Author Topic: Who on this forum will write the DEFINITIVE Book or produce the ULTIMATE DVD?  (Read 5732 times)

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Offline Fio

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IMHO, this forum represents the principal repository of knowledge on the art of home pizza making in the English-speaking world (making allowances for Italy).  I won't repeat the effusive praise I've already heaped on.

All of the pizza books I've read have not taken the time to properly convey the nuances, secrets, and tricks to making good pizza.  We know what they are: hydration percentages, retarded fermentation, HOT ovens, Grande cheese, etc.   And they are all here, on this forum.  All of the pizza books, even ones highly regarded, do not devote enough time to explain the technical secrets of making pizza.   They'll spend a couple paragraphs on making dough.  They'll give over-simplified "recipe" for "sauce."  They'll call for AP flour, "mozzarella" cheese (not explaining the vast differences between fresh and aged, whole milk and part skim, etc.)

Similarly, the TV shows on pizza making are grossly over-simplified.  Even Alton Brown, who I respect greatly and who gave the best pizza-making how-to I've ever seen, does not have time in 30 minutes to cover the topic.

What is needed - and the talent is on this forum - is to produce the ULTIMATE DVD or write the ULTIMATE BOOK on pizza making.

As a book, it will cover the aspects of pizza making in incredible detail.  An entire chapter on yeast. An entire chapter on flour.  An entire chapter on mixing and kneading.  An entire chapter on cheese.  An entire chapter on ovens, then another entire chapter on baking.  An additional chapter for baking on screens, pans, etc.

See what I mean?

Perhaps a series or encyclopedia is in order - a different volume for each style (NY, Neapolitan, Chicago, American mass-market, etc.)  It could be broken down instead by topics - one volume for dough, one for cheese, one for sauce and toppings, one for baking, etc.

Alternately, a DVD or box set of DVDs could be made.  Like the book, it would cover topics in incredible detail.  I do not think that it would be unreasonable to devote an entire one-hour episode to making dough, another episode to choosing toppings, an episode to dough handling, another for baking in a home oven, another for baking in a wood oven, etc.

I'll bet this idea has already been floated, if not already in the works.

Thanks,

- Fio
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.


Offline Buffalo

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Fio;
I'll place my order now.......I do hope it is at least in the planning stages :'(
Buffalo

Offline Fio

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One thing I've seen comes close:  Encyclopizza.

http://www.correllconcepts.com/Encyclopizza/_home_encyclopizza.htm

This is the type of thing I'm talking about.  But it has shortcomings for the home pizza maker:

1) It is targeted toward the mom-and-pop pizzeria;
2) It has no pictures;
3) Its recipes are of the scale unreachable to the home pizza maker;
4) It presupposes a certain level of cooking skill;
5) It does not include details about how to attain a particular result for a target style or outcome.   It will tell you that you can use fontina, mozz, provolone, jack and brick cheese to make a pizza, but it doesn't say which is best.
6) It does not say which particular brands of ingredients are best, and does not say where and how to obtain them.

That said, my hat is off to Encyclopizza.   Something on that scale in book or DVD form, for the home enthusiast, would kick a__.   :chef:
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.

Offline canadianbacon

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It's a great thought, but a big task.  First you have submit your "book" or writings to an author for their thoughts.  They
will then do some footwork and find out if there is a need for that book, and if other books already cover what you are covering, if not then you could be in luck, but if there are numerous books on your topic, it will be a hard sell.  The publishers don't want to undertake any publication that will not make them money.

Every year thounds of people try to get writings published... major publishers have an army of people that will read manuscripts, etc from authors, and then weed their way through the ones that may eventually make it to the book stand... it's a harse business, that's for sure, and can be very very difficult for somebody to get a book published.  If however you have lots of money, then you can get it published anyway, but not many can afford to go that route.   Publishers turn away so many potential books each year, based on so many different criterion.

The DVD, yeah nice also, I've love to see that, anyone on this group have the financial backing to produce professional DVDs ? hmm.... oh boy...  that's a huge undertaking.  If somebody is going to plunk out major dollars for a DVD set, this set will have to be very professionally done, and that cost major $.

Yeah, it's a great thought though.


