The Elements online of Pizza: Unlocking the online sale Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home [A Cookbook] online

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Description

Product Description

The James Beard and IACP Award-winning author of Flour Water Salt Yeast and one of the most trusted baking authorities in the country proves that amazing pizza is within reach of any home cook. 

“If there were ever to be a bible for all things pizza—and I mean all things—Ken Forkish has just written it.”—Marc Vetri, author of Mastering Pasta and owner of Vetri

The Elements of Pizza breaks down each step of the pizza-making process, from choosing a dough to shaping your pie to selecting cheeses and toppings that will work for your home kitchen setup. Forkish offers more than a dozen different dough recipes—same-day “Saturday doughs” that you can make in the morning to bake pizza that night, levain doughs made from a naturally fermented yeast starter, and even gluten-free dough—each of which results in the best, most texturally sublime crust you’ve ever made at home.

His clear, expert instructions will have you shaping pies and loading a pizza peel with the confidence of a professional pizzaiolo. And his innovative, seasonal topping ideas will surprise and delight any pizza lover—and inspire you to create your own signature pies, just the way you like them.

Review

“If there were ever to be a bible for all things pizza—and I mean all things —Ken Forkish has just written it. The detail that went into this book is so vast and exact that after reading it you will simply never have another question about any kind of pizza, from anywhere in the world.” Marc Vetri, author of Mastering Pasta and owner of Vetri

“Ken Forkish is one of the world’s great pie men, so it should be no surprise that The Elements of Pizza is an essential addition to the pizza canon. Forkish’s formidable intellect and knowledge, combined with his can-do spirit, will turn any pizza lover into a pizza maker.” Ed Levine, founder and CEO of Serious Eats

“If you’re into pizza—and who isn’t?— The Elements of Pizza is your new holy book. There’s something here for every cook, from weeknight-ready recipes to intricate explorations of dough chemistry. Ken Forkish is clearly a man obsessed, and lucky for us: much has been written about this globally beloved food, but this book has them all beat.”  —Molly Wizenberg, author of Delancey and A Homemade Life

“With The Elements of Pizza, Ken Forkish proves there is no right or wrong style of pizza. The right pizza is whatever you like—and whether you fancy Neapolitan, Roman, New York, or any other style, Ken guides you smoothly through the process. But this is not just a book about crusts and toppings: it is also full of interesting history and fun stories. In fact, this terrific book is itself one of the essential elements of making great pizza at home.”  —Nancy Silverton, chef/co-owner of the Mozza Restaurant Group

“The Elements of Pizza is a cookbook for anyone who loves pizza—particularly those with a deep appreciation for the crust. Ken’s own passion for pizza took him to Italy and across the United States to uncover the techniques and ingredients that make incredible pizza. Starting from the ground up, this straightforward guide provides readers of all skill levels with techniques and tips to master a variety of pizza doughs, and culminates in delicious recipes that prove that great pizza can be made everywhere—especially at home.”  —Nathan Myhrvold, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine

"The ultimate guide to the world of pizza." —Portland Oregonian

About the Author

Ken Forkish is the author of the James Beard and IACP Award–winning book Flour Water Salt Yeast, and the owner of the popular Portland, Oregon, restaurants Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Ken’s Artisan Pizza, Trifecta Tavern & Bakery, and Checkerboard Pizza.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

INTRODUCTION 

IT’S REALLY UP TO YOU. 

The hidden reality of pizza is that you can easily make better pizza at home than you can buy at any but the best independently owned, quality-focused pizzerias. All you need are good ingredients—flour, canned tomatoes, and cheese—plus a few tools and a standard home kitchen oven. And some good instruction. Even if you live somewhere that has great pizzerias, imagine making your own—a pizza that you can be proud of and is exactly how you like it. Discover for yourself what different cheeses are like on pizza: splurge on water buffalo mozzarella, see what happens when you seek out caciocavallo cheese, or try adding freshly grated Pecorino Romano. Master thin-crust and Neapolitan-style pizza. Bang out a couple of killer pan pizzas to eat with Sunday football. Serve it with confidence to your family and friends. Making it yourself will give you a greater appreciation for the craft of the pizzaiolos at your favorite pizzeria: you will probably find yourself looking more closely at their shaping technique; the dough they use and its texture; and how it’s topped, loaded into the oven, and baked. By making pizza yourself, you become more intimate with it. It’s seductive. You are more informed, and that understanding leads to better pizza, great pleasure, and plenty of pride. 


