Gregg O’Neill has an obsession with pizza. He went from wholesale mortgage banking to owning his own unique catering experience, Bravo Wood Fired Pizza.
What is Neapolitan pizza?
Neapolitan style is very different from the type of pizza you find at your local pizza shops or from the “brick oven pizza” that is baked in a gas or electric oven at lower temperatures. The dough is more delicate and made with only flour, sea salt, yeast and water. We use imported flour from Naples and our sauce is made with imported tomatoes.
Why is your oven so hot?
To make true Neapolitan style pizza you need a very hot oven. I like to have the oven at about 900 degrees, which bakes a pizza in two minutes or less. When the pizza hits the hot oven floor, some of the water in the dough turns to steam, which, along with the leavening from the yeast, gives the dough a softer texture beneath the crispy, slightly chewy exterior.
How can someone make really good pizza at home?
Make the dough at least 12 hours before you plan to bake the pizza. You have to give the yeast time to work its magic on the proteins in the flour.
What is your personal favorite pizza?
My favorite is probably prosciutto and The combination of the salty ham and sweet onion has a great balance of flavor and the creamy fresh mozzarella complements them both.
What specialty pizza do you make?
One of the most popular pizzas we make is our “Smores” dessert pizza. When I developed my version of the smores pizza I was thinking mostly in terms of something for the kids, but it has been very popular with adults too. The chocolate, graham cracker crumbles and marshmallows really recreate the classic campfire treat.
What are some local ingredients you use that you couldn’t do without?
We use Narragansett Creamery fresh mozzarella and smoked mozzarella cheese all year round. I also use prosciutto from the Daniele, made in Pascoag, RI.
Do you prefer a sweet or savory pizza sauce?
I prefer a sauce that is simple and balanced in flavor. Our sauce has the natural sweetness of uncooked Italian plum tomatoes with just the right amount of sea salt and basil. It is not too sweet with a nice balance and a brightness that you don’t get with a cooked sauce. Our white sauce with roasted garlic and a touch of cheese has a slightly sweet flavor from the caramelized garlic caramelized onion with fresh mozzarella.