What is needed - and the talent is on this forum - is to produce the ULTIMATE DVD or write the ULTIMATE BOOK on pizza making.

- Fio
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline Fio

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It's a great thought, but a big task.  First you have submit your "book" or writings to an author for their thoughts. . . .The publishers don't want to undertake any publication that will not make them money.


The DVD, yeah nice also, I've love to see that, anyone on this group have the financial backing to produce professional DVDs ? hmm.... oh boy...  that's a huge undertaking.  If somebody is going to plunk out major dollars for a DVD set, this set will have to be very professionally done, and that cost major $.

Yeah, it's a great thought though.


Well, it doesn't have to be on a commercial, retail scale.  With digital photography, DV camcorders, PC-based video editors (i.e. Macintosh) and email,  something could be done for very little money, and made available on a small scale.  I (and most of the people on this forum) already have all the tools we need: A PC, A digital camera, a DV camcorder, and high-speed internet.   Plus, access to the brain trust of pizza making.

I heard a story on NPR that in the modern digital/www age, traditional publishing is extinct.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2006, 09:52:29 AM by Fio »
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.

Offline foodblogger

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Who needs a publisher?  Who needs a book?  Those are 10th century concepts.  Its called a webpage or a blog.  I would have written a book long ago but I don't really care about making money from a book.  Pizza is a passion for me.  I make my money doing surgery.

Offline Lydia

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Before I became a member on this site I had already compiled a 4 inch binder full of recipes and information. and no, I didn't print out Encyclopizza site  :o

Now, I have started to accumlate information in Word format, based on a categories or topics I have searched on this site. I needed to do this for myself, I get too frustrated when I know the information is there and it takes too long to look-up.

The "search" for this forum only works "just fair".


Peter seems to be ontop of it. I don't know how he dose it. The information on this site seems to go on into infinity.

Quote
I heard a story on NPR that in the modern digital/www age, traditional publishing is extinct.
I've done alot of research on getting published (for cake decorating). Technical and reference materials in print are nearly extinct but not books read for pleasure. People want to relax with the reading material, and see pictures in true color (especially food pictures). It is difficult for readers to kick-back and enjoy a leisurely read with their "laptops".
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline Fio

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Who needs a publisher?  Who needs a book?  Those are 10th century concepts.  Its called a webpage or a blog.  I would have written a book long ago but I don't really care about making money from a book.  Pizza is a passion for me.  I make my money doing surgery.

I'm not talking about making money either; I just think it would be nice to have an indexed, organized compilation of all the great learning on this forum that you can refer to. 

As Lydia suggests, it's nice having a hard copy of a book to read.  You can't cuddle up with a laptop or desktop PC.  Plus, weblogs and websites are nice, but ephemeral, and require a computer. 
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.

Offline Lydia

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I wouldn't mind doing it, since I've basically already started.....IF I could get Peter to proof-it for accuracy ;)

Another thought though....we all have put alot of work into pizza research. If we did something like this, would it make the information "too" readily available to people who don't have the "passion" for pizza making?
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline varasano

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I would do it but I'd get sued for all the fires that would be started. But my page I think has the most complete full description from start to finish.... if I do say so myself.

;-)

Jeff


Offline Bill/SFNM

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The more I learn about pizza, the more I learn how much I don't know. Not to put a damper on this idea, but I can't imagine a source of definitive information as you envision. The reference information in the glossary is great as are the exchanges and debates in this forum on the all of the different aspects of pizza. If such a document existed, I would certainly buy it, but this is such a vast and, above all, subjective topic that I am not optimistic it is doable. Hey, I'm normally a "glass half-full" kind of guy, but I can't get enthusiastic about this idea.

As I've stated before, I would be happy to contribute to a FAQ to the extent I might be able to answer questions.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Lydia

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This site is a collective work. The request is primarily to stream-line the information, which I have already started to do for my own personal benefit.

Jeff, I do like your site, very thorough.

I like Bills-pizzamaniac site too, for it's simplicity.

I stubled on both of your sites while using search-engines or other research. Neither of your sites are in the "links page" on this site, which would stream-line the information.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline Lydia

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Creating a publication, would be a sticky issue.

I really wouldn't want what I've contributed to not be accredited. But then...I know that people who own or intend to own a pizza establishment participate on this site. They could be making better profits from something I've said.

