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Pizza e pasta casalinga: Home-made pizza and pasta

Pizza e pasta casalinga: Home-made pizza and pasta
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  • Pizza e pasta casalinga: Home-made pizza and pasta

    Post #1 - March 28th, 2005, 8:45 am
    Post #1 - March 28th, 2005, 8:45 am Post #1 - March 28th, 2005, 8:45 am
    Pizza e pasta casalinga :
    Home-made pizza and pasta



    ‘A pizzë: bread with a little stuff on it.
    Good Friday is, of course, a day of fasting and for many Campanians a light evening meal of pizza –– and in particular pizza dressed with escarole –– was and still is traditional. Back when fasting was observed very strictly, not only was meat avoided on such days but all animal products, i.e., cheese and butter, as well, and traditionally escarole pies were dressed with pine nuts, anchovies and raisins, to add some complexity to the simple combination of bread (often made with potatoes in the dough) and greens.

    On Good Friday this year, we didn’t follow the strict approach to fasting and just avoided meat and made two pizzas, both with cheese. Herebelow apprentice pizzaiuolo Lucantonius shows off his freshly made “red pie,” la pizza Margherita:

    Image

    A more subdued enthusiasm is displayed by the young pizza-man for the “green pie,” la pizza di broccoli di rape:

    Image

    The pizza Margherita (pomodori pelati, fresh fior di latte, fresh basil, olive oil and a touch of grated parmesan) was cooked on a pizza stone and did not disappoint:

    Image

    Since there was but one pizza stone available and both pizzas needed to appear at table at about the same time, the “green pie” (broccoli di rape cooked with garlic and red chile, feta, freshly grated 'ncanestratu and a more liberal sprinkling of olive oil) was cooked on a pan; it was according to all present nonetheless a delicious way to fast:

    Image


    ‘A pastë: the other staff of life.

    On Easter Sunday morning we made a fairly large batch of fresh Southern Italian non-egg pasta (semola, sale, acqua e basta):

    Image

    In order to maintain strength during the completion of this arduous task, a little glass of wine (or two) was needed:

    Image

    One of the shapes made can be seen here; in honour of the Hungryrabbi, I proposed that we call them “trezzë ‘e tabaccö,” ‘tresses of tobacco’. They were made with very thinly rolled dough and had the lovely silky texture that only comes by dint of making pasta by hand:

    Image

    We had some of these trezzë ‘e tabaccö for lunch, dressed with a mixture of butter and olive oil, minced thickly-sliced prosciutto di Parma, a little sage and minced parsley, finished with lots of freshly grated parmigiano. They were so good that Lucantonius demanded that we have them again for dinner and the next day for breakfast.

    Saluti agli amici,
    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 #2 - March 28th, 2005, 1:24 pm
    Post #2 - March 28th, 2005, 1:24 pm Post #2 - March 28th, 2005, 1:24 pm
    Antonius,

    WOW--your pizzas look amazing, especially the broccoli di rape pie. Do you accept carry out orders? :wink: Seriously...

    A couple of questions--What type of cheese is 'ncanestratu? And how did you prepare the broccoli di rape before you placed it on the pizza?

    Thanks,

    trixie-pea
  • Post #3 - March 28th, 2005, 2:15 pm
    Post #3 - March 28th, 2005, 2:15 pm Post #3 - March 28th, 2005, 2:15 pm
    Trixie-pea:

    'Ncanestratu is a sheep's milk grating cheese from Sicily that is similar to but a bit sharper than pecorino romano; I got an especially beautiful piece, freshly cut from the massive wheel, a few weeks ago at Graziano's on Randolph (link).

    The broccoli di rape I cooked in the basic way I described in detail for greens Italian style (link) in a thread on bucatini alla matriciana. The short version is: fry garlic in olive oil with a dose of crushed red chile; when the garlic is turning gold, through in the washed and still wet greens into the pan (beware of spattering oil!); add some salt, mix the greens with the oil and garlic and chile; turn down the heat and cover.

