Tuesday, March 27, 2007

the wisdom of the traditional neapolitan pizzaiola

of course everyone's talking today about the new study that shows how certain pizza recipe styles can turn america's favorite food into an anti-oxidant powerhouse, using whole-wheat flour.

notice that the study reveals the main features: must bake for 7-14 minutes, must bake at a temperature up to 550 degrees f., must use a recipe with a long-rising time, up to 18 hrs.

long-time readers will immediately recognize this recipe as quite similar to a traditional neapolitan method. in naples the pizzaiole (pizza-men) historically allow for rising times of 15-18 hours.

they traditionally bake in ceramic wood-fired ovens in such a way that the temperature is about 550-575 degrees. and before the advent of the second world war, refined white 00 flour in italy was quite expensive, meaning many street pizze would contain some darker flour.

devoted readers will recall my modification of maggie glezer's neapolitan pizza method. by reducing the yeast to 1/8 teaspoon, you can easily achieve the very long rising time at home.

yet another argument for slow and traditional methods of cooking, hmm?

since few people will readily convert immediately to a 100% whole-wheat crust without some protest, try my trick -- in times of flour shortage (almost out of white flour, too snowy to go to store), i've successfully subbed up to 1/3 white whole-wheat flour into my pizza recipe and my husband never noticed.

this is my suggestion to slowly move your family and loved ones to whole wheat pizza: slowly over several months increase the amount of white whole wheat. after 4 or 5 months, they will be eating 100% whole wheat pizza and will scarcely notice.

the article doesn't mention what anti-oxidants this method increases, but i feel pretty confident from all my working with bread that the main one is the famous phytic acid. phytic acid is thought not only to prevent colon cancer, but to actually kill existing cancer cells by preventing them from getting the iron they need to live!

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posted by fortune | 7:55 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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