Pizza Neapoletana is a style that has been gaining respect and popularity in the U.S. since the nineties. The last few years it has progressed into a movement, a revolution, and war amongst artisanal pizza makers all over the country. This Session will impart the knowledge and share what our contribution to this movement has been and continues to be. Our journey started in Naples, Italy where we have staged at the famed Pizzaiolo del Presidente, Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro and even Da Michele. This is where we learned the importance of making dough “in giornata” which essentially means made and used in the same day. The recipe consists of low protein 00 flour, water, fresh beer yeast, and Trapani sea salt. It is mixed, cut, balled and matured during an eight-hour fermentation at room temperature in Neapolitan wood dough boxes. Neapolitan pies are pillowy soft, simplistic in nature, using far less cheese and toppings than we, as Americans, are accustomed to. It is blistered or charred by a 900 degree wood burning oven, which gives it great flavor, and a sixty-second cook time leaves the integrity, essence and flavor of the ingredients intact. Sweet tasting San Marzano tomatoes are painstakingly stripped of the flavorless stems and seeds and the cheese used is made from whole milk curds. We are members of the famed VPN (Verace Pizza Neapoletana) number 427. The VPN is an international non-profit organization founded in the mid 1980’s by a group of Neapolitan pizza makers seeking to cultivate the culinary art of making Neapolitan pizza. In June 1984, the association was officially established as a denomination of control (DOC) by the Italian government, a designation that made the VPN a legal entity able to give special designation to pizzerias who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making.
New York Pizza means many different things to many different people. It is a point of pride and tradition to almost everyone as they describe their favorite pizzeria. It details where they grew up and how they were raised. They reminisce and declare with tremendous delight their technique to fold it and eat it piping hot out of the oven, taking special care as to not burn the roofs of their mouth. New York Pizza is nostalgic and there are no valid arguments as to who makes the best pizza, because the best pizza in the world is the one you like best.
At the Academy of Pizza Science, we pride ourselves on composing a true to the original “old school”, slice house style that you are used to with an artisanal flair. New York Pizza to me starts off with a high gluten flour that is ultra-refined through a process equal to and even surpassing the famed Italian “OO”. The dough recipe is multi-faceted technique that ensures consistency through changing weather. It should always be an aged dough, developed through cold rise fermentation, ensuring proper texture, flavor, crispness and a crumb with a cell structure of gaping airy holes. New York Pizza sauce should consist of robust domestically grown tomatoes that are picked and packed within three hours with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Tomatoes used in New York Pizza should never be made using processed tomatoes or from concentrate. The characteristics of this sauce should be a well-seasoned sauce, not to be confused with spicy, and never any water added.