Pizza Pilgrims Show How to Make Perfect Pizza

Thom and James, the two brothers who are dedicated to bring out the best pizza to the public gave out their thoughts on pizza and also gave some good tips on making one. 

“I think pizza is slightly neglected,” says James. “It looks like something no one could get wrong – it’s quite simple, there’s not many ingredients and like Mel Brooks said, ‘pizza is like sex – even when it’s bad it’s good!’.

“But then you taste a great pizza – and it’s really hard to go back. All the elements that go into it, the years of learning, there’s so much that makes it great. And it really is elevated to another level in Italy.

“In Naples pizza’s a religion – if you make pizza, you’re like royalty.”

According to the brothers, a Naples Pizza can be your perfect experience right inside your own home with just five simple steps. 

1. Get your dough right

“The most important part is the dough. You need to get the right flour – that’s the hard bit, tracking it down. 

“Look for the highest gluten flour you can find. We use Caputo flour that we ship in from Naples. It has the finest grain – 00 – and the amount of gluten in it is what allows it to stretch.

“In the supermarket you want the strongest bread flour – Canadian flour actually, which you can get fairly easily.

2. Not too yeasty

“You can’t hurry the dough. Use fresh baker’s yeast (you can ask at the supermarket bakery or at an independent) but use less – a comically small amount really, which helps reduce the likelihood of feeling bloated. Then proof (rest) it for longer.

“We would never use dough we hadn’t proven for 24 hours – ideally 48 – at room temperature. It lets the gluten relax and makes a lovely flexible dough.  Leave for 24 hours – it’ll be banging. You only need water and a little salt – no olive oil, no sugar – you’d be shot in Italy for suggesting that! It’s simplicity itself.”

3. Simple sauce

“The tomato sauce for Neopolitan pizza is very important and the Italians are very picky about where tomatoes come from – they should be grown in the foothills of Vesuvius. These have thin skins that let in lots of sunlight and make them really sweet.

“If you can’t guarantee that, at least look for the best quality you can find. Then all you do is literally add a pinch of salt, blitz it up and put it straight onto the pizza. No pre-cooking necessary. 

“And basil goes on top of the pizza, not in the sauce.”

4. Cheese

“It’s tempting to go mad but use a really sparing amount – enough - but there should be patches, it shouldn't coat the whole base.

“It should only ever be mozzarella. Buffalo is the one we’re more familiar with in the UK but you get a lot of water when you cook it. 

“We use fior di latte – it’s mozzarella but made with cow’s milk, still stringy but it doesn’t have that liquidy, oozy thing that Buffalo mozzarella has.

“Then add a sprinkle of parmesan for an extra salty edge.”

4. The toppings

“Less is more. It can be really tempting to get the most things possible on the pizza but all you’re trying to do is augment the dough, so add to in moderation. 

“Many pizzerias in Italy only serve margaritas. They don’t believe in toppings. Anything other than a margarita is not a pizza! But then the best test of a pizza is the margarita – because there is nowhere to hide.

“Just add a sprinkle of olive oil on the top and you’re done.”

5. Oven

“The ideal is to have charring on the outside of the crust but the dough being moist in the middle. 

“Modern ovens cook long and slow, which is why we get these dry, biscuit crusts that people end up leaving. In Naples, the crust is what people get excited about!

“It should be puffed up, thick and risen above centre of pizza – little spots of it are charred because the oven is so hot when you put a pizza in and it should cook in under a minute. 

“Because your oven can’t get that hot, the best way to make pizza at home is in a frying pan. 

“Get it red hot first then put the dough base on the bottom – completely dry for a minute or so.  Quickly add the sauce and cheese, then when the bottom is browned, put it under the hottest grill setting. 

“This method recreates that traditional Neopolitan oven as best you can. We have a massive stone oven, it takes two hours to get up to temperature!”
You can hear the love for pizza but the lads admit this isn’t a lifelong obsession. In fact, they both worked outside food until recently.
“We decided to go on the trip, find out about the food and pick up a Piagio Vesba bee – it’s like a three-wheeled Vespa moped with a van. We bought it in the Southern most tip of Italy and while we made our way home we stopped to find out more about the country and the food.

“At the time the street food thing kicking off and we thought it looked great. There’ s not a huge amount of money and you can do it off your own back – so we had the idea to go and the trip totally opened out eyes to the possibilities. 

“I don’t think anyone is really doing what we are. 

“Like all the best ideals, it began in the pub – sitting there thinking it over and by the end, four pints down we just thought ‘this is going to be awesome’. And it snowballed from there. 

“Persuading of my wife that it was a good idea was probably hardest street bump! We haven’t really planned it, and now we’re here and it’s really exciting!”

Source: Yahoo!
Posted by Diane Araga, on June 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM