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Chez Panisse / Neapolitan "Pizza"

Chez Panisse / Neapolitan "Pizza"
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  • Chez Panisse / Neapolitan "Pizza"

    Post #1 - April 21st, 2006, 12:18 pm
    Post #1 - April 21st, 2006, 12:18 pm Post #1 - April 21st, 2006, 12:18 pm
    The LTH Pizza Wars (aka Chicago Pizza: Is it pizza? Is it food?) has motivated me to make for lunch today a 100% pure-bred Neapolitan crust (fully VPN/D.O.C.) compliant) with an Alice Waters topping from her Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza Calzone cookbook from 1984. The topping is duck confit (from Ruhlman/Polcyn) with red and white pearl onions that have been glazed in confit juice/fat.

    The photo below was taken before it was garnished with some chopped parsley and the rim brushed with a dab of confit juice.

    Call it what you want. Actually, you can call it "gone"

    Image

    Bill/SFNM
    Last edited by Bill/SFNM on August 10th, 2006, 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - April 21st, 2006, 12:46 pm
    Post #2 - April 21st, 2006, 12:46 pm Post #2 - April 21st, 2006, 12:46 pm
    Isn't it a 16/th of an inch too tall to be pizza?

    Seriously, you are the Pope of New Mexico.
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  • Post #3 - April 22nd, 2006, 10:26 am
    Post #3 - April 22nd, 2006, 10:26 am Post #3 - April 22nd, 2006, 10:26 am
    Bill,

    Your picture makes me happy. A beautiful pizza, as always.

    I've been experimenting with Greek ingredients for toppings of late beyond the ones I posted on last month, though the favourite among those remains the onion/dill/graviera combination I described in that post:
    Image
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=68818#68818

    That crust was Neapolitan style (though not with any special flour) and turned out to be very good but relatively difficult to work... Not sure what the problem was, but of course, there are many variables...

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #4 - April 24th, 2006, 12:03 pm
    Post #4 - April 24th, 2006, 12:03 pm Post #4 - April 24th, 2006, 12:03 pm
    Antonius wrote:That crust was Neapolitan style (though not with any special flour) and turned out to be very good but relatively difficult to work... Not sure what the problem was, but of course, there are many variables...


    Antonius,

    Beautiful pie!

    In what way was the dough difficult to work with? The way the water is absorbed by the flour is a major factor. Lately, I've adopted a few tips from the pros that have resulted in a more supple and workable dough:

    1. Add the flour to water, not the water to the flour.
    2. When adding the flour to the water, start with 75% of the flour. Make sure it is well combined and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes.
    3. While kneading, gradually add the remaining 25% of the flour.
    4. After kneading allow the dough to rest for about 20 minutes. Then give it a very brief kneading.

    These steps really do make a difference over just dumping all of the ingredients together.


    Hope this helps.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #5 - April 24th, 2006, 1:39 pm
    Post #5 - April 24th, 2006, 1:39 pm Post #5 - April 24th, 2006, 1:39 pm
    Bill,

    Thanks! And many thanks for the advice as well. Adding the flour to the water is something I learned from Frank at the bakery but the scale of the process there makes things seem so different (even though ultimately they aren't). Anyway, I'll follow the other steps you suggest with care and will report back.

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #6 - April 25th, 2006, 7:07 pm
    Post #6 - April 25th, 2006, 7:07 pm Post #6 - April 25th, 2006, 7:07 pm
    Well, despite my infidel status I was inspired by all this-- not to the point of tracking down Caputo 00 flour just yet, or of not making my dough in my Kitchenaid, but I was inspired enough to try to make some pizzas that wouldn't get me thrown out of Naples.

    This first one was actually inspired by an offhand comment from G Wiv about a pizza that Pigmon and Trixie-Pea had apparently just had in New York. I won't spoil the precise nature of what they had but the second-hand comment did suggest an underlying combination-- taleggio cheese and white truffle oil-- and so I hunted up a recipe for that online from Food and Wine. I didn't actually make the complete recipe, but took away from that the additional ingredient of caramelized onion. Here it is before:

    Image

    And after. This was fantastic, it really was. Lightly stinky cheese, the ethereal perfuming of everything (the whole room, actually) by the truffle oil... just totally wonderful, if I do say so myself.

    Image

    At Trader Joe's I spotted, for the first time that I've seen it anyway, this water buffalo mozzarella. At about $6 that puts it $2-3 less than the overpriced stuff at Whole Foods, and it's as good as any other packaged bufala I've bought, even if it also reminds me that someday, I've got to get back to Follia for theirs (made from the water buffalo they keep in the back of the restaurant).

    Image

    So, a la Spacca Napoli, I tried draining it, then putting it on a pizza with tomato and basil. Lot of water on this pizza by the end, with the tomatoes as well as the mozz., but it worked out just fine too.

