Consider this not an exhortation, but gentle encouragement: you’ll find more joy in making homemade pizza when using a scale.
I haven’t offered a simple kitchen tip in a while, so here it comes. Get ready for the ensuing mayhem.
If you’ve spent any time around here, you’ve heard me say it: Scales are not necessary for making pizza. I’ve said as much to pizza pros, who instantly label me a scoffer and a misanthropist. So be it.
Among American home cooks, there’s a clear and resonant hatred of the dreaded kitchen scale. I have a theory for why this is. It’s related to a less-than-stellar education system.
If it's a homemade pizza, can you really say it's New Haven style, is it authentic, or is it just an insult to the gods of "apizza"?
How daring are you, and are you ready for a crazy pizza challenge that sounds easier than it might really be?
Would you like to try making a polarizing form of pizza using a barely tested dough?
First, a short tale, and then some details. (And know those details are all reflected in the pizza in the photo above, which is an actual Free The Pizza Production developed using the methods in question.)
OK. So the guy owns five pizza ovens. Do you trust him when he says, "Don't buy a pizza oven?" (Probably. Even the NY Times called him a pizza influencer.)
Last week, the conversation was pizza inspiration that knows no sane boundaries. And that’s fine. It’s so much better than the tyranny of “Pepperoni or nothing!”
This week, part 2 of our conversation with Serhan Ayhan puts the spotlight on the truth about ovens and the things that matter more. (Flour, anybody?)
And perhaps the most important thing you need for making pizza is free. In fact, it’s impossible to buy…
New England-style Greek pizza? Tangerines? Corn? Chex mix? Here's a homemade pizza adventure like you've never seen...
If you like making pizza, and you want to push the boundaries a little, it’s fun being inspired by other people’s pizzas.
For me, it’s usually the easy-to-find pizzas of high-profile pros like Dan Richer, Chris Bianco or Nancy Silverton.
But there’s a pizza amateur who is may be the single most inspiring pizzamaker I’ve ever witnessed. Serhan Ayhan and I met in Atlantic City at the Pizza & Pasta Northeast (PPNE) trade show. Serhan was there not as a pizzeria pro (though he’s been one), but as an enthusiastic pizza amateur.
By day, Serhan works in financial due diligence with a famous multinational investment bank. You may have seen him and his wife in the New York Times’ Real Estate section in a feature called “The Hunt.” The two stories there detail their hunt for a new home—including an oven big enough to accommodate his pizza peel. (We've all been there, right?)
Year-End Lists Part 2: After my best pizza in Portland was a lucky find, I’m finally approaching the "best pizza" lists with a skeptical eye.
Last week, I talked about hitting five of the top-rated pizza joints in Pizza City USA (AKA Portland, Oregon)—except…
Pizzeria number 5 was a last-minute substitution based on a Google search for the closest pizza joint.
I’d never heard of it, never saw it on any list—and it was the biggest surprise of my two-day pizza expedition.
So, after years of regarding them with suspicion, I’m officially skeptical of the best pizza lists.
Here now, the crazy secret ingredients to killer homemade pizza: Time & Patience! (Plus two more unexpected tips, all from pizza guru Peter Reinhart.)
So I was talking with Peter Reinhart last week. He's the guy whose first pizza book 20 years ago got me making killer homemade pizza. And now, we sometimes talk about pizza because he's an incredibly nice guy and it’s one of his favorite things to do.
I said to Peter, “If you were talking to a newbie pizza maker, somebody who maybe hasn't even touched dough yet, what would you say are the three most important tips you can provide before diving into this?”
When he was done speaking, I told him that I’ve said something similar, though without nearly the same eloquence or authority. That’s why he’s a James Beard Award-winner and a professor at world-famous Johnson & Wales and I’m a semi-professional geek with a blog. So here now, I share Prof. Reinhart's insights with you and embellish them with some of my own geeky nonsense.
How pretentious is the idea that you can make artisan pizza in your own kitchen using a standard home oven?
Can you really make artisan pizza at home?
What are your ingredients?
What are your tools?
And what is your attitude?
What's the secret sauce, sausage and/or cheesy goodness that lights a fire in The Pizza-Freak Fellowship?
It's 5:47 AM. I know this because I checked the clock. I've been lying here for only the briefest of moments, but the feeling is one I recognize.
It’s the feeling of being a kid on Christmas morning. But instead of stockings hung by the chimney with care and speculations about what glossy, blister-packed plastic stash I'm about to haul in, I'm thinking about that doughball I put in the fridge last night, and what it's about to become.
What the heck is it about pizza?
“What's the home pizza cooking mistake that cost you the most failures before realizing what it was?”
Earlier this week, a bunch of people I don't know went nuts for something I said about pizza. It was so surprising, that I’ve changed the plan for today's "Saturday Afternoon Pizza Post."
I was lurking around Quora, the “social question-and-answer website and online knowledge market.” That’s how Wikipedia describes it. I call it a social-media dogpile for people with the patience to read and write.
Someone asked, “What's the cooking mistake that cost you the most failures before you realized what it was?” Oh, is that an easy question to answer.
There are many cooking failures I’ve experienced, but none greater than pizza. I answered the question with about 600 words and one photograph.
And the dogpile began. It was unbelievable. People were going nuts for the answer. I have no idea why, other than it maybe it touched a nerve that they all understood. So I’ve decided to share that answer here. (Cleaned up and better edited, of course, for your Free The Pizza inner-circle reading enjoyment.)
Winning hearts and minds with fantastic homemade pizza: Simple tips from Hollywood's "Architect To The Stars."
When the Free The Pizza book first came out last summer, there was a flood of enthusiastic email from all kinds of people, offering photos of their exciting new pizzas. But nobody was sending pizza pics as frequently and with as much enthusiasm as David Applebaum.
In Los Angeles, David has a reputation as an architect to the stars. His client roster features a diverse range of names, from Cuba Gooding, Jr. to Hiro Yamagata to Brad Grey. You may also have seen David on TV, hosting Nat Geo’s Inside American’s Mansions.
Blaine Parker is the award-winning author of the bestselling, unusual and amusing how-to pizza book, Free The Pizza. Also known as The Pizza Geek and "Hey, Pizza Man!", Blaine is fanatical about the idea that true, pro-quality pizza can be made at home. His home. Your home. Anyone's home. After 20 years of honing his craft and making pizza in standard consumer ovens across the nation, he's sharing what he's learned with home cooks like you. Are you ready to pizza?
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