    Due to a shortage in staffing (Lucantonius is too young to get his driver's license yet), delivery is not possible at this time, but carry-out we can do. :wink:

    :D
    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 - March 28th, 2005, 2:18 pm
    Post #4 - March 28th, 2005, 2:18 pm Post #4 - March 28th, 2005, 2:18 pm
    Yes, the pizzas look great. Care to share your crust recipe, A?

    I'd be interested in a discussion about making pizza crust. Lately I've been experimenting with crust that includes corn meal cooked on a stone that results in a nice crispy texture. However, I'm still searching for one that reminds me of the pizza I'd regularly devour on "The Hill" in St. Louis (a wonderful Italian neighborhood) - crackerish-thin and rectangular.

    I imagine for this I'll have to begin with pre-heating my 80 year old brick oven... which, of course, I don't happen to have laying around.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #5 - March 28th, 2005, 3:02 pm
    Post #5 - March 28th, 2005, 3:02 pm Post #5 - March 28th, 2005, 3:02 pm
    They are beautiful. I see you used all-purpose flour. Do you have thoughts on why all purpose is more appropriate than bread flour (if that's why you used it as opposed to it's what you had on the shelf)? And have you ever tried the pizza flour--obviously not packaged for import but imported from Italy anyway-- that's such a bargain at Caputo's Cheese? I have to say that my crusts improved substantially with the specialized flour.
    The pasta is gorgeous as well. Lucantonius is a lucky fellow--and it looks like he knows it!
  • Post #6 - March 28th, 2005, 3:36 pm
    Post #6 - March 28th, 2005, 3:36 pm Post #6 - March 28th, 2005, 3:36 pm
    Is the use of fior di latte a personal preference, or just what you had available? In either case, would you recommend it over, say, scamorza or a fresh mozzarella in this application?
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #7 - March 29th, 2005, 11:14 am
    Post #7 - March 29th, 2005, 11:14 am Post #7 - March 29th, 2005, 11:14 am
    gleam wrote:Is the use of fior di latte a personal preference, or just what you had available? In either case, would you recommend it over, say, scamorza or a fresh mozzarella in this application?


    Fresh fior di latte is fresh mozzarella from cow's milk as opposed to mozzarella di bufala from, naturally, water bufalo's milk. As lovely as they look, I believe this keep's Antonius' pizzas from being strictly DOC. I've informed the agents of the Associazione della Vera Pizza Napoletana. You can expect the camorra to drop a bovine head under the covers any day now.

    Now for the flour question. Italian pasta flour - often labelled as "00," referring to a lower level of gluten - is closest to American unbleached all-purpose flour. "00" seems a little looser and less elastic so the amount of water needed will vary a bit - i.e. you generally need more water with all-purpose, less with "00." Now, "00" doesn't mean the flour has no protein. The protein content of "00" flour varies. I know from experience that King Arthur's is 7%. It's worth checking because the dough will behave differently. Some brands toss around the terms "00," "Pizza Flour," and "Pasta Flour" interchangeably. Most likely, this is because American's don't know what "00" means so brands started saying "this is for your Pasta." They then realized that American's are unlikely to hand make pasta so they started saying "this is for your Pizza." If flour is markeed as Pizza or Pasta flour (or "00" for that matter), you really have to check the gluten content. "Pizza flour" is, for reasons mentioned below, an ambiguous term since some pizza styles call for low-gluten flour and others call for high-gluten flour. UGH! Caputo's, by the way, is 11.5% - 12.5%; basically, bread flour. King Arthur's bread flour, by way of comparison, is 12.7%. As you will see below, Caputo's is appropriate for and American style pizza (Chicago or New York) but not so much for a Roman style and definitely not for pizza Napoletana.

    For a Napoletana or Roman crust you would never use bread flour. It's simply not la vera pizza napoletana. High-gluten flour will make a tough crust unless you tenderize it with fat - strictly forbidden in "the true pizza." That said, a Roman crust might include a small amount of Semolina, a higher gluten wheat.

    Chicagoan's obviously don't mind straying from the path since Chicago style pizza uses high-gluten/bread flour and a good amount of fat from oil, shortening, and often milk. To be fair, the widely beloved NY pizza dough is usually made with high-gluten flour and a much smaller amount of fat, rarely, if ever, including milk.