THE FERDINANDO
Makes one 12-inch pizza 

Imagine yourself as the king of Naples in 1782. You want pizza, but you don’t want your wife, Queen Maria Carolina, to find out. So you disguise yourself as a commoner, sneak out of the castle, and slink through the streets to a pizzeria called Ntuono (Tony’s) to satisfy your craving. Pizza is for common folk, not for royalty like you; don’t you know that? You order the same pizza everybody else orders, topped with olive oil, garlic, oregano, and salt, with a little bit of cheese sprinkled on after it is baked. DUDE, she’s going to smell the garlic on your breath! 

If it was good enough for Ferdinando to sneak out for, risking the wrath of his royal lady, then it must have been pretty tasty. And this historic pizza of Naples is also a delicious model of simplicity. Like all of the very simple pizzas, it demands an excellent crust. 

To bake this pizza, you’ll pass on the broil stage I recommend for most of the pizzas in this book, removing the pie after 5 minutes of baking. The oil and the garlic should be completely done at this point. Any extra baking, or finishing with a broil stage, will burn both the garlic and the bubbles in the crust. 

1 dough ball 
Extra-virgin olive oil 
3 or 4 cloves garlic 
0.5 gram ( 3⁄4 teaspoon) dried oregano 
Sea salt 
15 grams (about 1⁄4 cup) finely grated pecorino cheese 

1. If you use a dough recipe that calls for refrigeration, remove your dough ball from the refrigerator about 60 to 90 minutes before baking pizza. Put your pizza steel or stone on an upper rack in your oven no more than 8 inches below the broiler. Preheat the oven to 550°F (290°C) for 45 minutes. 

2. Slice the garlic thinly, place it in a small bowl, and drizzle just enough olive oil over it to coat the slices. Use your fingers to ensure each slice is coated—this prevents the garlic from burning. Set aside. 

3. Set up your pizza assembly station. Give yourself about 2 feet of width on the countertop. Moderately flour the work surface. Position your peel next to the floured area and dust it lightly with flour. Have the olive oil, garlic, oregano, sea salt, and cheese at hand. Switch the oven to broil 10 minutes before loading the pizza. 

4. To shape the pizza, put the dough ball on the floured work surface and flip to coat both sides moderately with white flour. Use the shaping method shown on pages 92 to 95. Transfer the disk of pizza dough to the peel. Run your hands around the perimeter to relax it and work out the kinks. 

5. Drizzle about 20 grams (1 1⁄2 tablespoons) of olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle the garlic and then the oregano evenly over the pizza. Sprinkle with sea salt. Turn off the broiler, then gently slide the pizza onto the pizza steel or stone. Close the oven door and change the oven setting to bake at 550°F (290°C). Let the pizza bake for about 5 minutes, until the crust is golden with spots of dark brown. The garlic color rules when to remove this pizza—don’t let the garlic go beyond medium brown, and skip the broil step for this pizza, as it tends to scorch the garlic. Use tongs or a fork to slide the pizza from the pizza steel or stone onto a large plate. 

6. Top the pizza with the grated cheese and drizzle a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil over it, and serve whole or sliced.

