Rome wasn’t built in a day, and when it comes to pizza crust, the same rule applies. Bella Sera understands the importance of both science and art in creating the foundation upon which every great pizza lie…the crust. In our kitchen, we hand make our sourdough everyday, feeding and caring for it as we would a family member.
You only need 3 ingredients: flour, water and yeast. Sounds simple, right? Well according to Chef Joe what distinguishes good from great is the ability to deliver the same flavor every time. Bella Sera uses 00 Italian imported flour and bottled water also imported from Italy. He is very proud of Bella Sera’s consistently glorious crust and has dedicated himself to the art and science of creating the perfect sourdough.
It all begins with the starter. Chef Joe describes the starter as the “blood of the dough.” It determines the structure, gives it flavor and causes it to rise. Bella Sera’s starter is proprietary. It came from San Francisco, and contains coveted cultures that contribute to the incredible aroma and zest of the pizza. Chef Joe acknowledges that the care and feeding of a starter, like aged steak or cheese requires consistent and daily attention to obtain excellence. And he is so dedicated that everyday he, or another qualified chef, form a massive 40 lb. ball of dough and break it down into portion sizes, so that the customers enjoy this incredible signature crust! After that the half starter is fed, adding flour and water so that it continues to ferment, ensuring that future customers will be equally satisfied.
There is much science involved throughout the process considering it’s just flour, water and yeast. Chef Joe reminds us that it is how you handle these 3 easily obtainable ingredients, however, that can make or break your dining experience. For example, yeast feed on sugars, which release carbon dioxide bubbles and alcohol into to starter, causing the dough to rise. Bacteria, however feed on sugars and produce acidic by-products, which gives the sourdough its’ taste. Understanding this relationship is key to consistent, tasty sourdough. Keeping yeast happy by feeding them flour and water is what builds frothy and billowy dough. This is where the art comes in. There are many things to consider such as wild yeast, temperature for storage and the golden time period to achieve the best results. These techniques are also proprietary. Regarding the golden time period, Chef Joe only reveals that the dough he makes today arrives at Bella Sera tables “days later.”
I suppose being evasive is synonymous with chef. However, according to Joe, the origin of the cultures, length of time for expansion, science of flavor and temperature for consistency are the secrets to Bella Sera’s distinctive signature crust.
He can’t tell you those secrets.
So, come to Bella Sera and experience this exquisite crust today!