Category Archives: Keste

Pizza by Roberto

I always enjoy going to Keste Wall St. when Roberto Caporuscio is there.  Not  only because the pizza will be fantastic but I also enjoy speaking to Roberto about pizza. Roberto said that after trying many different flours for his pizza dough he has settles on a combination of two: 50% each Caputo “00” and Caputo “Nuvola  “0”.

Roberto

We have had many discussions about the flour that he has been using over the last year and I really like this combination. Because he knows I will tell him what I think, he often will try new toppings to see if I like them–most of the time they work.

 

Roberto started us off with his fried buratta.  The  creamy  cheese  was  rolled  in  a breadcrumb  crust  and  deep  fried.

It was fantastic,  a contrast  of  creamy  cheese  and  the  crunchy  fried  crust.

Roberto made his now-famous focaccia written up in the New York Times. The focaccia alla formaggio Recco style.  Recco is a town in Liguria famed for this type of pie.

The first pizza was with  pecorino  and  bresaola,  air  dried  beef.

Then the classic Margherita  made bufala mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.

After that was the chestnut aged cheese topped with pistachios and Gran Biscotto ham from Rovagnanti.  Michele loved the combination of the cheese, nuts and ham.

Mast’Nicola made with grana, lardo, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

Last a dessert pizza with Nutella filling and dabs of strawberry puree on top.

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Making Mozzarella and Burrata at Keste

I often go to Keste Pizza & Vino Wall Street and always enjoy the pizza and other foods made by the owner/pizzaiolo Roberto Caporusico. I look forward to speaking to Roberto about pizza, Naples and food in general. Roberto has mentioned a few times that he now makes his own mozzarella and burrata. The last time I was there I had the chance to try his burrata filled with small mozzarella balls. It was creamy and really different from any burrata I had had before. Roberto said he was doing a mozzarella and burrata making demonstration and invited me to come.

Roberto

Roberto began by speaking about his background. He said that before he became a pizzaiolo he worked as a cheese maker, making mozzarella, a semi-soft Italian cheese made from the milk of cows or water buffalo. Burrata is made the same way as mozzarella but it is formed into a pouch and then filled with cheese curds and cream. For both the mozzarella and the burrata Roberto uses cows’ milk. When the pouch for the burrata is formed he fills it with small mozzarella balls soaked in heavy cream for 5 days.

Before Roberto  began the demonstration he said  the water he was using was very hot and he put on two pair of black gloves to protect his hands.

 

These are the curds that are waiting to be mixed with hot water.

The mozzarella balls soaking in heavy cream for the burrata filling.

Roberto making the mozzarella. He is mixing the cheese curds with hot water.

 

Checking the consistency

Mozzarella is one of a category of stringy cheeses in Italy

The  cheese  is  smooth  and  stretchy

Shaping the mozzarella

The  Mozzarella

Rolling out the mozzarella to make a roulade

The stretched mozzarella is stuffed with puree of artichokes and tomatoes

Then it is rolled up like a jelly roll

It needs to be refrigerated so it firms up

 

Making another roulade layered with culatello, a type of prosciutto made from the tenderest and most flavorful part of the pig, and greens.

Culatello

Rolling the cheese and fillings

Slicing the roll into pinwheel slices.

Roberto said the mozzarella rolls should be placed in the refrigerator overnight so they become firm before they are ready to be served. These were in the refrigerator for only about 30 minutes and while the one made with the culatello was fine, the one with the artichoke mix and the tomato needed more time in the in the refrigerator because it was difficult to cut and came apart.

The one with the culatello came out perfect and delicious

 

The burrata stuffed with small mozzarella balls soaked in cream

Pizza with burrata and tomatoes made by Giorgia, a master pizzaiolo, and Roberto’s daughter.

With the mozzarella we drank still and sparkling Asprinio  from  Fabulae, Campania Felix Wine

“Jescesoul” Terre del Volturno IGT made from 100% Asprinio. The grapes are grown in sandy soil with good superficial permeability of volcanic origin near the city of Caserta. The training system is Svlvous and Alberate Aversane. The vines are 12 meters tall among poplar trees. Harvest is by hand the last week in September and the first week in October. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature for 3 months. The wine remains in the bottle for two months before release. The wine has hints of citrus fruit, a touch of lemon, nice minerality and good acidity.

Asprinio Spumante ‘Aspritz” VSQ made from 100% Asprinio. The grapes are destemmed and a soft pressing takes place. Fermentation is for one month in stainless steel tanks to prepare for the classic method which takes place in the bottle. The wine is then manually capped and rests for 9 months before release. The Spumante was straw yellow in color because the juice was left on the lees and is full bodied. It has hints of citrus fruit, a touch of lemon, with good minerality, acidity and a note of brioche. Both wines were a great combination with the mozzarella but the Spumante was the perfect combination.