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
2,378 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

whiterabbit
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gorgeous Book, Delicious Pizza, So Much Variety!!! And finally authentic Italian dough!
Reviewed in the United States on April 21, 2016
The first thing that stands out about this book is the helpful way in which the sections have been arranged. There is an absolutely gorgeous introduction chapter called appropriately The Soul of Pizza, and for the first time when reading a cookbook I found myself immersed... See more
The first thing that stands out about this book is the helpful way in which the sections have been arranged. There is an absolutely gorgeous introduction chapter called appropriately The Soul of Pizza, and for the first time when reading a cookbook I found myself immersed in a wonderful story of pizza and the regions of Italy that take pizza to levels of yummy perfection. It is a carefully researched and beautifully written story and I actually read it all the way through (something I never do with cookbooks). I guess that is because The Elements of Pizza is actually much more than a cookbook. It embraces all things pizza, not least of all pizza''s Italian origins and the wonderful culture it arose from. Ken Forkish does an amazing job of capturing the beauty of the Italian country (amazing amazing photography wow), and the skill and dedication of pizza artisans there who have been perfecting their skill for generations with loving dedication. His descriptions of the consistency of crusts and the various regional tastes is nothing short of miraculous. I mean I could really imagine the taste and texture of the pizza. It is a mouth-watering and very inspiring journey into the world of pizza.

Instead of finding a bunch of pizza recipes attached to a couple dough recipes, as in most recipe books, I discovered in this book a whole chapter talking about nothing but dough. And by that I mean to say there are 12 different pizza dough recipes plus one gluten-free pizza dough recipe. They are divided into helpful categories based on time it takes to make the doughs, starting with 5 fairly fast doughs, followed by refrigerated doughs that take 24, 48 or 72 hours respectively, followed by a couple naturally-leavened doughs, and then some more specialty doughs. In other words, this chapter alone has taught me all I need to know about every pizza dough I could ever want to make. Wow. I am absolutely delighted. Big smile on my face. It takes all the confusion and uncertainty out of the process and helps one master the whole world of pizza dough in short order. I am sure it will take lots of practice to actually master the making of the doughs, but at least here there is a clear and solid foundation to build on. I just love it!

I also love the subsequent chapter that is divided into sections, to give pizza recipes specific to each region. It starts with recipes that are true to Italian and/or Italian-style pizza. Followed by New York style recipes, and then a section of Ken''s own artisan creations, and then specialty recipes, some Trifecta flatbreads, and then vegetable and other recipes. This amazing and comprehensive chapter starts with a bunch of recipes for pizza sauce alone, including 2 ways of making basic tomato sauce, FWSY sauce (Flour Water Salt Yeast), Vodka sauce, and New York pizza sauce.

There is a whole chapter dedicated to talking about details for making Great Pizza Crust... an extremely helpful resource... with beautiful photos. I feel like it is an actual pizza-making class, at a height I could only previously dream of attaining. Ken Forkish makes it seem so simple and elementary. It is very well written and an invaluable resource. Again, a beautifully strong foundation with which to begin a pizza making journey... practice will make perfect, I trust. Honestly, even my most scatterbrained attempts at making pizza have been delicious and yummy. One can hardly go wrong with pizza. It is a food of the gods.. hehe... but this book is something else. It will take your pizza skills to new levels and enable great control over the crust consistency and texture and taste. This is something I had not mastered before. And this book gives such a variety of different styles and types of dough that I will never again be stuck making just the one kind of pizza, as I have been. The taste and consistency of the dough is shown to be the real king in pizza, more so than the toppings themselves. The toppings are wonderful in this book and beautifully varied. But the dough is really what I am excited to work with here. And I can''t wait to compare side by side the different tastes of Italian vs New York style pizza, both of which I have always loved.

In conclusion, this book is really not to be missed by any pizza lover. It is comprehensive, beautifully presented, and the photography is plentiful and stunning. it will teach and inspire anyone, I think, to delve into the exciting world of pizza making. And it gives a passionate and loving history of the art, with a detailed study of pizza making in Italy. Ken Forkish actually went there and worked and talked with some of the greatest pizza artisans in Italy. And it''s all in this book, with photos of the pizzaiolos (pizza makers) that he talked to, and photos of their establishments. And some really inspired shots of Naples too. This is the most passionate, authentic, helpful, delicious book on pizza I have ever seen!

