Quantcast

The building blocks of pizza - KOAM TV 7

The building blocks of pizza

© Todd Coleman / Bonnier © Todd Coleman / Bonnier


By Keith Pandolfi

A true Neapolitan pizza is the sum of its simple but sublime parts: dough, tomato sauce, cheese, and heat. In Naples, pizza makers have the best of each element to work with.

DOUGH

No factor influences the taste and texture of pizza Napoletana more than the dough. A good dough, made with finely milled wheat flour containing quality proteins, results in a light, airy crust with a sweet, nutty flavor and a springy chew.

In Italy, flours range from "2" for the coarsest grade to "000" for the finest. Most Neapolitan pizza makers swear by the locally produced Caputo "00" flour. To guarantee the highest quality and consistency, as well as the best flavor, Caputo, a family-owned mill that has been located in the heart of downtown Naples since 1924, sources wheat from all over the world. This dedication is manifest in a fluffy white flour whose proteins, or glutens, yield a dough with superb extensibility, meaning it can be stretched without ripping.

TOMATOES

The luscious plum tomatoes grown in Campania and neighboring Puglia are prized here for their deep, sweet, tangy flavor, as well as easy-to-peel skins and relatively few seeds. Since these tomatoes have a profile that speaks for itself, most Neapolitan pizzaioli make their pizza sauces simply — using whole peeled canned versions, with little more than some salt added.

While these tomatoes are often labeled "San Marzano," only a fraction of tomatoes are grown specifically within the San Marzano Protected Designation of Origin (D.O.P.) region, an area in the Sarno River Valley between Naples and Salerno.

CHEESE

With twice the fat content of mozzarella made with cows' milk, Campania's mozzarella di bufala is far more creamy and flavorful. Of course, since water buffalo produce little more than two gallons of milk a day compared with the average dairy cow's nearly seven gallons, their coveted cheese is often more expensive.

The best mozzarella di bufala is produced near the city of Caserta north of Naples. Here, water buffalo brought over from Asia more than a thousand years ago thrive in the marshy environment.

While many Neapolitan pizzas come topped with mozzarella di bufala, most shops also offer versions made with fior di latte, a cows' milk cheese. Some pizzaioli prefer the latter; along with being more affordable, its lower fat content makes it easier to melt.

OVENS

The ingredients compose the recipe, but it's the blazing fire that transforms them into pizza. The chamber of a classic Neapolitan oven, made of firebrick and mortar, has a low-domed ceiling that concentrates the fire, creating the extreme heat (from 750 to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit) necessary to cook pizza quickly.

The bottom of the chamber is made of Biscotto di Sorrento, a heat-absorbing material that prevents crusts from burning. Beneath the oven floor lies a layer of Vesuvian soil to absorb even more heat. The oven's thick exterior walls, constructed of fireclay insulation, are often dressed in ceramic tiles, which make the ovens colorful centerpieces of many Naples shops.


See more pizza stories, recipes, tips, and techniques »


© 2013 SAVEUR
All rights reserved.
  • Recipes from the KOAM Morning NewsAll RecipesMore>>

  • Crocktober: Turkey CrockPot

    Crocktober: Turkey CrockPot

    Friday, October 27 2017 6:29 PM EDT2017-10-27 22:29:03 GMT
    Turkey CrockPot - from Shirley Beneke, Parsons KS 5-7lb Turkey Breast 1 pkg dry onion soup mix 16 oz can whole cranberry sauce Place turkey in slow cooker. Combine soup mix and cranberry sauce.  Spread over turkey.  Cover.  Cook on low for 8 hours.   Serve over rice.More >>
    Turkey CrockPot - from Shirley Beneke, Parsons KS 5-7lb Turkey Breast 1 pkg dry onion soup mix 16 oz can whole cranberry sauce Place turkey in slow cooker. Combine soup mix and cranberry sauce.  Spread over turkey.  Cover.  Cook on low for 8 hours.   Serve over rice.More >>
  • Slow Cooker Cheesy Bacon Ranch Pototoes

    Slow Cooker Cheesy Bacon Ranch Pototoes

    Wednesday, October 25 2017 1:27 PM EDT2017-10-25 17:27:04 GMT
    INGREDIENTS: 6 slices bacon 3 pounds red potatoes, chopped 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided 1 tablespoon Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix, or more, to taste 2 tablespoons chopped chives DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until brown and crispy, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool before crumbling; set aside. Line a slow coo...More >>
    INGREDIENTS: 6 slices bacon 3 pounds red potatoes, chopped 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided 1 tablespoon Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix, or more, to taste 2 tablespoons chopped chives DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until brown and crispy, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool before crumbling; set aside. Line a slow coo...More >>
  • Crocktober: Nacho Hashbrown Casserole

    Crocktober: Nacho Hashbrown Casserole

    Friday, October 20 2017 11:38 AM EDT2017-10-20 15:38:31 GMT
    Nacho Hashbrown Casserole 1 pkg (32oz) frozen cubed hashbrowns 1 can cream of celery soup 1 can nacho cheese soup 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 cup (8oz) sour cream In a greased 3 quart crockpot, combine all ingredient but sour cream.  Cover and cok on low for 3-4 hours, until potatoes are tender.  Stir in sour cream. Cover and cook another 15-30 minutes Angel Barnett Riverton, KSMore >>
    Nacho Hashbrown Casserole 1 pkg (32oz) frozen cubed hashbrowns 1 can cream of celery soup 1 can nacho cheese soup 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 cup (8oz) sour cream In a greased 3 quart crockpot, combine all ingredient but sour cream.  Cover and cok on low for 3-4 hours, until potatoes are tender.  Stir in sour cream. Cover and cook another 15-30 minutes Angel Barnett Riverton, KSMore >>

EMAIL SIGNUP

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by Frankly

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.