The slow-rise pizza revolution is at hand!
Today (Tuesday) Napizza Al Taglio flings its doors open (1702 India Street, at the corner of India and Date, 619-696-0802), and we’ll all be able to see if, well, happy yeast makes better pizza.
Because the promise of this Roman idea - slow-rise dough – is that you get lighter, more digestible, tastier dough to your pizza if you give yeast time to have a long happy life in the dough.
“Most places will let the dough levitate [rise] for 4-5 hours,” says Christopher Antinucci. “We allow 72 hours. That gives the living yeast more time to transform complex sugars into simple sugars. That gives it more flavor. And we have more water mixed into the flour. They transform that into air bubbles. That makes lighter crust. You get less bloating. It’s healthier. It’s the old, slow way, and Rome has brought it back.”
They’re also big on organic, and on buying locally and seasonally. They promise “absolutely no chemicals or preservatives in our pizzas.”
I get talking with Chris beside the multi-oven they've imported from Rome...
...This oven can cook at different temperatures from the top than from the bottom.
"So, say if we're baking a potato pizza, the potato topping needs more cooking than the crust. So we increase the heat from the top but not the bottom. That way, we don't burn the crust."
Christopher is one of three partners (along with Giulia Colmignoli and Matteo Castagna, the chef), who all came out from Italy to spread the gospel on this new-old way of making pizza.
He says a slice will cost around $5.75. But it’s a pretty big square, he says. “In Rome al taglio - meaning 'by the slice' – is always square, not a segment of a round pie.”
Things are still in a rush of preparation while I'm there. This Czech gal, Edita Semiginovska, is still painting signs.
So hey, clock’s a-ticking. But the guys, Christopher and Matteo, are pretty cool about it. "It's going to be a blast," says Christopher. "We hope it'll be the first of many."
Can’t wait to try it. Will report later today.
I mean hey, this could be Day One in the Next Age of Pizza...