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TasunkaWitko's Pizza Napoli

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    Posted: 12 December 2010 at 12:09
Thanks to TasunkaWitko's generosity, I now have 9 volumes of the Time-Life series Foods Of The World. His initial posting of Pizza Napoli that he made from the volume titled The Cooking Of Italy is a gem of a post, chock full of pictures, tips and techniques on how he duplicated the wonderful recipe in the book. Ever since he posted that, I've been promising myself to make it, yet have let too many things get in the way....no longer~ Today is the day for Pizza Napoli at the Rivet's!

The plan is to make two of them, one an all veggie style for Mrs Rivet, and a plain acciughe e polpo for me (anchovy and octopus).

Here's the goods, and as per Tas'~ recommendation, I used a can of room temp, flat beer to proof the yeast in. Plus, a dollop of honey in the liquid, which I followed to the letter. Definitely great tips, more on that later....



Made the dough as per his recipe (I'll put the ingredients at the bottom of this post), put it in an oiled bowl into an oven (turned off, just the light on) to rise for two hours.



Meanwhile...the sauce. Although the home made sauce from the book sounds delicious and certainly authentic, we happened to have just as good here at the hacienda. This past summer Mrs Rivet canned all kinds of goodies from our vegetable garden, one of which was a basic Italian-style chunky vegetable mix. Cherokee Purple tomatoes, Marconi bell peppers, onion, garlic and a touch of basil. This of course needed to be puree'd for the sauce.



Knowing it would be too thin for a proper pizza sauce, I added about 3 or 4 tablespoons of tomato paste, and that did the trick beautifully. Deepened the color and made the sauce just the right consistency!



Here's the toppings that are going to go on the pizzas.



About 40 minutes into the rising, I took a peek into the oven through the window. WOW! Shocked the dough had already doubled and was hanging off the bowl! Hug It was huge!

Ron's recommendations certainly worked well, that beer and dollop of honey sure supercharged them yeasties and they are rolling right along! So, I did what I could only do....I pulled out the bowl, gently punched down the dough to degass it, doubled it over twice and put it back in to rise. I have no doubt it will easily double again, but that should bring us closer to the 2 hour mark! This is looking to be a great pizza so far!!

Here's the ingredients for the dough:

2 pkgs yeast
1 can room temp, flat beer
1 generous dollop of honey
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
A couple tablespoons of warm water as needed to make the dough the right consistency during kneading, if necessary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2010 at 14:40
looks and sounds like things are going really good, john ~ the whole can of beer might be just a bit too much (recipe calls for 1 & 1/4 cups of liquid, which would be 10 ounces), but no big deal. as you kow, you can make that up with a little extra flour. everything is looking copacetic, as they say!
 
never heard of or saw canned octopus before - how is it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2010 at 16:04
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

looks and sounds like things are going really good, john ~ the whole can of beer might be just a bit too much (recipe calls for 1 & 1/4 cups of liquid, which would be 10 ounces), but no big deal. as you kow, you can make that up with a little extra flour. everything is looking copacetic, as they say!

never heard of or saw canned octopus before - how is it?


No worries on the liquids, I just cut down on the water needed. Once you've made enough breads, one can tell the right consistency the dough needs to be. I never measure anything and it comes out right, and this time this dough was the best pizza crust we have ever tasted, hands down! Even better than the foccaccia doughs and any using biga. More later on that.

The canned octopus is delicious- if you like squid and octopus. It is seafood and tastes like it. The texture is a combination between clams and oysters. I think it is delicious and since we can't get it fresh here, I have to settle for canned. If you like the briny taste of crab, clams, scallops, fish etcetera, you will love squid and octopus. Since you like anchovies, I think you'd love octopus. Its big meaty chunks.

After two hours, here's a pic of the dough. As you can see it is huge, well more than doubled! It was a third bigger than this when I pulled it out and degassed it! Ron, your tips on the dough ingredients were perfect~



As you recommended, I preheated the oven to 450F and placed one baking stone above where the pizza would go and got them both preheated. We discussed 425 - 450 F for heat, but with the addition of the extra stone mass, and thick pizza crust, I figured 450 would be what I wanted. Turned out fine. But...no two ovens are the same, so you have to take your particular oven's heat performance into account.



