer to the dome. Below is a table showing how fast the floor and the dome accumulate heat.

After 10 minutes            Floor: 397° F     Dome: 332° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 581° F     Dome: 472° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 684° F     Dome: 579° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 760° F     Dome: 672° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 809° F     Dome: 747° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 850° F     Dome: 805° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 887° F     Dome: 842° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 925° F     Dome: 890° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 956° F     Dome: 940° F
Total: 90 minutes
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 04, 2011, 01:57:49 AM
Omid's pictures don't really make me want to post mine... those pies are far ahead of me.   :chef:  Any luck with employment?

Dear Tman1, I think you should post your pictures (does not matter what others may think) and watch yourself grow. Surely you would agree that crafting pizza, akin to the fine arts, is a process of personal cultivation and growth, requiring one to unfold oneself unto oneself!

In regard to finding a job as a pizzaiolo, I am still working on it. I am optimistic and confident that in time I will find a suitable position. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 05, 2011, 01:29:43 AM
Omid, Can you tell me why you use a 5+20 fermentation method?  Currently, I do the exact opposite:  20+4.  

Grazie tante,
Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, when I employ sourdough culture as a fermentative agent, I often, not always, use the "5+20 fermentation" mode for a number of reasons. The principal reason is that it works, for me! It procures the soft, yet stable, texture and mild sourness I favor in a dough fermented with sourdough culture. If you ask "why", this is where I need to speculate, without hopefully falling into error, as to what causes those qualities.

Given the type of flour and the hydration level I use, five hours of bulk fermentation does not considerably breakdown the gluten bonds throughout the dough; consequently, it is more efficacious toward making dough balls of stronger, unbroken, and uninterrupted skin. Another reason pertains to the exponential growth of the bacteria and fungi in dough. Since the fermentative micro-organisms within dough multiply exponentially, I assume that the sooner the dough mass is divided into dough balls, the slower will be the rate of fermentation, which in turn is productive of less lactic acid (sourness). Needless to mention, it is crucial to control the temperature throughout the process. Also, the "5+20 fermentation" mode reduces the annoying gummy residues, if any at all, on your fingers when making dough balls. (I do not know how cogent my preceding rationale, i.e., the exponential growth, is.)

At last, for me, the "5+20 fermentation", in contrast to "20+5 fermentation", produces dough balls that are more relaxed, softer, and easier to stretch into dough discs that bake into more tender crusts. Naturally, the "5+20 fermentation" mode requires use of minimal amount of yeast or sourdough culture. After all said and done, when it comes to making sourdough pizza dough, it is often recommended to follow "21+5 fermentation" or a variation thereof. Have a great day!

Dear Salvatore, Earlier today, I prepared dough with the following specifications:

________________________________________
1000 gr. Caputo Pizzeria      (Datum Point)
600   gr. Water                 (60%)
29     gr. Sea Salt              (2.9%)
30     gr. Sourdough Culture (3%)

♣ Dough prepared with Kitchen Aid (Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Sourdough Culture ⇒ Flour)
♣ Mix and Kneed time: 16 min & 32 sec on slow speed
♣ Fermentation Period: 2 + 3 hours & counting... (at controlled room temperature)
________________________________________

As you can see, the initial mass fermentation took only "2 hours" instead of many hours. Below is a picture of the dough mass after 2 hours of fermentation. I have also included pictures, below, of the dough balls I formed out of the mass.

Please, take notice how smooth, unbroken, and uninterrupted the skins on the dough balls are. There are no tears or breakages of any kind on the skins, which, in my opinion, is critical for better development, fermentation, and levitation of the dough balls, in addition to setting the stage for better formation of dough discs out of the balls.

Also, notice that I used absolutely no flour on the dough and the marble top in making the dough balls. At last, after I formed the dough balls, there were very, very little gummy residues left on my fingers. I thought I pictorially illustrate what I talked about above. Have a great night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: bakeshack on October 05, 2011, 01:37:18 AM
Omid,

I appreciate the detailed pics of the dough (bulk and balls).  Can you post some pics of the dough as soon as it becomes ready for baking?  I guess this is similar to what I wanted to see with Craig's NP dough in his own thread. 

Thanks!

Marlon

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 05, 2011, 08:10:16 AM
Omid,

I appreciate the detailed pics of the dough (bulk and balls).  Can you post some pics of the dough as soon as it becomes ready for baking?  I guess this is similar to what I wanted to see with Craig's NP dough in his own thread. Thanks!
Marlon

Dear Marlon, I will do so. Have a great day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 05, 2011, 09:16:52 AM
Omid,

Grazie mille!  You are helping me to understand.  I, too, would also enjoy seeing a picture of the dough before it is shaped.  I expect it to be quite overblown, ala Keste, but will hold off making assumptions until the evidence is presented. 

My belief is if the dough is fermented "en masse" it would ferment at a quicker rate, and by dividing it earlier in the process, the fermentation is allowed to proceed and develop slower.  I also wonder if the dough is more "tender" since it is given such a long time without being disturbed, i.e. during the 20+hour proof. 

 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 05, 2011, 10:25:58 PM
Omid, I appreciate the detailed pics of the dough (bulk and balls). Can you post some pics of the dough as soon as it becomes ready for baking?

Omid, I, too, would also enjoy seeing a picture of the dough before it is shaped. I expect it to be quite overblown, ala Keste, but will hold off making assumptions until the evidence is presented.

Dear friends, below are the pictures of the dough balls. The first picture exhibits the dough balls right after they were formed, i.e., after 2 hours of mass fermentation (77° F on the kitchen countertop). And, the second picture exhibits the dough balls after 24 hours of fermentation (17 hrs at 60°-67° F & 7 hrs at 71°-80° F) on top of the 2 hours. I will shortly post the pictures of the pizzas I baked with the dough balls.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 05, 2011, 10:27:18 PM
Below are the pictures of the pizzas I baked tonight:
________________________________________
1000 gr. Capto Pizzeria      (Datum Point)
600   gr. Water                 (60%)
29     gr. Sea Salt              (2.9%)
30     gr. Sourdough Culture (3%)

♣ Dough prepared with Kitchen Aid (Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Sourdough Culture ⇒ Flour)
♣ Mix and Kneed time: 16 min & 32 sec on slow speed
♣ Fermentation Period: 2 + 24 hours (at controlled room temperature)
________________________________________
♣ Oven temperature: 954° F (floor) & 911° F (dome)
♣ Bake time: 69 Seconds (Margherita) & 56 Seconds (Marinara)
   (Not bad for a modified $99 gas-oven!)
________________________________________
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 05, 2011, 10:28:08 PM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizza dr on October 06, 2011, 12:03:23 AM
Omid those look really really incredible.  I think the crumb shot truly tells the story... wow  :chef:

How did they taste and is there anything you would change?  Bye the way.. did you change your formula to a sourdough starter?... noticed any difference?

Thanks for the posts... keeps me humble

Scot
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 06, 2011, 12:04:10 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 06, 2011, 12:23:54 AM
Omid those look really really incredible.  I think the crumb shot truly tells the story... wow  :chef: How did they taste and is there anything you would change?  Bye the way.. did you change your formula to a sourdough starter?... noticed any difference? Thanks for the posts... keeps me humble.

Scot

Dear Scot, I thank you for your generous compliments! The taste was quite satisfactory, especially with the walnut oil, instead of olive oil, drizzled on the face of the pizzas! However, the crust was not as tender as I wanted it to be. And, I partly attribute that to the Kitchen Aid mixer. When I make the same dough manually, the crust always comes out tenderer. My newly redesigned oven could be another contributory factor. Of course, this oven is way better than what it was a month ago. Nonetheless, I definitely need to modify the oven, again, perhaps tomorrow.

In regard to my formula, I keep alternating between sourdough culture and fresh yeast, trying to exploit their potentials. However, my preference is sourdough culture, as long as it is fit as a fiddle. Good night!

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: bakeshack on October 06, 2011, 02:04:07 AM
Omid, your crumb shots are always perfect!  Thank you for the pics.  I appreciate it. 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 06, 2011, 09:39:32 AM
Omid,

Amazing pictures!  The dough looks wonderful after it's long "rest," nothing like I would've expected.  I think on my part I will have to experiment with the temperature I am using to proof the dough. 

I do notice what I would consider an exceptionally long knead time with the KA.  I seem to get by with about half of that, although it could be from my lack of experience.  I have not had any issues with tenderness using a shorter knead time, but as we know, the time required is dependent on many factors.  I am excited by your use of sourdough culture.  Since making the switch with my dough, the taste has been sublime. 

Grazie mille,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: DannyG on October 06, 2011, 09:50:40 AM

I do notice what I would consider an exceptionally long knead time with the KA.

I too was surprised by the long knead time with the KA. I use the KA pro with the spiral hook and my latest timing is:
1. mix water, flour, yeast until just combined - rest 20 minutes.
2. Spiral hook on slow, slowly add salt over a 2 minute mix, rest 5 minutes.
3. Mix for 7 minutes on slow.
4. bulk rest 40 minutes.
5. Ball and cold ferment (top shelf refrigerator) for 2-3 days.
This has been giving my my best dough to date.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 06, 2011, 09:53:15 AM
Omid,

Next time you bake, would you shoot and post a photo of one of your beautiful Margherita pies before it goes into the oven.

Thank you in advance,

Craig
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 06, 2011, 10:52:24 AM
Omid,

Next time you bake, would you shoot and post a photo of one of your beautiful Margherita pies before it goes into the oven.

Thank you in advance,

Craig

You took the words right out of my mouth. Craig, are you, like me, interested in seeing what the cheese looks like pre-oven?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 06, 2011, 11:00:04 AM

♣ Dough prepared with Kitchen Aid (Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Sourdough Culture ⇒ Flour)
♣ Mix and Kneed time: 16 min & 32 sec on slow speed

Omid, am I correct in assuming that your stated mix time is not the amount of time the dough was mixed once all of the ingredients were in the mixing bowl (meaning ALL of the formula flour, salt, water and stater), but the total time the mixer was running while flour was incrementally added to the bowl?

If it was the latter, about how long was the mixer running once the total of the ingredients was in the mixing bowl?

From my baking days now many years ago and reinforced by the Bread & Pasty book, I know I (and I believe Craig or Chau does the same?) do not necessarily go by the time, but by the revolutions of the mixing arm/attachment once the dough has reached a certain point (generally clearing the sides of the bowl) and then stopping when the look and feel of the dough is in the ballpark.

Are you doing something similar?

Whatever it is, your modified oven is doing justice to your excellent technique and artistry. I definitely look at your pies with no small measure of hunger, appreciation, envy and a big smile!  :D
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 06, 2011, 11:06:02 AM
You took the words right out of my mouth. Craig, are you, like me, interested in seeing what the cheese looks like pre-oven?

Yes. Exactly.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 06, 2011, 01:25:39 PM


From my baking days now many years ago and reinforced by the Bread & Pasty book, I know I (and I believe Craig or Chau does the same?) do not necessarily go by the time, but by the revolutions of the mixing arm/attachment once the dough has reached a certain point (generally clearing the sides of the bowl) and then stopping when the look and feel of the dough is in the ballpark.


This is the method I use when bread making, and didn't know if it would correlate to pizza.  Jeffrey Hamelman describes this in Bread, saying we should try to attain somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 revolutions.  Of course, ultimately the baker must decide when the dough is ready!  I strongly believe in erring on the side of under-kneading the dough, especially with longer ferment times.  An extra fold or two can make up for a slack dough, as well.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 06, 2011, 01:49:24 PM
I strongly believe in erring on the side of under-kneading the dough, especially with longer ferment times.  An extra fold or two can make up for a slack dough, as well.

Exactly.

Although not sure I would call it under-kneading, but the correct amount of kneading given the fermentation time period/application to be employed.

Or as John Dellavecchia aptly put it once, you are "priming" the gluten correctly for the fermentation regimen you plan to use.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 06, 2011, 02:46:37 PM
Omid, did not have as much time as I would like to make this more realistic, but your pizza looks beautiful swapped into a photo taken at a famous Neapolitan pizzeria. Looks good on a table!  :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 06, 2011, 02:58:05 PM
Una mas.  :D
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 06, 2011, 04:12:21 PM

Or as John Dellavecchia aptly put it once, you are "priming" the gluten correctly for the fermentation regimen you plan to use.

Very well said!

Omid:

Once again... tremendous!  The cornicione is stunning.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 07, 2011, 06:43:42 PM
Omid,
Although I've been extremely busy lately, I didn't forget about you my friend.  As promised, a video on the Pietroberto forcella mixer in action.  It's a little on the short side; I will shoot another video for you next time near the end of the mix.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud_zex6FxYo

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 07, 2011, 09:01:44 PM
Omid, your crumb shots are always perfect!  Thank you for the pics.  I appreciate it.

Omid, your crumb shots are always perfect!  Thank you for the pics.  I appreciate it.

Omid, amazing pictures!  The dough looks wonderful after it's long "rest," nothing like I would've expected.  I think on my part I will have to experiment with the temperature I am using to proof the dough. I do notice what I would consider an exceptionally long knead time with the KA.  I seem to get by with about half of that. . . .
Grazie mille,
Salvatore

I too was surprised by the long knead time with the KA. I use the KA pro with the spiral hook and my latest timing is:
1. mix water, flour, yeast until just combined - rest 20 minutes.
2. Spiral hook on slow, slowly add salt over a 2 minute mix, rest 5 minutes.
3. Mix for 7 minutes on slow.
4. bulk rest 40 minutes.
5. Ball and cold ferment (top shelf refrigerator) for 2-3 days.
This has been giving my my best dough to date.

Omid, am I correct in assuming that your stated mix time is not the amount of time the dough was mixed once all of the ingredients were in the mixing bowl (meaning ALL of the formula flour, salt, water and stater), but the total time the mixer was running while flour was incrementally added to the bowl? If it was the latter, about how long was the mixer running once the total of the ingredients was in the mixing bowl?

From my baking days now many years ago and reinforced by the Bread & Pasty book, I know I (and I believe Craig or Chau does the same?) do not necessarily go by the time, but by the revolutions of the mixing arm/attachment once the dough has reached a certain point (generally clearing the sides of the bowl) and then stopping when the look and feel of the dough is in the ballpark. Are you doing something similar?

Whatever it is, your modified oven is doing justice to your excellent technique and artistry. I definitely look at your pies with no small measure of hunger, appreciation, envy and a big smile!

Dear friends, I am honored and truly thank you all for your expressions of praise!

Dear Salvatore, I acknowledge your assertion regarding the "long knead time with the KA". Allow me to briefly elaborate on this matter, as I think the issue of the texture of the referenced pizza crust is multidimensional.

§1. MIX & KNEAD TIME IN RELATION TO THE TYPE OF FLOUR & WATER, AND TO THE WAY OF ADDING FLOUR TO WATER:
The amount of time it takes to mix and knead a Caputo "00" type dough in order to reach the "point of pasta", however you construe the term, can be quite revelatory—not only in terms of the qualities of flour and water, but also in terms of the nature of mixer used to mix and knead them! Since almost every bag of Caputo Pizzeria is different, to varying degrees, in terms of protein content and/or native & absorbed moisture, and since the amount of the mineral salts vary in the water I use, not to mention the temperatures of the flour and water,—every batch of dough, for me, requires a different amount of mix and knead time until the dough reaches my preferred point of pasta. Looking at the log I have maintained for a number of years, I confirm that my mix and knead time—for the same amount and type of flour and water as used in the referenced dough, and using the Kitchen Aid Pro—range from 9 to 17 minutes, without employing autolyse or any method that deviates from the direct method.