    Ciao,

    rien
  • Post #8 - March 29th, 2005, 11:28 am
    Post #8 - March 29th, 2005, 11:28 am Post #8 - March 29th, 2005, 11:28 am
    Antonius wrote:the “green pie” (broccoli di rape cooked with garlic and red chile, feta, freshly grated 'ncanestratu and a more liberal sprinkling of olive oil)

    Antonious,

    You and your "green pie" owe me $500 for a new monitor and $4700 for dental work. I tried to take a bite out of the screen.
    <no :), pony up the dough>

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - March 29th, 2005, 11:39 am
    Post #9 - March 29th, 2005, 11:39 am Post #9 - March 29th, 2005, 11:39 am
    rien wrote:Fresh fior di latte is fresh mozzarella from cow's milk as opposed to mozzarella di bufala from, naturally, water bufalo's milk. As lovely as they look, I believe this keep's Antonius' pizzas from being strictly DOC. I've informed the agents of the Associazione della Vera Pizza Napoletana. You can expect the camorra to drop a bovine head under the covers any day now.


    Just so I'm clear, then, any cows milk cheese made in the same manner as mozzarella di bufala is, in fact, fior di latte?

    My understanding is that there is no distinction in italy, or at least wasn't until recently, and that use of the term "fior di latte" (as opposed to just plain mozzarella) is a recent one..

    All based on this page.

    # Mozzarella tradizionale (Traditional Mozzarella) - It is produced with cow milk. This appellation ensures the production process obeys norms of the European Union. The package must report the indication “Guaranteed traditional specialty”
    # Mozzarella o fior di latte - Product obtained with the same procedures allowed for the preceding types with cow milk only. There are two variants of this product: “magra” (lean), with a quantity of fats lower than 20%, and “leggera” (light), with a quantity of fats of 20-35%
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #10 - March 29th, 2005, 12:22 pm
    Post #10 - March 29th, 2005, 12:22 pm Post #10 - March 29th, 2005, 12:22 pm
    ChgoMike:

    I’ve become a little gun-shy when it comes to discussions of pizza, a topic which seems to cause passions to run inordinately high. So let me say up front: to each his own. If I use the words ‘better’ or ‘best’ here, they necessarily are intended to bring with them the qualifying phrase “to my taste.”

    In making pizza, my goal is to make something that approaches what is traditionally made in Naples and Campania and at Neapolitan-oriented, traditionally-minded bakeries, restaurants and pizzerias elsewhere in the world. That guiding principle can be summed up in my phrase used above and elsewhere on this board: pizza alla napoletana is “bread with a little stuff on it.” The crust is the main focus of the pizzaiolo and the key element of the pizza and as is almost always the case with Italian dishes, the recipe is absurdly simple: this pizza dough is just basic Italian bread dough, i.e., all purpose flour, yeast, salt, and water, mixed and allowed to rise properly (i.e., slowly). This sort of dough is the one that is now part of the DOC regulations for pizza in Naples. If you make your own Italian bread ever, then, just use your bread dough; otherwise follow a recipe for Italian bread from a good Italian cookbook or baking book. Another possibility is to buy raw dough from a baker whose bread you like; Amata and I make our own when we feel like enjoying the kitchen work and buy it when time is short and the focus is on the eating and not the making.

    To sum up, traditional Neapolitan pizza is made with simple bread dough which does not contain any shortening agent whatsoever (olive oil, butter, lard, etc.). In this regard, it should be noted that many recipes for pizza in books published in the States, even in a context of presenting traditional recipes, suggest adding a little olive oil to the dough. Here I’m thinking at the moment specifically of Carlo Middione’s fine book on southern Italian cooking, which contains an excellent recipe for Italian bread but then encourages addition of oil for pizza making. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, given the fact that Middione is from Buffalo and pizza dough with a touch of oil is ‘New York style’ and the norm in basic joints throughout New Netherland (i.e., New Jersey, New York, western Connecticut, eastern Pennsylvania).*