Okay, so I tried and I tried to make the crust the Italian way with just my hands and once again failed. I had to end up using a rolling pin to get it stretched out properly and give it some circular shape. I didn't lose any dough to the ceiling, wall or floor, but came close, so I just turned to the crutch of the rolling pin. No worries, one day I will get it down, and as good as this dough came out, I will be practicing much more often! Mrs Rivet prefers her pizza heavy on the sauce, light on the cheese....so here we go-



All veggie was her choice so we got green pepper, black olive, mushroom and onion with a very light sprinkling of mozz and parm-



Into the oven it went. Now, taking Ron's recommendation and version into account, this time I did not use corn meal on the bottom of the stone, instead sprinkling kosher salt. Just be careful as the salt does add a lot of flavor and of course, saltiness, to the bottom of the crust. It came out fine, but I can imagine it would be too easy to overdo it, as opposed to cornmeal which you can just brush off.

I did not capture the time it took to bake. I went by sight only and after the proper time it came out perfect. In the excitement of such a lovely pizza and wonderful smell that filled the kitchen I didn't get a completed-pie shot of this one (but I did the next). here's the pic of the sliced pizza, showing off the beautifully formed crust with the steam still coming off-



The next one in was my anchovy and octopus one. I like more cheese and less sauce, so here's what it looked like before I buried the seafood under the final cheese!



I remembered to take a finished picture of this baby, and what a beauty it turned out to be! The crust was thick and fluffy, chewy and just as we like it Of course there was a mess of volcanic cheese lava-like in the center until it cooled enough to eat!



Hands down, TasunkaWitko's beer/honey/Napoli Pizza Dough recipe is the best by far.... and no hyperbole in saying it was far better than the chain delivery joints. The only thing they have going for them are the 600 degree F Vulcan pizza ovens. This dough would put their's to shame any day as-is, and if made in their ovens, there would be no contest. The dough was chewy, had nice air holes from the fizzy, gassy, excited yeaties, a nice slightly salty tang from using the kosher salt underneath, and the technique of using a second stone to radiate heat downward back onto the baking pizza was a shot of brilliance! Thanks, Ron...you sure have passed on some important information that has taken home-making pizza to the next level.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 December 2010 at 03:57
What a great idea with the extra pizza stone! I don't have an extra stone, but I'll bet an inverted sheet pan might function much in the same way.

That seafood pizza looks do die for John! Perfectly browned up and looking ooey-gooey delicious! I am definitely going to have to give Tas's dough a shot.
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 December 2010 at 17:07
One thing I do which helps to get a chewy crust is along with using bread flour I add a couple of tablespoons of gluten.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 December 2010 at 11:18
hey, john - that's a beautiful pair of pizzas there, and i am pretty sure that your method was sound. judging by the look of the crusts, you showed the dough who is the boss, and that's what its about!
 
also glad that some of my tips were helpful. only one i think i need to clarify is that the cornmeal/coarse salt/flour should good go on the pizza peel so as to help the pie slide - not onto the stone, where cornmeal or flour would burn badly - although a little coarse salt on the stone would definitely add flavour and an interesting dimension!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 December 2010 at 11:23
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

hey, john - that's a beauitfil pair of pizzas there, and i am pretty sure that your method was sound. judging by the look of the crusts, you showed the dough who is the boss, and that's what its about!
 
also glad that some of my tips were helpful. only one i think i need to clarify is that the cornmeal/coarse salt/flour should good go on the pizza peel so as to help the pie slide - not onto the stone, where cornmeal or flour would burn badly - although a little coarse salt on the stone would definitely add flavour and an interesting dimension!
 
Thanks, and yes your tips helped a lot. One thing I learned is that there is no adequate substitue for a proper pizza peel which is now on my Santa list.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 December 2010 at 11:25
yep - mine broke this fall, and i need to find another one?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 December 2010 at 17:44
I don't know if it's the best deal or not, but they have several choices here
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2018 at 15:23
Originally posted by Hoser Hoser wrote:

I don't know if it's the best deal or not, but they have several choices here


Over SEVEN years later, I am finally ordering one!
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