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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 have yet to come across a person who hates focaccia. Although this simple pizza-like bread comes to us from the region of Liguria, Italy, we have adopted this delicious treat to fit our own American lifestyles. Traditionally, focaccia is topped with savory items such as cheese, herbs, and such, but Peter Reinhart has also included a sweeter version in his book for those of us who can't seem to get enough already. I couldn't decide whether to do a sweet or a savory one, so I chose to make one of each. As you know if you have been keeping up, we are strongly advised against printing the recipe but  If you are following along in the Book, you can find the recipe on pp159-167. You can also see what others are doing with this challenge.
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raw ingredients


Mixed together: Flour, water, yeast(Adam),lots of olive oil, and salt.

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ball of dough
It formed a somewhat sticky ball to rest for 30 minutes before I separated into two rectangles.

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waiting for the intial rise
I took half of the dough and incorporated 1 cup of raisins, and I then followed Peter's instructions for folding the dough every hour for about 3 hours, being careful not to degass the dough too much after each rise.

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carmelized onions, rosemary and the extra oil
The savory dough was then topped with some carmelized onions, rosemary, and the extra 1/4 cup of olive oil then put into pans and into plastic bags to retard overnight in the refrigerator.

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raisin focaccia after the refrigerator
The next day, the risen dough was left out to come to room temp and double in bulk(this took about 3 hours).

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savory focaccia ready to eat
The focaccia was then baked in a preheated 500 degree oven and then turned down to 450 degrees for 20 minutes.