PS: FYI ...My pizza making, personally, is in a 30" Viking gas oven, and more recently in a Uuni 2 wood-fired (900F) pizza oven (amazing birthday present thank you dear hubby). The Uuni 2 bakes pizza super fast so the times of baking have to be adjusted accordingly... Great for the thinner crust pizzas
232 people found this helpful
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Dave
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Terrific bargain at $3.99 for the ebook!
Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2018
There are currently 4 DEFINITIVE pizza cookbooks (that I know of) on Amazon: 1. The Pizza Bible, by Tony Gemignani. 2. The Elements of Pizza, by Ken Forkish. 3. Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe François. 4.... See more
There are currently 4 DEFINITIVE pizza cookbooks (that I know of) on Amazon:
1. The Pizza Bible, by Tony Gemignani.
2. The Elements of Pizza, by Ken Forkish.
3. Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe François.
4. American Pie, by Peter Reinhart.

All are worth buying new. But since I''m cheap, I generally wait until used copies are available for under $10. However, when I saw the reduced price of only $3.99 for the Kindle format of Elements, I jumped on it. And, boy, am I glad I got it!

($3.99 just pays for the shipping alone of a used physical book.)

So... buy whichever is on sale: this book, or Tony G''s Pizza Bible, then wait for the other to go on sale and get it too. (And if you''re OCD like me, you have to complete your pizza library with the other two books.)

Ken knows his stuff. He did the research. He explains all about baking steels vs stones, flour, tomatoes, sauces, cheese, ovens.

If you prepare in advance, it''s really not that hard to make superior quality pizza. And if you invest in the pizza stone or steel, and the right flour... WOWZA !
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D-Form
5.0 out of 5 stars
Foolproof Dough
Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2016
I make a lot of pizza at home and have been scooping up every new pizza book available. Every pizza book offers something different whether it’s a philosophy on dough, creative toppings or just a good ol’ history lesson. This book, “The Elements of Pizza” by Ken Forkish... See more
I make a lot of pizza at home and have been scooping up every new pizza book available. Every pizza book offers something different whether it’s a philosophy on dough, creative toppings or just a good ol’ history lesson. This book, “The Elements of Pizza” by Ken Forkish does a bit of each and is very successful. Ken Forkish is the owner of Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Ken’s Artisan Pizza and Trifecta Tavern, all located in Portland, OR. For this book, he tried to leave his knowledge behind and traveled to Italy to meet with true pizza masters. In the end I feel like he developed his own philosophy on pizza which mixes his knowledge of baking with their knowledge of pizza.

The heart of this book is the dough, as it should be in a pizza book, and it offers 12 different recipes for dough. What I really enjoy is that many of the dough recipes are for similar “New York” or “Neapolitan” style but they vary in the amount of time needed to make them. There are doughs that range from a few hours “I Slept In But I want Pizza Tonight” to a few days “Overnight Levain Pizza”. There are also recipes for pan pizza, bar pizza, Al Taglio and Gluten Free dough. The dough recipes are simple and use only water, salt, dried yeast and flour. Some recipes require a starter which is made with the same ingredients.

Prior to the dough section of the book there are five chapters, “The Soul Of Pizza”, “Pizza Styles”, Eight Details for Great Pizza Crusts”, “Ingredients & Equipment” and “Methods”. The “Soul of Pizza” really touches on the history and philosophy of pizza making in Italy and the Eastern United States. I really enjoyed this section of the book, the insight provided by his visits to some of the best pizza places in Italy is priceless. After reading about one of his visits I was visualizing the awkwardness he felt in the 15 minutes while getting schooled by an Italian master. This book does exclude any major discussion of California or Chicago deep dish style pizza.

The next section describes (in about a page for each pizza) what to expect when you cook each type of pizza. Each style is concluded with bullet points talking about the desired results for the crust, sauce, etc. This may be the first book that dedicates any space to American Bar Pizza, which is a pizza with no outer layer of crust.

Chapter 3 is where the author really starts to define his own pizza philosophy which has a huge focus on crust. The eight tips for great crust discuss topics such as hydration, time, temperature, salt, mixing and climate. The brief narrative on hydration really helped me understand why my previous pizzas were coming out so different when using my home oven vs. my outdoor oven.

The methods sections is very helpful and describes each of the steps used to make the pizzas. The key steps are shown in photographs and describes in narrative form. While making my first dough I found myself turning to this section over and over as I worked through the recipe. For some folks there could probably be more pictures but the pictures included are of the most important parts.

