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Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #200 on: October 09, 2013, 06:08:51 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I'm on holiday in Europe at the moment, in a couple days I will be in Italy.
8 days for Napoli to be specific.
Any requests for information or places I should go, ideas, any pizza related stuff I should check out?

Let me know!

I'll post pics and full reviews when I get back!

Thanks everyone
-Jordan

Offline Tubaguy63

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #201 on: January 04, 2014, 10:37:12 AM »
This thread helped me make my best pizza yet. Man, was it good!

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #202 on: February 25, 2016, 06:14:20 PM »
It's been a while...

Here are some pics from my last visit to Napoli. I don't remember all the details, because it was a couple years ago but i'll try my best!

Pics titled: "FullSizeRender", IMG_9570, 9571, 9572, and 9573 - are from Sorbillo. I must say that these were my favorite.. Sorry for the horrible photo quality, these were all taken on an iPhone 4 and the lighting inside of Sorbillo's place is really dim. I ate here about 3 times, and I remember there being a specific "sourness" to the dough, and the cheese was definitely buffalo mozz. He doesn't skimp on the cheese as you can see, and I made sure to do a close up of the specific square-style cheese cut in the 4th pic (IMG_9572) This place has crazy lines... But if you get there right before they re-open for dinner, maybe 10-15 min before, you will be seated right away when they open up. I learned this trick the hard way after waiting almost 2 hours to be seated during my first visit there, and I went in October... Imagine in June?!? Worth the wait regardless. In my opinion it's the best pizza in Napoli. Hands down.

Pics titled: IMG_9574 and 9575 - are from Da Michele. These guys have incredible oven management, even when they are slammed the pies come out extremely even in terms of the overall bake. I've eaten here about 6 times and I can conclude that they don't use much cheese and they make the pies really soupy, lots of sauce, 1 basil leaf, sometimes they forget the oil. They use vegetable oil to dress their pies. Sometimes no parm. This place is hit or miss. I'd say almost everything about them is inconsistent except for their Fornaio. But I want you guys to remember these pics, because I have a hell of a surprise for you in my next post when it comes to Da Michele. This will be a real eye opener for some of you.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 08:35:11 PM by Jordan »
-Jordan

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #203 on: February 25, 2016, 06:35:03 PM »
Kind of has a da Michele look to it.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #204 on: February 25, 2016, 07:11:48 PM »
IMG_9576: Last Da Michele pic from the post below (this isn't the crazy pic I was talking about above by the way... that comes later!) anyways, this shows the thinness of a Da Michele pie, super thin and soupy. My favorite part is when the dough gets all soggy and the burnt parts mix in with the sauce and makes a charred-saucy mess... Mmmmmm.

IMG_9577: Pizzeria Dal Presidente. Not impressed at all. And if I was the president, I would expect a lot more from this place than a stiff burnt basil pie with nothing special whatsoever. This pie was a buffalo mozz filetto. They used huge chunks of regular tomatoes... Flavorless.

THE JUICY PART! Pics titled: IMG_9578, 9579, 9583, 9584 are from an early morning visit to Da Michele... You wont guess who made my pizza... Yup, thats right. The man himself. Luigi Condurro (R.I.P) he will be missed. From what I am aware of, he was the oldest active Pizzaiolo in terms of experience. It was amazing to see him make my pie and just sit down near the work bench (pictured IMG_9578) he was a true boss. But, I must say, this was the only experience I've had at Da Michele where the pizza was really off. As you can see, there was way too much bench flour used and it almost looked undercooked. As I stated above, the fornaio at Da Michele is usually always on point, but I guess he just wasn't doing Luigi's pie any justice with this attempt. In traditional Da Michele fashion, the basil leaf was literally almost on the cornicone (completely missed with that Basil-toss, you know what I'm sayin' ?!?) No parmesan either. Just an okay pie from a seemingly incredible surge of expectations. Rest in peace Luigi, the world of pizza has lost a tremendous individual.

IMG_9585 and 9586 was from Di Matteo, probably my second favorite place behind Sorbillo. Incredible consistency here too! Had 4-5 pies at Di Matteo and was blown away everytime. Quick service, awesome entrance, perfect balance of toppings, consistent baking. Also, if you love fried food, they serve fried goodies at the entrance (hence; "awesome entrance"...) they make a traditional neapolitan snack called "frittatina" which is to die for..
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 08:38:11 PM by Jordan »
-Jordan

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Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #205 on: February 25, 2016, 07:13:15 PM »
IMG_9587 is from Starita, yet again sorry for the poor pic quality. I walked from my Hostel and back with this pie, so it got a little cold by the time I took this picture. It was really good, I would say this place is definitely worth it, and nothing like Don Antonio (NYC) it's way better. I also got to meet Antonio Starita's son who seems to take care of Starita (Napoli) I'm guessing he runs it now for his Dad. Anyways, back to the pizza.. The bake was excellent. The topping ratio was balanced. Lots of cheese, surprisingly. It was worth the 2 mile round trip walk at 10pm in one of the least safe neighborhoods of Napoli.

