Instructionals
Welcome to the Pizza Quest Instructionals
Peter Reinhart

Welcome Everyone,

This is where we will be posting recipes and instructional videos by many of the guests featured on the Pizza Quest webisodes. It is also a place where you can comment and share your own thoughts or questions regarding the featured recipes, as well tips and tricks of your own. Considering the collective knowledge and wisdom possessed by the Pizza Quest community, this should be a very exciting and dynamic section. We'll keep adding new video pieces as we get them edited, so check back from time to time to see the latest. Our hope is to inspire you to create your own amazing pizzas (and not just pizza, as we'll be showing some other great dishes too), and to give you some new tips and tools to add to your culinary tool box. Mangia!!!

 
This Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza
Brad English

You only thought you didn't have any pepperoni in the fridge!

They say pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in the United States.  I'm sure that the vast majority of that comes on delivery pizzas and your local town or chain pizzerias.  When we think of artisan pizza, pepperoni isn't the first thing that comes to mind.  In fact, it's the opposite…you'll almost never see pepperoni on any artisan pizzas.  Instead you'll see a variety of salted cured pork delicacies on the menu such as seasoned Salumi like Calabrese or Finocchiona as well as sopressatas, prosciuttos or other gourmet cured items.

When you think about your favorite wood fired pizza, or artisan coal fired, or brick oven pizza, it's the dough and the charred bubbles on the crust and then the amazing "new" variety of gourmet toppings that will lay on top of the deliciously warm, soft and crusty dough.  When I am ordering at my family's favorite local pizzeria I will almost always choose salami instead of pepperoni.  Truth be told here, I do lose that battle with my kids once in a while.

When I do, I'll admit I secretly love my pepperoni pizza!  I particularly love when the edges get crispy and fold up giving a little crunch to the salty spicy bite you are enjoying.  I also love how the pepperoni juice becomes part of the sauce of the pizza. When I have a pepperoni pizza I always remember why it's the number one topping in America.  It's good stuff.

So, what do you do when you have a pepperoni craving and no pepperoni?  You improvise!  I made some home made pepperoni one time and then had the idea to use those spices and seasonings to make up pepperoni flavored broccoli stalks.  *Link to recipe here.  Why stop with just broccoli stalks?  They were great, but let's give it a whirl with some zucchini I have sitting here.  For this pepperoni pizza, I also thought about gourmet-ing it up using "artisan pizza" ingredients.  Check it out...

 

The Zucchini Pepperoni

- 1-2 Zucchinis thinly sliced

- Olive Oil *Approx. 1-2 Tablespoons

- Rice Wine Vinegar  *Approx. 1/2 Tablespoon

- Paprika *Approx. 1 1/2 tablespoons

- Garlic Powder *Approx 1/2 Tablespoon

- Ground Red Pepper Flakes *Approx 1/2 Tablespoon

- Ground Mustard Seed *Approx 1/2 Tablespoon

- A little Cayenne Pepper

- Ground Black Pepper

- Salt

*Note:  I have been making this by "eye".  These amounts are approximate.  Start with less and add more of each as needed per your taste.  Mix it all together and taste one.  Adjust and taste again until you have it where you like it.  I simplified this a little from my broccoli pepperoni where I used a few more ingredients.  *LINK

Slice the zucchini.  Add the olive oil and spices and mix.

Saute them in a pan, or in the oven for a few minutes to get them on their way.  They will finish on the pizza.  Set aside.

 

To keep things interesting and not vegetarian ("Not that there's anything wrong with that!"), I slipped in some Italian and Andouille Sausage I had in the fridge!

 

A little sautéed Sausage, Mushroom and Red Onion for good measure:

- Olive Oil

- Chopped Garlic

- Sausage broken into bits

- Sliced Mushrooms

- Chopped Red Onions

- Salt and Pepper to taste

Place in the oven, or in a pan and sauté until the sausage is just cooked through.  Leave a little room for it to continue to cook on your pizza.  The mushrooms and onions will also cook down, but have something left for the bake on the pizza.

 

This Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza:

- Your favorite Pizza Dough - It better be one of Peter's recipes!

- Olive Oil

- Peter's crushed tomato sauce

- Grated Mozzarella

- A little sliced fresh mozzarella

- Sauteed Pepperoni Zucchini

- Sauteed Sausage, Mushrooms and Onions

- Chopped Italian Parsley to finish

 

 

Spread your dough

Cover with the tomato sauce and grated mozz

Layer with a little of the S-M-O mixture and the pepperoni zucchini slices

Tear some of the fresh mozzarella to add a little creaminess to the cheese. *I love the way the hard mozzarella blends with the softer fresh mozzarella giving it two textures and a creamy milkiness you don't get with just grated mozzarella.

Into the oven.  In this case, I was using my Primavera WFO.  Writing this I can smell the wood and smoke as the pizza began to come to life in there!  In a few turns in the oven, about 90 seconds and a lift into the dome this pizza is ready to go.

 

Tasting notes:

The savory sausage and mushrooms went nicely with the juicy spicy zucchini pepperoni on this pie. There's also a subtle milkiness that the soft mozzarella brings through the cheese layers giving balance to the toppings and sauce.


Enjoy!