    You mention that you’re looking to find a way to make a crust that reminds you of what is common to the Hill in Saint Louis. Unfortunately, I am yet to have had a chance to visit Saint Louis, so I’m not sure what kind of crust they favour but it sounds from your brief description that it may be a take on the short variety which is the distinguishing feature of Chicago pizza and perhaps more broadly Midwestern pizza. What I make is not cracker like; cooked properly the outside rim (il cornicione) is a little thick, bread-like, which is to say, crispy on the outside and a little chewy on the inside (overcooked it gets tough), and the middle part, where the toppings reside, is soft and pliable but not completely limp (though I will probably never make pies so large in diameter that would be a problem). Getting the central part of the pie to be and stay intact and very thin (to a degree, the dough can contract on the way to and in the oven) is kind of tricky for most of us but one of those things that the accomplished pizzaiolo’s hands do effortlessly.

    You refer to the question of the oven and that is indeed a major limitation in making Neapolitan style pizza at home. Over the past few months I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about bread and dough and ovens and have been doing my best to learn some of the mysteries of bread from Frank Masi (I spent much of my ‘spring break’ at the bakery –– no tan, but the cornmeal in my shoe reminded me of sand). Without doubt, the traditional Neapolitan way of baking the pizza very quickly at very high heat (see the link in the footnote about Lombardi’s, whose oven is regularly at 900 degrees!) is the best way for that style but also something completely impossible for the home cook and even most pizzerias and bakeries. There are ways to compensate for the lack of supremely high heat but they can only go so far. Incidentally, I suspect using short dough for pizza may have started as such a compensatory measure, an idea I think my mezzo-paesano JeffB may have also suggested somewhere (Jeff, if I’m wrong and you disagree, I apologise), but to my taste the shortening alters too drastically the taste and texture of the dough. The use of a pan with thicker crust but made from unshortened bread dough, as is done at the top Italian bakeries in town such as Masi’s and D’Amato’s, works very nicely, thought the final product is different in character from the blast-oven version from a pizzeria.

    I find the pizza stone in a 500º oven gives a good result but no charred bits can be achieved without overcooking the toppings and the outer crust, rendering it tough. An oiled pan (used for the green pie above) works nicely too but cooks slightly slower than with the stone, I believe.


    ***

    Ann:

    I’ve never tried using the pizza flour you refer to but would like to check it out; next time I’m at Caputo’s I’ll look for it. Do you know how it’s different from the bread flour or all-purpose? I would guess it’s more like bread flour (so all hard wheat rather than the hard/soft mixture that all-purpose is). My research both reading and observing the master had left me with the impression that the difference in final product between all purpose and bread flour is not that great but I’ll follow your suggestion and try the imported pizza flour one of these days.


    ***

    Gleam:

    There is some terminological confusion with all the terms for the various related cheeses that commonly find their way onto pizzas. Basically, mozzarella is in the narrowest sense mozzarella di bufala, that is, buffalo milk cheese made by the pasta filata method. Traditionally, this stands in contrast to fior di latte, which is made from cow’s milk and can also be referred to as mozzarella di mucca. The aged , low-moisture, tangier versions of these cheeses are respectively provola, made with buffalo milk, and scamorza, made from cow’s milk. Terminological confusion arises in part here in the States as a result of sloppiness and commercial dishonesty but the above outline is how the terms have been used in Campania. Now, in Campania itself a certain terminological problem arises through the practice of making cheeses with mixtures of buffalo milk and cow’s milk. This practice stretches the very limited supply buffalo milk but is not just a question of that; the mixture produces a cheese with its own special quality which, to the palates of some natives of the mozzarella producing zones, is itself to be prized (not as bland as cow’s milk alone, not as strong as buffalo milk alone).

    As I’ve said elsewhere (in the long “Follia/Pizza/Mozzarella thread), here in the States mozzarella di bufala is very expensive, never supremely fresh (one of the quintessential characteristics of good mozzarella) and often more than a week old by the time of consumption. Given that, I prefer to spend my money on fresh, more or less locally made fior di latte, i.e. mozzarella di mucca, for a pizza Margherita. Scamorza and provola, especially with their lower content of moisture, make great melting cheeses and have a nice tang to boot; I use scamorza in preference to fresh mozzarella (i.e. fior di latte) on a few things and use it in place of fresh mozzarella if the need arises. Most commercial pizza makers use the industrially produced low-moisture mozzarella (which is texturally like scamorza but generally lacks the tang of a good scamorza made by a smaller scale operation.