Of course, steep or gradual addition of flour to water will bear upon the mix and knead time. In general, the more gradually I add the flour, the more time I allow for mixing and kneading my dough in order to reach the point of pasta. Conversely, the faster I add the flour, the less time I allocate for mixing and kneading. As a general rule, for me, if the non-stop mix and knead time exceeds 11 minutes, for 1000 grams of non-autolyzed flour and using Kitchen Aid mixer, I let myself be alarmed. Yet, I did not feel a necessity to be apprehensive about the 16 minutes and 32 seconds of mix and knead time of the referenced dough because I slowly added the flour by gradation while the mixer ran on the slowest speed. Moreover, the dough temperature, which I closely monitored during kneading, was only 77.9° F by the end of kneading. Since The referenced dough was the first dough batch I made out of a new 25Kg bag of Caputo Pizzeria, next time I will prepare KA dough with better awareness of the particular properties of my new flour in conjunction with the KA mixer. I may need to increase the salt to 3% and downgrade my point of pasta in order to reduce the mix and knead time. The downgrade will be compensated later by a longer initial mass fermentation.

§2. MIX & KNEAD TIME IN RELATION TO THE TYPE OF DOUGH MIXER:
Another factor, I should say the "principal factor", that I think had an impact on the referenced dough was the Kitchen Aid mixer itself. In my opinion, KA does not knead effectively as the hydration level increases; hence, one may desperately end up increasing the knead time. Unless one adds the flour gradually over a relatively longer period of time, a highly hydrated dough takes refuge at the bottom of the KA mixer bowl and, hence, avoids being properly kneaded by the spiral hook running on the slowest speed. (By the way, although I stated that the referenced dough was hydrated at 60%, in actuality it was more like 61% or more because I used liquid sourdough culture.) Using the same ingredients and portions as the previous batch and employing the direct method, yesterday I prepared dough with my Santos fork mixer, and it took a total of 7 minutes and 6 seconds to reach the dough consistency I desired, without mitigating my point of pasta. (All the flour was added to the water all at once.) Of course, Santos, like Kitchen Aid, has its own particular weaknesses.

§3. MIX & KNEAD TIME IN RELATION TO DIRECT & INDIRECT METHODS OF PREPARING DOUGH:
Dear DannyG, I thank you for sharing your method of dough making. However, I believe the quasi-autolyse (i.e., your 20 minute rest period) changes the rules! Basically, the 20 minute rest period, after merely mixing all the ingredients except the salt, builds up gluten networks without kneading and, hence, reduces the subsequent knead time accordingly. Consequently, using the direct method naturally requires more knead time than an indirect method such as yours. Nonetheless, I conjecture that if I had employed your method three day ago, I probably would have ended up with a tenderer crust under the extant conditions at the time when I prepared the referenced dough. True or quasi-autolyse definitely has its own merits under various conditions.

§4. MIX & KNEAD TIME IN RELATION TO THE TYPE OF OVEN:
Dear Pizzablogger, in regard to your first concern, the KA mixer ran for a total of 16 minutes and 32 seconds after I added all the sea salt and sourdough culture to the water: 10 minutes (about 100 grams per minute) for gradually adding all the flour to the mixture, and 6 minutes and 32 seconds for kneading the entire mixture. (I should point out that during the 10-minute period, my KA suddenly stopped working twice! The motor seems to be dying.) Given the deficiency of the KA mixer in kneading high-hydrated dough, the gradational addition of flour also helps the mixer to knead dough more purposefully. In addition, as dear CraigTX stated somewhere in another thread, the gradual addition of flour helps the KA mixer to incorporate more air in the dough.

In regard to your second concern, unless I'm doing a specific experiment, I do not set a fixed amount of time for mixing and kneading dough. However, I do use a stopwatch, which I start at the moment I commence adding flour to water inside the mixer bowl, and which I stop at the moment I turn off the mixer.

I should point out that I think my modified gas oven must have played a role in producing the crust that was not as tender as I wanted. First, 954° F heat is way too excessive for such a confined amount of space inside my gas oven filled with bricks. Second, because of the thermal inequity between the floor and the dome, the base of the pizza bakes about 15 to 25 seconds faster than its face. Hence, I have to allow the pizza remain longer inside the oven, and too much doming won't do much good as it makes the cornicione hard and crispy. Yesterday, I modified the oven again, whereby the dome will run hotter than the floor by 30° to 40° F. In addition, I took 55% of the bricks out of the oven. A problem with using bricks inside such tiny amount of space is that once they get hot, they keep getting hotter and hotter. Verily, my gas oven was never designed to act as a brick oven and run at such a high temperature. Yet, I will not give up!

Handcrafting dough, fermenting it, and transforming it into a pizza is an Odyssey of its own! Not long ago, a pizzeria interviewed me for a pizzaiolo position. Upon hearing me talk about a slightly detailed descriptions of the methods involved in preparing dough and baking Pizza Napoletana, the interviewer exclaimed: "Come on, it's only pizza . . . How difficult can it be?" ("Di­­­-­­ffi-cult" = "Not"-"facile"-"to cultivate") True art involves the challenge of "cultivation" of human character which in turn cultivates its surrounding world! Furthermore, as the philosopher Karl Marx eloquently expressed, "As man works on nature outside himself and changes it, he changes at the same time his own nature."

Good weekend everyone!
Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 07, 2011, 10:01:43 PM
Omid,

You are a true aficionado, and are quite correct that knead times MUST vary depending on a variety of circumstances.  Many of these, as you mention, we have zero or very little control over; i.e., different batches of flour, humidity, etc.  It requires a keen eye and a deft touch to know the moment the dough is ready.  I in no way ever believed you were erroneous in your timing.  I only pointed it out because I feel I am somewhat inept at determining the exact "point of pasta."  Every time I bake, however, I learn!

May I ask you two questions:

1. What is the hydration percentage of your culture?
2. Do you feel there is a place in pizza making for such bread techniques as autolyse and repeated folding, or should they be reserved to "correct" mistakes? 

Grazie tante,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 07, 2011, 11:40:02 PM
Omid, Next time you bake, would you shoot and post a photo of one of your beautiful Margherita pies before it goes into the oven.
Thank you in advance,
Craig

You took the words right out of my mouth. Craig, are you, like me, interested in seeing what the cheese looks like pre-oven?

Sure, next time I will shoot and post a photo of my pre-baked Pizza Margherita. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 07, 2011, 11:48:46 PM
Omid, did not have as much time as I would like to make this more realistic, but your pizza looks beautiful swapped into a photo taken at a famous Neapolitan pizzeria. Looks good on a table!  :)

Wow, my pizza at Trianon da Ciro of Napoli! You do me too much honor. The pictures look so lively and vivacious. I thank you for your generosity. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 08, 2011, 12:00:51 AM
Omid,
Although I've been extremely busy lately, I didn't forget about you my friend.  As promised, a video on the Pietroberto forcella mixer in action.  It's a little on the short side; I will shoot another video for you next time near the end of the mix.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud_zex6FxYo

Matt

If you keep posting all these gorgeous pictures of your pizzas and the video, you may find me knocking at your door in Toronto, asking for a position at the pizzeria! I thank you very much for posting the video. I can tell that the dough in the video is highly hydrated. Nice! Only if my Santos could run as slow as your Pietroberto forcella. . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 08, 2011, 06:08:04 AM
If you keep posting all these gorgeous pictures of your pizzas and the video, you may find me knocking at your door in Toronto, asking for a position at the pizzeria! I thank you very much for posting the video. I can tell that the dough in the video is highly hydrated. Nice! Only if my Santos could run as slow as your Pietroberto forcella. . . .

Sounds like a deal, I will await your arrival. ;)

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 08, 2011, 05:16:30 PM
May I ask you two questions:

1. What is the hydration percentage of your culture?
2. Do you feel there is a place in pizza making for such bread techniques as autolyse and repeated folding, or should they be reserved to "correct" mistakes?  

Grazie tante,
Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, in respect to your first question (i.e., "What is the hydration percentage of your culture?"), I really do not have a fixed hydration percentage to adhere to (particularly in light of the fact that I usually am not able to follow a regular feeding schedule due to my work hours). However, I allow several factors guide me in determining how much flour and water I should use to refresh my sourdough culture. Some of these factors are:

1. The current "acidity level" of the culture (which I determine by tasting and smelling the culture),
2. The current "consistency" of the culture,
3. The current "potency", distinct from the "kinesis", of the culture,
4. "Number of times" the culture is currently refreshed per day (every 6, 8, 12 or 24 hours, or else),
4. The ambient "temperature" which circumvents the culture during its cultivation, and
5. Etc.

As you can imagine, there are other crucial factors besides the above-enumerated factors. Nonetheless, I consider the above as highly decisive, without diminishing the importance of the factors I did not list above. This is really a complex and difficult subject to explain and write about, hence I will be absurdly brief. As a general guideline, if my culture is presently too acidic (tasting too sour and smelling too pungent) and too potent, then I add more flour than water after discarding more than 3/4th of the culture. Then, after thoroughly mixing, I observe, taste, and smell the culture to see if it has procured the thick consistency, less than moderate sourness, and the aroma that I want it to have. If not then I may add more flour or water. Conversely, if my culture is less than moderately acidic and impotent, then I add more water than flour after discarding half of the culture. . . . Of course, there are always exceptions imposed by certain variables such as time, temperature, and etc. Moreover, there are many different ways of refreshing and maintaining a culture.

In regard to your second question (i.e., "Do you feel there is a place in pizza making for such bread techniques as autolyse and repeated folding, or should they be reserved to "correct" mistakes?"), I will answer it from only two limited perspectives. From a classic Neapolitan perspective, "autolyse" and "repeated folding" are solutions to no problems—for if you possess the right mixer, the faithful Neapolitan oven, and the proper techniques and ingredients, then producing a flavorful and tender crust and cornicione should pose no problems. From the perspective of many of those who do not own the right mixer and Neapolitan oven, the problems of producing a flavorful and tender crust and cornicione may excruciatingly appear out of thin air. Hence, methods such as "autolyse" and "repeated folding" can be of value and quite practical from this perspective.

Yet, what do I know? The sky is the limit when it comes to making dough!

Respectfully,
Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 08, 2011, 06:48:34 PM
Omid,

I give you a heartfelt "Thank you" for such a thorough and thoughtful answer.  I someday hope we can possibly have the opportunity to meet and discuss these matters in great detail.  I feel I have so much to learn, and your passion truly shines!

Grazie!
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 04:50:44 AM
PN how did you achieve the cappuccino design on the top of that margarita?  Looks like fancy artwork from Starbucks.

Omid, next time you bake, would you shoot and post a photo of one of your beautiful Margherita pies before it goes into the oven.
Thank you in advance,
Craig

You took the words right out of my mouth. Craig, are you, like me, interested in seeing what the cheese looks like pre-oven?

Yes. Exactly.

Dear friends, in regard to the peculiar way the melted slices of cheese appear on my baked pizzas, I hope the pictures, attached hereunder, are self-explanatory. But, please allow me to make some remarks. I believe the special effect is due to the way I cut and treat the slices, does not matter if the cheese is "mozzarella di bufala" or "firo di latte", and regardless of the brand of cheese or the type of oven. I have tried many of them and obtained the same result. The knife I use to slice the cheese is extremely sharp, with a blade thinner than most professional knives of its kind. The main reasons I chose the knife are that it slices the cheese with ease and, most important of all, does not tear or disturb the fabric of the cheese slices. Hence, I make the assumption that heat radiation bounces off the smooth surface of the slices and creates the silky effect.

I find the Polly-O brand of fior di latte luscious and of great texture. In addition, they do not harbor excessive amount of brine or water inside them. I have been using them for over 12 years, and their qualities have been steadily consistent so far. About 1 hour before I bake a pizza, I take out one ovoline (about 116 grams) and let it sit outside of the refrigerator to sweat a little for 30 minutes, without any resort to wrapping it inside a cloth or paper towel. Next, I slice the ovoline in the manner demonstrated in the pictures below. Thereafter, I place the slices back in the refrigerator, and take them out when I am ready to prepare my dough disc. Please see my next post, below, for how I actually place the slices on the dough disc. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 04:52:19 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 04:53:34 AM
Here is my newly re-designed home gas oven. This is yet a lighter construction than the previous design. (See reply #615 in this thread.) I removed all the bricks from the oven walls, except the ones on the floor below the broiler. I lined the bottom of the pizza stone with a sheet metal (0.25 gauge), made out of aluminum, in order to keep the stone cooler and, hence, closer to the temperature of the dome. I kept one layer of bricks in the dome, lined with sheet metal (0.21 gauge) made out of aluminum. The sheet metal directly faces the top of the pizza stone. Tonight, I tested the oven, as shown in my next post below. The heat distribution above the pizza stone is still uneven and whimsical. As a result the face of pizza, including the cornicione, do not bake uniformly. However, fortunately, the base of pizza bakes evenly to unprecedented tenderness. And, the floor temperature is much more synchronized with the dome temperature. I am satisfied with the floor, but the dome needs to be redesigned again for the sake of even heat dissemination. Below is a table showing how fast the floor and the dome accumulate heat.

After 10 minutes            Floor: 315° F     Dome: 368° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 475° F     Dome: 514° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 609° F     Dome: 605° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 717° F     Dome: 709° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 778° F     Dome: 777° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 827° F     Dome: 821° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 858° F     Dome: 842° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 878° F     Dome: 870° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 897° F     Dome: 890° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 915° F     Dome: 903° F
After 10 more minutes    Floor: 945° F     Dome: 940° F
Total: 100 minutes
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 04:55:32 AM
PN how did you achieve the cappuccino design on the top of that margarita?  Looks like fancy artwork from Starbucks.

Omid, next time you bake, would you shoot and post a photo of one of your beautiful Margherita pies before it goes into the oven.
Thank you in advance,
Craig

You took the words right out of my mouth. Craig, are you, like me, interested in seeing what the cheese looks like pre-oven?

Yes. Exactly.

The two dough balls, as shown in the first picture below (shot 4 hours before I baked them tonight ), were prepared 4 days ago, and since then they have been resting in my marble chamber between temperatures 56° F and 65° F. The dough balls were extra silky and hyper-soft, yet merciful. I do not think my newly reconstructed gas oven did the cornicione justice; nevertheless, it baked the crust super tender. Unfortunately, the battery of my digital camera ran out, and I could not take pictures of the second pizza after it was baked. Below are the specifications for the dough:

________________________________________
1000 gr. San Felice Tipo "00" (Protein 10%) (Datum Point)
630   gr. Water                   (63%)
30     gr. Sea Salt               (3%)
3       gr. Sourdough Culture (0.3%)

♣ Dough prepared by manual mixing and kneading, using the ancient method of "varzidan" for about 16 minutes non-stop
♣ Direct method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Flour ⇒ Sourdough Culture
♣ The dough was hand-inoculated
♣ Fermentation Period: 4 + 75 hours (at controlled room/chamber temperature)
________________________________________
♣ Oven temperature: 945° F (floor) & 940° F (dome)
♣ Bake time: 71 Seconds
________________________________________
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 04:57:14 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 04:58:11 AM
Continuation:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 05:09:54 AM
Continuation:
(2nd Pizza)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 05:11:14 AM
Continuation:
(2nd Pizza)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 09, 2011, 06:06:02 AM
When are you booking your airfare?  ;)

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 06:15:54 AM
PN how did you achieve the cappuccino design on the top of that margarita?  Looks like fancy artwork from Starbucks.

Omid, next time you bake, would you shoot and post a photo of one of your beautiful Margherita pies before it goes into the oven.
Thank you in advance,
Craig

You took the words right out of my mouth. Craig, are you, like me, interested in seeing what the cheese looks like pre-oven?

Yes. Exactly.

Here is another way I cut and place the cheese on pizza. The pictures below date back to 8/6/2011, before the modification of my oven. The cheese cubes on the pizza is only one egg-size ovoline. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 06:17:57 AM
When are you booking you airfare?  ;)

Matt

Dear Matthew, if I were single, I would have been there already! Maybe you should consider moving to San Diego and . . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 06:37:45 AM
Omid,

I give you a heartfelt "Thank you" for such a thorough and thoughtful answer.  I someday hope we can possibly have the opportunity to meet and discuss these matters in great detail.  I feel I have so much to learn, and your passion truly shines!

