Peter's Blog
Peter's Blog, March 29th
Peter Reinhart

This week, after spending the past three months showing you the segments we filmed at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles (alternating them with the many Instructional videos shot in Boulder, Colorado), we are back on the road again. This week we launch a series of episodes -- of course we call them webisodes -- filmed in San Francisco's Gastro District, which is a one block neighborhood on 18th St. between Guerrero and Dolores Streets in the larger neighborhood known as The Mission District. We have a number of webisodes segments from this one block to share over the next few weeks and will, again, also be posting more of the instructional videos from Boulder in alternate weeks. We will then take you back down the California coast to visit some other great places we discovered. As with the Mozza segments, I'll post a short narrative each time to set some context, so I won't say too much more about them here.

However, what I do want to mention is how magical it was to be back on the road. Anyone who has ever gone on a road trip, and I'm sure this includes most of you, knows how it can change one's perspective on life. We went out without a script--just a camera and sound crew-- and filmed

Peter's Blog, March 22nd
Peter Reinhart

It's hard to believe that we just launched a few days before Christmas and now we are more than two months into our journey. The site has progressed nicely, with a lot of great content, including the Pizzeria Mozza webisode segments (nine in all) and a number of terrific video instructionals filmed in Boulder, a growing number of photo galleries and recipe photo essays hosted by Pizza Quest producer Brad English, numerous thoughtful Guest Columns, and over a dozen Peter's Blog postings. I'm amazed at how much ground we've covered and also how many videos we still have to share with you. Our filming covers only a small area of the pizza universe -- Southern and Northern California with a side trip to Boulder, Colorado -- so we're looking forward to getting back on the road to continue this amazing road trip.

When we filmed at Pizzeria Mozza we were extremely grateful to both owners, Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali, for giving us their special permission to bring our cameras into the restaurant, and for Nancy's generous sharing of her vision. The pizzas exceeded all our expectations and, though I write and teach about bread baking, even I learned some new tricks when we visited La Brea Bakery to see how the Pizzeria Mozza dough is made. This unending learning is one of the important things that this site is about, and the best part of learning is that the journey is full of so many unexpected surprises and opportunities.

For instance, as you saw briefly in the opening webisode segment, Pizza and Obsession, we stumbled upon the Taco Temple on our way to Cuyucos on the Central Coast of California. It wasn't a scheduled stop--we just happened to pass by and Brad recalled once having a great fish taco there. That's all we needed to hear as our van did a quick, screeching "ubie" and we pulled off the road for lunch.

Peter's Blog, News You Can Use!
Peter Reinhart

Hi Everyone,

There are a number of interesting events coming up during the next few months that I'd like to get on your radar. In June, our friend Molly O'Neill will be organizing  the First Annual (we hope) Minneapolis Bread Festival. If all comes together as we hope it will (these things never go totally smoothly, especially during the inaugural launch) I'll be out there along with Joseph Pergolizzi and his Fire Within oven rigs, and lots of serious wood-fired oven owners, bread bakers, and artisans of all types. We (PizzaQuest) hope to put a camera crew together as well, though it's too soon to tell. But mark your calendar for June 16 and 17 and we'll keep you updated when the event is confirmed and when we have a web link to it.

Closer to home and to now, we're just weeks away from the Seventh Annual Asheville Bread Festival on Saturday, April 2nd. I'll be doing a demo class on sprouted wheat flour--my favorite new product, one that I believe will totally revolutionize whole grain breads (for a taste of this flour in action, check out your local Whole Foods Market, where they have been recently using it to make delicious 100% whole grain breads unlike any other). In addition, two of the greatest bakers in America, Didier Rosada and Lionel Vatinet (yes, they're both French, but they live HERE now!) will be conducting workshops on traditional techniques for European-style hearth breads. Also, there will lots and lots of local bakers, from about a 150 mile radius, many of them small wood-fired artisans, who will be displaying and selling their products at Green Life Grocery during the morning hours, before we adjourn to the afternoon education sessions at A-B Tech, where they run a superb culinary and baking program. The Festival website is at:

Most important, this year we will be featuring a tour of an exciting and important new project. Here's an excerpt from the project website, which you can access here: (if this doesn't get you there, go to a search engine and look under: Carolina Ground L3C -- there's a video on the site that explains it a lot better than I have done here).