    Antonius


    * At least some of the very best places back east follow the Neapolitan recipe without any fat added to the dough, such as the famous Lombardi’s on Spring Street in Manhattan (link), which is said to have been New York’s and, indeed, America’s first pizzeria.
    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 #11 - March 29th, 2005, 12:53 pm
    Post #11 - March 29th, 2005, 12:53 pm Post #11 - March 29th, 2005, 12:53 pm
    Antonius wrote:I’ve never tried using the pizza flour you refer to but would like to check it out; next time I’m at Caputo’s I’ll look for it. Do you know how it’s different from the bread flour or all-purpose? I would guess it’s more like bread flour (so all hard wheat rather than the hard/soft mixture that all-purpose is). My research both reading and observing the master had left me with the impression that the difference in final product between all purpose and bread flour is not that great but I’ll follow your suggestion and try the imported pizza flour one of these days.


    n.b.: the pizza flour sold at caputo cheese is type 0, not type 00, so is higher in protein, as rien notes.

    My understanding is the 00 flour sold by KA is more like 8.5% than 7%. Naturally I'm sure it varies a bit.

    I see a lot of pizza dough recipes, some calling for type 0, some for 00, some for a mix. San Pellegrino, that bastion of pizza making, recommends type 0 flour for their recipe.

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #12 - March 29th, 2005, 12:57 pm
    Post #12 - March 29th, 2005, 12:57 pm Post #12 - March 29th, 2005, 12:57 pm
    More pizza related notes*

    gleam wrote:Just so I'm clear, then, any cows milk cheese made in the same manner as mozzarella di bufala is, in fact, fior di latte?

    My understanding is that there is no distinction in italy, or at least wasn't until recently, and that use of the term "fior di latte" (as opposed to just plain mozzarella) is a recent one..

    All based on this page.


    Ed:

    Good page you linked to. I know Neapolitan pretty well and as your linked page says, in dialect the only term is mozzarella (first vowel pronounced as 'u') and the term 'fior di latte' is quite likely a modern invention from further north. But it's been use as long as I've been going to Italy (more than 25 years) and must have had a good chunk of history before that. In any event, given that the distinction di bufala/di mucca is important and the term fior di latte is around, lots of people use the latter to keep things straight. When you throw into the mix the nasty industrial cheeses associated with the name 'mozzarella' that are produced in this country, I think it all the more important to use the Italian terms when talking about more or less traditionally produced cheeses.

    Once upon a time in Campania, water buffalo were quite numerous and dairy cows weren't. Consequently, mozzarella was (as the legal use imitates) assumed to be di bufala. Once all cow's milk pasta filata cheeses started to be made and marketed on a grand and national scale, I suppose a term had to brought in to make the distinction. The page you linked to mentions Tuscany in this connexion and that may well be right, though I had always associated the term fior di latte and the rise of cow's milk mozzarella and ricotta in my mind with Emilia-Romagna and its big dairy industry (e.g., Parmalat).

    Antonius

    * While I was composing my long response to ChgoMike, Ann and Gleam, several posts were added to the thread without me being aware of them. Apologies for the degree to which my long response ignores those posts.
    Last edited by Antonius on March 29th, 2005, 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    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 #13 - March 29th, 2005, 12:59 pm
    Post #13 - March 29th, 2005, 12:59 pm Post #13 - March 29th, 2005, 12:59 pm
    Antonius, have you ever tried grilling pizza dough? Beyond getting the dough on the grill for the initial grill--it's a two step process, raw dough, grill, flip, toppings, grill--it is quite easy and approximates, in my limited experience, a very, very hot oven.

    Rob

    PS
    You know when I said grill, I was, of course, thinking of my charcoal grill, but I wonder if pizza can be made on a stove top using a cast iron grill.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #14 - March 29th, 2005, 1:05 pm
    Post #14 - March 29th, 2005, 1:05 pm Post #14 - March 29th, 2005, 1:05 pm
    Antonius wrote:Given that, I prefer to spend my money on fresh, more or less locally made fior di latte, i.e. mozzarella di mucca, for a pizza Margherita.