Grazie!
Salvatore

Thank you! Also, it would be nice to have a Pizzamaking.com gathering of the members so we all can meet face to face. Imagine if all of us could show up at Matthew's new pizzeria in Toronto, Canada! We could kick-start the grand opening at the pizzeria. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 09, 2011, 06:40:07 AM
Dear Matthew, if I were single, I would have been there already! Maybe you should consider moving to San Diego and . . . .

That would mean that we would have to compete with Pete.  :-\

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 09, 2011, 06:41:04 AM
Thank you! Also, it would be nice to have a Pizzamaking.com gathering of the members so we all can meet face to face. Imagine if all of us could show up at Matthew's new pizzeria in Toronto, Canada! We could kick-start the grand opening at the pizzeria. Good day!

Now your talking!

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 06:41:18 AM
That would mean that we would have to compete with Pete.  :-\

Matt

Not unless we do a merger!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 09, 2011, 06:42:55 AM
Not unless we do a merger!

Next time you go see him, tell him about the plan & let me know what he says. :-D

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on October 09, 2011, 06:46:17 AM
Fascinating set of pictures! You are apparently not using the slap technique in your shaping, and I never even thought of leaving such a distinct and untouched rim. Your results speak for themselves.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 06:56:27 AM
Fascinating set of pictures! You are apparently not using the slap technique in your shaping, and I never even thought of leaving such a distinct and untouched rim. Your results speak for themselves.

John

Dear John, thank you! But, of course, I am using the "slap technique". Without it my cornicione would not be the same. The proper application of the technique releases the tension that build up in the rim during pushing the dough and all the air outward from the center. Hence, the slap technique loosens up the rim and prepares it to be puffy inside the oven and aesthetically pleasing. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on October 09, 2011, 07:07:14 AM
Dear John, of course I am using the "slap technique". Without it my cornicione would not be the same. The proper application of the technique releases the tension that build up in the rim during pushing the dough and all the air outward from the center. Hence, it loosens up the rim and prepares it to be puffy inside the oven and aesthetically pleasing. Good day!

Ah, I understand now. Thank you for the clarification.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 09, 2011, 05:20:47 PM
Dear Salvatore, Earlier today, I prepared dough with the following specifications:

________________________________________
1000 gr. Caputo Pizzeria     (Datum Point)
600   gr. Water                 (60%)
29     gr. Sea Salt              (2.9%)
30     gr. Sourdough Culture (3%)

♣ Dough prepared with Kitchen Aid (Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Sourdough Culture ⇒ Flour)
♣ Mix and Kneed time: 16 min & 32 sec on slow speed
♣ Fermentation Period: 2 + 3 hours & counting... (at controlled room temperature)
________________________________________

I do notice what I would consider an exceptionally long knead time with the KA.  I seem to get by with about half of that. . . .
Grazie mille,
Salvatore

I too was surprised by the long knead time with the KA. . . .

Omid, am I correct in assuming that your stated mix time is not the amount of time the dough was mixed once all of the ingredients were in the mixing bowl (meaning ALL of the formula flour, salt, water and stater), but the total time the mixer was running while flour was incrementally added to the bowl? If it was the latter, about how long was the mixer running once the total of the ingredients was in the mixing bowl?

Dear friends, yesterday I repeated the exact same recipe as reflected in Reply #617, except I used San Felice instead of Caputo flour. Below are the specifications:

________________________________________
1000 gr. San Felice tipo “00” Pizza Azzurro, light blue bag (Protein 11.00-12.50%, absorption 55%-62% MIN)
600   gr. Water                 (60%)
29     gr. Sea Salt              (2.9%)
30     gr. Sourdough Culture (3%)

♣ The total hydration is actually in excess of 61% because of the liquid sourdough culture
♣ The dough was prepared with Kitchen Aid (Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Sourdough Culture ⇒ Flour)
♣ Mix time (adding flour to water): 5 minutes & 38 seconds (on slowest speed)
♣ Kneed time: 6 minutes (on slowest speed)
♣ Fermentation Period: 2 + 19 hours & counting... (at controlled room temperature)
________________________________________

As you can see, I reached my point of pasta, without any compromise, after 11 minutes and 38 seconds of mixing and kneading, about 5 minutes less than the previous batch made with Caputo Pizzeria flour.

This morning, I repeated the exact same recipe as reflected in Reply #617 (using Caputo Pizzeria flour), and this time I used the same amount of mix and knead time as the above experiment with San Felice (5 minutes & 38 seconds of mixing and adding flour, and 6 minutes of kneading). My point of pasta was reached, without any mitigation, by the end of the time period!!! The very last picture, below, shows how beautifully the Caputo dough passed the dough-parchment test, whereas this test failed in Reply #617 after a longer period of mixing and kneading. I think this is where art and science come face to face!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 11, 2011, 02:19:49 AM
Yesterday, I re-designed my home gas oven. The heat circulation is still capricious, but it is significantly better than what it was. Now I am using one rectangular pizza stone, stacked on top of a circular pizza stone, as the floor; and, I am using a large-size rectangular pizza stone as the dome, on top of which I placed one layer of terra cotta bricks and insulations to act as a thermal battery. I am also using one layer of bricks below the broiler. The distance between the floor and the dome is 4.5 inches. I tested the oven tonight, and it performed tremendously better than all the previous designs. I do not think I can make the oven better than this. Below you can see the first Pizza Margherita that was baked in the oven as a test. The pizza was done in 54 seconds while the floor temperature was 1015° F and the dome temperature was 998° F.
________________________________________
1000 gr. Caputo Pizzeria      (Datum Point)
630   gr. Water                  (63%)
30     gr. Sea Salt               (3.0%)
30     gr. Sourdough Culture  (3.0%)

♣ The total hydration is actually in excess of 63% because of the liquid sourdough culture.
♣ The dough was prepared with Santos fork mixer (Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Sourdough Culture ⇒ Flour)
♣ Fermentation Period: 2 + 25 hours (at controlled room temperature)
♣ Gas Oven Temperature: 1015° F floor & 998° F dome
♣ Bake Time: 54 seconds
________________________________________
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 11, 2011, 02:21:15 AM
Continued:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 11, 2011, 02:25:34 AM
Continued:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: bakeshack on October 11, 2011, 03:26:56 AM
Very nice!  I would love to see your pizza baked in a WFO.  Btw, did you notice any difference between the San Felice and Caputo flour?  Is the San Felice worth pursuing?  Thanks.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on October 11, 2011, 05:12:42 AM
omid, that was a fantastic pictorial !! thank you
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Ev on October 11, 2011, 07:53:07 AM
Awesome looking pizza, as usual!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 11, 2011, 08:13:45 AM
Wonderful!  Since I am also "handicapped" with a home-oven, the techniques you are employing to get such wonderful results are fascinating.  Thank you!

Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dhs on October 11, 2011, 08:34:34 AM
Awesome looking shiny crumb shot! Wow! I want pizza for breakfast after seeing these.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 11, 2011, 11:37:47 AM
Very nice!  I would love to see your pizza baked in a WFO.  Btw, did you notice any difference between the San Felice and Caputo flour?  Is the San Felice worth pursuing?  Thanks.

omid, that was a fantastic pictorial !! thank you

Awesome looking pizza, as usual!

Wonderful!  Since I am also "handicapped" with a home-oven, the techniques you are employing to get such wonderful results are fascinating.  Thank you!
Salvatore

Awesome looking shiny crumb shot! Wow! I want pizza for breakfast after seeing these.

Dear friends, I thank you all for your generous compliments.

Dear Bakeshack, given the nature of our present socio-economic world, I'd venture to assert that the difference between Caputo and San Felice is more political than gastronomical!!! Other than that, yes, there are differences between "Caputo Pizzeria" and "San Felice Pizza (Azzurro)". From a technical and quantitative point of view, I have listed below the specifications for both flour types:

San Felice Pizza "00" (Azzurro)
"W" Factor:         220 / 380
"P/L":                 0.50 / 0.70
Protein (N x 5.7): 11.00 - 12.50%
Absorbancy:        55 / 62% MIN
Stability (CD):      4' / 12'
http://www.molinosanfelice.it/prodotti-farine.asp?cid=7

Caputo Pizzeria "00"
"W" Factor:         280 / 320
"P/L":                 0.50 / 0.60
Protein (N x 5.7): 12.50%
Absorbancy:        55 / 57% MIN
Stability (CD):      10' / 12'
http://brickovenbaker.com/docs/pizzeriatech.pdf

I have not really subjected San Felice to rigorous and repeated tests. As such, I am not really qualified to pass a judgment on the differences between the two in terms of how they knead, point of pasta, fermentation, volumetric properties, and how they bake. Nonetheless, based on my very limited experience with San Felice, it appears to have a slightly more earthy flavor (after baked) in comparison to Caputo. The San Felice raw dough itself feels slightly different to touch. I have not really noticed an outstanding difference between the two so far, yet sometimes a minute difference can be quite significant! I definitely think that San Felice, amongst other brands, is worth trying, at least for the sake of expanding one's culinary horizon. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on October 11, 2011, 12:56:29 PM
omid, can you show your stretching method with a few more steps. do you do you last streach on the peel like kestes does?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 11, 2011, 01:50:10 PM
I believe that is the most beautiful pie you've posted to date. A real work of art.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 11, 2011, 02:09:18 PM
I'm sure Kelly could do better, but I was feeling inspired.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 11, 2011, 04:12:28 PM
omid, can you show your stretching method with a few more steps. do you do you last streach on the peel like kestes does?

Dear Thezaman, I will do so next time. Yes, I do the last stretch on the pizza peel. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 11, 2011, 04:23:35 PM
I believe that is the most beautiful pie you've posted to date. A real work of art.
CL

Dear Craig, I thank you for the praise and the Mona Lisa tribute! Very kind of you. I look forward to more of your pizzas. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 11, 2011, 04:45:49 PM
I'm sure Kelly could do better, but I was feeling inspired.

Craig, I couldn't do better at all.....great Photoshop! Beautiful pizza!  :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 11, 2011, 05:03:46 PM
Caputo Pizzeria "00"
"W" Factor:         280 / 320
"P/L":                 0.50 / 0.60
Protein (N x 5.7): 12.50%
Absorbancy:        55 / 57% MIN
Stability (CD):      10' / 12'
http://brickovenbaker.com/docs/pizzeriatech.pdf

Dear friends, did you notice Caputo's own flour storage recommendation in the Caputo PDF data sheet in my reply #676? It states:

"Temperature storage (fresh and airy place) 15-18° C [59°- 64.4° F]"

It does not state keeping the flour in an airtight container. . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizza dr on October 11, 2011, 08:10:46 PM
Omid

How do you currently store your flour? 

Personally I keep my flour in an airtight container or I would have a problem with insects. I guess my flour is in my pantry a lot longer than a pizzeria in Italy :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on October 11, 2011, 09:13:03 PM
Omid, do you reball your dough if it spreds durring the rise
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 11, 2011, 10:58:41 PM
Omid

How do you currently store your flour?  

Personally I keep my flour in an airtight container or I would have a problem with insects. I guess my flour is in my pantry a lot longer than a pizzeria in Italy :)

Dear Pizza Dr., fortunately I have not had any insect problems so far. When I buy a 25kg (55 pounds) bag of "00" flour, I place the entire bag on its belly or back inside a non-airtight, flat plastic container that does not provide a tight fit. "Flat" because I want the bag of flour stay cool by the cold hardwood floor below my bed. The hardwood floor is in direct contact with the flat bottom of the container which transmits the cool temperature from the floor to the bag of flour. About two hours ago, my flour was about 64° F. A 25kg bag of flour lasts me 2 months. It seems to me that "00" flour is more vulnerable to environmental harms, perhaps due to the way it is milled. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 11, 2011, 11:03:26 PM
Omid, do you reball your dough if it spreds durring the rise

Never!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 13, 2011, 01:49:47 AM
omid, can you show your stretching method with a few more steps. do you do you last streach on the peel like kestes does?

BRUNO. . . .

Dear Thezaman, pursuant to your request, I have pictorially demonstrated, below, one of my methods of opening and stretching a dough ball into a dough disc. And, as I mentioned before, the final stretch will be performed on the pizza peel after the garnished dough disc is twist-slid thereon. Please, notice that I absolutely avoid touching the rim . . . and no smacking, which changes both the texture and flavor of the crust, in my opinion. The dough ball in the picture sat in the tray about 4 hours longer than I wanted since the high heat deformed one of the seals on the left side of the dome and opened a hole. I had to wait until the oven was cool enough to temporarily fix the seal.

Further, the salami pizza below, made with the above-referenced dough, is a tribute to pizzaiolo Peter of "Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano", who had the passion and the courage to establish, in the entire history of San Diego County, the very first Neapolitan Pizzeria in the city of San Diego. Peter makes breathtaking salami pizza, and I tried to reproduce it tonight, as seen in the pictures hereunder. I do not know where he gets his soppressata (or it might be calabrese) from; they are vivaciously red and quite tasty. Anyways, he is the inspiration behind my salami pizza below.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
1000 gr. Caputo Pizzeria     (Datum Point)
620   gr. Water                 (62%)
29     gr. Sea Salt              (2.9%)
20     gr. Sourdough Culture (2%)

♣ The total hydration is actually in excess of 62% because of the liquid sourdough culture.
♣ The dough was prepared with Kitchen Aid (Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Sourdough Culture ⇒ Flour)
♣ Mix time (adding flour to water): 5 minutes & 29 seconds (on slowest speed)
♣ Kneed time: 6 minutes & 5 seconds (on slowest speed)
♣ Fermentation Period: 2 + 47 hours (at controlled room temperature) + 4
_______________________________________________________________________________________

♣ Home Gas Oven Temperature: 1026° F Floor & 992° F Dome
♣ Bake Time: 67 seconds
_______________________________________________________________________________________
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 13, 2011, 01:53:52 AM
Continued...
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 13, 2011, 01:54:59 AM
Continued...
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 13, 2011, 01:58:42 AM
Continued...
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on October 13, 2011, 02:14:12 AM
that is  really good stretching demonstration. do you pull ad rotate the disc to get it ti 11 inches? the finished pizza is perfect.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 13, 2011, 02:23:27 AM
that is  really good stretching demonstration. do you pull ad rotate the disc to get it ti 11 inches? the finished pizza is perfect.

Dear Thezaman, thank you! The 11-inch diameter was accomplished by the "stretch-slap" method, which releases the tension that builds up in the rim (during pushing all the air outward from the center) and relaxes it. In addition, the method shakes off excess flour from the dough disc.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on October 13, 2011, 07:35:15 AM
Your salami and olive pizza is incredible. I love the red and purple color interplay, and the combination must have been heavenly to eat. One of the best pizzas I have seen here on the forum. Thank you for the documentation!

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: JConk007 on October 13, 2011, 07:59:38 AM
Thanks for posting Omid! and yes a beautiful technique pie. When I am not in a hurry I also use a very similar method.   How many slaps do you think you use to obtain the size. A recent video showed around 6-7 gentle slaps to complete.
Good day !
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: norma427 on October 13, 2011, 08:14:37 AM
Omid,

Great looking pie!  :)  Thanks for posting pictures of your technique.

Norma
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 13, 2011, 01:58:01 PM
Very nice. Pepperoni and dark olives is a personal favorite. Many folks see cupping of the pepperoni as a fault. I like it.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizza dr on October 13, 2011, 02:33:20 PM
Omid

I think these are your best in my humble opinion!!!!!  Thanks for posting pics of the opening of your dough ball... it helps someone like me that is still learning, to actually see what the dough looks like through the various stages. 

Forgive me if this has been asked before but I notice that on your last few bakes you have used sourdough culture. Have you enjoyed this change? Is it common in Italy and specifically Naples to use sourdough culture for Neapolitan pies?

