Neapolitan pizza is one of the great classics of Italian culinary tradition and has international fame. What if you want to recreate the same softness of this pizza at home? Have you ever thought about baking it in a pan and then with a grill? Here is the recipe (with wine to drink and music to listen while tasting).
It is said that two English brothers, James and Thom Elliot, decided to embark on a long journey from London to Reggio Calabria, just because they were tired of the monotony of office life. Their return home was made on board a special vehicle: an Ape Piaggio, a small three-wheeled van that is a symbol of Italian design in the world.
From the first moment, it was clear that was a weird way to get home. But this was only the beginning of a new extraordinary adventure. Going back up Italy, the Elliot brothers stopped in a few key cities, between Naples and Sorrento. They made these stops to gain valuable know-how on authentic Neapolitan pizza making. So, back in London, the Elliot brothers set up a small wood-burning oven on the Ape and began to sell the Neapolitan pizza in the central districts of the UK capital. Their notoriety grew out of all proportion, as did the fame of their pizza.
The demand was increasing, as well as the desire to recreate Neapolitan pizza at home. However, not everyone has a professional oven at their disposal. So, we have to adapt, even experimenting. Why not try a different way of baking pizza, in a pan and and with the grill? So, here are the instructions to recreate an ad hoc one, comfortably at home.
For the dough:
1 kg of OO flour
1 g of fresh brewer’s yeast
650 ml of Water
30 g of Salt
To season pizza (classic Margherita)
salt to taste
Basil to taste
Preparation of the dough:
Pour the water into a container and dissolve the brewer’s yeast. Then, begin to incorporate the flour little by little. Add the remaining flour only when the mixture is firm. Always knead in the same direction, from the bottom to the top, until the flour runs out. This first step takes about 5 minutes.
After that, add salt and knead vigorously for 5 more minutes. So, place the dough on the workbench and fold it back on itself. Let it rest for 5 minutes with a slightly damp cloth, then fold the dough 3 more times. Once rested, place the dough in a well-wrapped container with a transparent film. Later, put the container in a 20 degree temperature place, away from draughts, for 18 hours. Then, divide the dough into equal parts, in order to shape the loaves. Cover them with another transparent film, avoiding contact with air. Leave the loaves to rest for further 6 hours at room temperature.
Now, it’s time to make pizza!
Cut the loaf and knead it until it is round and not too thin. Place the pizza on a non-stick pan, previously heated over high heat, without adding oil to the base for about 90 seconds. Meanwhile, season the pizza with the peeled tomatoes; you have already squeezed them and seasoned with a little salt, olive oil and basil. Then add diced mozzarella and basil. Details make difference: so if it’s possible, use the mozzarella fior di latte and leave the basil under the mozzarella, to prevent it from burning. Once the bottom is cooked, place the pan on the top of the kitchen oven, as close as possible to the grill, and complete the baking as you like. Bon appetit!
What about drink?
Around Naples, pizza goes with a good glass of wine. For that reason we want to have a word with you about GRAGNANO DOC quality.
«And you get two liters of sparkling Gragnano, make sure it’s Gragnano. You taste it, if it’s sparkling, you take it, if not… you leave it!». With these words, the photographer Don Pasquale in the movie Miseria e nobiltà underlines the importance of the choice of wine. A sparkling wine from Gragnano, of course. More than forty years after the release of this movie, this kind of wine would have obtained the denomination “PENISOLA SORRENTINA DOC, ROSSO FRIZZANTE DI GRAGNANO”.
GRAGNANO DOC best matches Neapolitan pizza, baked in a pan and grill, because it is a fusion of Piedirosso and Aglianico. These two grapes represent Campania red wine making tradition. Indeed, Gragnano DOC goes well with different types of dishes, as an evidence of its versatility. So, for this reason, we can say it is the perfect all-round wine: it is floral,soft, fresh and sweet.
The flavor is associated with a medium structure and has evanescent effervescence. So this is a perfect wine to balance the succulence of the classic pizza, baked in the traditional wood oven, but it’s also good for the pan and grill version pizza.
Therefore, a slice of pizza eaten on the road, a glass (strictly limited in size, I beg of you!) of Gragnano DOC, and street-food becomes synonymous with italian quality and tradition. Even across the Channel.
And what about music?
Among the succulence of the pizza and the effervescence of the wine, you can’t miss a powerful background music to match everything. If we think of the Rolling Stones, immediately a high-impact sound comes to mind.
Thus, Nziria Team invites you to listen to their latest single, Living in A Ghost Town, which narrates in a simple and effective way these days spent at home during the quarantine. The strong sound will lend itself perfectly to the baking of your Neapolitan homemade pizza. Because it may be true that the cities are now empty; but we will soon repopulate them. And who knows, maybe we’ll all reinvent ourselves as pizza makers, and we’ll even proudly sell our excellent product on the streets.
You can listen to the song in our interactive Playlist on Spotify.
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