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Neapolitan Pizza

Large MargeLarge Marge Posts: 404
edited 7:07AM in EggHead Forum
Have gotten a handle on how to feed and care for live yeast cultures you keep in the fridge (go to sourdo.com and learn about these). I'm using Camaldoli region yeast from Naples area, this is my 2nd try at true Neapolitan pizza. A bit of a departure from NY style and a huge departure from Chicago-- which is baked like a pie, this style is done super-fast at max temp. I used feet-down plate setter with green feet holding up the pizza stone, bottom vent wide open and lid completely off. Stone preheated for a good hour at 550-600 then daisy wheel removed to get it really going.

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Here is the a cold, liquid yeast starter - just yeast, flour and water. You remove say 1/2 cup and feed it more flour and water to activate at room temp a few hours to overnight...as long as it takes to get it fully active

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Active and nearly ready to make pizza dough

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I'll go into the mixing process some other time, the key is to finish with a VERY WET dough ball. This is about 310 grams, perfect size for a 13in pie. It goes into the fridge for at least 2, up to 6 days for a "cold rise".

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Dough comes to room temp in about 90 mins, enough time to get the BGE preheated and ready. Shaping a wet dough is tricky - you literally push it into shape, then pick it up and let it hang off your knuckles to stretch, drop it right on the peel, top and go. This is a basic margherita

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View from the top - so hot you have to use cubes of cheese. The shredded stuff will liquefy. I got mine from E 48th Street Market in Dunwoody GA, the owner is an egger and they make their mozz fresh!

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This one is a veggie - goal is a nice charred bottom but springy crust. Only at high temps can I get this

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For the "big" green eggers...this one is roasted garlic and potato w/ rosemary and thyme, with crumbled hot italian sausage. mmmm

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I made 5 pies...not surprising all that's left is the fru-fru veggie pieces. Somehow the sausage got devoured.

Comments

  • A couple of other shots from today:

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  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    Great post Joe. I love that you're playing with starters! Pie's look tasty!!
    Molly
    Colorado Springs
    "Loney Queen"
    "Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
    Bill Bradley; American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • That looks great, Joe. I'm afraid I'd need some formal training to tackle something like that.

    My attempts at stretching pizza dough reminded me of a Charlie Chaplin fiasco.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • Great looking pies!! I, too, have decided I wanted to try the cultures from sourdo.com. Just came in yesterday but having to go out of town on Wednesday so have to wait a week to get the cultures activated. Quick question, did you build a proofing box?
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,672
    Looks like you have it nailed Joe,, nice pies. You bring the dough to the Florida fest and I'll take my egg nuclear :woohoo: :woohoo: ;)
  • EggsakleyEggsakley Posts: 1,016
    Nice pies there. The concept of using a starter is very basic but largely ignored in the U.S.. When the pilgrimage to Alaska began, people took their starter for Sourdough with them and protected it with their lives. Yeasts can survive freezing and dehydration for centuries and then be revived. Starting a culture and keeping it going is the goal. Yeasts like all living things eventually mutate and change ever so slightly as time passes, creating a new yeast with different fermentation properties as well as taste from the origional parent cells. Nurture it and keep it going and pass it on to your ancestors, there is no magic formula to create a hundred year old starter, nor is there a better flavor that can be derived, and not even remotely simulated by using a commercial yeast packet.
  • WokOnMediumWokOnMedium Posts: 1,376
    Joe those look great! I have my culture in the fridge now just waiting for me to work up the guts to activate it and go. I have lots of vacation days coming up, I feel a rush of bravery coming on!
  • yes - proofing box is key to getting the yeast activated for the first time, and also great for cutting proofing times in half when you do finally get to mix and bake. Try to find the big-sized styrofoam coolers - I got mine at Ace Hardware. You can get a light bulb socket with its own plug at Home Depot (it comes with a metal hood) get a dimmer extension cord there as well and you're all set. I use foam weather stripping to secure the bulb socket over the hole in the top of the cooler, and the metal hood and bulb are on the inside. I also use my Redi-chek smoker thermometer on the inside of the box to ensure temp stays constant at 85. Works great.
  • I really appreciate the info, it is invaluable. I'll be heading to Home Depot tomorrow. Hope you don't mind me bugging you in the future over this, cause it certainly looks like you have the process down. Thanks Joe!
  • GunnarGunnar Posts: 2,305
    Great looking pies...I'm convinced it's all in the dough. Toppings are the easy part.
    LBGE      Katy (Houston) TX
  • not a problem - any time. Check out Jeff Varasano's pizza recipe page as he has fairly in-depth instructions on how to put it all together using a sourdough starter. I use the 5 pie setup (850g flour, 550g water, but actually use about 15-20% of the water weight in starter culture), and I'm 2 for 2 in successful pizza bakes. He also has some nice tips on using sauce, making your own cheese, using fresh tomatoes, etc. Good luck!
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    Absolutely wonderful looking pies..
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