Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Neapolitan Pizza Continued: Leopard Spotting

Fontina and Oregano

Last week, while the skillet-broiler method for Neapolitan pizza making showed a lot of promise, we had trouble with the lack of oven spring inherent in that methodology when using my typical dough from the freezer. So on Friday, I put together a batch of dough following Kenji's instructions (including Italian 00 flour)... the basic difference being that my usual dough (Reinhart's) is wetter and made with some olive oil, ice water, and cold flour. While the wetter dough should create an airier crumb, the ice cold water and flour is going to retard the cold ferment relative to Kenji's dough... not to mention that he spikes his with sugar, which will fire those yeasties up, while the oil in Reinhart's recipe is going to inhibit gluten formation a bit... so it wasn't really surprising to see that Kenji's dough had a stronger rise in the fridge than I'm used to seeing. They also easily doubled in size in the two hours prior to baking, so the yeast was still quite active three days in.

We made two pizzas... a fontina, oregano, and parmesan pie with recipe here... and Anna's creation: a squash, blue cheese, Parmesan, caramelized onions, spinach, and sage pizza. Maybe a little too much going on in that last one, in retrospect... but it's tasty... definitely try squash and blue cheese together on a pizza sometime if you haven't.

In the end, it worked great... but I'm a little disappointed that it looks like the freezing is the culprit for the poor performance of our regular dough. Perhaps not using olive oil and spiking with sugar would help, but I'm pretty sure you need the fat if you're going to freeze it... though I'm not positive. Also, cleaning the burnt flour off the bottom of my pan is still not fun... maybe semolina or corn meal to dust the hot pan is the answer here? We have four more pizzas to make this week, so I'll try my hand at shaping finally and report back.