Author Topic: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?  (Read 1037 times)

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Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« on: February 21, 2014, 02:09:32 AM »
Most of the books out there are good, but don't really get into the scientific aspects of baking pizza. Sure I can just look stuff up here, but sometimes I would like to have a book to reference instead of doing deep web searches on here. There are all these little things that just get missed. I've got the Great Chicago Pizza Book, Pizza by Gabriele Bonci, and a few free ebooks which I have barely glanced at. I have spent just too much time dealing with pizza to not have an encyclopedia of pizza now.


Offline jsaras

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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2014, 10:53:39 AM »
I would suggest "Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in 5 Minutes a Day".  Although I don't care for many of their formulations (which are expressed in weights!), the technical material about pizza making is consistent with the principles one finds pepperd throughout this website.  You won't have to "unlearn" a lot of nonsense. 
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2014, 12:33:54 PM »
For those who are interested, yesterday I found the The Great Chicago Style Pizza Cookbook, by Pasquale Bruno, online at http://health.page.sk/PDFs/069-the-great-chicago-style-pizza.pdf.

Peter

Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 02:00:34 AM »
Jsaras: I'm surprised you suggested that book. It seems like it's set up for people just in a practical way to learn through much trial and error. I remember they suggested using a bucket to put all the dough in for the week. I've seen their Sicilian and wasn't very impressed. My friend Mike dogged them for something they wrote in the book dedicated to soley bread. I think it was that they suggested using pineapple juice in sourdough starter. I've found out that there is a real reason for this now though. I think I will give this a try. Hopefully I can get it on bookmooch.com since I have a free book credit waiting to be used.

Offline norma427

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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 08:39:18 AM »
For those who are interested, yesterday I found the The Great Chicago Style Pizza Cookbook, by Pasquale Bruno, online at http://health.page.sk/PDFs/069-the-great-chicago-style-pizza.pdf.

Peter

Peter,

I did not click on your link yesterday for the Great Chicago Style Pizza Cookbook, by Pasquale Bruno. Today I clicked on the link and saw it was really the book to read.     

I found different things interesting in that book.  One thing I read that I thought was interesting is that Ed Jacobson, the owner of Edwardo's Pizza Restaurants went to AIB and took a course there.  I would have thought he would have had his dough down pat from the beginning.

Norma
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Offline jsaras

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Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 09:43:46 AM »
PizzAlaJoey, I agree with you in your observations.  However, it's the only book on pizza I've seen that gives recipes by weights (and instructs you to buy a scale), and it has extensive tables on the weights of many flours and ingredients so that you can covert recipes to weights...it's all good technical information and lots of it.  It's far superior to Reinhart's book in that regard.  It also has many different dough formulations that go beyond the usual pizza fare.

If a person read Artisan Pizza and subsequently started sifting through the mountain of information on this website, they'd feel like they were in familiar territory.  Besides, pizza making IS exploring through trial and error.  There's no singular way to make any style of pizza, but it helps to have an understanding of the skills/technical side so as to have a way to find one's own way.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 09:45:28 AM by jsaras »
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Offline TXCraig1

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Pizza is not bread.

Offline jsaras

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Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2014, 11:38:29 AM »
Hmm. Fazzari was one of the Amazon reviewers.  He wasn't too keen on that book.  I guess it's a tall order to write a good book on the subject. 
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2014, 11:46:16 AM »
It's a short, inexpensive book and worth the time and money to read, IMO.
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Offline thezaman

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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2014, 07:33:40 PM »
 this is available from amazon.it i picked up a copy it is Italian so i do not understand much ,but it is very in depth and the photos are well done. I'm sure an American version is on its way.   http://www.pizzanapoletana.org/460-eng-farina_acqua_lievito_sale_passione.htm


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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2014, 08:16:21 PM »
You won't have to "unlearn" a lot of nonsense.

Respectfully, Jonas, with all the really questionable books on pizza there are out there, I can understand how you might be pleasantly surprised when you find one that encourages weight measures, but this book has a lot to unlearn. I took a look at a copy at the library and found quite a few discrepancies.

- They recommend substituting dried oregano for fresh basil
- They don't know what Caputo 00 flour is and think it's 8% protein
- They don't understand the concept of draining fresh mozzarella
- They ball the dough 20-40 minutes prior to stretching
- They only use rolling pins for thin crusts
- Their master dough recipe is 74% hydration with all purpose flour! 74%!
- They use 1% IDY for a dough that is ready in 2 hours, but that can be used up to 14 days.  14 days!!!!

The last item reveals, imo, a staggeringly ignorant understanding of fermentation. If that was the only thing they got wrong, I'd still question the value of this book. We have some forum members that shoot for as little as a 6 hour window when their dough is ready to use- beyond that or before that it's impaired.  My window is a little larger, but 2 hours to 14 days is ridiculous.

Offline jsaras

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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2014, 10:57:32 PM »
Scott, I am in complete agreement with you.  Someone (hint, hint) should write a style-agnostic dissertation on practical/technical pizza fundamentals.  Even though there is a room for a lot of variation on almost every aspect of pizza making (like how far one can push the linits of hydration with all purpose flour) it IS good to know that 59% is the norm.

It's a bit like playing jazz.  One has to know "rules" of melody and harmony before launching into a "free jazz" exploration. 

The Artisan Pizza book lists the densities of 18 different types of flours (some of which aren't correct), but there isn't another single book that has even broached that subject at all. 

So yeah, it sucks, but it sucks a lot less than anything else I've seen in a single volume.
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Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2014, 06:00:50 PM »
Jsaras: I appreciate you telling me about this. I didn't mean to sound like I was trashing it, but it sounds like it's not done by perfect pizza conoscenti. I think it has a lot of good things in it especially after previewing 30 pages of it on Amazon. I always thought the idea was good because you could do like we do: lots of trial and error. There is still a lot of science to learn here and in the book.

Zapizzaman: I'm going to get that book. That looks great. If I wanted to, I could read enough of it. If not I can always scan the page and have the OCR translate it for me. I think to make genuinely good neapolitan pizza with some of the more traditional techniques is a great goal. Just the way they flip the pizza to open up the skins seems to have a great benefit rather than pulling.

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Is there a book that is for us more advanced/serious pizzaoli?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2014, 10:09:13 PM »
I really like Flour Water Yeast Salt by Ken Forkish. It's not specifically about pizza (mostly it's about breadmaking) but it does provide very clear instructions and good recipes.