I tested the “24- to 48-Hour Pizza Dough” recipe and was sort of scared at first. The dough was extremely sticky to work because of the 70% hydration level. I followed the instructions closely from mixing, kneading and shaping and the dough stayed pretty sticky the whole time. Mr. Forkish isn’t really scared of adding extra flour to the mix to keep it less sticky but I was tentative due to some previous pizza books I’ve read. After the 2nd fermentation and letting the dough warm up for 90 minutes I found that it was no longer sticky (I increased my extra flour at this point) and it was a pleasure to work with. It stretched so easily and basically shaped itself. In other books I’ve had trouble getting my dough to stretch to the listed size (even after weighing my dough balls) but this dough actually exceeded the size, and was hanging over the edge of my pizza peel. I made the dough using King Arthur Flour.

The dough I created resulted in three dough balls, I used two and cut the third in half to let my kids make their own pizzas. For the first pizza we made the Margherita and Arugula and followed the recipe closely. Our second pizza was a made up concoction of smoked gouda, mozzarella and caramelized onions. The kids made a pizza with tomato sauce, olive oil, soppresata, and olives and one without sauce.

The author uses a pizza stone or baking steel and utilizes a combo of the oven and broiler in all the recipes. Unfortunately our oven does not have a broiler and the temp maxes out at 50F less than his recommended cooking temp (our oven is not normal). We did use a baking stone placed in the middle of our oven and we heated the oven for an extended time. We prepared the pizza on a wooden peel and slid it easily onto the stone (I have had a lot of practice). The pizza was finished in about 6 minutes. The crust was beautiful, although not as deeply brown as those in the book, airy, the bottom was thin and crisp. Although crisp it was foldable. The texture of the crust was perfect. The flavor of the dough was above average but I think using a longer fermented dough could elevate it to great. As I mentioned before the dough was extremely easy to work with. My 5 & 7 year old children both stretched and made nice looking mini pizzas.

Although my review commented mostly on the dough aspect of this cookbook the actual pizza recipes all look really great. There are over 35 recipes ranging from Italian, New York, Ken’s Pizza Classics, Flatbreads, Vegetables and Other. The recipe section (and the rest of the book) are filled with delicious looking photos.

Overall I would recommend this book to a pizza maker of any level. I really enjoyed the pizzas we made from this book and am going to make one of the longer fermented dough recipes soon. The tidbits of information that Ken Forkish adds into many sections about hydration, oven temperature and fermentation make this book worth having in my collection. The recipes and photos make it a pizza book I’ll use often.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
194 people found this helpful
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PhxHorn
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Recipe temperature & quantities don''t work
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2020
I''ve got some experience making pizza, but I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend. I tried the 48-hour dough to start off, and immediately encountered major problems. First of all, he recommends instant yeast, but I have a pound of active dry on hand. There... See more
I''ve got some experience making pizza, but I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend. I tried the 48-hour dough to start off, and immediately encountered major problems. First of all, he recommends instant yeast, but I have a pound of active dry on hand. There is no information on what, if anything, to do differently when using active dry yeast, so I went ahead and followed the steps. I know that active dry yeast will activate best at a water temperature of 105° to 110°F, but this recipe calls for 90° to 95°F water. I haven''t had good luck using water at that temperature, but I went ahead and "trusted the expert" and followed the steps, using the absurdly small amount of yeast called for. Then I noticed that he says to add "white flour, preferably 00." As if 00 flour is interchangeable with other types of flour with the exact same quantity. It''s not. 00 flour requires far less water, otherwise you end up with a soupy mess. I understand his intention of making a wetter dough to withstand the longer bake time in a home oven, but you simply cannot use the same hydration with 00 flour. But, I went and followed the steps. And, I ended up with a soupy mess, and had to spend several minutes adding a large amount of flour just to get the mixture manageable. Made the dough balls, put them in the fridge. 12 hours later, they have not risen at all. The yeast did not activate. A few minutes ago, I tried mixing some yeast with water at 110°F and it activated just fine. Since the yeast is not the problem, it had to be the water temperature. Or maybe the fact that I had to add so much flour. Whatever the issue, I now have to throw out an entire batch of dough because I was foolish enough to ignore what I already knew and blindly follow the vague and incomplete instructions in this book. I considered submitting a return request to Amazon, but will probably hang onto the book and try to incorporate other aspects of the book into my cooking. But now I know better than to blindly follow instructions that I know to be wrong. I will say this: his instructions on how to make the dough balls are very good.
10 people found this helpful
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EyewandersTop Contributor: Camping
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This Book Grows Far Beyond Ken''s First Book and it is a Genuine Home Run
Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2018
Update: This book is a pizza bible to me in the kitchen and is still one of my most used. Between this book and Frank Pinellos "Pizza Show" seasons on Youtube, there''s not much more to know. You can be a home pizza man/woman. Ciao.... See more
Update: This book is a pizza bible to me in the kitchen and is still one of my most used. Between this book and Frank Pinellos "Pizza Show" seasons on Youtube, there''s not much more to know. You can be a home pizza man/woman. Ciao.

