• #21 by RHawthorne on 24 Jun 2021

  • Again, I am not looking for "perfect" or "best" recipes, but good recipes as a starting point, a place for beginners to start learning without having to navigate the forum.

    I think that collecting some of the recipes, tools and techniques can only help.  Especially for people starting out.  Collecting the current tools would help everyone.

    I guess I don't see why you wouldn't want that.
    I'm not trying to argue, but you keep making that same point, and then referring to the recipe and tools section that already exists. It seems to me that what you're asking for is already here. I'm not sure what more you want.
  • #22 by Pete-zza on 24 Jun 2021
  • To add to what I have already said, I should mention that when I was putting together the compilations of pizzas, I looked for the best recipes. And there had to be enough information to allow users to practice the recipes. That meant that sometimes I would have to ask the members in question for more information to be sure that one could practice the recipes. I also frequently updated what I posted on specific recipes, as can be seen, for example, in the case of Glutenboy, at:

    What I was looking for in my compilations was to spare members having to read entire threads.

    I wish I could say that I never missed a very good recipe, but everything I did was in addition to my duties as a Moderator.

    As it turns out, the compilations that drew the greatest audience, in terms of page views, was the emergency dough recipes ( That is consistent with my conclusion that members want recipes that are good and can be made fast.

    I should further note that we have tried to educate members about pizza making in many ways. As an example, see the post at Reply 1 at:

    I composed the above post knowing that most new members would most likely not read the post. Past evidence shows that new members just want help and answers and, hopefully, not have to do anything that smacks of work on their part. But hope springs eternal.


  • #23 by Pete-zza on 24 Jun 2021
  • Many new members also join just so they can search for ovens and for help with pizza making issues they are having.

    You raise a very good point. Like you, I look at all of the introductory posts of new members, along with all of the other posts every day, and you are correct that a good number of the introductory posts deal with a wide variety of ovens. The availability of so many new oven options is a major change in the world of pizza making. When I joined the forum, ovens centered around standard gas or electric home ovens along with a pizza stone. But what remains with us today, as in the past, is the need to successfully marry whatever recipes are used to the particular oven that is to be used to bake the pizzas, whether using one or more stones and/or steels or pizza screens or disks or the different baking concepts of the newer ovens. That is easier said than done.

  • #24 by amolapizza on 03 Jul 2021
  • My two cents.

    Learning to make pizza isn't about recipes, it's about learning a craft..

    In essence once you know how to, it's quite easy to make a good pizza, but the devil is in the details.

    What dough formula one might adopt depends on a myriad of factors, like desired pizza style, the oven, available ingredients, temperatures, the timing, etc, etc.  Then you have techniques, like how you mix, bulk, ball, open skins, top them, and finally how you bake them.

    There simply is no right recipe and we all have to sharpen our skills and learn on the job.  The best way (the only way) is just to make a lot pizza and to try to learn from our past experiences.  Sadly we don't have a master at our side telling us, you do this wrong, or this dough needs a bit more kneading (or less), etc.  But on the other hand this forum gives you an incredible resource, in that you can discuss your pizza making quest with others that are on the same quest.

    My best advice to the novice would be:

    1. Consider your oven and it's max temperature and heating element placements, as this will dictate what kind of pizza you can make.  If your oven goes up to 550F you simply won't be able to bake a Neapolitan pizza, though this isn't saying that you couldn't make an excellent NY style.

    2. Armed with that knowledge zero in on a dough recipe, like for instance NY style.  Browsing the forum you ought to find a myriad of variations, but you could do a lot worse than settling on the Lehmann formulation.

    3. Then go to town.  Start making dough, learn how to proof it, how to open the skins and top them, and finally how to bake it in the oven.

    4. Consider your results and what might be improved.  Maybe you need to change the hydration a little bit depending on what flour you use and your particular oven.  Maybe you have problems with opening the skins, and you need to reconsider your dough management, or simply practice more opening the balls.  Maybe you have a problem with sticky dough or the dough is tearing, etc, etc,

    5. Post results here for comments from others and for interesting discussions.  Keep studying the forum to understand the issues you uncover and how you can improve your process.

    6. Rinse and repeat.

    7. Rejoice in all the tasty pizza you'll eat during the process of learning how to make better pizza.
  • #25 by Pete-zza on 03 Jul 2021
  • Jack,

    Excellent post and excellent advice. Your post got me to thinking about my own past experience in pizza making and how I became a member of the forum. In my case, before joining the forum, which I stumbled upon in mid-2004, I spent my time learning rather than doing. The learning came from my exposure to the writings of the late Tom Lehmann when he was a fixture at the PMQ Think Tank and also his work for PMQ and Pizza Today. I also read the writings of the late Big Dave Ostrander, who was once a pizza operator who became an industry consultant, and also the writings of John Correll, who was a consultant to professionals and who authored a very informative and educational document called Encyclopizza. They were regulars at the PMQTT. As an aside, I might mention that John originally made the Encyclopizza available for free online but later decided to sell it. Unfortunately for John, the Encyclopizza was archived at the Wayback Machine before he decided to sell it and was therefore still available for free. For those who may want to read it, or parts of it, I found it at the Wayback Machine at:

    With the above as background, one can see my general view of pizza making when I registered on the forum in my first official post on the forum, at Reply 1 at:

    I said "official" post above but I actually had several posts before the one cited above. Those posts were as a Guest. But, at the time, posting by Guests was permitted. I was quite technical in my writings, which Steve liked since we had almost no professionals on the forum at the time, and he convinced me to join the forum. That was not my intent. I often joke that my practice is not to join any organization that will have me as a member :-D.

    Here is an example of a post as a Guest that got me noticed.

    Reply 8 at

    One of the benefits that came from what I learned from Tom and the others is that the recipes they covered were quite basic and straightforward. There was little available about using preferments and natural starters and the like or other esoteric techniques like autolyse. It was extremely rare to find professionals at the time who used these techniques as pizza operators. And, like you and others, my advice to newbies has always been to start with a simple recipe, such as the NY style recipe that Tom used, and work with it until mastered. That is what I tried to do when I volunteered to try to adapt Tom's recipe to a home setting, in the thread at:

    I, of course, had my share of mishaps and stumbles but by the time I stopped my experiments, I had preferment and natural starter versions and also autolyse and frozen and take-and-bake and emergency versions of Tom's recipe along with hand kneaded, food processor and bread machine kneaded versions. From all of this, I learned an enormous amount about the technical and practical aspects of pizza making.



  • #26 by jsaras on 03 Jul 2021
  • My two cents. Learning to make pizza isn't about recipes, it's about learning a craft. In essence once you know how to, it's quite easy to make a good pizza, but the devil is in the details.

    For me it often feels like I'm making the exact same pizza regardless of the dough formula and style.   It's akin to getting a basketball into the hoop regardless of where you are on the court.  You learn how to adjust and recover from whatever obstacles that present themselves in the moment, and that only comes from experience.

    Dough handling is a big part of it IMO.  I have B+ skills in that area, and I'd gladly take a lesson from a professional pizza chef to make gains.