IMG_9588 is from Trianon. Wasn't super impressed by these guys either. For some reason it reminded me of Dal Presidente, in all the bad ways. The dough quality was subpar. Very tough and chewy. The cheese also didn't taste right, almost like packaged mozzarella you get in the states. This could easily pass for a "Neapolitan Pie" you get in America.

Pics titled: IMG_9589 at restaurant, 9590, 9591, 9592 "folded in half", 9593 "portafoglio" are at Di Matteo. The first one was when I sat down at the restaurant. It was so worth it... And so much quicker! You would thinking going there and getting a pizza to take away saves time, but not here. They have a bunch of waiters on staff and they service the people who dine-in as a priority. Definitely my second favorite place, and as you can see by the pics, really consistent. The bakes are incredible. Consistent toppings every time. Di Matteo is a must visit if you go to Napoli.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 08:11:50 PM by Jordan »
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #206 on: February 25, 2016, 07:14:45 PM »
Pics IMG_9121 and 9223 are actually not from my 2013 trip to Napoli, but from my most recent trip before relocating to Portland!

IMG_9121 is from Una Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco. There was so much hype around this place. And I've know of Anthony for years since getting into Neapolitan Pizza. I thought I would be blown away, but I guess nothing can live up to a real Neapolitan pizza in Napoli. I would have to say that it was probably the best attempt I've had in the states aside from Pizzeria Bruno in San Diego. The dough in itself was good, but it lacked the complexity of what you get in Napoli at the better pizzerias. The biggest downside of this pie was the cost... It was $25. And as you can see, it was tiny. In Napoli, the pies are between 4-7 euros and they are so large that they hang over the side of the plate... You can just look at my pics above and compare since Anthony uses the same plates as most traditional pizzerias. The toppings were extremely well balanced and he used Buffalo mozzarella, so I'm guessing the product cost plus the insane cost of rent in San Francisco could be the only possible reasons why this pizza was so expensive. Nevertheless, it wasn't the experience I thought it was going to be. If you're in SF, just go spend all your money at Tartine on country loaves. Now thats how you eat well in San Francisco!

IMG_9223 was a pizza I made! While I spent the holidays in Seattle, I called a nearby bakery that was willing to give me some of their starter! So I got the starter going, baked a bunch of bread and decided why not make some pizzas?! Unfortunately I didn't have access to any Caputo flour at the nearby grocery stores but I made do with what I had (Bob's Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour). Also this was baked with only the broiler of a home oven with no hacks, so the lack of heat and the high percentage of sourdough culture is why the pies look so pale. I like to make my pies with a higher percentage of culture (way over 2%) to have a flavor thats very sour and mimics a sourdough loaf. As I've baked more over the years, I seem to really love the sour flavor of natural fermentation and I like a sour enough flavor that can shine through the sauce and toppings. Personally I think a really sour tasting pizza dough is way more complex and enjoyable in terms of flavor and digestion compared to using cake yeast or IDY or even really low percentages of culture (below 2%) I think this forum has taught me a lot over the years, but I think at the end of the day, you need to make and eat what you think tastes best. For your mouth and your heart!

Now that I live in Portland and am settling down, I will be buying some bulk Caputo pizza flour soon to pick up where I left off on this journey! Feel free to read my previous posts to see more pics of what I used to do and about who I am. After all, it's been like 2-3 years since I've last posted, but I still remember all the awesome people I used to interact with! (*cough* *cough* omid, craig, chau, john *cough* *cough*) Hope you guys are doing well !!!

Also, a quick side note. I lean more towards a vegan diet, so you won't be seeing many pics of pies that I make with cheese on them. Instead, this new journey will be to learn and master a sourdough crust, minimalist/exciting toppings, and coaxing out as much from my home ovens capabilities.

If anyone has any questions about my trip to Napoli, please feel free to ask! I spent a total of 2-3 weeks there, so if you have any plans to visit and want some guidance I'll be more than willing to help out! And if you have any exciting/weird/totally outrageous pizza topping ideas feel free to shoot them my way! I want to get experimental with toppings and I need all the help I can get. Living in Oregon opens a huge door to grocery choices, so I'm in the right place!