_______________________________

I came to this book after having it on my bookshelf for many months. It''s super interesting to me because while FWSY (his first book) was excellent to me at first, I grew out of it quickly. Without going into detail there were just quite a few things that did not work for me in that book which felt very stringent all in all. The pizza tips there were good, but eventually I came to appreciate the older (and in my opinion slightly better) book by Chad Robertson of Tartine quite a bit more. Eventually I didn''t read either of them much except for occasionally referring to them for amounts (which are flexible as well)... and FWSY even less so.

I mention all of this because a *huge* number of all my personal baking adjustments in which I deviated from FWSY, in both bread baking (particularly in levain culturing) and pizza making are almost *completely* represented here in The Elements of Pizza. It was a breath of fresh air to read all the ways Ken had changed in his approach that mirrored my own growth and experimentation (albeit on a much smaller, just-me-here-at-home kind of scale of course)... Changes that I came up with through my own trial and error... smaller amounts of starter and *much* smaller levain feeding amount, as well as using cast iron and broilers in varied succession to achieve better pizza crust are all here in this book and more! And with those changes, along with a more open approach to the many varied pizza styles, a fair bit of history, and a genuine plethora of *EXCELLENT* pizza recipes and ideas, this book is simply a home-run in comparison. I was on the same page as Ken in this book from page 1 right through to the end and learned a lot.

This is a fantastic book on pizza, and the methods he gives you here will absolutely bring pizza to your table better than you thought possible.
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Kat LTop Contributor: Baking
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Genius guide to making perfect pies at home
Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2016
The Elements of Pizza is formatted fairly similarly to the author''s previous masterpiece: Flour Water Salt Yeast. There is a very lengthy introduction covering the soul of pizza (at least as it relates to the Naples, Rome, and New York regions as well as American pan/bar... See more
The Elements of Pizza is formatted fairly similarly to the author''s previous masterpiece: Flour Water Salt Yeast. There is a very lengthy introduction covering the soul of pizza (at least as it relates to the Naples, Rome, and New York regions as well as American pan/bar pizza and flat breads). If you''re hoping for a book that covers Sicilian pizza or Chicago-style pizza or St. Louis-style pizza, then this is not the book for you (or at least, you''ll need another one). Ken focuses on a few pizza styles and dives into what makes them so great and how to recreate them in your home kitchen. Ken''s advice spans 40 pages of text and accompanying photos, wherein he explains the key ingredients for making great pizza, the necessary equipment, and the right methods for working with pizza dough. His explanation of the two techniques for loading pizza onto the stone from the peel is both humorous and brilliant - here''s hoping it helps me not botch the first pizza of the night like I normally do.

As far as the actual recipes go, there''s a fair amount of diversity in both dough recipes and topping suggestions. A couple of the recipes are almost identical to their sibling recipe from Flour Water Salt Yeast (at least the Saturday and Overnight doughs), but with at least one difference. Ken writes that he does not follow the autolyse process he promoted in FWSY given the traditions of pizza-making. He''s modified his sauce recipes slightly too and none of the various topping recipes except the Margherita overlap. Also - there is one gluten-free dough recipe, with a great discussion on how the flour brand/mix can affect the final dough.