    What's your favorite source of fresh, local fior di latte?
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #15 - March 29th, 2005, 1:07 pm
    Post #15 - March 29th, 2005, 1:07 pm Post #15 - March 29th, 2005, 1:07 pm
    Vital Information wrote:You know when I said grill, I was, of course, thinking of my charcoal grill, but I wonder if pizza can be made on a stove top using a cast iron grill.


    I've seen Emeril* do this from time to time on his studio stovetop grill and the results look quite good.

    Best,
    Michael / EC

    *I will admit to watching Emeril (from time to time). If you can cut through all the crap, there's actually a little bit you can learn from him.
  • Post #16 - March 29th, 2005, 2:31 pm
    Post #16 - March 29th, 2005, 2:31 pm Post #16 - March 29th, 2005, 2:31 pm
    gleam wrote:n.b.: the pizza flour sold at caputo cheese is type 0, not type 00, so is higher in protein, as rien notes.

    My understanding is the 00 flour sold by KA is more like 8.5% than 7%. Naturally I'm sure it varies a bit.

    I see a lot of pizza dough recipes, some calling for type 0, some for 00, some for a mix. San Pellegrino, that bastion of pizza making, recommends type 0 flour for their recipe.


    Protein content is not the only parameter of importance. The fineness of the grind is considered to be important also. I use "00 Pizzeria Flour" milled by Molino Caputo in Naples which comes in 25kg bags. It is 11.5 - 12.5 % protein and is specially ground for Neapolitan-style pizza. I go through 2-3 bags per year.

    Of equal importance in making this kind of pizza is the water content of the final dough. DOC-style pizza has a very high water content and is often kneaded very slowly for a long time to build a moist but very elastic dough. When my dough comes out of the mixer into the proofing bowl, it can strectch as a single piece to well over 3 feet in length. It is on the sticky side, although it does firm up after retarding in the refrigerator over night. It is unforgiving of pilot errors when loading into the oven, but IMHO, produces a vastly superior pizza.

    As an aside, the 00 pizzeria flour from Caputo also makes fabulous Cuban bread for Cuban Roast Pork Sandwiches.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #17 - March 30th, 2005, 4:12 pm
    Post #17 - March 30th, 2005, 4:12 pm Post #17 - March 30th, 2005, 4:12 pm
    gleam wrote:
    Antonius wrote:Given that, I prefer to spend my money on fresh, more or less locally made fior di latte, i.e. mozzarella di mucca, for a pizza Margherita.


    What's your favorite source of fresh, local fior di latte?


    Gleam/Ed:

    To be honest, I haven't had any out here that approaches the quality of the stuff that I grew up with in Jersey and New York (of course, no comparison worth making to the real-deal, the whole and part buffalo milk mozzarella produced in the township in which my relatives live in Italy). Even in a very suburban setting where my parents live in Bergen County, there are two places within walking distance that pretty much daily have fior di latte of the highest quality –– at lunch time, still warm from the making, weeping milky tears of joy as it's cut and joined with thin slices of prosciutto di Parma and a fresh chunk of crusty Italian bread...

    Anyway, I don't have a go-to favourite here; I've tried a lot of places, including some of the ones listed by Gary in the old Follia thread (link), though I still haven't gotten to Minelli's (which according to L'Ultimo imports theirs daily from the Provincia di Nugiersi. In my neighbourhood is Conte di Savoia, which always has a fresh mozzeralla from a large maker on hand but twice a week (I think Tuesdays and Saturdays) has their own as well. It's good, especially bought the morning it has been made. Whole Foods and perhaps Fox and Obel too import theirs from the Provincia di Nuovajorca, I believe (or at least have in the past), and its pretty good texturally and taste-wise if you get it when it's newly arrived. Chellino's in Joliet produces a fresh mozzarella di mucca that I find quite unappealling.

    So then, I'm still searching for one that is sold in a place I can get to regularly that has the magical combination of being well made and being very fresh. What's your favourte local product?