Scot
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 14, 2011, 02:06:06 AM
Your salami and olive pizza is incredible. I love the red and purple color interplay, and the combination must have been heavenly to eat. One of the best pizzas I have seen here on the forum. Thank you for the documentation!
John

Dear John, thank you very much! Let me tell you . . . the "gaeta olives" and "salami" complement one another so well. By the way, one ingredient  that is hard to see (because it is buried below the salami slices) in the pictures is "fresh oregano leaves". They, I think, accentuate certain flavors of the salami. I can not wait to bake another one tomorrow. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 14, 2011, 02:13:57 AM
Thanks for posting Omid! and yes a beautiful technique pie. When I am not in a hurry I also use a very similar method.   How many slaps do you think you use to obtain the size. A recent video showed around 6-7 gentle slaps to complete.
Good day !

Dear JConk007, you're welcome! The particular dough disc above probably took about 4 slaps since the dough was very silky and relaxed. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 14, 2011, 02:16:47 AM
Omid,
Great looking pie!  :)  Thanks for posting pictures of your technique.
Norma

Dear Norma, thank you and have a lovely weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 14, 2011, 02:26:44 AM
Very nice. Pepperoni and dark olives is a personal favorite. Many folks see cupping of the pepperoni as a fault. I like it.

CL

Dear Craig, thank you! One thing that I do like about the "cupping" of pepperonis or salamis is that it makes their rims more conducive to charring a little, which adds an extraordinary flavor to them. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 14, 2011, 02:55:21 AM
Omid
I think these are your best in my humble opinion!!!!!  Thanks for posting pics of the opening of your dough ball... it helps someone like me that is still learning, to actually see what the dough looks like through the various stages.  

Forgive me if this has been asked before but I notice that on your last few bakes you have used sourdough culture. Have you enjoyed this change? Is it common in Italy and specifically Naples to use sourdough culture for Neapolitan pies?

Scot

Dear Scot, I thank you for your compliment. I normally keep alternating between using sourdough culture and fresh yeast. I like them both; However, I prefer sourdough culture—if it is fit like a fiddle—over fresh yeast. I think the former can produce a dough that bakes into a tastier, softer, and lighter crust—but it is a challenge! Perchance, that is why most Neapolitan pizzerias that I know of in Naples use fresh yeast, which is much easier to tame and use. It has been said that only a handful of pizzerias in Naples, such as Da Michele and Salvo, use lievito madre. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 14, 2011, 09:40:45 AM
Omid,

Thank you very much for such detailed pictures.  I am ecstatic, because it seems our methods are very similar.  Now... if I can only achieve the same results!

I also appreciate your insight into using sourdough culture.  I switched entirely to sourdough for most of my breadmaking several months ago, and the results have been superb.  I agree with your description of its benefits in regards to pizza making, as well. 

My family and I are heading to Italia this fall, and I think a stop at Salvo might be in order... especially because that is my son's nickname!  Perhaps I will "borrow" some of their culture.

Grazie tante,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 15, 2011, 11:27:12 PM
I just finished building a turning peel, with copper handle and steel plate. It is so cool to use. Have a great weekend everyone!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 16, 2011, 09:11:55 AM
Dear Craig, thank you! One thing that I do like about the "cupping" of pepperonis or salamis is that it makes their rims more conducive to charring a little, which adds an extraordinary flavor to them. Good night!

Yes, this is what I like as well.

How did you attach the steel plate to the copper handle on your peel?

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 16, 2011, 10:02:36 AM
Fantastic job on your copper turning peel.  Omid you are so talented!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 16, 2011, 05:33:08 PM
Omid, knowing your high and strict standards for Pizza Napoletana, I'm curious as to how you would rate this buffala carried by TJ's against the cheeses you had in Italy.  Of course it can not compared to fresh made cheese, but how close in texture and flavor is it?

I use to buy this all the time as I live within walking distance from a TJs, until I found the Ambrosi brand which I liked much more.  Sadly the market that I got it from no longer carries it.  My options are the brand you posted vs WFs for $12/8oz!  I cannot bring myself to pay those prices at WFs. Also is this the same cheese you have been putting on the pies that you have posted pictures of?
Chau

Dear Chau, since I did not want to clutter and change the subject at dear Wheelman's (Bill's) thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15461.20.html), I have brought the subject here to this thread.

Not long ago, I talked to a corporate owner of a Neapolitan pizzeria who told me that, bufala di mozzarella imported from Italy enter the U.S. in a frozen state. (I think he mentioned that often "liquid nitrogen" is used to freeze the mozzarella balls!) If truly so, there goes out the window a percentage of the texture and flavor of the bufala di mozzarella imported to this country from Italy! (I am curious to know in what state Matthew receives his bufala di mozzarella at his pizzeria in Toronto, Canada.) Moreover, to the best of my knowledge, bufala di mozzarella is supposed to be "fresh" (hence "fresh mozzarella"), not aged. Because of the unavoidable factors of distance and time, the mozzarella balls imported to the U.S. are not as fresh as one hopes them to be. Therefore, there are inevitable compromises!

Given the above considerations, I rate the bufala di mozzarella by Mandara not the best, but not the worst either. First of all, I value the fact that it tastes gamier than some other imported mozzarellas I have had. In my opinion, if a buffalo mozzarella does not have the gamy flavor peculiar to it, the mozzarella would not be of much gastronomical value. Upon tasting it, I like to immediately distinguish that it was made with water buffalo milk; otherwise, what would be the point?

Second, the bufala di mozzarella by Mandara secretes a generous amount of oil (lipids) upon melting, which helps to wed flavors of the ingredients together and which can contribute to the crust stay moist, tender, and flavorful. (I wished the fior di latte by Polly-o contained a higher percentage of oil.) I have had other mozzarellas that did not release enough oil upon melting.

Third, the Mandara mozzarella melts well under various temperatures, low or high, without leaving behind a sourcreamish residue.

Next, Mandara mozzarella balls are on the watery side, which I do not mind as long as no ponds are formed on the landscape of my baked pizzas. However, if the mozzarella balls are excessively watery (which is probably and partly caused by ruptured mozzarella cells after being defrosted from a frozen state), I take out the balls out of the brine (the day before baking), place them inside a dry strainer-container (see the last picture below), and place them back in the refrigerator. By next day, I dump all the water that already accumulated at the bottom of the container.

At last, what attracts me to the bufala di mozzarella by Mandara (fior di latter by Polly-o as well) is the price. The price of $5.99 for 200 grams of buffalo mozzarella is easier to bear than paying $12 or $14 for less grams of mozzarella. I usually make more than 10 pizzas per week, and that price would bankrupt me! Verily, if the buffalo mozzarella balls were not frozen upon being shipped here, they could have been in better shape by the time consumed, promptly, by the U.S. consumers. Yet, it is obvious why they need to be frozen. The cheese used on the pizzas in my pictures throughout this thread are either bufala di mozzarella by Mandara or fior di latte by Polly-o. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 16, 2011, 06:01:27 PM
Omid,
I have tried almost every imported bufala available to me.  Some good, some okay, some not so good. At the end of the day I made the decision to go with Ontario bufala made fresh daily for us. We visited a water buffalo farm in Ontario and have worked out an exclusive deal with our cheesemaker to make our bufala from the buffalo milk from this specific farm.

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 16, 2011, 08:22:59 PM
Omid,
I have tried almost every imported bufala available to me.  Some good, some okay, some not so good. At the end of the day I made the decision to go with Ontario bufala made fresh daily for us. We visited a water buffalo farm in Ontario and have worked out an exclusive deal with our cheesemaker to make our bufala from the buffalo milk from this specific farm.
Matt

Dear Matthew, that is a prudent solution. This way your mozzarella is neither frozen and later defrosted, nor aged. I thank you for your response. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 16, 2011, 10:14:16 PM
How did you attach the steel plate to the copper handle on your peel?

Fantastic job on your copper turning peel.  Omid you are so talented!

Thank you! As the expression goes, "Necessity is mother of invention." I got tired of burning my fingers oftentimes with the metal panel/shield in front of my oven, as my American Pride metal pizza peel has a short handle, and it is not easy to rotate the pizza with it inside the oven. The hardest part of making the turning peel was cutting the steel plate with tin snips. Steel is not easy to cut in a circle. As I tried to cut it, the edges, which were razor-sharp, kept stabbing and slicing my fingers.

In regard to attaching the steel plate to the handle, see if the diagram below helps. The steel plate has to be hard enough not to bend too much. And, after the handle is attached to the plate, the copper endings need to be gently hammered in order to be flattened. As you know, copper is soft and flexible metal, but it can be reinforced by another copper pipe of smaller length and diameter that is inserted, hammered, inside the other one. If I had better tools, I think I could have come up with a better design. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 17, 2011, 05:09:03 AM
Omid, do you reball your dough if it spreds durring the rise

Never!

Dear Thezaman, the principal reason I responded "Never!" to your question is because re-balling an overspread Neapolitan dough ball, in my opinion, forever changes both the texture and the flavor of the dough in a negative manner. I do not know of any professional Neapolitan pizzeria in Naples that would do that. And, if they do, it would be because of financial reasons—while knowing the re-balled dough ball is desecrated! I have heard of a Neapolitan pizzeria here in the U.S. that fired its employee for re-balling. My preferred method is pictorially illustrated below. The dough balls in the pictures were hydrated at 62.5% and had been resting in controlled room temperature for over 48 hours. Have a great week!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on October 17, 2011, 08:11:16 AM
omid, did you work the dough into around form before stretching?if so was it hard to open because of this?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on October 17, 2011, 08:12:45 AM
that is a very appetizing pizza!!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 17, 2011, 10:56:24 AM
omid, did you work the dough into around form before stretching?if so was it hard to open because of this?

that is a very appetizing pizza!!

Dear Thezaman, thank you and good morning! All I did was as follows, step by step:

1. I sprinkled some flour on the dough balls to make them stable and unsticky.

2. With the dough scraper, I released the edges of the dough balls from one another and from the walls of the dough tray. To accomplish this, I guided the scraper's blade downward (at a more or less perpendicular angle to the surface of the tray). Once the blade completely touched the tray floor, I guided it forward (akin to shoveling snow, at an angle greater than 90° where possible) toward the respective centers of the dough balls, with the least amount of pressure possible. (See picture No. 2 above.)

3. Still with the aid of the dough scraper, I rapidly slid in 1 or 2 inches of the scraper beneath the rims of the dough balls and toward their respective centers (simultaneously pushing in some flour and shrinking the diameter of the balls) and rapidly slid out the scraper. (No tucking in!) This rapid sliding in and out of the circumference of the balls is done without disturbing the overall dough texture as much as possible. In essence, all I did was to release the bottom of the dough balls from the tray surface and get rid of some of the pockets of air throughout the balls—all with the aid of the dough scraper, not my fingers. (See picture No. 3 above.)

4. After the dough balls where made manageable, I picked up one with the dough scraper, and placed it upside-down (face down/base up) on the marble top that had already been dusted.

5. After freeing my hands, I turned the dough ball, again, upside-down (face up/base down) with my fingers and proceeded to form a dough disc, which was effortlessly achieved without a hitch. (See pictures No. 4 & 5 above.)

During this process of gathering the overspread dough ball, the dough was not pressured and made dense, so that it would bake into a tender and flavorful crust with the characteristic cornicione. Again, all I did was I released the edges and the bottoms, and divested the dough balls of some air pockets by shrinking their diameters without tucking in the rims. The general principle to keep in mind is that a baked crust is tougher and less flavorful in proportion to how much the Neapolitan dough is handled prior to baking it. If I had "re-balled" the dough above, the baked cornicione would have appeared impoverished, harsh, pale, and less prominent. To recap, as a generalization, a re-balled and re-relaxed Neapolitan dough is more likely to bake into a less tender and less flavorful crust. In addition, a re-balled and re-relaxed Neapolitan dough is more likely to tear upon being stretched into a dough disc. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: thezaman on October 17, 2011, 03:08:16 PM
Thank you , you use you scraper to rond the puck yes? This method is very helpful to me as I cannot work with dough that is miss shaped and have it come out decent . Thank you and good afternoon!!!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 18, 2011, 12:13:49 PM
Thank you , you use you scraper to rond the puck yes? . . .

Yes, I solely used the scraper, not my fingers, to reshape the dough balls—without changing their texture and density as much as possible. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 18, 2011, 12:25:30 PM
Omid,

I don't think I've ever known anyone - if only through a forum such as this - that puts so much effort into uncompromising professionalism in everything he or she puts forward. It's not just your pizza or your oven or your unwavering passion, but also in the tangential details such as your diagram answering my question about attaching the plate to the handle of your peel.

You have my utmost respect.

Craig
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Tscarborough on October 18, 2011, 09:04:37 PM
Agreed. Salute! and Good Night~
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 19, 2011, 02:43:28 AM
Omid,

I don't think I've ever known anyone - if only through a forum such as this - that puts so much effort into uncompromising professionalism in everything he or she puts forward. It's not just your pizza or your oven or your unwavering passion, but also in the tangential details such as your diagram answering my question about attaching the plate to the handle of your peel.

You have my utmost respect.

Craig

Agreed. Salute! and Good Night~

Dear friends, I am speechless! I thank you for such expression of respect, which inspires me to do even better. Good night!

Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 19, 2011, 09:36:17 AM
Omid, don't be so bashful!  When I become involved in something, I usually give 110%.  The passion you display, however, sets the benchmark we all should strive to achieve.  It is tremendously motivating!  Grazie mille!!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Tman1 on October 19, 2011, 03:23:06 PM
I have by no means read all the threads on this forum, but I have to think this particular thread, has to be in the top 5, if not the best.

I tip my hat to you sir.  :chef:


Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 20, 2011, 02:37:20 AM
Omid, don't be so bashful!  When I become involved in something, I usually give 110%.  The passion you display, however, sets the benchmark we all should strive to achieve.  It is tremendously motivating!  Grazie mille!!

I have by no means read all the threads on this forum, but I have to think this particular thread, has to be in the top 5, if not the best.

I tip my hat to you sir.  :chef:

You gentlemen do me too much honor! I hope my posts are worth your while. Thank you.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Woodash on October 20, 2011, 05:04:58 AM

Hi Omid
Sharing, intelligent, kind and enthusiastic. These are images i have of you when reading your posts.

Salute' Omid
 
David
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 20, 2011, 05:14:42 AM
Tonight, I did an experiment . . . I wanted to see how well my gas oven could bake three pizzas back-to-back with the oven door open during the entire bake time. First, I elevated the oven floor closer to the dome, with a distance of 2.5 inches between them. (The oven floor is composed of three thick and rectangular pizza stones stacked on top of one another (a little over 2 inches thick), and the dome is composed of one large rectangular pizza stone with one layer of terra cotta bricks stacked on top of it (about 1.5 inches thick), plus insulations on top. I let the gas oven run continuously for 1 hour and 40 minutes until the floor reached 942° F and the dome 922° F, and baked three pizzas back to back—with the oven door open during the entire bake time. Although the pizzas were fully baked within less than 120 seconds each, I do not think keeping the door open was a good idea since the heat distribution inside the oven became very uneven. Moreover, 2.5 inches of distance between the floor and dome is rough on the cornicione, as seen in the pictures below. In addition, it leaves very little space to operate within. The dough used in this experiment was hydrated at 60%. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 20, 2011, 05:16:00 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 20, 2011, 05:42:18 AM
Hi Omid
Sharing, intelligent, kind and enthusiastic. These are images i have of you when reading your posts.

Salute' Omid
 
David

Dear David, thank you! I noticed you are from Down Under . . . How is the pizza there, either Neapolitan or other styles? Have a lustrous day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 20, 2011, 09:34:04 AM
All the pies look great, but the last is especially beautiful.

In your experience, are olives commonly placed on whole? For me it is a little too intense in any one given bite if they are whole - overwhelming the balance of the other ingredients. I generally cut them in half or into quarters.

CL
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizza dr on October 20, 2011, 07:31:08 PM
I like em whole... but of course I could sit down and eat a jar of olives in one setting.... LOVE LOVE LOVE olives :P

My wife and kids on the other hand do not... So it is rare that I can put them on pizzas.  My wife is gone this weekend  ::) so I may have to pull the trigger on that one. That pie is dreamy Omid. 

