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  • Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

    Hello,

    I was recently gifted a baking stone and am returning to yeast breads after a several year hiatus. The Bread Baker's Apprentice is my favorite baking book and I've been using it for years with excellent results (thank you Peter!)

    I've made incredible breads from the book and incredible pizza, too, but the last couple of times I've made the pizza dough I've had the same issue: after taking the dough balls out of the refrigerator, flattening them into disks, and letting them rest for two hours (step #4, p. 211) they become incredibly delicate - far too delicate to toss. In fact, I am barely able to lift them up onto the peel without them becoming so thin they immediately get holes in them.

    At first I thought that the yeast I was using, Fleischmannn's Bread Machine yeast, was the wrong kind, but after doing some research it seems that bread machine yeast and the instant yeast that Peter calls for in the book are exactly the same.

    I have three more dough balls in the freezer and when I make them I plan to let them rest for far less than two hours to see if that will help. Any thoughts or recommendations would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

    Hello abe,

    Sorry I am not familiar with the process in the book but try letting them thaw in the fridge, then rise at/to room temp in a ball for your allotted time and then flatten them out. Typically an hour ball rise works for me, then I push them out, top dough immediately after pushed out.

    John

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    • #3
      Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

      I don't know what the temps are in your area, but in North Queensland Australia I take my dough from the fridge and only leave for about 45 minutes before forming. If I let for two hours it would be like soup.

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      • #4
        Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

        Thanks @JAG and @ Toomulla for your responses!

        I made the dough again and realized that one big problem I was having was not mixing the dough for long enough to allow for the gluten to develop. I also didn't realize how wet the dough and sticky the dough should be.

        This second batch worked much better, though it was still pretty fragile and I couldn't toss it. I'm going to try leaving it out of the fridge for 1 - 1.5 hours rather than 2 and see how it goes!

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        • #5
          Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

          There is no rule of thumb. It is all temperature dependent. I live in the southern central coast and it depends on the season and the day. Winter, a couple of hours is ok, Summer and like Toomulla said......... soup.
          Cheers ......... Steve

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          • #6
            Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

            Are you using American bread flour or a 00 Italian pizza flour?

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            • #7
              Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

              Stan, I do a Neo-Neapolitan so I use General Mills All Trumps. I have used 00 but everyone here likes the results using the All Trumps

              JG

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              • #8
                Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

                Originally posted by JAG View Post
                I have used 00 but everyone here likes the results using the All Trumps
                Not everyone

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                • #9
                  Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

                  Sorry everyone, let me rephrase. Where I live, all of the events we take our oven to, our customers prefer a pizza made from a flour like All Trumps. I would prefer to use a 00 (le 5 Stagioni), but a true neapolitan style doesn't go well here so we have to cater to our customer base.

                  Hey Scott where are you from, originally I am from Hoboken, I know I know don't laugh, it has gotten better over the years.

                  JG

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                  • #10
                    Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

                    Originally posted by JAG View Post
                    Sorry everyone, let me rephrase. Where I live, all of the events we take our oven to, our customers prefer a pizza made from a flour like All Trumps. I would prefer to use a 00 (le 5 Stagioni), but a true neapolitan style doesn't go well here so we have to cater to our customer base.

                    Hey Scott where are you from, originally I am from Hoboken, I know I know don't laugh, it has gotten better over the years.
                    Got it. I thought you were talking about everyone here (as in the forum), not everyone there FWIW, I'm not a fan of either 00 or All Trumps for slower baked pizza. When you start extending the bake clock outside of Neapolitan territory, I prefer bromated 13% protein flour like Full Strength, not 14% AT.

                    I'm in Morristown, and have mad respect for Hoboken from days past. It wasn't Joe's (in the Village) circa '92, but, in the early 80s, I had huge slices a couple blocks off Washington (can't remember the name) that blew my socks off. And, again, not Joe's, but, in the 90's, the place across from the train station was pretty respectable.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

                      Back in the day it seemed like there were slice joints every 20 feet on Washington street, at the time they all seemed good to me. We lived one block south of Washington St where city hall and Carlo's Bakery is located which at the time was Schoenings Bakery, way before Buddy moved in, their crumb cake was to die for. I also have a vivid memory of the push carts on the corners selling Italian Ices in paper cups, we called them yum yums again to die for (at the time).

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                      • #12
                        Re: Trouble with Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

                        Yes, I don't know how far 'back in the day' you're talking about, but, 20 years ago, the pizza in pretty much all of the New York area was very good. These days, finding a great pie is about as difficult as finding a bad pie then.

                        And you can't beat a good slab of quality crumb cake. They closed about 10 years, but Trost's in Summit used to put out a phenomenal crumb cake. It was about 2/5 crumbs- which, imo, is the perfect ratio

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