Let the games begin!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 08:51:18 PM by Jordan »
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #207 on: March 01, 2016, 05:41:38 PM »
Kind of has a da Michele look to it.

It was actually a Sorbillo pie! Close guess though!!

How've you been Craig? Seems like you haven't skipped a beat with baking amazing pizza. Glad to see you're still at it.

I hope this post was informative for everyone who hasn't had the pleasure of traveling to Napoli and wants to know more about the quality and details of the product we all work so hard towards to replicate!

More posts to come, hopefully some of the older posts in this thread are useful, although outdated  ::)
-Jordan

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #208 on: March 01, 2016, 05:49:23 PM »
Good to hear from you Jordan.  I appreciate your pics and review of NP pizzerias here and abroad.  Since I am unable to travel to these places myself, I always appreciate any information and knowledge shared.  Keep posting up pics of your progress.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 12:21:28 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #209 on: March 01, 2016, 05:52:17 PM »
Hi Jordan,

Thanks for the photos and text from Napoli.  I hope to get there sometime. 

I was wondering if you've been to Ken's or Apizza Scholls in Portland, and if so, how you liked them. 

Regards,

TinRoof

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #210 on: March 02, 2016, 12:18:50 AM »
It was actually a Sorbillo pie! Close guess though!!

When I posted, I thought you made it  ;D  In any case, I didn't mean to jump into the middle of your post. Sorry about that.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline italdream

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #211 on: March 02, 2016, 04:02:04 PM »
The man himself. Luigi Condurro (R.I.P) he will be missed. From what I am aware of, he was the oldest active Pizzaiolo in terms of experience. It was amazing to see him make my pie and just sit down near the work bench (pictured IMG_9578) he was a true boss.

I saw the pictures and came here to say that but noticed that you already commented on Don Luigi passing away recently. RIP

I go back to Naples 3-4 times a year. Da Michele is more and more of a philosophical issue and source of debate in pizza circles. I have not eaten there since about 2007 ... not staying in line, but I can tell you lots of Neapolitans do not like it. Back during my college years (early to mid 90ies), it was never doubted that it was one of the best pizza in Naples.

Pignataro's blog does not even rank it in the top 15. http://www.lucianopignataro.it/a/le-migliori-pizze-margherite-napoli-roma-ricetta/79307/

And from what I hear, the blog is pretty accurate, to the extent that you can rank the ineffable art of NP pizza making. 50 Kalò is going pretty strong.

Edit: that ranking includes also pizzas outside of the Naples region.
 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 04:26:46 PM by italdream »
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Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #212 on: March 07, 2016, 08:40:10 PM »
Hi Jordan,

Thanks for the photos and text from Napoli.  I hope to get there sometime. 

I was wondering if you've been to Ken's or Apizza Scholls in Portland, and if so, how you liked them. 

Regards,

TinRoof

I haven't been to either, but I will report back to you when I do!

I saw the pictures and came here to say that but noticed that you already commented on Don Luigi passing away recently. RIP

I go back to Naples 3-4 times a year. Da Michele is more and more of a philosophical issue and source of debate in pizza circles. I have not eaten there since about 2007 ... not staying in line, but I can tell you lots of Neapolitans do not like it. Back during my college years (early to mid 90ies), it was never doubted that it was one of the best pizza in Naples.

Pignataro's blog does not even rank it in the top 15. http://www.lucianopignataro.it/a/le-migliori-pizze-margherite-napoli-roma-ricetta/79307/

And from what I hear, the blog is pretty accurate, to the extent that you can rank the ineffable art of NP pizza making. 50 Kalò is going pretty strong.

Edit: that ranking includes also pizzas outside of the Naples region.
 

Thanks so much for a link to this blog! I seriously appreciate it !

So, just wanted to update you guys, I have moved to Oregon and the apartment I'm renting has a brand new oven in it. Just a standard 550F oven with a bottom and top element capable of broiling. It gets to 550f in under 10 min, but I haven't tested it for pizza yet.

I ordered the Dough-Joe pizza stone set which should be here shortly. I'm maintaining a sourdough starter currently and it's going strong. My caputo bluebag flour is here. Slowly but surely I'll have all my pizza gadgets back from NJ that are being shipped to me.

I was getting my best bakes using a 15" cast iron pan that I preheated in the oven at 550f for 1 hour with a pizza stone placed at the highest rack position in the oven. After preheating, I was then putting the cast iron on the stove and turning the stove on high until it started to smoke. Once I saw smoke I would dress the pie directly on the cast iron pan as fast as possible (sauce, salt, basil, mozz, parm), the pan was hot enough to where you could see the dough bubbling up around the edges before I even finished dressing the pie. Next, I would then put it under the broiler at the highest rack setting and on top of a pizza stone. It was just enough room to carefully slide in the pan but very close to the broiler element.

