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Peppe Miele, Part 4, Dough Fermentation

Peppe Miele, our Virgil of the Vera Pizza Napoletana universe, continues his guided tour in this segment, turning his attention to one of my favorite subjects, dough fermentation. We receive a lot of e-mails asking about how long dough should be fermented before making the pizzas, and the answers are nearly infinite and weighted with lots of theories and opinions. But Peppe cuts right to the chase as to the fermentation method he prefers for true Naples-style pizzas (his answer is on the video, so this is just a tease).  I think it’s important to note, though, that his method is based on using Italian flour and baking the pizzas in a super hot oven (around 800 degrees F.). Is it the best method for higher protein American flours, or for baking in 600 degree deck ovens, or in home ovens? Well, we all have our opinions on such matters but the thing about the Napoletana “orthodoxy” is that it works, has worked for a long long time, it’s a tradition, and as Mama in Mystic Pizza says, “You don’t mess with tradition!”

We still have six more segments ahead in the Peppe Miele series so who knows what other secrets are yet to be revealed. Keep checking back, as we’ll post Part Five in just a few weeks, when we talk with Peppe about his oven.



funny, if I get a chance to talk to the kitchen staff or if I’m lucky the pizzaiolo, thats usually one of my first questions.

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Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

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