Ken''s instructions on how to assemble and bake a variety of pizzas and flatbreads are clear and encouraging. You might be a little anxious about turning your oven up so high (550 F) - his books are the first I''ve read calling for that high a temperature. However, his method works and yields sublime pizzas. Definitely a must read for anyone who wants to learn more about the art of pizza making and dough chemistry. Even if all you''re looking for is the "I slept in but I still want pizza" recipe plus the right baking method, this cookbook is worth every penny.
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Mr. AdamTop Contributor: Baking
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Artisan Pizza Enthusiasts, this is for you.
Reviewed in the United States on February 5, 2017
This book is very well written however one thing needs to be made very clear: this book is mainly about making traditional artisan pizza at home. If you are looking for the ins and outs of American style pizza and then some, then this is not the book for... See more
This book is very well written however one thing needs to be made very clear: this book is mainly about making traditional artisan pizza at home.

If you are looking for the ins and outs of American style pizza and then some, then this is not the book for you.

Ken does a great job of giving techniques and lessons on what goes into making pizza. However, if you read this book in conjunction with other popular American pizza books you will find contradictory information.
One example, this book stresses mixing by hand for the proper texture. Other books stress using a mixer to get a texture only achievable with a mixer.
Another example, other books say more water is the key to a crispier crust where Ken''s book says more water leads to a soggier crust.

So if you want to perfect making artisan pizza at home similar to true Italian style (with a couple exceptions of other styles) then this book will make you the perfect pizzaiolo.
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mrxak
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Learn the why, not just the what
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2018
I own multiple pizza cookbooks. This one is by far my favorite, and then one I keep going back to for reference. I get a lot more out of other pizza cookbooks having read this book cover-to-cover and learning everything I possibly can about traditional methods and... See more
I own multiple pizza cookbooks. This one is by far my favorite, and then one I keep going back to for reference. I get a lot more out of other pizza cookbooks having read this book cover-to-cover and learning everything I possibly can about traditional methods and ingredients. This is the pizza book that makes other pizza books more valuable.

Baking has always appealed to me, since I was a little kid. I think part of it how much it tickles that part of my brain that''s very systematic and orderly, and every time you bake it''s like a fun science experiment too. It also has a nostalgic quality for me as my mom was always baking different things, and I got to help her in the kitchen growing up.

All too often, you look up a recipe online, or in a regular cookbook, and it''s just a series of steps, often vague, and no real explanation of how to do them, or why you should do them. The authors either assume you have certain knowledge already, or lack that knowledge themselves. For many kinds of food, that''s okay, and you can get good results just muddling through, but with baking there''s chemistry and biology at work that requires very careful attention and specialized knowledge to achieve the best results. Sometimes you wish you could experiment, but you''re unsure what parts of the recipe you can play with and how to play with them to get different results. This is a book for those who don''t just want to make a decent pizza at home, but want to understand the ins-and-outs of pizza dough, and all the different things you can adjust to achieve the results you want.

This book contains some recipes, some very good recipes, but it''s not a cookbook. It''s really a textbook, written in evocative prose, with tantalizing full-page photos of ingredients, dough, toppings, and of course finished pizzas. If you read the book cover-to-cover, and you should, you won''t even encounter a recipe until page 103. The first five chapters are a history lesson, stories about pizzaiolos (those who make pizzas in Italy) and discussions on pizza styles, ingredients, equipment, and methods. Throughout is vast amounts of wisdom, and very important details on what makes a great pizza dough. If you''re the kind of person who wants the very best results from your pizza-making, and discussion of protein percentages in your flour or the brix of the tomatoes you use doesn''t scare you off, this book is a fount of invaluable knowledge. This is a recipe book for those who WANT to worry about the humidity of their kitchen, and want to precisely measure time and temperature as ingredients in their dough-making. All of this information is presented in a clear, well-organized way, that''s beginner-friendly.

