At work, we lack a wood fired pizza oven. What we do have is an oven that manages beautifully at 900 degree. Here's some overnight Verace Napoletano pizza I made at work for New Years eve lunch for the kitchen crew.
Though many pizzaioli tend to make yeasted pizza, my aim is to go all natural with wild yeast. Below are shots of my last batch, made with a mix of low protein, white winter wheat grain milled along with standard A.P. flour and a sprouted wheat levain.
Using a long bulk proof of 4-5 hours, as well as a final two hour rise, I then incorporated my method of cast iron baking in which you cook over the stove, then pop into your broiler. It's perfect when you have a less-than-perfect oven and don't want to overheat your space, the heat from a cast iron is magic.
In my eternal quest at the perfect sourdough Verace Napoletano pizza, I have tried various approaches. In my latest, I tried a autolyse of sorts; adding in salt at the last moment, a minimal mix, and with a bit of folding, then popping the whole lot into the fridge for bulk ferment. The next day I divided and tested one ball of dough, letting it sit on the counter till I felt it was ready to bake. The results were fantastic, though I only had bufala mozzarella, which melted like a lake of milk. Still, the pizza was good with exceptional cornicione.
Trying my buddy's Domenico's top-secret pizza flour, I had good luck with the texture and flavor on the first-go at dough. I also took two balls of dough and retarded them in the fridge overnight. Without enough time to let the dough come to temperature, I just stretched them into pizzas, baking a classic Margherita, tomato, mozz and basil. Wow, this dough is - as the expression goes - money! Even cold, it had a wonderful stretch, tasted great, and produced a nice cornicione. Domenico, gonna make another batch soon. Hurry back and open the shop!
Visiting my pizzaiolo friend Domenico, he shared a dough mix made and tested in Italy. It comes milled via Molini Pivetti, the same mill who, with Antonino Esposito, developed "skura flour." Using it at home, it proved a wonderfully extensible pizza dough with amazing textural feel. Despite the brutal August heat simmering in my apartment kitchen, I used my Baking Steel - for a cast iron pizza pan baking method. Here is what I got on my first trial.
Recently I made a Tuscan Schiacciata - which might be thought of as a grape pizza. The base was an untraditional, no-knead pizza sour dough. The filling was Pantelleria-grown dried raisins bought at Gustiamo. The flavor enhancers Nocellara Belice olive oil, finocchieto salvatica (wild anise) and Thompson grapes. A hybrid creation and a lovely result.
Sometimes viewed as a pizza, other times a tarte, the "pissaladiere" is a Mediterranean treat with equal stake in Italy and France. And with its base of flavors of earth and sea, the pissaladiere is a treat that might define all what's delicious in the delicious geography that joins these two lands.
This pissaladiere below was made incorporating ingredients from all the corners of the Mediterranean; Turkish olives, Morroccan anchovies, American onions, and herbes de provençe from France. That said, Italy won dominance on this batch, as I sprinked them with Sicilian capers from beautiful Pantelleria. There's nothing like food to open borders, and add flavor to pry open even the most impenetrable boundaries.
Using the final bit of grams left of Skura flour, (and disregarding the advice of Antonino Esposito) I made a sourdough pizza. I gave the dough a long bulk ferment (over 40 hours), and then allowed it to it sit for four more hours after making the pizza. The result was a crisp dough, and a paler color than when baked with yeast. Though it could have been the flour or the refrigeration, whatever, I got a decent and edible pizza.