    ***

    VI/Rob:

    I haven't ever tried grilling a pizza and, though I have seen it done on t.v. (was it Emeril or Flay I cannot say), I'd want to see it done again before I try. I guess one nice advantage is that you can get the charring that an oven at 500º can't give.

    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 #18 - March 30th, 2005, 10:36 pm
    Post #18 - March 30th, 2005, 10:36 pm Post #18 - March 30th, 2005, 10:36 pm
    Grilling pizza is pretty darn convenient and easy, especially if you are looking for an appetizer before grilling something else. It helps to have some olive oil on the dough, if not in it. Fireproof gloves work better to manipulate the pizza on a scorching grill than does a spatula. It's easy enough to make your own, as Antonius knows, but it takes some foresight. I have had excellent results with the pre-made (by hand, though) refrigerated dough from D'Andrea & Sons. The only real downside is the complete inability to char the toppings, esp. cheese. So it lends itself to a simple version such as crushed tomatoes, anchovies and olive oil.
  • Post #19 - March 31st, 2005, 8:40 am
    Post #19 - March 31st, 2005, 8:40 am Post #19 - March 31st, 2005, 8:40 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Antonius wrote:the “green pie” (broccoli di rape cooked with garlic and red chile, feta, freshly grated 'ncanestratu and a more liberal sprinkling of olive oil)

    Antonious,

    You and your "green pie" owe me $500 for a new monitor and $4700 for dental work. I tried to take a bite out of the screen.
    <no :), pony up the dough>

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    Gary:

    Have you gotten the dental work done yet? I know a very gifted veterinarian who -- through no fault of his own -- lost his licence. He now does freelance medical and dental work, mostly for the local un-insured hockey community. He would probably only charge a fraction of what you quote. Incidentally, he's also a wizard with gunshot wounds.

    :D

    Were I to try to pony up the dough, that would likely require some 2500 pounds or more (white, whole wheat or corn). But I first want to check with my lawyer to see if I am in fact responsible for the damages you claim.

    :D

    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 #20 - April 1st, 2005, 1:08 pm
    Post #20 - April 1st, 2005, 1:08 pm Post #20 - April 1st, 2005, 1:08 pm
    JeffB wrote:Grilling pizza is pretty darn convenient and easy, especially if you are looking for an appetizer before grilling something else. It helps to have some olive oil on the dough, if not in it.


    In his book American Pie Peter Reinhart attributes the perfection of pizza grilling technique to George Germon of Al Forno in Providence, RI. He recommends a supple dough (all purpose flour rather than bread/high-gluten) since it must be very thin. The dough does include oil. Germon actually recommends setting the dough in oil for some time so it can absorb the oil, sort of "frying" when it his the high heat. Reinhart recommends pressing/rolling/tossing it slightly thicker than a flour tortilla. It is grilled, turned, and then topped on the charred side. Being very thin, you're right that you can't use very substantial toppings. The nice thing is that you can easily manipulate it over the heat for easy cooking and you don't have to worry as much about heat recovery as you would in an oven.

    I've never come across grilled pizza until I made it myself. But if I'm ever in Rhode Island, I'll certainly head to Al Forno to check the work of the supposed master.

    rien
  • Post #21 - April 24th, 2005, 6:56 am
    Post #21 - April 24th, 2005, 6:56 am Post #21 - April 24th, 2005, 6:56 am
    Hi Bill,
    Where did you get your Caputo flour? I was wondering if you did anything special to store it. We're a pizza oven company and with Caputo's help have put a list of their U.S. distributors on our web site, so the flour will be easier to find. If consumer interest is good, they are thinking of making it available in smaller bags. Do you have a local retailer that carries it?

    http://fornobravo.com/brick_oven_cookin ... utors.html

    James
  • Post #22 - April 24th, 2005, 8:48 am
    Post #22 - April 24th, 2005, 8:48 am Post #22 - April 24th, 2005, 8:48 am
    fornobravo wrote:Hi Bill,
    Where did you get your Caputo flour? I was wondering if you did anything special to store it.


    James,

    I get Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour from Dairy Land (Chefs Warehouse) in 25kg bags. I store it in large plastic airtight tubs , 2 tubs per bag so it is easier to carry into the kitchen.