Scot 
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Woodash on October 21, 2011, 12:23:37 AM
Dear David, thank you! I noticed you are from Down Under . . . How is the pizza there, either Neapolitan or other styles? Have a lustrous day!

Hi Omid,
The type of pizza that is sold here where I live is Pizza Hut and Dominoes Pizza. There are a few woodfired pizza restaurants but sadly the dough lets them down,too heavy and not airy and light at all. I have a woodfired oven that I made myself 3 years ago and  favour along with family and friends  neopolitan pizza. Through this fabulous site I have extended my knowledge, learning the techniques of dough management. Thankyou everyone.

David
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 21, 2011, 04:35:03 AM
All the pies look great, but the last is especially beautiful.

In your experience, are olives commonly placed on whole? For me it is a little too intense in any one given bite if they are whole - overwhelming the balance of the other ingredients. I generally cut them in half or into quarters.
CL

I like em whole... but of course I could sit down and eat a jar of olives in one setting.... LOVE LOVE LOVE olives :P

My wife and kids on the other hand do not... So it is rare that I can put them on pizzas.  My wife is gone this weekend  ::) so I may have to pull the trigger on that one. That pie is dreamy Omid. 

Scot

Thank you guys!

Dear Craig, it is actually a common practice to place olives whole on pizzas in Naples. Please, see the pictures of pizzas, below, from Trianon, Sorbillo, Di Matteo, and Pellone. Of course, this is not to say that they never cut olives into slices. I like them either way, depending on what other toppings accompany the olives. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 21, 2011, 06:04:50 AM
Omid,
I did a couple of quick videos for you yesterday while I was mixing up a full batch.  The 1st video shows l'impasto finale almost completely mixed & the 2nd shows the quick riginero after the riposo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0irRkyB12_o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=hNG0S8mgtNk

Matt
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 21, 2011, 07:45:37 AM
Omid,

I am curious as to weather you are using the broiler element (top of the oven) or the standard heating element at the bottom?  Since I am resigned to using a home-oven, I am trying to find new and exciting ways to get the heat higher.  I recently bought a slab of 1.25" soapstone, and while the heat retention is tremendous, I am finding it cooks the bottom of the pizza very rapidly, but I am missing the proper charring of the top of the pizza.  I've been utilizing a split-method, where I cook 60 seconds on the bottom, then move the pizza to another stone directly under the broiler.  It provides the desired effect, but if I could simplify the process I would be ecstatic. 

I appreciate your feedback! 

Grazie,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 21, 2011, 12:39:23 PM
Omid,
I did a couple of quick videos for you yesterday while I was mixing up a full batch.  The 1st video shows l'impasto finale almost completely mixed & the 2nd shows the quick riginero after the riposo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0irRkyB12_o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=hNG0S8mgtNk

Matt

Dear Matthew, I thank you for the videos . . . very kind of you! Nice dough . . . if only my Santos fork mixer could operate as slow as your Pietroberto. . . . It seems that you are using the second speed (31 RPM?) of your Pietroberto. Again, thank you!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Matthew on October 21, 2011, 01:30:36 PM
Omid,
You're very welcome. It was mixing on the first speed. For some reason it looks alot quicker on the video than in person.

Matt

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 21, 2011, 06:08:24 PM
Omid,

I am curious as to weather you are using the broiler element (top of the oven) or the standard heating element at the bottom?  Since I am resigned to using a home-oven, I am trying to find new and exciting ways to get the heat higher.  I recently bought a slab of 1.25" soapstone, and while the heat retention is tremendous, I am finding it cooks the bottom of the pizza very rapidly, but I am missing the proper charring of the top of the pizza.  I've been utilizing a split-method, where I cook 60 seconds on the bottom, then move the pizza to another stone directly under the broiler.  It provides the desired effect, but if I could simplify the process I would be ecstatic. I appreciate your feedback!  

Grazie,

Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, safe manipulation of conventional/convection gas/electric oven is not an easy feat. It can be quite tricky! It is also a very elaborate and sometimes convoluted subject, which can easily take pages to write about. So, I will be brief. First, as you know, a conventional or convection oven was never meant and designed to function as a Neapolitan or wood-fueled oven; hence, there will always be, does not matter what, limitations as to how your home oven can be bent to your Neapolitan pizza inspirations. Some of the principal limitations (which are "limitations" only in contrast to a Neapolitan or wood-fueled oven) are:

1. Inadequate heat generation (about 550° to 650° F);
2. Lack of or poor "flame-radiation heat";
3. Relatively poor hot air ("convection") circulation;
4. Either insignificant or overwhelming direct contact-heat ("conduction"), depending on the extant circumstances;
5. Heat leakage (see #10 below) and heat loss (oven door!);
6. Lack of or poor "thermal battery";
7. Uneven distribution of heat;
8. Lack of proper oven floor (a pizza stone is an isolated and suspended island, not a solid ground!);
9. The thermal inequity between the pizza stone and the oven ceiling;
10. Poor interior wall and ceiling insulation;
11. Unlike wood-fired oven, the primary source of heat is either below the pizza stone, above it, or both; and
12. Relative ineffectiveness of the material used in building home ovens, and  
13. Etc.

Of course, it is understandable why such limitations, by necessity, exist, for a home oven is supposed to be a home oven! So, given the above limitations, you need to exploit (to make the best of) what you got, which means you need to design one model after another and safely conduct one experiment after another until you find the middle-ground, which will always, in my opinion, be a compromise. And, of course, safety should be always the "number one" priority.

Although I am not familiar with the type of home oven you have, I make the following suggestions, which should be done only and only if they can be carried out safely. You need to contact your oven manufacturer, your local gas & electricity company, and competent export to determine if they are safe.

1. Make sure there is enough space (airy and uncluttered) inside your oven. The oven needs to breathe since it principally operates on the principles of convection.

2. If safe and possible, line the oven walls and ceiling with double-folded aluminum foil, which acts as an insulation. In addition, it will reflect and concentrate heat radiation more toward the middle of the oven. Some oven manufacturers, for safety reasons, advise against this. You need to check your oven manual and/or contact its manufacturer. Do not cover or block any of the air holes and exhaust holes inside and outside of the oven. Doing so can choke the oven and potentially create hazardous situations.

3. Find the optimal bake time-frame of your oven and bake your pizzas within that time interval. For instance, my home oven, under its present conditions and with certain exceptions, can optimally bake my pizzas after running about 1 hour. After running 30 more minutes on top of the 1 hour, my oven would brutalize my pizzas. So, I have a 30-minute window within which I can operate and bake my pizzas. And, that is what I call the "optimal bake time-frame". An oven arrangement I had a year ago, reached the optimal point after 2 hours of continuously running, after which I could bake only two pizzas. Then, I had to wait about 20 minutes for the heat to build back up again to make another two pizzas.  

4. In relation to number "3" above, a thin pizza stone is favorable and preferable under certain conditions. The same also applies to a thick pizza stone. Under certain circumstances, a think pizza stone can heat up quickly while keeping itself cool enough not to burn the crust. Under unfavorable conditions, a thick pizza stone can get overheated and act as a thermal battery, burning your crusts. The factors of  (1) "time" for the sake of priming your oven and (2) "distance" of the pizza stone from the source of heat must be carefully calculated.

5. In relation to number "3" and "4" above, find the optimal distance between the pizza stone and the oven ceiling. If the distance is too near, the cornicione may come out crispy or burn. On the other hand, if the distance is too far, the cornicione and the face of the pizza may bake after the crust is already burned. Again, as you can see, you need to control the factors of "time" (for priming the oven and for baking your pizzas) and "distance" of the pizza stone from the primary source of heat and the ceiling. To that end, it would tremendously help to use an infrared thermometer.

6. At last, always have a fully operational "fire extinguisher" nearby, and do not implement anything that you have any doubts about its results. Moreover, make sure your kitchen is equipped with a fully operational gas and smoke detector.

Basically, what I have done with my conventional gas oven (which is an ordinary conventional oven with no cleaning cycle, no convection, no broil element, and only bake element), is that I took each of the 12 factors above and tried to safely overcome them, if possible at all. Last night, I finished a new design which worked better than any other designs I have implemented so far. (See the pictures below.) Very simple design!

Please, notice the the bent steel plate below the pizza stone and above the bake element. It functions to divert the heat away from the stones (keeping them not excessively hot) and toward the dome. This mechanism keeps the dome hotter than the floor, giving me a longer "bake time-frame". Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 21, 2011, 06:09:55 PM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 21, 2011, 06:11:52 PM
Omid,

I am laughing to myself because when I didn't see an immediate response earlier, I imagined you were preparing something special!  You've really gone "over-the-top!"  Grazie...grazie... grazie!

Now I must go back and read...
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 21, 2011, 06:23:41 PM
Omid,

I had employed a similar set-up but wasn't able to achieve the top-browning I desired.  That is why I resorted to using the split-method where I started cooking on the bottom stone, then moving to the top stone directly under the broiler.  I have been very satisfied with the results, although the technique is far from perfect.  I am very impressed with what you are achieving.  I think I will go back and re-think my methodology.

Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott123 on October 21, 2011, 06:31:40 PM
I recently bought a slab of 1.25" soapstone, and while the heat retention is tremendous, I am finding it cooks the bottom of the pizza very rapidly, but I am missing the proper charring of the top of the pizza.

1. Put the soapstone slab on the highest shelf.  Because it'll be further away from the bottom element, it will take a bit longer to pre-heat, but it will still reach the peak temp your oven can achieve.

The highest shelf will be tight quarters to work in (2-3") but you need that proximity to the broiler to brown the top of the pizza as quickly as the bottom.

2. In order to ensure that your broiler goes on and stays on, you can't preheat your stone to the oven's peak temp. You've got to shoot a little bit below it.  If, say, your oven goes to 550, then you'll need to pre-heat to 525 in order to make sure the broiler stays on for the duration of the bake.

3. 1.25" soapstone slab, when preheated to 525, will give you a 4 minute bake (at best, depending on the composition of the stone).  Even if you can get a 550 pre-heat and manage to get the broiler to stay on, that's still in the 2.5-3 minute realm. In order to hit Neapolitan bake times in a conventional oven with soapstone, you've got to incorporate an oven trick that will buy you another 100 or so degrees.  As far as oven tricks go, 650 is pretty safe, although I wouldn't go much higher than that. Do a forum search for frozen towel trick.  That's one of the more gentle oven mods and will get you that 100 degree bump.

4. The reason why soapstone can do 90 second bakes at 650 while it takes traditional WFO firebrick floors 850 to achieve the same thing is because soapstone is quite a bit more conductive.  You can capitalize on this phenomenon and get Neapolitan bakes at even lower temps by using an even more conductive material- steel. 1/2" steel should be able to do 90 second bakes at 600, while 3/4" steel should be able to do it at 550. The downside to 3/4" steel is that it's heavy, so you'll most likely need to reinforce your oven shelf to be able to handle the weight. Most ovens should have no problem with 1/2" plate, though.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 21, 2011, 07:11:59 PM
Scott,

Thank you very much.  Believe me, I read quite a few of your postings concerning stones/baking before I purchased the one I have now!  What I initially tried was placing the stone on the floor of the oven, then creating a makeshift ceiling with the extra rack by covering it with foil.  I preheated my oven to max (which is around 585 since I re-calibrated the temp for +35deg), and was able to get the stone temp to around 700deg.  The bottom of the pie cooked in 60sec, but the top just wouldn't brown in that short period of time.  I wasn't sure if I had enough reflective heat off the "ceiling" to get the desired result. 

That led me in the two-stone direction, and while it works, obviously it is a bit of a hassle.  I did notice when I removed my "ceiling" to place the second stone directly under the broiler, the bottom stone only reached about 625deg.  In order to keep the broiler on, I did the following:

1. preheat oven max for 2hrs.
2. switch to broiler
3. shape and make pizza
4. slide pizza on to bottom stone, keeping door open
5. after 90 sec move pizza to top stone under broiler (door still ajar)
6. cook an additonal 2min

I think tomorrow I will try moving the stone all the way up and see what type of temps and results I achieve.  I don't want to hijack Omid's thread, so I think tomorrow might be a good time for me to finally post a little bit about what I'm working on.  Thank you very much!

Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: scott123 on October 21, 2011, 07:30:56 PM
Salvatore, the good news is that you've already tricked your oven to what are, imo, potentially damaging temps (700) and it survived, so, should you ever need to take it 650, I think it will be fine.  By covering the shelf with foil you basically isolated the top thermostat, and, to an extent, prevented heat from reaching it, allowing the bottom of the oven to reach extreme temps.

With the stone a few inches from the broiler, assuming you can pre-heat the stone to 585, as well as keep the broiler from cycling off, that could give you a 2 minute bake. Maybe.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 21, 2011, 07:38:01 PM
I figured if it could handle a cleaning cycle, it could handle what I was attempting.  (Not saying I didn't cross my fingers, though!)

I have found the conductivity of the soapstone to be tremendous.  I especially realized this two days ago when baking baguettes, and using my normal baking temp of 460 resulted in some burning on the bottoms... and approximately 8 less minutes of total bake time.  That's a pretty drastic difference.  Only now, as I write this, do I realize what you mean when you say lower temps with soapstone can give much greater results.  I guess this is an "Aha!" moment!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 25, 2011, 02:18:20 AM
Again, I redesigned my gas oven. I added a drum below the pizza stones. The drum makes a significant difference; it keeps the floor cooler than the dome by 5 percent—only within the first hour. Hence, the base and face of pizza bake in a more synchronized manner. Too bad my digital camera ran out of battery! The last picture below shows the pizza baking at the floor temperature of about 912° F.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 25, 2011, 08:32:16 AM
Omid,

What type of stone is that?  It looks to be thicker than the one you were using before (weren't you stacking two stones?).  Your new design has me wondering if by implementing something similar, it would allow me to bypass using the broiler.

Grazie,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 26, 2011, 04:09:14 AM
Omid,

What type of stone is that?  It looks to be thicker than the one you were using before (weren't you stacking two stones?).

Grazie,
Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, the top stone, which is insulated by aluminum casing is made out of some kind of baked clay. The bottom stone, insulated by aluminum foil, is made out of refractory material.  I think your stone is much better, since it probably does not absorb dough moisture as much as clay or refractory material. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 26, 2011, 04:36:52 AM
Here are the results of baking pizzas in my newly redesigned oven...

_______________________________________________________________________________________
1000 gr. Caputo Pizzeria     (Datum Point)
595   gr. Water                 (59.50%)
28     gr. Sea Salt              (2.8%)
40     gr. Sourdough Culture (4%)

♣ The dough was prepared with Kitchen Aid (Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Sourdough Culture ⇒ Flour)
♣ Mix & kneed time: 10 minutes & 19 seconds (on slowest speed)
♣ Fermentation Period: 4 + 26 hours (at controlled room temperature)
_______________________________________________________________________________________

♣ Conventional Gas Oven Temperature: 912° F Floor & 925° F Dome for Margherita; 799° F Floor & 824° F Dome for mini pepperoni and mushrooms
_______________________________________________________________________________________
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 26, 2011, 04:38:19 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 26, 2011, 09:25:03 AM
Omid,

Beautiful, especially the second pie.  Are you going back and forth between the Santos and the KA?  I'm curious what your latest thoughts are concerning the Santos?

Grazie,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 26, 2011, 10:26:22 AM
Omid,

I also wanted to thank you for your description of how you maintain your natural starter.  It has helped me tremendously in keeping mine balanced in the exact manner I prefer. 

Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 26, 2011, 07:20:19 PM
Omid, beautiful, especially the second pie.  Are you going back and forth between the Santos and the KA?  I'm curious what your latest thoughts are concerning the Santos?

Grazie,
Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, occasionally I use my Santos Fork Mixer so that it would not gather dust on my kitchen counter! I wrote "occasionally" because Santos has one major flaw, which renders it substantially inferior to Kitchen Aid and some other mixers, in my opinion. While the French mixer is solidly designed and built with quality parts, its fork speed is excruciatingly fast: 84 rotations per minute at 60Hz.