    Image

    Incidentally, I got the Taleggio at The Cheese Stands Alone, and of course I couldn't just buy one cheese, and so he sold me a blue which is really wonderful, creamy yellow in color, not over-salty as they often are, I promptly forgot what or where from and so on but I'd highly recommend checking it out, best blue I've had since my last time in France now... dang... eight years ago.
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  • Post #7 - April 25th, 2006, 8:05 pm
    Post #7 - April 25th, 2006, 8:05 pm Post #7 - April 25th, 2006, 8:05 pm
    HI,

    I understand completely your desire to experiment.

    On Good Friday I made two pounds of pizza dough, which I made into 4 Spacca Napoli sized pizzas over two days. Several days before, while most of my community was settling down to Passover dinner, I was at my maiden visit to Spacca Napoli. I had finally tried the Bufalina (tomatoes, Mozzarella di Bufala, Basil, Olive Oil) pizze, which I found to be quite wonderful.

    A few weeks earlier I had bought Buffalo milk mozzarella made in Italy at Tenuta's in Kenosha. I think I paid $6.99 for roughly 7 ounces. While it was initially intended for a Caprese salad, it was diverted to a pizza instead. While I did not have any basil at home, I use a few ice cube sized pieces of basil pesto made last summer. I spooned on the tomato sauce thinly, then added the defrosted pesto in spots all over the pizza. I did not think to drain the mozzarella in advance, which lent to a pretty wet pizza because I wasn't going to wait. I didn't use my pizza stone, because I wasn't inclined to wait for it to heat either. Instead I used Bob S trick of parchment paper directly on the grid. My family and I enjoyed the silkly creaminess of the buffalo milk mozzarella.

    While we were eating the above pizza, a second pizza of tomato sauce, Costco fresh mozzarella and Greek kalamata olives baked in the oven. I used a trick I learned from a friend to stone the olives: press down on the olive causing it to split releasing the stone. Maybe not the prettiest olive, though quick and done! Again, this was another well received pizza though the back to back mozzarella tasting did lean toward the Buffalo milk as the preferred ingredient.

    To further the lemming effect, I have had as my bed time reading just recently the Chez Panisse Pizza, Calzone and whatever cookbook. Who said you need to have original ideas, when there are so many great ones to copy here?

    Mike - great, great pizzas. Better looking than mine ... by the way the Chez Panisse recipe for pizza dough has rye flour in it. I might borrow some of the combinations, though I am not yet up to rye flour in my pizza dough.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #8 - April 25th, 2006, 11:17 pm
    Post #8 - April 25th, 2006, 11:17 pm Post #8 - April 25th, 2006, 11:17 pm
    Mike,

    Pizza looks great, very delicious. Last pizza I made was spur of the moment while visiting my parents in Florida. I was at King's, an upscale grocery in Boca Raton, and they had fresh pizza dough, so I picked up a few ingredients to make pizza and MAG's recipe of Sambuca Marinated Shrimp on the grill. Unfortunately their gas grill picked that very moment to break, so I had to use the oven.

    I started by roasting cherry tomato, garlic and onion with a little olive oil and s/p. Patted out the dough, little of the roasted veggie mix, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary. You can't really tell, but since I didn't have a pizza stone, I wanted to get the pizza as high in the oven as possible, heat rises, so I inverted the broiler pan for an extra inch or two.

    Image
    Image
    Image

    I also made a recipe of MAG's, Sambuca Marinated Grilled Shrimp, super easy with a huge flavor payoff. It's best on a grill, though it was still darn edible broiled.

    Image
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    King's Gourmet Market
    1900 N Military TRL
    Boca Raton, FL 33431
    561-368-2600
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - August 10th, 2006, 4:42 pm
    Post #9 - August 10th, 2006, 4:42 pm Post #9 - August 10th, 2006, 4:42 pm
    Here's the one I made Tues night with farmer's market tomatoes, basil from my garden and fresh mozz from Costco:

    Image
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #10 - August 10th, 2006, 8:13 pm
    Post #10 - August 10th, 2006, 8:13 pm Post #10 - August 10th, 2006, 8:13 pm
    You clearly like basil! I aim for a small leaf per slice for Genovese basil and less than half a leaf per slice for the much stronger Neapolitan basil.

    How did it taste? What brand of fresh mozz were they selling at Costco?