    Doesn't it make the best crust?

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #23 - April 24th, 2005, 9:08 am
    Post #23 - April 24th, 2005, 9:08 am Post #23 - April 24th, 2005, 9:08 am
    It really is great flour -- they called it "extensive". :-) I was lucky enough to do a mill tour and had a great time. We even had a pizza down the road (I thought it would be stressful making pizza for Atimo Caputo).
    We're thinking that listing local distributors and possibly smaller bags will make it easier for folks to find and use it.
    James
  • Post #24 - April 24th, 2005, 9:16 am
    Post #24 - April 24th, 2005, 9:16 am Post #24 - April 24th, 2005, 9:16 am
    Bill,

    Since you purchase such large quantities of flour, I will offer this storage tip I read but never tried:

    Assuming you keep the flour in their original containers all bundled up. These people put the flour into black garbage bags, then wrapped the opening around a vacuum cleaner extension tube. Turned on the vacuum cleaner to remove the excess air, then tied the bags shut.

    Bill/fornobravo!

    What is special about this flour? Is it high gluten or?

    And fornobravo - welcome to LTH!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #25 - April 24th, 2005, 9:32 am
    Post #25 - April 24th, 2005, 9:32 am Post #25 - April 24th, 2005, 9:32 am
    Cathy2 wrote:What is special about this flour?


    Cathy2,

    I start from the fundamental premise that pizza is all about the crust, so I have spent a lot of effort working on attaining the perfect Neapolitan-style crust that I adore: chewy, crispy, tender, bubbly, thin, etc. This is much easier said than done. As I mentioned above, flour is not just about the protein content; it also about other things like the fineness of the grind. Caputo has just the right composition, grind, and protein content for the way I make pizza - a high moisture, long kneading dough, baked on the floor of a brick wood-burning oven.

    There are certainly many flours out there that are used to make good pizza crust, but since I discovered Caputo, I've stuck with it and have tweaked all of the other ingredients to get it just right - still a work in progress.

    Bill/SFNM - pizza fanatic
  • Post #26 - April 26th, 2005, 4:19 am
    Post #26 - April 26th, 2005, 4:19 am Post #26 - April 26th, 2005, 4:19 am
    Hi Cathy,

    When I did the mill tour, they said that what matters is not how much glutine, but rather how good the glutine is. The flour gives you a dough that can be stretched to make a thin crust pizza without the dough tearing. It also gives a nice crunchy crust, and the rim of the pizza "poofs" up like a baloon. The flour absorbs a lot of water, so the final pizza is crunchy outside and still moist and soft on the inside. You can fold the pizza in half out of the oven, without it tearing or breaking.

    They blend the flour for pizza, so that you don't have to mix together bread flour and pastry flour to get a mix you like.

    This is a fun story. Caputo showed their flour at the NY Pizza Expo last year, and Peter Reinhart said they had the best pizza at the show (they also brought a famous pizzaiolo from Naples). I think that's a reliable source. :-)

    James
  • Post #27 - April 26th, 2005, 7:03 am
    Post #27 - April 26th, 2005, 7:03 am Post #27 - April 26th, 2005, 7:03 am
    And here it is. I happened to take a photo last time I was at the Caputo's Cheese in Melrose Park. Image[/img]
  • Post #28 - April 26th, 2005, 8:04 am
    Post #28 - April 26th, 2005, 8:04 am Post #28 - April 26th, 2005, 8:04 am
    Confusingly enough, the flour sold by Wiscon Corp, AKA Caputo Cheese Market, is, I believe, separate from the flour Fornobravo is talking about.

    Here's the logo from his Caputo flour: Image
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #29 - April 26th, 2005, 9:04 am
    Post #29 - April 26th, 2005, 9:04 am Post #29 - April 26th, 2005, 9:04 am
    That's pretty confusing. It's the blue logo -- the Antico Molino Caputo.

    Anyone know the story of why there are two?

    James
  • Post #30 - April 26th, 2005, 10:18 am
    Post #30 - April 26th, 2005, 10:18 am Post #30 - April 26th, 2005, 10:18 am
    I'm confused also. I use blue label 00.

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