The Art of Pizza Making – Review
Best selling novels and tell-alls stay on the bestseller list for weeks if they are really good or topical. Most new books disappear from the public eye in days. The exceptions are cookbooks. A good cookbook can keep its buzz for years. Some cookbooks are treated like family heirlooms and get passed from generation to generation.
The Art of Pizza Making by Dominick A. Deangelis has been around since 1991 and it shows no signs of slowing down. People who bought it, or were lucky enough to get it as a gift, a month or so ago have tried the methods and the recipes and now cannot wait to write their review on Amazon. Maybe the Art of Pizza Making is working its way into heirloom status.
Almost everybody likes pizza. Anybody who has had an exceptionally good pizza loves it, and the sensation of taste of that one pizza slice has been permanently implanted into the nether regions of their brain. Pizza ingredients are salty, sweet and acidic, so maybe a good pizza is like red wine that unlocks every taste receptor in your body and keeps you wanting more.
The Art of Pizza Making is the real deal. The author covers every step of the pizza making process and tells you exactly what you have to do to make exceptional tasting pizza with just the right crispness and texture. The news may be disappointing to the home chef because some of the ingredients are available only in large quantities from restaurant supply houses. For example, Deangelis wants you to use a particular kind of flour with a very specific proportion of gluten. Neither grocery store all-purpose flour nor bread making flour fit the parameters he is look for.
You will need a stand mixer with a bread hook. The author recommends a Kitchenaid but says that any 250W stand mixer will probably do the trick. If you get serious about pizza making forget the Kitchenaid and look for a DeLhongi stand mixer. When you are not making pizza you can power a small boat with it.
This book not only tells you what type of flour,cheese,and tomato base to use, but how to kneed the dough, how long to let it rise, and what preparation temperature you need the dough at to make the perfect crust. If you follow the directions in the book and use the same ingredients, or as close as you can get to the right ingredients, you will make a pizza as good as or better than any franchise pizza store. If you love pizza you need this book.
Beyond the book but essential information for pizza making success nonetheless is your oven. The very best pizza is made in brick ovens fired by open flames at temperatures far greater than most home ovens can achieve. One way around this limitation is a nifty gadget created by Villaware. You put their pizza maker on top of your gas or charcoal grill which can produce a very high temperature. The permeable clay stone on the Villaware pizza maker will allow the flames to cook the pizza evenly, making a crisp crust each and every time. The built in thermometer will help you hit the correct temperature.