Armed with all of this knowledge, the recipes in the latter half of the book are really just examples. You are encouraged to use the techniques you''ve learned in the first half to experiment and decide what sort of pizza you want to make. The first dough recipe, Saturday Pizza Dough, is an excellent baseline, but depending on what style you like you might try any of the other dough recipes, or use them as starting points to develop your own. After the dough and sauce recipes come specific pizza recipes which may or may not suggest specific doughs. If you''re like me, you''ll find yourself eager to hunt down the very best ingredients you can find, and happily making many pizzas to perfect your skills.

Bottom line, will you make great pizza after reading this book? Heck yeah you will! The best pizza I''ve ever had comes out of my own oven now. Perfect crust, perfect sauce, and the toppings just how I want them. It''s a bit of work, making food this good, but it''s so worth it and the experience from start to finish is a lot of fun. It''s very satisfying to chew a pizza crust and admire its qualities, knowing exactly what you did to make it so good. My first few pizzas after I started making them the traditional Italian way were a little stressful, some mistakes were made, but even the worst pizza I made using this book as my guide were still a lot better than you get from most restaurants.
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Top reviews from other countries

Kat D
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book will transform how you make pizza - it’s AMAZING!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 7, 2018
Wow this book is amazing. I recently did an artisan bread course and the artisan baker himself recommended this book, he stated that since having this book it completely changed how he made pizza! I totally agree, I used to make my bases in the breadmaker which did come out...See more
Wow this book is amazing. I recently did an artisan bread course and the artisan baker himself recommended this book, he stated that since having this book it completely changed how he made pizza! I totally agree, I used to make my bases in the breadmaker which did come out pretty good but now there is no need and to be honest I wouldn’t want to - there is no contest! The 24 to 48 hour pizza dough is the recommended dough by the artisan baker and I have to agree with him. It is so easy and quick to make (with hardly any needing (about 30 seconds in total and only has 4 ingredients including active dried yeast) and it comes out fantastic, you can even stretch it out just like in the restaurants - it tastes so fresh. I have also made the Saturday night pizza dough which is also excellent. There are loads of other pizza doughs in the book too, but I haven’t had chance to make them yet. The tomato sauces are brilliant, so quick, easy and delicious with no cooking, I would never buy shop bought sauces again. The book is a must for anyone that loves to make pizza, I’ve recommended it to others too and they are of the same opinion.
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Andrew Willis
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not for Wood Fired Ovens
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2020
A lovely book but the dough recipes are optimised for home ovens with lower operating temperatures, 70% hydration too high for the higher temperatures of wood fired ovens. Doughs end up so sticky that by the time you have added enough flour to enable you to handle it I...See more
A lovely book but the dough recipes are optimised for home ovens with lower operating temperatures, 70% hydration too high for the higher temperatures of wood fired ovens. Doughs end up so sticky that by the time you have added enough flour to enable you to handle it I reckon you are back at 55%. Sorry would have loved to have liked this book. Ended up returning.
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john.fitton
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Masterpiece on Pizza making. Love it. Only book you’ll ever need.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 14, 2019
I have many books on Pizza and Bread making Sourdough included. This is a pleasure to read. Ken Forkish has researched Pizza making and in my opinion completed a masterpiece on the subject. It is in depth but not too complicated to understand An absolute pleasure to read. I...See more
I have many books on Pizza and Bread making Sourdough included. This is a pleasure to read. Ken Forkish has researched Pizza making and in my opinion completed a masterpiece on the subject. It is in depth but not too complicated to understand An absolute pleasure to read. I have a small wood fired pizza/bread oven yet to lite. The weather is atrocious 😬 I highly recommend this book.
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Stowey2009
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A must have for pizza lovers
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2021
Like a bible for those wanting to make great pizza at home. Very helpful to understand the fundamentals of great pizza and will aid progression to perfecting your pizza making skills. Useful tasty recipes also included.
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GGGardens
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 2, 2020
Never realised, how easy and devious it was to be able to make your own pizza dough. Saturday dough is so quick and easy - just follow the steps, highly recommmend 👍
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