Author Topic: Authentic Neapolitan Pizza  (Read 5189 times)

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Offline seancan

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Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
« on: September 15, 2008, 08:46:47 AM »
I am on a quest to develop an realistic version of Pizza Napolitana. I have tried numerous recipes with varying degrees of success which were nothing special.

To date I have concentrated on sourdough breads - and have gotten down to a good simple recipe which produces a nice loaf - took about 3 years to get there but I am happy with it.  I will keep the next section short and get to the point.

I wanted to seek out the ultimate Pizza dough recipe - having eaten them in the UK + Germany + unimpressed -  a friend said the world starts and ends in Naples - so off we went to Italy - starting in Naples. Decided to stick with a Margherita Pizza for comparison purposes.I have only listed the best three
First stop was  Pizzeria Brandi in the port of Naples - I must say quite humbling given the write ups. Great reception looking straight into the Oven, Very cramped table upstairs but a buzzing atmosphere. The pizza was perfect (at that point in time) - lovely chewy crust - meltingly tasty mozzarella (buffalo) and san marzano tomato so I used this as the basis for future comparison.
Next was Pizzeria Di Matteo - top three rated (world) - this was so much better that I had to relegate Brandi to second place. The crust was much much better than anything I had had previously - light crisp skin but then chewey chewy if you know what I mean. They used(they told us) buffalo mozzarella. The pizzas were huge but we came out feeling as if we had had a brief snack.  The pizzas cost 4 euros ($5.50) each !!! mindblowing value in the centre of Naples.
I have left a couple of other venues  out -good pizzas but unremarkable - again all 4 euros each.

The ultimate was totally unexpected -  We were getting a ship out of Livorno - The port for Florence -with two hours to kill and having explained our quest in Naples  to a local taxi driver - he drove us to a Pizzeria  10 piu 10. (think it means 10 out of 10) at Piazza de la Republica 57123 Livorno Italy

Nice location - very friendly guys - the Pizza was the best we have ever eaten -phenomenal. Roughly speaking - the beautiful crust of Di Matteo but using hand formed 'cow' Mozzarella and a superb tomato sauce - baked in an ancient oven - produced a  stunning pizza. I told the cook about my quest and Naples etc. He smiled quietly with a knowing look.
The chef uses: Per kg of flour
- 3/4 ltr water - 3g yeast - 1tbsp salt  and 24 hr slow fermentation.
(I think he said that he used a piece of old dough - perhaps this is his secret because he was quite vague about it -understandably)
He puts the dough into a large tray 3ft x 2 ft and allows it slow rise in a slab.then he cuts it into  about pieces about 5in x 5in x2 inches thick, with what looked like a wallpaper scraper.Hand balled it in the air and then pressed the 15in pizza out on the slab -loads of flour.
I cannot believe that from four very simple ingredients such magic can evolve. Again, light as a feather and 4 Euros. Whilst there was no point asking for recipes in Naples -  they may pass them to you but they are not accurate for obvious reasons, this guy was genuine - I think...
This was the basis of my quest so I hope that you can pass on any thoughts, comments you may have.

Best wishes

Offline November

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Re: Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2008, 10:39:29 AM »
The chef uses: Per kg of flour
- 3/4 ltr water - 3g yeast - 1tbsp salt  and 24 hr slow fermentation.

I find that proportionment very interesting.  Either you're missing some information, or the person who gave you the dough formula was misleading you.  75% hydration is more than a typical Neapolitan dough would have, especially considering the lower absorption ability of 00 flour; and 1.65-1.8% for salt is on the low side for typical Neapolitan dough.  I see no problems with the ratio of ingredients for dough in general, but it seems a tad distant from authentic Neapolitan.

- red.november

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2008, 12:26:45 PM »
I do bake breads with that amount of hydration, but I am incapable of building a workable pizza dough with Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour that has a hydration greater than 65%. Higher than that, too much bench flour needs to be used to avoid sticking to the peel. Maybe he is using a different flour or has developed tricks for making the dough easy to work with. Or maybe he is not as forthcoming as he is friendly.

In many ways, your quest for "Authentic Neapolitan Pizza" is as much about process as it is about ingredients. Maybe this guy would let you serve as an unpaid apprentice for a week or two so you could get a better idea about how he works his magic.