Most of the time, using this method I would get a 1:30-2:00 min bake. Because of the intense heat in the cast iron it would fully cook the underbelly of the pie while immediately broiling would bring out some leoparding and produce a golden crust before burning the cheese or drying out the sauce.

I've been going back and reading some posts about home oven neapolitans and I'm so impressed with what some of you have achieved while I've been away from this forum. Better yet, I'm so glad to see some of the masters still baking up some incredible looking pies. Thanks to Craig's links in the thread I posted in regards to the benefits behind a baking steel/baking stones I stumbled upon some stuff Chau did, Toby, and a guy named David Deas. All of which looked authentic and like something I've had in Napoli. I really hope I could figure out some of these tricks to get more heat out of my home oven since outdoor baking isn't an option at the moment. I'd really appreciate if some of you guys could help  :)

Seems like David, Toby, and Omid did hacks using tin foil /aluminum to trap more heat in the oven. All of them were using a 550f oven and I think Omid didn't even have a broiler on his $100 sears oven  :o

Even after looking at some pics, it seems like nothing could be done without tampering with the oven, but I will try putting some tin foil in the oven to block more heat. I was even thinking about buying a cheap 15x14" baking stone to put at the top of the oven to trap more heat in, seems like it worked for Omid since he was able to get the temp over 800f without any broiler at all and still got a really nice looking cornicone.

If anyone could shed some light on light/safe oven modifications I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks everyone!
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #213 on: March 20, 2016, 01:27:44 AM »
Here are my first pies after about 6 months away from baking. I'm working with a new home oven and it's a new journey, more of a start to a love/hate relationship  >:(

1000g Flour (100%) Caputo Pizzeria
600g Water (60%) Cold (directly from fridge)
50g Starter (5%)
30g Salt (3%)

Bulk Weight: ~1,650g
6 x 275g Balls

20 min hand mixing / kneading
40 min resting between kneading sets (including 20 min riposo before bulk)

Bulk 11 hrs @ 69f
Balled 12 hr @ 70f

I don't have a probe thermometer at the moment, so I can't take note of ingredient temps. I will soon though!

The starter was gifted to me from a bakery in Seattle. I have been feeding it twice a day with a mix of 25% Organic Bobs Red Mill Dark Rye flour and 75% Organic Bobs Red Mill All-Purpose flour. Always fed with ambient temp filtered water and kept between 68-72f.

I was very happy with the doughs development, it probably could of been baked a little sooner. I am not sure if a +24 hr dough has many benefits, and I would love to keep experimenting with dropping the starter % further to achieve up to a 2 day fermentation.

My baking set up is far from where I'd like it to be, and thats my current focus. I feel like my recipe is fairly standard and I think I will keep this recipe going to focus on my technique and figure out my oven in the mean time.

All the pizzas tonight were topped with san marzano tomatoes, salt, fresh basil, and fresh garlic.
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #214 on: March 29, 2016, 02:34:13 AM »
Late night pies.

465g Flour (100%) Caputo Pizza Blue Bag
279g h2o (60%) Cold directly from fridge
11g Starter (2.37%)
11g Salt (2.37%)

3 x 250g Dough Balls
20 min hand kneading
Bulk: 12 hrs @ 72f for 3 hrs + 9 hrs @ 65f
Balled: 14 hrs @ 62-64f ("Controlled environment")
Total: 26 hrs @ 62-72f
Bake Time: 1 min 40 sec in a home oven: max temp 550f

Will go up slightly in hydration next time and do a short bulk with a longer ball phase, and still keeping it around ~24 hrs total with similar temps.

Hopefully my thermopen comes soon  :-\
-Jordan

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Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #215 on: May 21, 2016, 10:19:40 PM »
To bake or not to bake. That is the question  ???
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #216 on: January 26, 2018, 09:23:37 PM »
Hey guys, It's been a while. In the past year I've put pizza on hold to start a new journey in life. I decided to venture into sourdough bread making, which was heavily influenced by my pizza obsession back in 2013 which I documented on this thread.
After moving from New Jersey to Portland, Oregon and taking a road trip across America, I stumbled across a couple of very incredible bakeries in San Francisco. Tartine and The Mill (Josey Baker Bread) really changed my idea of what bread is and it set me forth on a new obsession. The same care and passion I learned about in Pizza after my two visits to Napoli was what I saw going on in San Francisco with their bread culture. Fast forward a couple years later, here I am in Portland and I actually own a sourdough bread business thats been operating for almost a year now.

