Basic Neapolitan pizza, cooked

Water, Salt, Yeast, Flour

Four pies, all the same, but different. Let’s call it research.

Ready the Dough

Dough ball in proofing pan

This might be my smoothest dough yet.

Dress the Pie

Basic Neapolitan Pizza

An Italian flag on a pizza peel.

Analyze the Results

Basic Neapolitan pizza, cooked

Basic Neapolitan Pizza, Underside

Basic Neapolitan Pizza, Crust detail

Basic Neapolitan Pizza, Crust Detail 2

Consumed within ten minutes of emerging from the Uuni these slices were sublime, but a bit too thick.

The Details

Water: Good ‘ol plain Milwaukie tap water from the Clackamas River. I believe it’s filtered for logs and errant kayak paddles, then given a kiss of chlorine but nothing else.

Salt: Penzey’s Grey Sea Salt

Yeast: SAF Red Instant from a large package I bought more than two years ago and has been used slowly ever since.

Flour:Tony Gemignani” blend from Central Milling. This is a departure for me as I typically use Bob’s Red Mill “Artisan” flour.

The recipe is straight from Ken Forkish’s book The Elements of Pizza. Specifically, it’s Ken’s 24-48 Hour Pizza Dough (70% hydration) recipe followed nearly to the letter. I say nearly because it’s still a tad chilly here in the Pacific Northwest and we tend to not use the heat unless the inside temp drops below about 60. We like our fleece. So this dough never went above 65 degrees prior to baking. It proofed for about 32 hours.

I used Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes processed into a relatively homogeneous sauce with an immersion blender.

The fresh mozzarella is Murray’s brand now being carried by my local Fred Meyer supermarket. It’s ok. For an upcoming pizza party, I’ll probably try to find something a little fresher. Rumor is Sheridan Fruit Co. sells house-made, hand-pulled mozzarella.

Parmesan is Murray’s also from Fred Meyer. It’s ok.

The basil is California generic also from Fred Meyer.

Bottom Line

This was among my best cook sessions. Fresh from the oven the crust was excellent, light as a cloud with just a hint of crisp on the bottom and throughout the cornice. Of the four pies the best, pictured above in the slice photo, resulted from letting the oven burn empty for a full 15 minutes. The steel baking surface (I’m using a first-gen Uuni) read 860°f right before I set the pie. That was the hottest start temp of the evening.

Things to Change

I’m trying another cook tonight using Ken’s Saturday Pizza Dough recipe, but I’m changing it to 60% hydration and not letting the oven burn empty as long, and I’m going to use smaller balls per pie. As one can see in the above slice photo, the dough is too thick. The largest pizza I can fit in the Uuni is 11 1/2 inches wide, and the 220+ gram dough balls are too big. So one of tonight’s modifications is to divide the dough into 5 balls rather than 4. I’m also returning to Bob’s Artisan flour.