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So here we are at bread number 25 in the book Bread baker's Apprentice: Pizza in the Neapolitan style. As you may have heard by now, my hubby is truly first generation Italiano, and so PIZZA is a serious topic for him. We have tried many pizzas all over our city, and there is only ONE place here in the US we go to get true pizza napoletano, and it's Antico Pizza. Having said all that, when this recipe came up, Nic was enthusiastic about trying to duplicate as close to the real thing at home. The verdict? Honestly, the pizzas were WAY better than average, but I think maybe my oven didn't get hot enough(it only heats up to 500 degrees). And also, my toppings were not too authentic either, maybe I should have tried to do some more authentic styles of pies. At any rate, I would say these pizza are definitely worth trying at home. If you have Mr Reinhart's book you can follow along on page 207 where he begins his introduction to how pizza is the perfect food,etc, but it is pretty interesting reading regarding how so many factors contribute to great pizza, but he believes in the power of the dough. I am not sure that is exactly what I believe, because at Antico Pizza they import all their ingredients from Italy, flour, salt, cheese, tomatoes, and other seasonings including their oregano, and I have to say, theirs is the closest we've had to REAL Italian Pizza.
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Mixed dough was on the slighty sticky side.

Reinhart tells us that the single biggest flaw in pizza making is that the pizza maker doesn't allow the dough a long rest in the refrigerator to release enzymes and improve gluten relaxation. So, after mixing the dough, I cut it into 6 pieces and formed them into balls and slipped them into the fridge.

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The next day, I took out 4 of the pizza balls (and froze the other two)and made small disks and then let those rest for about 2 hours. I then rolled them out into thin circular type shapes that looked very RUSTIC. Since toppings are endless, and Peter warns against using everything but the kitchen sink, we decided to top each pizza with a different assortment of ingredients. I think they look good enough to send to yeastspotting.

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Spinach, carmelized onions,feta, and pecorino in a tomato base
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fresh mozzarella,basil, anchovy paste and fresh cherry tomatoes
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Carmelized onions,pepperoni, and mozzarella
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Spainach, Mushrooms, and fontina cheese
 
 
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I absolutely LOVE Lavash Crackers. And I was really glad that Peter Reinhart included one in his book The Breadbaker's Apprentice. This is recipe #17 in his book and as per the rules of the Bba Challenge, I cannot post the recipe, but if you don't have the book, you can find the recipe here. The origins are credited to Armenia where the delicious flatbread is traditionally rolled thicker and cooked in a Tandoor oven. And although lavash flatbread is delicious, the cracker... well, in my opinion, is the epitome of texture and taste! I have to admit, I wondered what the yeast would do to the crackers, but the slight rise only contributed to the bubbling and the more tender taste of the final product. I have read many other blogs out there who didn't like this recipe, but I halved the recipe, and divided the dough again in the end, because the dough had to be rolled ultra thin to make  the flatbread. I took the other half and formed some grissini. If you have any doubts about this recipe, make half, and roll it out "paper" thin and I am sure you won't be disappointed!
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Here is the finished dough ready for the initial rise. I let the ball of dough ferment until it doubled in size

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I divided the dough in half(remember, I halved the recipe as well), and rolled one half super thin to get a cracker consistency at the end. This is the secret to a really successful yeast cracker.

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I then topped the rolled dough with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, and sea salt. Reinhart gives the option of sprinkling caraway seeds also, but, I am not personally fond of those.

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I also made some grissini from the left over dough which actually turned out wonderful.

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Delicious and wonderful with hummus! A must try and again good enough for yeastspotting.