The deal is. I wouldn't "know" about it if they did.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline Fio

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Lydia,

I sent you a PM.

 - Fio
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.

Offline CDNpielover

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I am an adacemic and have authored chapters in edited books (academic press and elsevier).

In academia, proposals are typically submitted to the publisher before the manuscript.  If the proposal is accepted, then the author(s) begins work on the MS.  If not, the author(s) didn't spend months preparing a MS that will go unpublished.

I assume it works the same way for any book.

I am sure i could provide an example of a sucessful book proposal if there is serious interest in this.

Offline RoadPizza

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From everything I've seen, Pete looks like he's got a great book or books in him.

I've been compiling pizza tutorial videos the last few months.  Unfortunately, I can't share them here.  :angel:

Offline canadianbacon

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Hey RoadPizza,

that's too bad, but we understand.

I've been compiling pizza tutorial videos the last few months.  Unfortunately, I can't share them here.  :angel:
« Last Edit: April 07, 2006, 10:16:09 PM by canadianbacon »
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline chiguy

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 Hi everyone,
 This website is the defiitive book on pizza making. If there is something here that one of our members cannot answer i would sure like to know what the question is??
 the book has already been written just read and enjoy.    Chiguy 
 

Offline canadianbacon

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Chiguy !,  ;D

I gotta agree with you, the forum is getting more and more info everyday.
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline Pete-zza

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I have been reading the comments on this thread with great interest since many of the same thoughts have crossed my mind many times over the past year or so. I fully agree with Fio, Lydia and others that the forum is a treasure trove of information on pizza making, especially for the serious home hobbyist, and that as our membership has grown and the content on the forum has greatly expanded, both in quantity and quality, the forum is the quintessential place for home pizza makers to be to learn about virtually any aspect of pizza making. There is no place else like it anywhere on the planet that I am aware of.

I also sympathize with Lydia and others about the randomness of the information from an organizational standpoint. Unfortunately, that is inevitable in a forum that is open to all and where members can come and go as they please, post as little or as much and as often as they wish, at any time of day, on any pizza topic of their choosing, and without any prior review. I happen to have a pretty good feel for where things are because I have read just about every post and, along with Steve and others, have had many opportunities to move threads and posts around as the indexing and formatting of the forum content has changed to reflect the expanding and changing nature of the forum content. But we are not unique in organizational challenges. Try navigating the eGullet, PMQ.com and chowhound forums and you will quickly see what I mean. It is a growing problem for everyone. It is also the reason why glossaries, FAQs, search engines, IM messaging, and archived files exist and why members are encouraged to use them.

I have come to the conclusion that there is insufficient commercial demand for a book or other publication based on the content of the forum, as good as it may be, and especially when considered in light of the effort that would have to be undertaken to convert the information to a user-friendly form. I sense that what most people are after is simple recipes, with simple, standard ingredients specified in volume measurements, and instructions detailed enough to allow them to practice the recipes successfully using ingredients that they can find easily and at reasonable prices at their local supermarkets and using standard home appliances and hopefully only a few extra, low-cost tools. This is the market that virtually every pizza cookbook writer targets, apparently with good reason.

My observation is that many, if not most, of our members come to the forum mainly to look for information or to have someone look at their broken recipes and failed pizzas, or give them copycat recipes of their favorite pizzeria pizzas, only to disappear once they have gotten answers to their questions or their pizza problems have been solved. It is only the passionate who lust for more and stick around. They are addicted to pizza making, hungry for knowledge, full of questions, willing to do original and creative work and share their results, and are seeking perfection in what they do, at almost any cost, and even if it is for a single solitary pizza style. But these folks are in the distinct minority. As chiguy says, for them, this forum is their “book”, and they are willing to wade through it, search through it, copy parts of it, contribute to it, and reorganize it in their own way to suit their own needs--as Lydia appears to have done. If there is a silver lining in all this, I think it is that the forum may have reached a critical mass of content where the new content will be more incremental in nature—more evolutionary than revolutionary. I say that somewhat guardedly because I remember the statement made by a former Commissioner of the Patent Office who said "Everything that can be invented has been invented."  That statement was made in 1899.

Peter


 

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