 

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NO FEAR OF FRYING AT KESTE’

As I wrote about in my last two posts, I attended the Made in Italy 2019 Cooking Show at Keste Wall Street. The third and last demonstration I attended was:

Frienn seed oil by Olitalia: The New Age of Frying with Giorgia Caporuscio from Kesté and Don Antonio.

A few days before this event Michele and I were at a restaurant where they serve many fried foods. When we got home Michele said that she still could smell the oil from the frying on her clothes. I would pay special attention at this event to notice if there was a smell of frying or if the smell was on my clothes when I returned home.

The frying was done with Frienn oil from Olitalia

The New Age of Frying with Giorgia Caporuscio from Kesté and Don Antonio.

Roberto Caporuscio, who owns Keste and Don Antonio Pizzerias spoke about the oil, as did Fred Mortati, the owner of Orlando Foods.

Roberto and Giorgia

Mr. Mortati said the oil was created by Olitalia in collaboration with the Italian chef Pasuqale Torrento owner of Ristorante Al Convento in Cetara on the Amalfi Coast. Cetara is the alici (anchovy) capital of Southern Italy. The innovation of its recipe consists in the absence of palm oil and the presence of antioxidants, partly extracted from the rosemary plant, which gives the product an Italian identity. The dough is dry and crispy, there are no off-flavors, it is resistant to high temperatures and rich in vitamin E. He also pointed out that this was the same oil used in the pastry demonstration in the morning.

Roberto gave 5 tips for perfect frying:

  1. Fry at the right temperature, according to food type
  2. The quantity of oil should be higher than the amount of food to be cooked so the temperature doesn’t drop excessively once the food in immersed.
  3. Drain and dry the food well before frying
  4. Never salt food when frying; add salt only after frying
  5. Always use a suitable sized and shaped frying pan according to the amount and type of food to be cooked.

As Giorgia was frying the dough, Roberto pointed out that the air did not smell of frying and that he did not need any exhaust fans. He likes this oil because it does not impart any flavor to the dough being fried and the finished dough is light in color.

He said the breadcrumbs they were using were gluten free and they make their own burratta

Giorgia shaping the dough

The dough ready for frying and the filling ingredients

 

The fried dough filled with burrata with prosciutto and garnish

Burrata and Alici topped pizzette  in honor of owner of Ristorante Al Convento in Cetara on the Amalfi Coast.

Fried dough with tomato sauce and basil

When I got home I checked my clothes and was not able to detect any smell of frying oil which I was very happy about.

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The New Age of Contemporary Pizza

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:

Ingredients:

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

 To make the dough for Neapolitan style pizza, Vincenzo uses this formula:

DOUGH:

Add BIGA to mixer with

Flour: 3.5 Kg

Hydration: 2.750 liter total

Salt 125 gr

Final dough hydration:

Flour 5 Kg

Water 70%

Salt: 2.5%

Yeast 0.5%

Evoo: 1

 

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:

BIGA:

Ingredients:

Flour – 3.5 Kg

Hydration – 1.750 Kg

Fresh yeast – 17.5 gr

Fermentation for 24 hours

DOUGH:

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

Water 80%

Salt: 2.5%

Yeast 0.5%

Evoo: 1%

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.

Gluten free Margherita pizza

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Neapolitan Pastry at Kesté

Over 10 years ago Michele had the opportunity to meet Sabatino Sirica and see him demonstrate his pastries. She said that they were some of the best she had ever had.

Michele D’Amelio and Sabatino

Recently Roberto Caporuscio of Keste Pizza and Vino Wall Street invited me to an event called “Made in Italy: Slow Cooking at Keste.”  A demonstration and tasting by  Sabatino Sirico was on the schedule and the translating was going to be done by Michele D’Amelio, an Italian pizzaiolo that works for Caputo Flour in America.  I was happy to attend and finally get a chance to taste the pastries.

It was a two day event and I attended the second day and Sabatino demonstrated how to make Graffe and Babà.  Graffe are Neapolitan style donuts sometimes called ciambelle.   Cavaliere Sabatino Sirica has a Pasticceria, Rosticceria and Gelateria in S. Giorgio a Cremano, Naples. Michele and I will try to visit the shop when we are in Naples next month.  

The Graffe ready for frying

After frying

Ready to Eat

Graffe

Here are the ingredients.  Note that the flour is Caputo’s Chefs flour”00″

500 grams of 00 flour

500 grams Manitoba flour

25grams sugar

150grams butter

40 grams yeast

2 eggs

250 milliliters milk

200 milliliters water

Vanilla

Grated orange and lemon zest

 

Next Sabatino prepared the Baba’, a sweet yeast raised pastry soaked in rum or other liqueur flavored syrup.