I started with a recipe that basically copied tartine, which most bakers do. But then I wanted to produce a much healthier bread, one with lots of whole grains. I started with a 10% wholegrain similar to the Tartine Country Loaf, then upped it incrementally to 30% and then just kept going and going until about 6 months ago I stopped using fully sifted flours all together. The bread I make today is about 90% wholegrain, 20% of it is fresh milled by myself. I source all my grains from about 3 hours from my apartment here in Oregon, all organic, direct from farmers. I fell in love with the flavor and texture of fresh milled flour and wholegrain breads. And the nutritional benefits are a huge plus as well.

Now that I've covered that, you're probably wondering, well, what does this have to do with pizza?!

Well, after all of this hard work and dedication for creating the healthiest bread I could, I thought about my history with pizza. It made me miss pizza a lot, and also made me think a lot about what neapolitan pizza is, and what it isn't (or 'what it might not be' in my opinion) and that was very thought provoking.

Neapolitan pizza is almost always 100% sifted flour, and usually leavened with fresh cake yeast. Since everyone is so excited about Antimo Caputo flour, that also means if you are outside of Napoli (which most of us are) we are using very oxidized flour. Note, once flour is milled it starts to lose nutrition, on top of that, when you sift away all the bran and germ you basically remove a majority of the fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and so on.. Essentially, you're sifting away its nutrition and digestibility. And when you take fully sifted flour (white flour) and you leaven it with fresh cake yeast, it never gets to ferment. Therefor, you can almost guarantee that eating traditional Neapolitan Pizza, even in Napoli, will be lacking a lot of potential nutrition and this is solely due to flour quality and the way it is treated.

With all this being said, I think the pizza I had in Napoli was life changing. Significantly better than any other place I've had pizza to date. And what I wrote in the last paragraph was by no means me calling out tradition or talking negatively about a culture that I barely know anything about. All I can say is I know a lot about the products they use and the methods of which they use them and thats what is important to know here. At the end of the day, it is a disk of dead, white flour, thats not fermented, and then thrown into 800f+ and the little bit of nutrition it had was singed away in that furnace they call an oven  :-D

So...

Does this mean I don't appreciate pizza napoletana? Does this mean I won't eat in Napoli ever again? Does this mean, I myself won't use caputo flour anymore?

NO. NO. NO.

I am just bringing this stuff up out of the same enlightenment I had when going from making 10% wholegrain bread to the 90% wholegrain bread I make today. To me, it's all about health, flavor, texture, and digestibility. Tradition, is important, but sometimes tradition isn't always the destination we should seek.

I feel like this could continue into a long winded post that could stir up a tsunami of debates and disagreement to a lot of what I mentioned above, and I am fine with that. I wanted to bring this matter up because I want to see how people take it, how people have reflected on their own health over the years, and how they care to improve it for themselves and others that are close to them.

Now, before I close out. Here are my goals. I plan to make pizza. A lot of pizza actually. But, I plan to take my knowledge of bread, nutrition, and previous pizza experience in my attempts to recreate neapolitan pizza and see if I can create a hybrid. I will start slow...
 Tonight I will make 20% wholegrain dough with 80% Bobs Red Mill All Purpose and the 20% will be the local flour I buy from Eugene, OR (Whole Wheat Hard Red Spring) and it will be sourdough leavened with a starter made from fresh milled flour that I milled yesterday. Pink himalayan salt, water, and time... I always enjoyed doing ambient proofing only for pizza, so once I feel comfortable with these flours I will try to implement some trials where I use the fridge, we'll see..

I'd like to give a shoutout to TXcraig for giving me some awesome tips recently, always feels great to chat with someone I used to talk to so long ago on this forum. Also, Chau and Omid, where you guys at?

P.S. I'm ordering a 20lb bag of caputo blue tomorrow (mic drop)  >:D
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #217 on: January 30, 2018, 09:56:46 PM »
Here's from last night. 30% wholegrain organic hard red spring grown here in Oregon & 70% Bobs Red Mill All Purpose.
66% hydration. Sourdough leavened, 23 hours ambient 74-76f.
Made 6 marinaras all in my humble home oven, broiler element only. Bakes were 1:45-2 min average.

Tonight I'm prepping a 40% wholegrain dough with 60% Bobs Red Mill All Purpose, hopefully next week my caputo blue will show up.
-Jordan

Offline the1mu

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #218 on: January 30, 2018, 10:03:28 PM »
Looks great!

I would love to see some of the breads you've been doing over the last couple of years!

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #219 on: January 30, 2018, 10:27:12 PM »
Hello the1mu,

here's some pics from a recent bake, sorry for quality of picture.
-Jordan

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