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #11 - August 10th, 2006, 8:34 pm
    Post #11 - August 10th, 2006, 8:34 pm Post #11 - August 10th, 2006, 8:34 pm
    While investigating the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana website tonight, I ran across an english language document entitled Proposal of recognition of the Specialita' Traditionale Garantita "Pizza Napoletana".
    It contains very precise specifications for the ingredients and processes used in making Pizza Napoletana and some great historical backgound as well. It details everything from the moisture content of the flour to the proper motion for spreading the sauce. Now all I need is an oven with a cooking surface at 905 degrees.
    The Pizza Napoletana should be consumed immediately, straight out of the oven, at the pizzeria. If the pizza were removed from the pizzeria to be eaten later, it would not longer carry the mark of a true"Pizza Napoletana"
  • Post #12 - September 18th, 2006, 5:47 pm
    Post #12 - September 18th, 2006, 5:47 pm Post #12 - September 18th, 2006, 5:47 pm
    Caputo "00" Flour was one of those things I'd figured I'd just have to wait for until the day came that someone started importing it in consumer-sized packages; I'd been meaning to order some of Bill SFNM's recommended Giusto, but hadn't gotten around to it; then I happened to go into Fox & Obel on Saturday and what to my wondering eyes did appear but...

    Image

    Bakes like Italian 00 Flour. Well, even if that was only half true, it was worth checking out. (The semolina I bought because I actually tried making my own pasta the other day, using a pasta machine my sister had bought me many Christmases ago which had sat shamefully unused on a lower shelf for years; what I made probably wasn't very good, but it was good enough to make me want to make better. I'm sure posts on that will be forthcoming soon enough.)

    This morning I decided to give it a shot. Inexplicably, I forgot until too late that pizza-macher Mark Bello had sent me his pizza-making instructions, and instead turned to the next logical place-- the Chez Panisse book on pizza and pasta (mostly the latter, but it has some good, more-logical-than-froufrou California style pizzas, her restraint in not going too far from classical Mediterranean ingredients is admirable).

    For all the natural ingredients that book is filled with, one thing she doesn't anticipate the reader having is 00 flour, so I wasn't sure if her instructions included any accommodations to that fact. As it was, she deviates from the Neapolitan ideal in a couple of striking ways-- rye flour (which I didn't have) in the initial yeast-proofing phase, and not just a couple of tablespoons of olive oil but one Tbsp. of milk as well.

    Partly for those reasons, it was a beautiful, silky dough, a real pleasure to knead. I use the Kitchenaid on pizza dough much of the time-- partly because of time as I'm whipping it up, partly because pizza doesn't seem quite as much worth the effort as a loaf of bread (so sue me, but it's true, it's going to have lots of other flavors and textures that the bread won't)-- but this was worthy of taking the time and expending the ergs on:

    Image

    I rolled it out, let it rise for a bit, heated up my pizza stone, made a Hawaiian pizza for the kids, very authentic Neapolitan I know, then did up one with all my end of summer season faves-- tomatoes from Green City, genovese basil, and the bufala mozzarella from Trader Joe's:

    Image

    Was it Spacca Napoli at home? Well, no, I don't have Spacca Napoli's oven, or Bill SFNM's either. But it was quite good-- light and a little spongy, a clean taste and easy to chew. I wish it had some of a woodburning oven's burnt edges but it just doesn't. Still, it was good enough to draw this praise from Myles: "It's like I'm a lion and this is my prey, it's that good."
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  • Post #13 - September 18th, 2006, 6:09 pm
    Post #13 - September 18th, 2006, 6:09 pm Post #13 - September 18th, 2006, 6:09 pm
    That looks pretty good, but, my friend, you are just getting started. The force is strong in this one ...
    JiLS
  • Post #14 - September 18th, 2006, 6:37 pm
    Post #14 - September 18th, 2006, 6:37 pm Post #14 - September 18th, 2006, 6:37 pm
    Mike G wrote:Still, it was good enough to draw this praise from Myles: "It's like I'm a lion and this is my prey, it's that good."

    Mike,

    High praise indeed. Pizza looks terrific.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - September 18th, 2006, 6:50 pm
    Post #15 - September 18th, 2006, 6:50 pm Post #15 - September 18th, 2006, 6:50 pm
    JimInLoganSquare wrote:That looks pretty good, but, my friend, you are just getting started.


    Wow.

    Guess I know what I'll be working on tomorrow.
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  • Post #16 - September 18th, 2006, 6:52 pm
    Post #16 - September 18th, 2006, 6:52 pm Post #16 - September 18th, 2006, 6:52 pm
    Mike,

    Nice looking pie! For true Neapolitan pies, oil, milk, and sugar are "compromises". The oil will keep the dough softer during the longer cooking times of the kitchen oven and the milk and sugar will help with the browning needed due to the lower heat of the kitchen oven

    "Caputo 00 Pizzeria" flour and it's brethren are really not the best for the kitchen oven - they thrive in highly hydrated doughs cooked at super hot temps. Pizzas cooked in kitchen ovens with these flours can be pale and hard.