In contrast, The Italian Pietroberto mixer "La Vittoria 35" has a fork speed of 26 RPM for its 1-speed model, and fork speeds of 20.5 RPM and 31 RPM for its 2-speed model. Furthermore, Pietroberto mixer "La Vittoria 17" has a fork speed of 23 RPM for its 1-speed model, and fork speeds of 20.5 RPM and 31 RPM for its 2-speed model. The Iranian counter-top fork mixer I owned prior to Santos had a fork speed of 25 RPM. Santos' 84 RPM is excessively fast for production of Neapolitan dough.

One of the main attractions of Santos fork mixer is that it seems to be the only commercially available counter-top fork mixer in the U.S. with a relatively lower capacity. If the fork speed can be considerably reduced, Santos has the potential to be one of the best counter-top mixers. The Santos representative in France, Mr. Nicolas Fouquet, has been made aware of this problem through the generous efforts of Mr. Louis ("Zeppi" in this forum). He has told him that the Santos engineers are trying to come up with a solution to reduce the fork speed. I can't wait! I hope that Santos realizes how much this issue may have hurt their sales in the United States. I know many individuals that have decided not to purchase Santos fork mixers particularly due to this problem. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 27, 2011, 11:41:33 AM
Omid,

Thank you for all of the information.  It would be wonderful if Santos can resolve the issue.

My question now is when you are using the KA mixer, are you employing the paddle or the dough hook?  I know my KA, when using 1st speed, has 40 RPM.  If you use it with the spiral dough hook, however, this translates to 94 RPM. 



Grazie,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 27, 2011, 01:03:36 PM
Spider man webbing in there!  :)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 27, 2011, 01:03:37 PM
Omid, stop leaving these beautiful broads in the dark!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 27, 2011, 06:41:52 PM
Omid . . . My question now is when you are using the KA mixer, are you employing the paddle or the dough hook?  I know my KA, when using 1st speed, has 40 RPM.  If you use it with the spiral dough hook, however, this translates to 94 RPM.  
Grazie,
Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, when I use my KitchenAid stand mixer (Pro 620) for the purpose of making pizza dough, I always use the "spiral dough hook" on the slowest speed only, i.e., the "stir" speed.

If you meant to compare the RPM of the KitchenAid Mixer with the RPM of Santos Fork Mixer, each has its own unique dynamics that make comparison between the two not easy. In other words, the 84 RPM of Santos' fork is of a different class than the, as you put it, "94 RPM" of KitchenAid's spiral hook.

It appears that the KitchenAid mixers have two simultaneous RPMs at each speed:

1. The clockwise, horizontal-axis RPM of the "shaft" (AKA "beater shaft") to which the hook is attached, and
2. The counter-clockwise, horizontal-axis RPM of the "shaft holder" (AKA "planetary") which orbits the rotating shaft around the circumference of the mixer bowl which is stationary.
(And, of course, there is the RPM of the "motor" itself, which is the impetus underlying the "shaft" RPM and the "shaft holder" RPM.

I am not sure to what extent, if at all, the clockwise rotation of the "shaft" and the counter-clockwise rotation of the "shaft holder" cancel out or counter-effect one another. I know for sure that the speed of the "shaft holder" of my KitchenAid is 40 RPM at the "stir" speed. I do not know the "shaft" RPM. (Last week, I telephoned a KitchenAid representative who unfortunately could not find out the RPMs of my mixer!) In contrast, Santos has only one RPM:

1. The motor speed of 1800 RPM (at 60 Hz), which translates to vertical-axis, not horizontal, counter-clockwise fork RPM of 84. (The motion of dough rotates the non-motorized mixer bowl clockwise.)

Generally speaking, some Santos owners, including myself, believe that 5 minutes of kneading with Santos (which has only one speed) is probably tantamount to 20 minutes of kneading with KitchenAid at the slowest speed. As you can see, the excessive fork speed of the Santos mixer is quite overwhelming!

Fork mixers, in general and in contrast to planetary mixers, more effectively contribute to "physical rising", not biological rising, of dough during kneading, which implies that the dough is oxygenated in a better manner (without heating up) for the purpose of making Neapolitan dough.

Unfortunately, the fast speed, not the physical design, of the Santos mixer's fork over-oxygenates and heats up (not as much as many other mixers such as the Kitchen Aid) the dough, in addition to over-buttressing the gluten network throughout the dough mass—which results in a crust that is not tender enough for Neapolitan pizza. Having a Santos fork mixer is akin to owning a Stradivarius violin that has its tuning pegs permanently glued to the peg holes inside the headstock! There is no point playing the violin if it can not be tuned, does not matter how divine it sounds. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 27, 2011, 07:14:04 PM
Omid,

The Stradivarius analogy is wonderfully accurate!

I have been in contact with Kitchen-Aid, and here are the RPMs for my Professional 5 Plus Series:  (I believe they will be the same for your machine)

        Shaft               Shaft-Holder
Stir   40 rpm                94 rpm
#2    54 rpm                127 rpm
#3    79 rpm                186 rpm
#4    104 rpm              244 rpm

I didn't pay much attention to anything higher.  It is a shame, because the motion of the Santos looks wonderful.  Hopefully they resolve the issue and find a way to slow it down to a usable rate.

Salvatore

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 27, 2011, 07:18:25 PM
Omid, stop leaving these beautiful broads in the dark!

Dear Pizzablogger, thank you so much for the enhancement of the pictures of my pizzas! You make them look better than what they actually are. Good night!  
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 27, 2011, 07:21:05 PM
I have been in contact with Kitchen-Aid, and here are the RPMs for my Professional 5 Plus Series:  (I believe they will be the same for your machine)

        Shaft         Shaft-Holder
Stir   40 rpm                94 rpm
#2    54 rpm                127 rpm
#3    79 rpm                186 rpm
#4    104 rpm              244 rpm

Thank you for the valuable data.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 27, 2011, 08:29:17 PM
Omid, do you use a special light bulb in the light that we see that you use for all of your pictures?

Dear Jet, for lighting I use one single "Jansjo Work lamp" (which I purchased for $9.99 from Ikea), plus the ordinary light bulb on the ceiling of my kitchen that I usually turn off. (See the picture of my setup below.) Moreover, I use a Canon PowerShot S95, usually set on "auto". I do not use any flash at all. I hope this helps. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jet_deck on October 27, 2011, 11:26:24 PM
It helps tremendously, Omid.  I conclude that I have been forgetting to turn off the other lights. :-D

How many other things do you do as well as pizza, photography and oven re-construction?  :chef:
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 28, 2011, 03:12:14 AM
Last night, I let my conventional gas oven reach 1035° F on the floor and about the same on the dome. Then, I turned off the oven. After 20 minutes of being off, the floor (composed of a stack of three pizza stones) downgraded to 846° F and the dome to 961° F. At that point, I loaded the Pizza Margherita inside the oven.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
1000 gr. Caputo Pizzeria     (Datum Point)
645   gr. Water                 (64.5%)
30     gr. Sea Salt              (3.0%)
40     gr. Sourdough Culture (4%)
_______________________________________________________________________________________

As shown below, it was not a good idea to bake the pizza with the oven off; it took 2 minutes and 35 seconds for the pizza to bake. And, it does not matter what!—a modified conventional gas oven, for obvious reasons, does not seem to produce a crust as tender as a crust baked in a Neapolitan oven. At best, it is a good simulation of a tender Neapolitan crust! All these experiments with my gas oven, since a month and a half ago until present, have been quite educational and worth my while. I wonder what results I may procure if I replace my pizza stones with "soapstone slabs"—which probably are not as moisture-absorbant as my present pizza stones.

By the way, the buffalo mozzarella (Auriemma S.R.L. DOP from Campana) used on the pizza below was terrible! It had the consistency of feta cheese, contained little fat, did not want to melt, and had absolutely no gamy flavor characteristic of Bufala di Mozzarella.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 28, 2011, 03:13:35 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 28, 2011, 06:30:46 AM
How many other things do you do as well as pizza, photography and oven re-construction?  :chef:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTtp8A_pvK0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPD4xVTiZZk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cjCLTkRmcY
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: andreguidon on October 28, 2011, 06:47:04 AM
cool videos Omid!! nice guitarra flamenca skills!!
i work in the music business, and one of my clients is Fernando de la Rua (http://youtu.be/VzdC7PLmsfI) do you know him?
http://www.myspace.com/fernandodelarua
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 28, 2011, 07:09:11 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTtp8A_pvK0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPD4xVTiZZk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cjCLTkRmcY

And to think I had Paco de Lucia on in the background as I watched those videos!

Funny coincidence.

Excellent videos!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 29, 2011, 04:03:17 AM
cool videos Omid!! nice guitarra flamenca skills!! i work in the music business, and one of my clients is Fernando de la Rua (http://youtu.be/VzdC7PLmsfI) do you know him?

Thank you! Unfortunately, I am not familiar with Fernando de la Rua. I will check him out on the net. I love the guitar music, and the orchestral works, of the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Your country, Brazil, is definitely a landmark on the guitar map of the world. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 29, 2011, 04:56:24 AM
And to think I had Paco de Lucia on in the background as I watched those videos!

Funny coincidence.

Excellent videos!

Thank you! Did you know that Neapolitan pizza fever is also becoming prevalent in Spain? Early this year, I found two new Neapolitan pizzerias there, in Jerez de la Frontera and Sevilla, in addition to the ones I had found in my earlier trips. When I tried the one in Sevilla, I had to wait in a long line for 2 hours and 30 minutes, so I thought it had to be good. Unfortunately, it was the opposite! The rest of them were just as bad. You can see below a picture I shot of the Pizza Margherita I had at the Neapolitan pizzeria in Jerez. It was actually tasty, but definitely not Neapolitan. (It was baked in a wood-fired oven!) It is interesting that Spain is almost next door to Italy, yet America, which is thousands of miles away from Italy, produces way better Neapolitan pizzas than most of European nations, in my opinion. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 29, 2011, 07:31:25 PM
Not long ago, I talked to a corporate owner of a Neapolitan pizzeria who told me that, bufala di mozzarella imported from Italy enter the U.S. in a frozen state. (I think he mentioned that often "liquid nitrogen" is used to freeze the mozzarella balls!) If truly so, there goes out the window a percentage of the texture and flavor of the bufala di mozzarella imported to this country from Italy! Moreover, to the best of my knowledge, bufala di mozzarella is supposed to be "fresh" (hence "fresh mozzarella"), not aged. Because of the unavoidable factors of distance and time, the mozzarella balls imported to the U.S. are not as fresh as one hopes them to be. Therefore, there are inevitable compromises!

There is a new member in this forum. Let's welcome Mr. Richard Eberle (here known as "Bufalatte") of "BufaLatte USA", which is, as he put it, "an Italian-American joint venture dedicated to bringing true Mozzarella di Bufala to the U.S. Market." He continued, "We . . . bring all of our buffalo milk in [the U.S.] from Italy. Our first plant is in Florida." When I asked him, "Will your company produce "buffalo ricotta", which is quite rare [and unknown] in the U.S.?", he replied: "As of now it is only buffalo mozzarella but when scale permits we hopefully will start our own curd production which opens the door to a buffalo ricotta." I hope this is the light at the end of the tunnel! (http://www.bufalatte.com/index.html)

Has anyone here tried ricotta made with water buffalo milk? If you try it, you may never want to go back to the regular ricotta. I look forward to the venture and their products. Perhaps, this is one way we can get our hands on fresh Mozzarella di Bufala—at lower prices and without them being frozen.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: pizzablogger on October 29, 2011, 08:32:48 PM
I had ricotta di bufala my last time in Italy....excellent.

With regards to the milk of this new venture:

Is it raw milk being shipped to the US and then processed (assuming an air flight in that instance)?

About what is the total elapsed time from milk coming out of the udder in Italy to the milk being made into bufala in the US?

Thank you . -k
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bufalatte on October 29, 2011, 09:03:21 PM
Hello All

Thank you for the introduction to this thread.

As most of you know buffalo mozzarella is extremely popular in Italy due to its availability and freshness. The mozz is produced, sold and consumed within a very short period of time normally within 48 hours or so.  So there are complications in maintaining freshness when a delicate product has to be preserved and shipped and in the process going through potentially different environmental conditions.  I want to be very careful here because a number of companies and individuals are trying to get this balance right in providing buffalo mozzarella to the US market and I am not in the business of criticizing anothers efforts.  But in does appear that some product shipped from Italy has been frozen and I think it is fair to say that this process has a detrimental effect on the quality of the mozz.  I think there is also, in some cases, higher amounts of salt and preservatives used in the exported variety to maintain a longer shelf life.  If you taste the packing solution in some cases this can be very noticeable.  So in some cases does the acidity and salt content enhance or mask the natural flavor of the mozz?

Bufalatte is attempting to bring bufala di mozzarella to our customers in a different way.  We purchase frozen curd from some of the top DOP producers in Campania, ship it to the USA and then make fresh mozz in the USA with the intention of getting it into the hands of our customers within days of production.  The Italians have long used the technique for freezing curd in order to balance out the seasonal demand for bufala with the natural production of the milk.

It is early days for us but we are starting deliveries in Florida and the metro Washington DC area and are lining up Dallas and Southern California so be patient with us.  This has been a big challenge and we are excited to get this going.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 29, 2011, 09:29:38 PM
Washington DC?  Incredible!  That just so happens to be where I am currently hanging my hat!  I will hopefully be able to purchase your product very soon.

I have been fortunate enough to have tried ricotta di bufala, and as mentioned it is exceptional.  For the time being, however, I make my own ricotta.  I receive a weekly supply of raw, unpasteurized milk from which I can do some pretty wonderful things.

Grazie Omid and Signor Eberle!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 29, 2011, 09:36:44 PM
Hello All
Thank you for the introduction to this thread. . . .

Dear Bufalatte, again, welcome to this wonderful forum! I sincerely thank you for your prompt response. I'm sure your presence will be appreciated here. Please, keep us posted as to when your products will be available in Southern California and elsewhere. Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Redshirt on October 30, 2011, 02:28:14 AM
Omid, I now know I have something in common with another member , the love of Flamenco.  Tienes Duende!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 30, 2011, 04:45:49 AM
Omid, I now know I have something in common with another member , the love of Flamenco.  Tienes Duende!

Thank you, but I don't think I have reached the state of being, known as "Duende". I wished!
Truly, Italy and Spain have so much to offer: Pizza Napoletana (e Opera Italiana) and Flamenco (y Paella), the best of the two worlds! Once upon a time, I tried to fuse Pizza Napoletana and Paella (i.e., seafood Paella with chorizo) together. (I got the idea after I noticed Franco Manca pizzeria in England uses Spanish chorizo on their pizzas.) Instead of rice, I used pasta that was shaped like rice. I noticed that saffron and melted fior di latte (along with clams and mussels) go together so well. I need to go back and improve the recipe. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 30, 2011, 06:24:32 AM
Last night, I finished a new design which worked better than any other designs I have implemented so far. . . . Please, notice the the bent steel plate below the pizza stone and above the bake element. It functions to divert the heat away from the stones (keeping them not excessively hot) and toward the dome. This mechanism keeps the dome hotter than the floor, giving me a longer "bake time-frame".

