Monday, April 18, 2011

neapolitan oven step by step

This is Donatella's in NY. The final result got kinda crapped out in my opinion.

From the oven master via nyt:

Her mentor will be Enzo Coccia, 48, a third-generation pizzaiolo who began working with his father at age 8 and now runs Pizzeria La Notizia on Via Michelangelo da Caravaggio in Naples. Mr. Coccia will soon travel to Manhattan to build the oven.

“Now, only a few families know artisanal oven-making,” Mr. Coccia said in a telephone interview, “brick by brick.” Pizza has been made this way, Mr. Coccia said, “for more than 250 years in Naples, in a way that is very specific to us. Everyone asks about the secret formula, but it’s mostly not about the ingredients. It is the construction of the oven, and a sensibility — a feeling, from years and years of making the dough and understanding the process.”

This will be buffalo-milk-mozzarella pizza, San-Marzano-tomatoes-grown-in-volcanic-soil pizza, pricey-high-protein-Italian-wheat-flour (grade 000) pizza. There is also water, yeast and sea salt: the dough is (lovingly!) hand-slapped, cut, pulled. Verboten: the churn-and-burn pizza — where the yeast rises quickly. The dough requires small amounts of yeast and a long fermentation time — some 10 hours — “which prevents bloating,” he said. “That is why we run out of dough. We can only prepare so much.”

Pizza must cook from 60 to 90 seconds only — “to achieve the proper softness and lighteness,” Mr. Coccia said. The center of the oven must be 869 Fahrenheit (465 centigrade) — “no higher, or it burns,” he said. But the oven must accommodate a different temperature for the center interior, “where the tomatoes are,” a feat that he said required indigenous volcanic-mud bricks.

He declined to answer most questions about how he will build the dome — the right thickness and the correct mixture of “sand from the beach that absorbs the heat,” he said. And he forbids photography of that part of the construction.

He did allow that the oven “coupola” — the dome — will be more compact than most, “since the heat needs to be concentrated,” Mr. Coccia said. There is the relatively small mouth of the oven — a third the diameter of a garden-variety oven — to keep the heat from dissipating. Only the most skilled pizza-makers can push pies (no more than four at a time) in and out of the constricted space.

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