    There are folks without brick ovens who manage to get high temps using grills and other tricks. Jeff Varasano, whose site is linked to above by JILs disables his oven's self cleaning interlock so he can bake at high temp - not something I would recommend.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #17 - September 19th, 2006, 3:13 pm
    Post #17 - September 19th, 2006, 3:13 pm Post #17 - September 19th, 2006, 3:13 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:You clearly like basil! I aim for a small leaf per slice for Genovese basil and less than half a leaf per slice for the much stronger Neapolitan basil.
    How did it taste? What brand of fresh mozz were they selling at Costco?


    Sorry for the late reply, I didn't even see this until today!

    Costco near me has had 3 brands of fresh mozzarella - one that I only saw once claimed to be authentic "di Bufala" and neglected to buy. The one I used is Belgioso, the other one is a marinated mozzarella that I like for mixing up with chopped tomatoes for a lazy bruschetta.

    I do like Basil! And I was trying to get the picture with the basil melting and turning black because I put it on too soon!
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #18 - September 19th, 2006, 4:29 pm
    Post #18 - September 19th, 2006, 4:29 pm Post #18 - September 19th, 2006, 4:29 pm
    Coincidentally I was at Costco today and this time they had the bufala which I had not seen there before, only the cow mozzarellas Leek describes.

    Image

    Fattorie Garofolo is the name, three balls in a tub for $9.99 which is an improvement on one ball for $5.69 at Trader Joe's. Does it taste as good? I'll let you know in a little while.
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  • Post #19 - September 19th, 2006, 5:32 pm
    Post #19 - September 19th, 2006, 5:32 pm Post #19 - September 19th, 2006, 5:32 pm
    Aha! I knew I hadn't imagined it!

    Found these:
    http://www.fattoriegarofalo.it/
    http://www.lifeinitaly.com/food/review/ ... &pageNum=1

    Lee
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #20 - September 19th, 2006, 5:53 pm
    Post #20 - September 19th, 2006, 5:53 pm Post #20 - September 19th, 2006, 5:53 pm
    Okay, just had it with a few tomatoes picked up this morning and the last of my genovese basil.

    It's actually four balls in the container, which makes it half the price of the Trader Joe's (ball might be slightly smaller, but only slightly). Texture is basically identical to the other bufalas-- discernable skin, creamy inside, unlike cow mozzarella which has a pretty consistent texture throughout.

    Flavor? Not as tangy as the Trader Joe's or the Isola. Seemed no more than cottage cheese at first, improved once it was salted, that helped draw out what flavor it had.

    I think Trader Joe's would still be my first pick for a salad where I wanted the cheese to stand out (but didn't want to pay through the nose for the privilege), but I could definitely see using these for pizza and it's still a noticeable improvement for caprese salad over cow mozzarella.

    Oh, and Bill, thanks for the additional info on 00 flour. It was definitely pale the way it came out. I think I might try mixing it with another flour, see if I find a blend I like, or continue to experiment in other ways....
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
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  • Post #21 - May 8th, 2007, 9:59 pm
    Post #21 - May 8th, 2007, 9:59 pm Post #21 - May 8th, 2007, 9:59 pm
    Image
    Another onion, taleggio and truffle oil/honey pizza. But it looked so pretty in the light, I had to take its picture.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #22 - May 9th, 2007, 6:47 am
    Post #22 - May 9th, 2007, 6:47 am Post #22 - May 9th, 2007, 6:47 am
    I'm inspired, I think I need to make pizza for dinner tonight :)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #23 - May 9th, 2007, 7:03 am
    Post #23 - May 9th, 2007, 7:03 am Post #23 - May 9th, 2007, 7:03 am
    Mike G wrote:Another onion, taleggio and truffle oil/honey pizza. But it looked so pretty in the light, I had to take its picture.

    Very pretty, though I'd have liked to see a Bill/SFNM The Last Bite® photo as well. :)
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - May 9th, 2007, 3:58 pm
    Post #24 - May 9th, 2007, 3:58 pm Post #24 - May 9th, 2007, 3:58 pm
    Well, not nearly as exotic, but here's a pizza dough recipe I got from Tony Mantuano at a cooking lesson at Spiagga years ago:

    4 C Flour
    2 oz Whole Wheat flour
    1/4 oz Yeast
    3/4 oz Olive oli
    1/2 to 1 quart water (depending on humidity)
    1/4 oz salt
    1/4 oz honey

    Proof yeast in a little warm water with honey and oil
    Put dry ingredients in KA bowl with dough hook. Run to mix
    Add yeast mixture, mix, then add water to get smooth, soft, elastic dough. (His description)
    Proof room temp 1 to 2 hours
    Knock down, refrigerate.
    Makes two pounds dough.

    This makes a really nice, thin cracker-type crust. (I just don't care for deep-dish, except Giordano's spinach pizza.)
    Suburban gourmand

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