 

 

 
Joseph's Provolone Pizza
Peter Reinhart

As a special welcome to The Fire Within, our newest sponsor, here is a video we shot last October at an oven owners conference hosted by Joseph Pergolizzi, the owner and founder of The Fire Within.  We shot a number of these instructional videos at the end of the conference with various attendees, asking each of the oven owners what kind of pizza they wanted to make, and Joseph chose this one and a couple of others, including a killer clam pizza. In this video, though, we not only get to make a simple yet beautiful pizza with pesto, two kinds of cheese (with a special tribute to Provolone, which both of us love), and local cherry tomatoes, but also talk about the oven rigs themselves.

Note that the crust is a little puffy in this version, almost like a round Sicilian or focaccia style dough, but you can always make the crust as thin or thick as you like when you do it. The dough was so delicious (recipe in the PQ Instructional archives), and the combo of fresh tomatoes, pesto, and cheeses are so perfect that, when the cameras stopped running, we devoured this little pie in about 30 seconds.

For more details on these oven rigs, click through to The Fire Within website on our home page. Joseph and I are already talking about doing another conference in Boulder next autumn and would love to have you there.

 
A Couple Tomato Pies
Brad English

I have been drooling and laughing and hoping to meet Bob Radcliffe some day as we've been posting and reading the wonderful articles about his Tomato Pie journey here on Pizza Quest. Keep them coming Bob!  Don't stop when you've run out of things to say about your Tomato Pies -- let's see about getting you into some cheese making next!  Or, perhaps let us in on some of your other wood burning oven activities out there on your farm.  I can smell the wood smoke coming from your chimney now.

Bob has taken things to another level.  He is the type of true artisan we're all so lucky exists! He takes that unprecedented time and focus that it takes to move things beyond good and into the category of being great, or perhaps insane.  Of course, I use the term "insane" more as a form of praise for his drive rather than one to declare his true levels of sanity. Lucky for us, he is also sharing his passions.

My brother was just out for the weekend, and he hadn't ever had one of the pizzas from my new Primavera 60 Wood-Fired baby…I mean oven! We had plans to go out to dinner his last night here, but he kept looking at the oven sitting on the patio and asking questions about it or, as it turns out, hinting questions that would lead to the obvious change of our plans.  When I clued in, the plans changed.  I "decided" to make a couple of pizzas for him that night.  With Bob's stories running through my head, I thought I would play ball…take the plunge and pull a few of my own attempts at the Tomato Pie game.

 

I didn't do it by the "book", but the results were so good I will definitely continue to bring this pie into the line up when I make pizzas.  In a way, this could be the starting point for any pizza night. It's the simplest ingredients that often come together to define a dish.  For pizza the basics are: great dough, great tomatoes, great cheese and a few other ingredients as you wish.

 

A Couple Tomato Pies:

- Peter's Neo-Neopolitan Dough

- Canned San Marzano peeled tomatoes  (*I had a #10 can of the Bianco Dinapoli Peeled California Plum Tomatoes!)

- Mozzarella

- Basil

- Olive Oil

- Salt and Pepper to taste

- Chili Oil  (Just assume this is around if I ever forget it in a recipe.  It's really not part of the recipe, but at the same time, it is part of THE Recipe!)

So, I opened my Bianco Dinapoli can - after refrigerating it because Bob tells us that's what he's found works best for him.  Hello tomatoes!  I have to confess, sitting over the counter and sink as I cut the tomatoes I started drooling.  This was a lucky circumstance because the object of my desire was right there in front of me.  I picked up one of these "plums" and leaned over the sink, tilted my head and dropped the fruit/vegetable into my mouth like a servant feeding Ceasar.  I took most of it in my mouth and bit holding the top of the tomato.  It oozed a little out of my mouth -- since I was over the sink and I was feeling a little decadent I let it drip down my chin as I savored the tomato. Holy Moley --  so simply good it was amazing!

Back to cutting the tomatoes after I digressed for a taste.  Ok, I digressed two more times as I made the pizzas.  What?  It was a #10 can!  There were a lot of tomatoes.

 

The Tomato Pies:

You'll see two versions of my Tomato Pies in the photos.  The first was the basic:  Dough - Tomatoes - Cheese - Basil - Oven.  It was great!  As I went to make the next one I thought I could use a few more tomatoes.  I varied my construction: Dough - Cheese - Tomatoes - Cheese - Tomatoes - Basil.  A double double as it turns out is good for a pizza as it is for a fast food hamburger.  Come on!  You know those are good!  How about Animal Style?  The secret menu at my house is developing.

These were amazing pies.  Peter's Neo-Neopolitan Dough is always a great performer.  It's always light and puffy and allows the ingredients to shine.  They shined!  I'm sure I'm way off the mark of where Bob is when pulling pies out of his oven, but I'm here to tell you to jump on board Bob's Tomato Pie Express.  Delicious!

I'll be playing with this for awhile.

 

Enjoy the photos...

Tomato Pie #1:

 

Tomato Pie #2 - The Double Tomato Pie:

 
Five Cheese Pizza
Peter Reinhart

Scott Thorsen was my wing man at the Fire Within Conference in Boulder last October. Together, we mixed and shaped enough dough to crank out over 200 pizzas during the weekend, and we managed to save a few Country Doughs for this video demo. Scott, who has his own wood-fired rig in Sacramento, California, and a pizza and catering business that he runs out of the rig called Bella Familia, ably backed up all the presenters at the conference by doing much of the prep work and a lot of the heavy lifting. So, I wanted to give him a chance to get in front of the camera before he headed home and show us his pizzaiolo prowess. In this video

 

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