Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pizza is the greatest - pt. 1

Yet another series in the making, here? After a long hiatus, Natalie and I are back at it, attempting to make respectable Neapolitan style pizzas. When I feel as though we're producing consistently good pies, I'll share the recipe for the dough. Until then, the experiment continues, and I'll occasionally share photos of our latest creations, along with our wine pairings for the night.
(background) Margherita - tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella (not di bufala, but not of Sargento, either)
(foreground) Untitled - tomato sauce, nettles, fresh mozzarella, minced garlic, fresh chilies

2007 Fattoria San Francesco Ciró - Soft, gulpable, low tannin gaglioppo grape flavored wine. Simple, mellow southern Italian that makes for easy quaffing.

Our results were ok. The Margherita was well sauced and tasty, though perhaps a bit plain without the basil and without a sufficient use of salt in the pizza sauce. It was not rolled out thin enough and came across, for those of you in the Bay Area, as reminiscent of a slice at The Cheeseboard. Satisfying and tasty, but not quite Neapolitan style. Untitled was rolled out to the perfect thickness, which is to say quite thin. It was not crisp from crust to tip, though. Also, the fresh chilies, though used sparingly, were still a bit overwhelming.

More pizza to come. In the meantime, if anyone has ideas for a dough or other production tips which will help to yield a great Neapolitan pie, feel free to contribute them here. Our basic recipe uses a 50-50 blend of 00 and all purpose flour. Then we allow for an initial doubling in size before punching down, dividing the dough and refrigerating over night. We then roll out the dough the following day, sauce and top, and then place on a pizza stone in a 500 deg oven.

Good pizza to you and yours.


benjamin said...

chez panisse cafe dough recipe is really good. it uses a small portion of rye flour (1/4c to 4 c. white) and pretty much the same method you described. i am a big fan of going crazy with all kinds of over the top toppings like tenderloin braised in port with porcini mushrooms, tomato sauce, and fontina val d'aosta dotted with red onions and a good blue cheese.but I also really love the simple pies as well. My favorite pizza probably of all time is the 211 pizetta olive oil, rosemary, pine nut with fiore sardo (sardinaian DOP pecorino) ok...know i am ready to make pizza!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

matcohen said...

The challenge is getting a crust that is brown on the bottom. I heat the stone at 550 and broil and still get soggy crusts some times.

I am thinking that I will cook the crust 60 seconds a side (I have a `0 inch diameter circular spatula) and then add toppings.

Wolfgang said...

Great post, and lovely looking pizza. We're always doing a more Roman style here, so crisp, thinner crusts. Haven't had the "00's" to attempt pizza napolitana...

That Cirò looks lovely on the other hand. Where did you track that down, work?

(Great seeing you guys the other night, btw)

- wolfgang

Joe Manekin said...

Benjamin - no problem. And thanks for the ideas for dough and topping.

Matt - good ideas on crust crispiness. Thanks.

Wolfgang - The pizza experimentation continues tomorrow night. Dough proofing right now. Ciro came from work through Winemonger. Great to see you as well, and of course you will have to come over for pizza. Especially if you end up being our neighbors in Bernal....