As I wrote about in my last post, I attended the Made in Italy 2019 Cooking Show at Keste Wall Street.
After the pastry making portion of the program came three demonstrations concerning pizza making:
Contemporary Flour for Contemporary Pizza Making, New Age of Contemporary Pizza, Pizza in Teglia, and Pizza alla Romano with Vincenzo Iannucci. Vincenzo is a pizzaiolo who works for the Caputo flour company in Italy, one of the sponsors of the event.
Vincenzo was in NYC to introduce Nuvola Super “O” soft wheat flour by Caputo. It is designed to create a dough with an airy cell structure. Called Nuvola (cloud in Italian) because it produces a product which is light and fluffy. It is made from a careful selection of highly fermented grains free from additives and preservatives. It is 100% natural so it can be used also for pre-ferments such as a biga, a dough starter. It is ideal for Roman-style Pizza in Teglia, pizza baked in a pan and served in slices. Dough made from Nuvola Super 0 has a very high hydration with long fermentation times and a super light and airy crust. Mr. Mortati said that this flour was developed in response to suggestions made by a number of young pizzaioli.
Fred Mortati, owner of Orlando Foods, spoke about the floor with Vincenzo
Vincenzo first made a focaccia using a biga (starter) made from the Nuvola Super “0”
The Focaccia was light and airy with a pleasing crispness
The Focaccia was served with prosciutto and buratta
This is Vincenzo’s formula for the Biga:
Flour -1.5 Kg
Hydration – 750 Kg
Fresh yeast – 7.5 gr
Fermentation for 24 hours
Preparing the biga in the mixer
The biga is broken into pieces before it is ready to be used
Shaping the dough- the dough is very light so it has to be shaped very gently. Note how Vincenzo’s fingers leave indentations in the dough as he shapes it.
It is made with 30% biga. More water added to the dough than if the biga was left out, yielding a total of about 80% hydration. The pizza bakes in the oven for 2 minutes longer than one made without the biga. It is also baked at a lower temperature, about 700 degrees F.
Neapolitan style Margherita made with the biga had a higher cornicione, the outer rim of the pizza. It was also more tender.
Compare that to this Neapolitan style Margherita made without the biga. Note that the cornicione, the outer rim of the pizza, is less puffy.
Then Vincenzo demonstrated how he makes his Roman style pizza baked in a pan or teglia. This dough is 80% biga and 80% water, it stays in the oven for 7 minutes. This type of pizza is served by the slice so that the extra water keeps the slice from drying out when it is reheated. Here is the formula that Vincenzo uses:
Flour – 3.5 Kg
Hydration – 1.750 Kg
Fresh yeast – 17.5 gr
Fermentation for 24 hours
Add BIGA to mixer with
Flour: 1.5 Kg
Hydration: 2.250 Kg total
• water 2.200 Kg
• oil 50 gr
Salt 125 gr
Final dough hydration:
Flour 5 Kg
This is the New Age of Contemporary Pizza: Pizza in Teglia alla Romana
Vicenzo preparing the Pizza Pala. This is similar to the Roman style pizza above except that instead of baking it in a pan, it is shaped on a board (pala) and baked directly on the oven surface.
Both the Roman style pizza and the Pizza a Pala is made with 80% biga and 80% water and they both stay in the oven for 7 minutes.
Vincenzo also demonstrated his method for making a gluten-free dough with Caputo gluten free flour Fiore Glut, a mix of a of rice and potato starches, rice and soy flour, sugar, thickeners and dietary fiber.
This was one of the best gluten free Margherita’s that I have ever tasted
It was a very informative demonstration and I learned a lot about pizza making.
I have been going to Naples since 1970 and , I am leaving tomorrow for Naples, and have eaten pizza in other parts of Italy in NYC and in other parts of the U.S.. I have had pizza made with Tipo, ‘”O O”, “O” and Tipo 1 and with a mixture of “OO” and Tipo 1 , with biga and without biga. After all of this I still feel the best Neapolitan style pizza ia made using “OO” flour!