Two nights ago I had a strange dream. . . I dreamed a round pizza stone, on its way floating upward from beneath an ocean, colliding with and shattering a rectangular pizza stone. Once the round stone reached the surface of water, a beatific Pizza Margherita appeared on it. So . . . yesterday morning I replaced the stack of rectangular pizza stones with a stack of round pizza stones (three of them) inside my gas oven. In addition, I removed the "curved steel plate" from below the stones and placed it, still in the same position, under the bake element to reflect, like a mirror, the heat radiation upward, around the circumference of the stack of round pizza stones. Below are the results:

_______________________________________________________________________________________
1000 gr. Caputo Pizzeria     (Datum Point)
590   gr. Water                 (59%)
28     gr. Sea Salt              (2.8%)
30     gr. Sourdough Culture (3%)

♣ The dough was prepared with Kitchen Aid
♣ Indirect Method: Autolyzed Flour ⇒ Salt-water ⇒ Sourdough Culture)
♣ Mix time (water [537 gr.] & flour [1000 gr.] only): 3 minutes (on slowest speed)
♣ Autolyse duration: 30 minutes
♣ Knead time: 5 minutes (on slowest speed)
♣ Fermentation Period: 2 + 49 hours at controlled room temperature, which got out of control toward the last 6 hours of the second fermentation! I did not mean for the 2nd fermentation to go that long and unsupervised.
_______________________________________________________________________________________

♣ Conventional Gas Oven Temperature: 885° F floor & 869° F dome for the 1st Margherita; I did not measure the floor & dome temperatures for the 2nd Margherita.
♣ Bake time: 87 seconds for the 1st Margherita; 93 seconds for the 2nd Margherita
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Both pizzas had very tender and flavorful crusts. (Dear Chau, the first Margherita bears the mozzarella di bufala by "Mandara" and the second Margherita bears the fior di latte by "Polly-o".)
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 30, 2011, 06:42:31 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 30, 2011, 06:52:42 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 30, 2011, 06:53:33 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on October 30, 2011, 09:41:45 AM
Omid,

Those are beautiful!  How was it working with the dough after such a long fermentation?  It appears, although accidental, the extra-long proof time turned out quite favorably.

Grazie,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 30, 2011, 10:37:56 AM
Dear Chau, the first Margherita bears the mozzarella di bufala by "Mandara" and the second Margherita bears the fior di latte by "Polly-o".

Omid, thank you for noting the different cheeses.  It is nice to see how well they melt in your modified oven.   The heat seems very evenly distributed and balanced.   Great work.  Out of curiosity, have you tried the TJ's brand burrata?   I'm sure it is not the best out there, but it's the only one I've tried and it seems to have a creamy taste, melts well on pizza napoletana, and cost effective as well.  Here is a recent pizza I made using the TJ's burrata.

Chau
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 30, 2011, 06:19:42 PM
Omid, those are beautiful!  How was it working with the dough after such a long fermentation?  It appears, although accidental, the extra-long proof time turned out quite favorably.

Grazie,
Salvatore

Thank you! The dough baked into a more sour-tasting crust, naturally due to the prolonged bacterial fermentation by the sourdough culture. Yet, it was not unpleasant at all. Considering the fact that the two top round pizza stones are brand new, hence more moisture-absorbant than used ones, the crust came out outstandingly tender. (Yesterday, I could not find round soapstone slabs suitable for my oven; I will have to buy a whole slap and have the dealer cut it into round stones for me.) I will do another test tonight with a direct-method dough. Since my only heating element is situated below the stones, it makes a significant difference to use round, as opposed to rectangular, stones for the sake of better heat distribution toward the dome and around the circumference of the stack of pizza stones. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 30, 2011, 08:17:51 PM
Omid, thank you for noting the different cheeses.  It is nice to see how well they melt in your modified oven. . . . Out of curiosity, have you tried the TJ's brand burrata?  I'm sure it is not the best out there, but it's the only one I've tried and it seems to have a creamy taste, melts well on pizza napoletana, and cost effective as well. Here is a recent pizza I made using the TJ's burrata.

Chau

Dear Chau, so far, having tried many different brands, I find the buffalo mozzarella by "Mandara" favorable, in terms of gamy flavor (which is mostly absent in many other brands) and price. As seen in the pictures below, they superbly melt into a silky delight without fading away and leaving unpleasant residues.

Thank you for the picture of your pizza; it looks so delicious. And, I enviously love your outdoor kitchen. You have good taste! I have not tried "Burratta" fior di latte yet. Next time I go to Trader Joe's, I will buy some. Good day!   
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on October 30, 2011, 10:33:12 PM

Unfortunately, the fast speed, not the physical design, of the Santos mixer's fork over-oxygenates and heats up (not as much as many other mixers such as the Kitchen Aid) the dough, in addition to over-buttressing the gluten network throughout the dough mass—which results in a crust that is not tender enough for Neapolitan pizza. Having a Santos fork mixer is akin to owning a Stradivarius violin that has its tuning pegs permanently glued to the peg holes inside the headstock! There is no point playing the violin if it can not be tuned, does not matter how divine it sounds. Good day!


Dear Omid,

I would have to disagree with these statements, having been a happy owner of a Santos for several years and having produced with it some exceedingly tender pizzas.

Several months ago I switched to the Tartine manual stretch and fold method and have been extremely pleased with the results. But after many pies using that method, I have returned to the Santos and baking up the best crusts I have ever made. The Tartine method allowed me to crank up the hydration well over 70%, but my conclusion is that the main benefit of higher hydration at 900F temps is a larger doneness window, making it a harder to overcook the pie. My feeling at this point is that for the way I like my crust, the Santos does indeed produce a superior pie, but it is less forgiving; the instrument doesn't require tuning as much as it requires practice, practice, practice.

I don't get your temperature comments. I have never sensed any heat generated by the fork action. To confirm this, I measured the dough temp before and after mixing on a batch I made today - 1325g of dough @ 63% hydration. The dough temp didn't change more than .5 degree, measured after the 4 minute initial mix. The large bowl and the hydration level are too big a heat sink for the friction from the fork to generate appreciable heat, IMO.

As for oxygenation, perhaps the high altitude here (7000 feet ASL) with its thinner atmosphere gives me an advantage, but for my tastes, environment, and the specific methods I employ, tenderness is the biggest advantage of the Santos. I'm not saying every pie in every batch achieves my objectives, but my latest efforts confirm that the best pies come my Santos. I'll continue to tweak all the variables to learn more.

Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on October 31, 2011, 04:06:09 AM
Lastnight's bake:
___________________________________________________________
1000 gr. Caputo Pizzeria (Datum Point)
550 gr. Water (55%)
28 gr. Sea Salt (2.8%)
1 gr. Fresh Yeast (1%)

♣ The dough was prepared with Kitchen Aid
♣ Direct Method: Water ⇒ Salt ⇒ Fresh Yeast ⇒ Flour
♣ Fermentation Period: 1 + 55 hours at controlled room temperature
___________________________________________________________
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Redshirt on November 01, 2011, 12:54:50 AM
Omid, what is the dough ball weight to achieve your 11" pizza?
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 01, 2011, 09:26:21 AM
Dear Omid,

I would have to disagree with these statements, having been a happy owner of a Santos for several years and having produced with it some exceedingly tender pizzas.

Several months ago I switched to the Tartine manual stretch and fold method and have been extremely pleased with the results. But after many pies using that method, I have returned to the Santos and baking up the best crusts I have ever made. The Tartine method allowed me to crank up the hydration well over 70%, but my conclusion is that the main benefit of higher hydration at 900F temps is a larger doneness window, making it a harder to overcook the pie. My feeling at this point is that for the way I like my crust, the Santos does indeed produce a superior pie, but it is less forgiving; the instrument doesn't require tuning as much as it requires practice, practice, practice.

I don't get your temperature comments. I have never sensed any heat generated by the fork action. To confirm this, I measured the dough temp before and after mixing on a batch I made today - 1325g of dough @ 63% hydration. The dough temp didn't change more than .5 degree, measured after the 4 minute initial mix. The large bowl and the hydration level are too big a heat sink for the friction from the fork to generate appreciable heat, IMO.

As for oxygenation, perhaps the high altitude here (7000 feet ASL) with its thinner atmosphere gives me an advantage, but for my tastes, environment, and the specific methods I employ, tenderness is the biggest advantage of the Santos. I'm not saying every pie in every batch achieves my objectives, but my latest efforts confirm that the best pies come my Santos. I'll continue to tweak all the variables to learn more.

Dear Bill, I guess it is just a happenstance that you are bringing up this issue while I am in the midst of new experiments with my Santos fork mixer in order to re-evaluate its performance in light of the fact that now my gas oven can provide me with much higher temperatures. Of course, your contention is relative to your circumstances, methodology, and interpretation of the phenomena as much as my referenced statements are reflective of the particular experiences I have had thus far with my Santos under my extant conditions. (For instance, your wood-fueled oven indubitably can bake more tender crusts than my gas oven.) Moreover, since we are not in the presence of one another, it is difficult to have an objective foothold on the issue of "tenderness" as I do not know your criterion for tenderness, whether or not it is commensurate with my standard. Hence, it is not easy to discuss this subject not knowing each other's methods of Santos dough production, the surrounding circumstances under which the methods are carried out, and each other's evaluative standards for tenderness. Faced with these limitations, I will try to approach this subject from a fundamental point of view, applying the classic Neapolitan method of "direct" dough production and using the "Neapolitan wallet" as the standard to evaluate crust tenderness. However, to that end, yesterday I conducted an empirical test by applying an "indirect" method of dough production, i.e. true "autolyse", producing one batch of dough with Santos and one with Kitchen Aid. Each batch had the same exact portions of the ingredients:

__________________________________________
Caputo Pizzeria Flour: 1000 grams (Datum Point)
Water: 620 grams (62%)
Sea Salt: 30 grams (3%)
Fresh Yeast: 3 grams (0.3%)  
__________________________________________
An Indirect Method:
Phase 1: Mixing Water + Flour = Autolyzed Flour (30-Minute Autolyse/Hydration)
Phase 2: Kneading Autolyzed Flour ➡ (Flour + Fresh Yeast = Floured-Yeast) ➡ (Salt + Water = Salt-water)

☞ Unlike the classic "direct method", there is an interruption between "mixing" and "kneading".
__________________________________________

Further, each batch was subjected to 1 hour of initial and 9 hours of secondary fermentation. (If I had more time, I would have used less yeast and much longer fermentation.) At last, last night I baked pizzas with the Santos and Kitchen Aid dough to discern the differences. The Santos pizza crust was significantly more tender than the Santos pizzas I had baked before the modification of my oven. I am certain that the high temperature of my gas oven (866° F on the floor and 870° F on the dome) is the main cause of the tenderness, which would have been absent under lower temperatures. As you know, high temperature changes many factors. I tried to pictorially document everything below, except my wife did not give me a chance to take more pictures of the first pizza (the pear pizza) that I baked, which was hers!

Next, I will conduct the same test as above, except I will employ the "direct method" of dough production. Due to the lack of time, I will elaborate on the pictures below later, and I will address your concerns. I think this issue is more complex than it appears. Have a great day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 01, 2011, 09:28:12 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 01, 2011, 09:30:21 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 01, 2011, 09:32:08 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 01, 2011, 09:39:54 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 01, 2011, 09:40:45 AM
Continued . . .
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Bill/SFNM on November 01, 2011, 09:40:54 AM
I think this issue is more complex than it appears.

Thanks, Omid. In this sentence you have encapsulated the essence of this style of dough - four simple ingredients being bombarded (or caressed) by innumerable variables. Drawing erroneous conclusions has been my biggest downfall. To assume that tenderness is a simple function of fork speed could be one of those. The difference of a few seconds in the oven, a few degrees or an hour while fermenting, the order ingredients are combined, the way the dough is stretched, etc. can all effect the texture of the dough. Looking forward to your results.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on November 01, 2011, 12:16:48 PM
Omid - Your recent pictorial encapsulates so many techniques, and the addition of the caption in the picture titles was very informative. Thank you for such a comprehensive overview. I have only done a true autolyse (just flour and water) once before and did not notice any differences in the final product as compared to adding in the yeast, salt, or both. I am going to try it for this weekend if the weather cooperates. What percentage of flour was set aside for incorporation with the yeast?

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: dellavecchia on November 01, 2011, 12:58:33 PM
I wanted to add that at this hydration with Caputo, two or three gentle stretch and folds 1/2 hour apart will approximate the dough pictured after the 4 minute Santos mix very closely, if not identically, in regards to gluten development. This is with a direct dough after a 30 minute autolyse.

John
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 01, 2011, 09:22:16 PM
Omid, what is the dough ball weight to achieve your 11" pizza?

Dear Redshirt, my dough balls presently range between 260 and 270 grams to produce a 12 inch baked pizza. The porcelain plates I use in all my pictures are exactly 13 inches in diameter. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Redshirt on November 01, 2011, 09:45:42 PM
Omid, thanks for your response and kindness to me and this forum for providing us with your knowledge and assistance.
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: salvatoregianpaolo on November 01, 2011, 10:42:52 PM
I wanted to add that at this hydration with Caputo, two or three gentle stretch and folds 1/2 hour apart will approximate the dough pictured after the 4 minute Santos mix very closely, if not identically, in regards to gluten development. This is with a direct dough after a 30 minute autolyse.

John

John,

I am very familiar with this technique from breadmaking... in fact, Jeffrey Hamelman highly touts the benefits of shorter knead times.  The use of an autolyse, in conjunction with folding, does an amazing job of gluten development.  I have not yet applied this to pizza, but it sounds very promising.

Omid,

This experiment is fascinating!  It appears as though the Santos produced the more tender of the two crusts.  Is that correct?  Also, did you bake them back-to-back, or allow recovery time for your oven?

Grazie tante,
Salvatore
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 02, 2011, 02:05:55 AM
Omid - Your recent pictorial encapsulates so many techniques, and the addition of the caption in the picture titles was very informative. Thank you for such a comprehensive overview. I have only done a true autolyse (just flour and water) once before and did not notice any differences in the final product as compared to adding in the yeast, salt, or both. I am going to try it for this weekend if the weather cooperates. What percentage of flour was set aside for incorporation with the yeast?

John

Dear John, You are welcome! In the recipe above, the percentage of the ancillary flour is 5% of the total flour.

___________________________________________
Total Ingredients:
Flour: 1000 grams (Caputo Pizzeria)
Water: 620 grams (62%)
Sea Salt: 30 grams (3%)
Fresh Yeast: 3 grams (0.3%)
___________________________________________
Autolyse at 59% hydration:   
Water: 560 gr.
Flour: 950 gr.
___________________________________________
Floured Yeast:   
Flour: 50 grams
Fresh Yeast: 3 grams
___________________________________________
Salt-Water:
Water: 60 grams
Salt: 30 grams
___________________________________________

Besides aiding the dough inoculation, the ancillary flour functions as an anti-slippery agent, minimizing the slippage of the autolyzed dough, doused with the salt-water, inside the mixer bowl. Good night!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 03, 2011, 11:57:59 AM
Unfortunately, the fast speed, not the physical design, of the Santos mixer's fork over-oxygenates and heats up (not as much as many other mixers such as the Kitchen Aid) the dough, in addition to over-buttressing the gluten network throughout the dough mass—which results in a crust that is not tender enough for Neapolitan pizza. Having a Santos fork mixer is akin to owning a Stradivarius violin that has its tuning pegs permanently glued to the peg holes inside the headstock! There is no point playing the violin if it can not be tuned, does not matter how divine it sounds.

Dear Omid, I would have to disagree with these statements, having been a happy owner of a Santos for several years and having produced with it some exceedingly tender pizzas.

Several months ago I switched to the Tartine manual stretch and fold method and have been extremely pleased with the results. But after many pies using that method, I have returned to the Santos and baking up the best crusts I have ever made. The Tartine method allowed me to crank up the hydration well over 70%, but my conclusion is that the main benefit of higher hydration at 900F temps is a larger doneness window, making it a harder to overcook the pie. My feeling at this point is that for the way I like my crust, the Santos does indeed produce a superior pie, but it is less forgiving; the instrument doesn't require tuning as much as it requires practice, practice, practice.

I don't get your temperature comments. I have never sensed any heat generated by the fork action. To confirm this, I measured the dough temp before and after mixing on a batch I made today - 1325g of dough @ 63% hydration. The dough temp didn't change more than .5 degree, measured after the 4 minute initial mix. The large bowl and the hydration level are too big a heat sink for the friction from the fork to generate appreciable heat, IMO.

