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A Championship Margherita by Tony Gemignani, part 2

Written By Peter Reinhart
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 Webisodes

I was mistaken last week when I said the Margherita that Tony made was his World Championship version. Actually, this week is the version that won it all. As it turns out, last week’s pizza was made with Caputo flour and this week’s is made with San Felice flour. When Tony won the World Championship in Naples, which he’ll talk about a little in this week’s segment, he used the San Felice flour so that’s the one he reserves this flour for at his restaurant. He uses Caputo on all his other Napoletana pizzas and, as he indicates here, it’s almost impossible to tell them apart and he loves both brands. But, because he won the title with the San Felice, that’s the one you get if you order the Championship pie, served on the special pedestal platter. Tony told us that he tries to replicate the Margherita exactly as he did it for the judges, and he only makes 73 each day and when the dough runs out he stops taking orders for it. The number has special meaning for him but now I can’t recall what it signifies so be sure to ask when you eat there.

Another surprise for all of us (and even for one of the judges, it so happens) is that the traditional competition Margherita is not required to be made with Mozzarella di Bufala but should actually be made with Fior di Latte (cow’s milk mozzarella). Now we know. Hey, you’ll learn all sorts of new things from hanging out with the Masters, which is why we go on these crazy quests. So sit back and enjoy or, as the saying goes, watch and learn….

 

Comments

Bill F

Double Zero… You mean like James Bond — licensed to kill? Not quite so dramatic. In Italy, flour is classified either as 1, 0, or 00, and refers to how finely ground the flour is and how much of the bran and germ have been removed. Doppio zero is the most highly refined and is very soft like cake or some AP flours here in the US. Many people assume that this softness also means that the flour is low in protein, but this is not the case. Flours of varying protein levels can be milled to the 00 category.

In short, I see no reason to avoid 00 flour in the home oven. Always bake pizza as hot as your home oven will go and preferably on a stone. Some people have reported difficulty working with Caputo flour as the dough it makes can be challenging, but in general double zero flour in the home oven is not an issue.

peter

Great comments and support from all of you–thank you! Yes, a lot of American pizzerias are now using a blend of Italian with American flour and, while I can’t say don’t bake double 0 below 800 degrees, I do think it tastes better at that higher temp and I’m thinking it has more to do with its fermentation time than the flour itself. It’s not often held overnight, as American doughs are, so this may be why it works better at the higher temps where it can caramelize quicker. Just a theory, though. Maybe one of our experts will chime in.
Also, someone asked how wet the dough is and what flour he used in the video because it slides so easily on the marble. I don’t know they hydration but it definitely is either Caputo or San Felice flour and I’m guessing the hydration was around 65%. Hope this helps.

Joe A

Hi Guys:

I use 00 flour all of the time and to make it work at lower temperatures, the addition of both Barley Malt Syrup and Diastatic Malt will allow the flour to brown. I use ~10 grams of Syrup and 1/4 tsp Diastatic Malt (Breiss #6005) for a 3 pie mix containing 500 grams of flour. What I like about Malt is that its does the job and leaves…meaning It doesn’t impart sweetness to the dough like Sugar or a taste like Honey would.

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