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There was a piece in the paper last week about setting standards for pizze for the rest of Italy or the rest of Europe. The Neopolitan pizza association has had standards for at least a few years, and although Ron and I looked into them for the translation of the Calvel book, I have forgotten the details, except that the dough is a well-hydrated straight dough with no preferments, and no olive oil. It should be shaped by hand, and very thin.

As it happens, a well-hydrated baguette dough, made with unbleached and untreated flour ( in terms of flavor and performance, finding the right flour is worth the time and trouble, and well-hydrated---so sorry, trade speak for a loose dough with plenty of water in it-- can mean 70% of the flour weight in water) does the trick for me.

Stepping out on a limb------- how many novenas, pleniary indulgences, and the rest of those things can get me,a nice, scared Irish catholic out of this one?---- prefermenting 25% of the flour ( poolish, pate fermentee, etc, your choice) can permit making the dough, weighing into the desired amounts for each piece, shaping it into a ball ( twice, with a 4-5 minute interval), and refrigerating it to let it mature in the fridge ( minimum for use=2 hours, maximum keeping time= about 12 hours). Let the dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so before use. Any good pizza is baked on the hearth.

There, I've said it.

Pray for my soul.


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