As for oxygenation, perhaps the high altitude here (7000 feet ASL) with its thinner atmosphere gives me an advantage, but for my tastes, environment, and the specific methods I employ, tenderness is the biggest advantage of the Santos. I'm not saying every pie in every batch achieves my objectives, but my latest efforts confirm that the best pies come my Santos. I'll continue to tweak all the variables to learn more.

Dear Bill, I guess it is just a happenstance that you are bringing up this issue while I am in the midst of new experiments with my Santos fork mixer in order to re-evaluate its performance in light of the fact that now my gas oven can provide me with much higher temperatures. Of course, your contention is relative to your circumstances, methodology, and interpretation of the phenomena as much as my referenced statements are reflective of the particular experiences I have had thus far with my Santos under my extant conditions. (For instance, your wood-fueled oven indubitably can bake more tender crusts than my gas oven.) Moreover, since we are not in the presence of one another, it is difficult to have an objective foothold on the issue of "tenderness" as I do not know your criterion for tenderness, whether or not it is commensurate with my standard. Hence, it is not easy to discuss this subject not knowing each other's methods of Santos dough production, the surrounding circumstances under which the methods are carried out, and each other's evaluative standards for tenderness. Faced with these limitations, I will try to approach this subject from a fundamental point of view, applying the classic Neapolitan method of "direct" dough production and using the "Neapolitan wallet" as the standard to evaluate crust tenderness. However, to that end, yesterday I conducted an empirical test by applying an "indirect" method of dough production, i.e. true "autolyse", producing one batch of dough with Santos and one with Kitchen Aid. Each batch had the same exact portions of the ingredients:

Caputo Pizzeria Flour: 1000 grams (Datum Point)
Water: 620 grams (62%)
Sea Salt: 30 grams (3%)
Fresh Yeast: 3 grams (0.3%)  

Further, each batch was subjected to 1 hour of initial and 9 hours of secondary fermentation. (If I had more time, I would have used less yeast and much longer fermentation.) At last, last night I baked pizzas with the Santos and Kitchen Aid dough to discern the differences. The Santos pizza crust was significantly more tender than the Santos pizzas I had baked before the modification of my oven. I am certain that the high temperature of my gas oven (866° F on the floor and 870° F on the dome) is the main cause of the tenderness, which would have been absent under lower temperatures. As you know, high temperature changes many factors. I tried to pictorially document everything below, except my wife did not give me a chance to take more pictures of the first pizza (the pear pizza) that I baked, which was hers!

Next, I will conduct the same test as above, except I will employ the "direct method" of dough production. Due to the lack of time, I will elaborate on the pictures below later, and I will address your concerns. I think this issue is more complex than it appears. Have a great day!

Thanks, Omid. In this sentence you have encapsulated the essence of this style of dough - four simple ingredients being bombarded (or caressed) by innumerable variables. Drawing erroneous conclusions has been my biggest downfall. To assume that tenderness is a simple function of fork speed could be one of those. The difference of a few seconds in the oven, a few degrees or an hour while fermenting, the order ingredients are combined, the way the dough is stretched, etc. can all effect the texture of the dough. Looking forward to your results.

Dear Bill, to follow-up on my attempt to make pizza dough (in Reply #786 above), I would like to briefly consolidate my position on the Santos fork mixer by doing some critical thinking. And, as a further consideration, I do not think your conclusions in respect to Santos were wrong, but limited, as my statements were limited to my particular experiences with Santos. As the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche always insisted, knowing is always perspective knowing, that knowledge is interpretive and never absolute, that it always reflects perspective and context. So is the case with what I present below.

In principle, a mechanized or automated dough mixer is supposed to accomplish, by design, four principal tasks amongst others:

1. Hydration of flour,
2. Uniform formation of gluten network,
3. Homogenization of dough consistency (agreement or coherence amongst parts), and
4. Homogenization of dough temperature.

Furthermore, as you know, there is a direct correlation between the amount of kneading and the tenderness of the baked goods ("knead-tenderness correlation") that engineers take into consideration when designing a mixer. As a general rule, under normal conditions, a baked pizza crust is tougher in proportion to how much the dough is worked. In other words, the more a pizza dough is handled or kneaded, the harder crust it will produce after baked.

According to my experience, if the Santos fork mixer is used at its default state (i.e., without direct human intervention) to produce 1670 grams of dough (using the recipe below and employing the classic Neapolitan "direct method"), Santos does not fulfill the four above-enumerated tasks.
________________________________________
Flour: 1000 gr. (Datum Point)
Water: 640 gr. (64%)
Sea Salt: 30 gr. (3%)
Leaven: ? (?%)
________________________________________
Total: 1670  Grams
________________________________________
Direct Method: Water ➡ Salt ➡ Leaven ➡ Flour (unremitting & uninterrupted mixing & kneading)

☞ Unlike the indirect method in Reply #786, there is no interruption between mixing & kneading, and both mixing and kneading are continuous within themselves.  
________________________________________

At its default state during kneading, the mixer's fork keeps pushing the dough out of the way toward the outer sides, where the dough sticks and incessantly goes around a circle like a merry-go-round, without getting effectively kneaded. (Please, see the first picture below. The left side of the picture exhibits Santos kneading at its default state while the right side of the picture illustrates Santos kneading with manual intervention.) The smaller quantity of dough one prepares by Santos and the lesser hydration one uses in the dough, the worse will be the performance of Santos at its default state. As we both have learned, Santos, unlike Pietroberto fork mixer (and the Iranian fork mixer I used to have), is not an autopilot type of dough mixer (at least when making small quantities of dough); direct manual intervention is necessitated. (I do not know what the case would be if Santos is used at its full dough capacity, which is 5000 grams. Being a commercial mixer, perhaps Santos was not designed for making small quantities of dough.) The rotation of the non-motorized mixer bowl ought to be manipulated by one hand while the other hand, with the use of a spatula, needs to disengage the dough from the sides of the mixer bowl and push it down toward the center.

Thereafter, I learned that even manual intervention, using the direct method and the same recipe above, does not alleviate the situation enough, for now the dough is kneaded by the fork—and partially by the spatula that constantly keeps pushing the dough downward! Moreover, if one hand does not effectively regulate the rotation of the mixer bowl while the other hand keeps pushing the dough down with the spatula, the powerful and speedy fork can grab a piece of dough and mercilessly twist it over and over and over unto itself. Not good! As the kneading goes on and as the dough gets more hydrated, consistent, and relaxed, the machine starts to actually KNEAD the dough with less manual intervention as shown in the following Youtube video I uploaded about three months ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axzYfyzKDls

However, considering the fast fork speed and the "knead-tenderness correlation", that might be too late, for the dough perhaps has already been subjected to enough turbulent motion. The price to pay might be "tender crust" if one opts to continue kneading at that point. The fast fork speed works against the "knead time" and "gradual dough development". If the fork speed was slower by design, this issue would have been nonexistent. Hence, I admire the wisdom of Pietroberto in designing mixers with fork speeds between 21.5 and 31 RPM, in contrast to the 84 RPM of Santos. Sufficiently slower fork speed seems to be conducive to less manual intervention, less turbulent motion, controllable knead time, and gradual dough development. (To be fair, I should point out that I do not know what fork speed Pietroberto would choose if it were to design a fork mixer of the same dough capacity as Santos.)

Another factor to consider is the "mass-speed correlation", i.e., the dough weight in relation to the fork speed. Pietroberto's lowest dough capacity fork mixer seems to be the "La Vittoria 17", with a dough capacity of 17000 grams, fork speed of 23 RPM for its 1-speed model, and fork speeds of 20.5 RPM and 31 RPM for its 2-speed model. Perhaps, if Santos, with its dough capacity of 5000 grams, had a fork speed comparable to La Vittoria 17, it would not rule out the manual intervention:  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V56gb2wGSSg

It would be highly appreciated if dear SCPizza would fill us in as to what dough and crust qualities he accomplished by slowing down the fork speed of his Santos from 84 RPM to "21 RPM", as shown in the fantastic Youtube video above.

So, we have learned that something more than "direct manual intervention" is needed in order to make dough with Santos: quasi- or true "autolyse", which is, I believe, the method you employ in making Santos dough and which is exactly what I resorted to (in Reply #786 above) in making my dough. And, in the process, I had to abandon the "direct method" and adopt the indirect method, which is not Neapolitan for the purpose of making Neapolitan pizza dough. Is this what one should expect from a professional, expensive, European dough mixer like Santos? Perchance, Pietroberto would not be as prominent in Naples if it had adopted high fork speeds.

As shown in my Reply #786 above, autolyse gave the dough a chance to be hydrated (task "No. 1" above), to generate gluten network (task "No. 2" above), to generate homogeneous consistency (task "No. 3" above), and to homogenize its temperature (task "No. 4" above). Wait a minute!—weren't these tasks ideally supposed to be performed by the mixer? Didn't we pay a high price for the machine to properly hydrate, glutenize, and homogenize our doughs—without delegating and outsourcing the tasks to an outside mechanism, such as "autolyse"? (I wished I knew Santos' philosophy underlying the design and functions of their fork mixer. Perhaps, the French do not think the same way as Neapolitans do when it comes to production of dough.)

I conclude that tenderness of our Santos pizza crusts should not be entirely attributed to Santos, but to "autolyse"—either to a lesser or greater degree—which laid the groundwork for the tenderness to happen. After all said and done, autolyzed dough, in conjunction with using the Santos to finish the job, can be susceptible to some vulnerabilities. If one does not proactively and properly manipulate the Santos mixer during kneading an autolyzed dough, the intricate gluten networks (hence the dough consistency) that were generated during autolysis can be agitated, disturbed, or fractured by the speedy fork. As you rightly put it, the instrument requires "practice, practice, practice".

In regard to my assertion, that Santos "heats up the dough (not as much as many other mixers such as the Kitchen Aid)", it was hyperbolically stated. And, the heat-up, which usually is not significant, is contingent upon conditions such as low dough quantity (about 600 grams), low hydration (about 55 or 56%), employment of the direct method, long mix & knead time, and I am sure the ambient temperate is a factor as well. When I made dough under such conditions during past summer, its temperature rose from 72.6° F to 74.4° F. As you rightly put it, "The large bowl and the hydration level [63%] are too big a heat sink for the friction from the fork to generate appreciable heat, IMO." So, I agree that dough heating up is not an issue with the Santos.

On the positive side, Santos, in conjunction with using autolyzed dough, is capable of making highly hydrated dough that is manageable. So far, I have gone as high as 67% hydration. Using the recipe below, 1-minute-and-32-second mix time, 25-minute autolyse, and 4-minute knead time, last night I prepared a 64% hydrated dough that felt like a 58% hydrated dough. (Please, see the pictures attached hereunder.) As shown in the pictures, I handled the dough without using any bench flour and without any significant amount of dough residue left on my hand.  
____________________________________
Flour: 1000 gr. (Datum Point)
Water: 640 gr. (64%)
Sea Salt: 30 gr. (3%)
Fresh Yeast: 1 gr. (0.1%)
____________________________________

At last, in my opinion, the portafoglio napoletano in the very last picture, below, represents an ideal "Neapolitan wallet". Sublime! Truly, a good Neapolitan dough does not happen by itself or by a miracle—it is a task. Have a great day dear Bill!

Omid
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 03, 2011, 02:03:05 PM
Omid, this experiment is fascinating!  It appears as though the Santos produced the more tender of the two crusts.  Is that correct?  Also, did you bake them back-to-back, or allow recovery time for your oven?

Grazie tante,
Salvatore

Dear Salvatore, in my subjective estimate, both Santos and Kitchen Aid pizzas, in my Reply #786 above, were almost identical in terms of tenderness. It was hard to ascertain which was tenderer. However, I should point out that if my wife had allowed me enough time to examine the KA pizza (she was too hungry to wait!), I could have formulated a better evaluation. The Santos pizza entered the oven about 7 minutes after the KA pizza existed the oven. Good day!
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 03, 2011, 05:16:25 PM
Omid, in light of your recent Santos investigations, I thought that you, and possibly others, might find the following article (Mixers: Developing Dough) of interest: http://www.bakingbusiness.com/Features/Processing%20and%20Packaging/2010/4/Mixers.aspx?racategory=Mixing. That article addresses many of the challenges that manufacturers of high-volume commercial dough making equipment face. I found the MIXING BY ENERGY section of the article to be very interesting as well as the following observation: “We want to increase turbulence of flour and water in the first 30 seconds of mixing so we can get the highest possible hydration into the flour,” he said. “We get to the ‘pickup’ stage in about 30 seconds with our mixers, but then you have to transition into a gentle folding action so you don’t rip the gluten matrix being developed.”  

Peter
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 05, 2011, 11:00:27 PM
"Cooking is like creating. We must do everything the best way possible, plus more. . . ."  Maria Callas (1923–1977)

Please, first, allow me to provide a brief introduction for those who may be unfamiliar with Maria Callas! Maria, named "La Divina" by the Italians, was one of the most eminent sopranos of the 20th century, an unforgettable character and voice. Thirty-four years after her death, her dramatic voice is still breathing life into Italian operas (such as those of Verdi's, Puccini's, and etc.), and her records are still outselling those of her living counterparts!

What is peculiar about her voice is that it is filled with such excruciating pain and agony that it imbues hearts of her listeners with great foreboding and anxiety. There was something quite existential about her voice and the torrents of her impulsive expressions which outpoured through her face, postures, and gestures on stage—that would urge spectators to passionately exist or participate in the drama of life captured in opera.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQfmSu7G6Ls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_Mr4d_ixSI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGTxz_jIBy0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXzeEfH6PTk ("La mamma morta")

Her voice never fails to bring her devotees to the edge of the abyss! Yet, she was more than an opera singer, she was a dramatist who knew how to animate the characters she portrayed on stage.

As more and more research into her personal life has revealed, Maria was also a foodie and passionate cook. According to the LA Weekly Blogs:

"Now, more than thirty years after her death, Callas remains one of opera's most popular recording artists, but her intriguing relationship with food is only just beginning to be explored. ​Known affectionately as "La Divina" for her angelic singing voice, Callas collected recipes from her favorite restaurants around the world, 150 of which can be found in the Italian cookbook, La Divina in Cucina. Her food habits were also the subject of a recent 52-minute Italian documentary, Callas Cooking: Ingredients of a Legend by Marco Kuveiller (2007)." http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/2010/04/opera_food.php

As a prominent singer of Italian operas, Maria spent part of her life in Italy, not excluding Naples. People of Naples, who have had special love affair with opera, consider Maria, who was not Italian, a national treasure. (It has been said in Italy that, if pizza had a tongue, it would sing in the voice of Maria the aria "La mamma morta" while in the oven!) Reportedly, after one of her concerts in Naples, a pizzaiolo created a new pizza particularly for her, named "La Pizza Maria" (akin to the pizza that was specially created for Queen Margherita), which is supposed to be the Margherita with the addition of "fresh", not dry, "oregano" and "fresh garlic". (Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any information online on this; please inform me if you find anything at all. Who was the pizzaiolo? What pizzeria? What recipe? What year?) I would love to resurrect the legendary La Pizza Maria! I always wonder about her reaction to the pizza and Pizza Napoletana in general. For those who are interested, below are some interesting Maria Callas links:

http://www.raitrade.rai.it/presentSectionFile.do?sectionFile=9&language=it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wsidcxflv1I
http://www.callas.it/
http://www.callas.it/news/english/cooking.html
http://www.callas.it/news/english/libro.html
Title: Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
Post by: Pizza Napoletana on November 07, 2011, 04:23:40 PM
Unfortunately, the fast speed, not the physical design, of the Santos mixer's fork over-oxygenates and heats up (not as much as many other mixers such as the Kitchen Aid) the dough, in addition to over-buttressing the gluten network throughout the dough mass—which results in a crust that is not tender enough for Neapolitan pizza. Having a Santos fork mixer is akin to owning a Stradivarius violin that has its tuning pegs permanently glued to the peg holes inside the headstock! There is no point playing the violin if it can not be tuned, does not matter how divine it sounds.
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