 

Sabatino preparing the dough for Baba’

 

Sabatino putting the dough in the molds

 

Sabatino showing how light the dough is and easy to stretch

 

Finishing filling the molds

Frying the pastry

 The finishd Babá

Ready to Serve

For the Baba, Sabatino used 50% Caputo Nuvola Super “0” and Caputo Chef’s flour “00”.  The ingedients were:

Babá 

1kg of flour

100 grams sugar

40 grams salt

350 grams butter

4  kilograms eggs(not sure about the eggs)

Syrup

1 Liter water

500 grams sugar

50 grams strong rum

 

There were other pastries, including sfogliatelle.

Palmier cookies, layer cake and a cut baba’ to show the texture.

Sweet buns.

 

 

I have spent a lot of time in Naples and start every day with pastries like these.  Sabatino’s were as good if not better than those I have had before!  I am looking

forward to visiting him.

 

 

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Pastry, Pizza and Pasta Demonstrations at Kesté Wall Street

The “Made in Italy 2019 Cooking Show” at Keste and Vino Wall Street was a two-day event featuring pasta, pizza and pastry making demonstrations.

There were four presentations altogether and they were repeated on the second day.

Sabatino with the dough for the Baba

The first demonstration was a Pastry Presentation: Italian Pastry Techniques with Sabatino Sirica from Sirica dal 1976 in S.Giorgio a Cremano, Naples.  Sabatino made Baba’, a yeast raised cake typically soaked in rum syrup, though other liquors, such as limoncello can be used. Baba’ is a very typical Neapolitan sweet.

Vincenzo Ianucci from Caputo preparing the pizza

The second presentation, using Nuvola Super “0″ Flour by Caputo: Contemporary Flour for Contemporary Pizza Making with Vincenzio Iannucci, a pizzaiolo who works for the Caputo company in Italy.  Other topics were: New Age of Contemporary Pizza and Pizza in Teglia alla Romana.

 

Giorgia preparing the dough for frying

Next session, Georgia Caporuscio of Keste Pizza and Don Antonio featured  The New Age of Frying.  She gave us insights on frying, using the right oil and techniques.

The last demonstration was for Garofalo Pasta: New and Innovated Pasta Dishes and was presented by Pastificio Garafalo, Pasta di Gragnano.

The event was very interesting and informative and I will write about all of the events I attended. Next time Italian Pastry Techniques with Sabatino Sirica making Baba’, Graffe’, Brioche Dolce, and more.

 

 

 

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Pizza with Roberto Caporuscio and Tipo 1 Flour

About a month after returning from Naples, I went with some friends to Keste Wall Street for pizza.  Roberto Caporuscio, the owner and master pizzaiolo, wasn’t there when we arrived, but we ordered a few pizzas.  As I ate, I realized that something was different.  The pies did not taste the same as the last time we were here. Everyone agreed with me.  Had the ingredients changed or was it because the pizzamaker was different?

When Roberto arrived I told him that I thought the pizzas were different. He said he changed the type of flour. In the past he he used  Type Double Zero flour but now he uses  only Type 1 flour.  Roberto said he believed that Type 1 flour was healthier because it makes a lighter pizza that is more digestible. We made a date to come back again and Roberto said he would be sure to be there and would personally make all the pizza for us using Tipo 1 flour so that we could give him our opinion.

We went to Keste this week and Roberto was  already there.  I went to watch him make the pizza.

He showed me the dough and I noticed it was a very light beige and it had tiny specks in it. Robert said the specks were wheat  germ because Type 1 flour is less refined than the pure white Double Zero.  The wheat germ is what adds to its nutritional value.

Robert made the following pizzas for us using  Caputo Tipo 1 flour:


Bianca Romana focaccia filled with mortadella, pistachio cream and caciocavallo cheese

Pizza Pasquale (Pizza Fritta), named after Pasquale Torrente, master chef at Ristorante “il Convento” because of his skill in frying. The dough was deep fried using a special sunflower  oil containing rosemary. The fried crust is topped with homemade stracciatella cheese, anchovies and fresh lemon.

Rodi the topping is a spread made with anchovies, and white bread soaked in limoncello, with slices of lemon, basil and buffalo mozzarella

Regina Margarita made with buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce 

Pizza Noci and Zucchine, topped with a spread made with walnuts and  mascarpone with baby zucchini and smoked buffalo mozzarella

Padrino mild soppresata, cacciocavallo ragusano, chili oil and Gaeta olives.

Even though some of the combinations on the pizza did not look like they would work they were all excellent. The problem was with the margarita pizza.  After I explained this to Roberto he invited me back again this time to Keste and Vino on Bleecker St. He would make one Margarita using Type 1 flour and one using Type 00 and we would have to guess which was which and which one we liked better. He would also more thoroughly explain the difference between the two flours. I am always up for a pizza challenge.

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