Peppe Miele, Part 3, Flour
In this short segment we discuss with Peppe the use of Italian -00- (Double Zero) flour, which he defines as a balance between the fineness of the grind (ground very fine and, in my words, extracted from the pure endosperm with all the fiber sifted out) and the protein content (he doesn’t specify the amount but it’s probably between 10%-11.5%). An important take-away form this conversation is the ideal fermentation time, which Peppe describes as being two hours of primary fermentation followed by 6 to 8 hours of resting (in dough balls) before making the pizzas. He doesn’t specify whether this is at room temperature or in a cooler, but I’ve seen it done both ways with room temperature dough using less yeast.
There is no doubt that pizzas made with this kind of Italian flour, when properly executed (as you will see in the video), are both wonderfully delicious and beautiful. Here in the United States we know that there are other types of flour used for American-style pizzas and, now, there are even some domestic brands of -00- flour, such as produced by Central Milling and others. But Peppe is talking about the authentic VPN (Vera Pizza Napoletana) pizzas, as certified by the mother organization based in Naples, which he represents in the USA. There are a lot of opinions as to whether this certification really guarantees great pizza — I guess that’s for each customer to decide and is also up to the skill of each pizzaiolo. But Peppe’s mission is to protect and preserve the time honored method associated with the true Naples style. We will continue to explore this with him in coming segments in this, our crash course in authentic Pizza Napoletana. Enjoy!!
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