Carolina Ground, L3C is a group of bakeries working to close the distance between the farmer, miller, and baker in the Carolinas through reviving the community mill. We will be producing fresh, stone ground whole grain and sifted flour-- a flour whose vibrance and quality will be recognizably local. For lovers of good bread, this means even better bread!! And for the farmer and baker, it means a tangible level of security and sustainability. Carolina Ground will enable long-term relationships to be established between farmers and bakers, giving us the means to build our knowledge base of local grains both in the field and in the bakery and in the process, improving our daily bread.
We need your help! We have received a grant for half the cost of our equipment, but it's a matching grant. We need to raise the other half or we lose the dough.
So please, help us make this happen!

What this extract doesn't say is that the mill was originally owned by master oven builder, Alan Scott, who bequeathed it to this project prior to his death. The mill has been brought, piece by piece over a number of years, from Australia, and is nearly ready to start grinding flour.  This is a landmark project and one that I hope will serve as a model for similar restoration mills across the country. Please check out the website for more details, and consider becoming a benefactor, which also makes you a partner in the future profits it generates.

One final note: Travel & Leisure Magazine just posted a story on its website about the top 25 pizza cities in America. If you follow this link, you'll see that they contacted us here at before writing it for our insights, and quoted me a couple of times. Let us know what you think of their rankings -- it is sure to be a controversial topic!

Okay, that's the news for now. Hope to see you in Asheville, Minneapolis, or one of those top 25 pizza cities. Things are buzzing and the Quest continues!!


PS If you read Tom Carrig's recent Guest Column on healthy pizza in our Guest Column section, you'll see that he struck a nerve with one of our favorite chefs, Jamie Oliver. Check it out.

Is Gluten-Free Here to Stay?
Peter Reinhart

I just returned from a project working on creating new gluten-free breads and I must say, gluten-free is the big buzz these days. A few years ago, when I tried to convince a large product company to produce gluten-free products they told me the market wasn't big enough. Then, a few years later, they called me back and said "Guess what--the market is there and we're ready to produce those gluten-free products." And they did!

My book publisher also told me that their gluten-free category is growing faster than any other

Top 25 New Pizzerias
Peter Reinhart

Hi Again,
If you are a regular here then it's probable that you all have your own list of favorite pizzerias. So here's a little fuel for the forno, a link to a recent Huffington Post posting of Food and's Top 25 pizzerias. Bear in mind, this list represents what they call "New Guard" pizzerias, not the venerable oldie but goodies like Frank Pepe's or DiFara's. After you read about them, I hope you will then comment below on whether you agree or disagree with their choices.

Personally, I haven't been to them all, but I have been to many of them. A notable pattern in the list is the recognition of the use of local ingredients from sustainable farms, even by restaurants making classic or traditional pizzas. But really, isn't this the real hallmark of authentic Italian food? This is the the good news uber trend--we're getting back to how it's supposed to be done, not imitative (well sure, to some extent everything is imitative) but, as our guest columnists often point out, by doing it the right way not the copycat way. Looks like we've tipped over folks--the "pizza renaissance" is in full flower and it's nice to be along for the ride. Enjoy reading about these places and let us know who should have been on the list if you disagree. I'm sure there many more than these 25 who ought to be listed and I now have a few new ones to hunt down in this unrelenting, yet joyful journey we call our pizza quest.


Peter's Blog, February 22nd
Peter Reinhart

Hi Everyone,
We had a great demo today at Johnson & Wales University (JWU --JayWoo as we call it) by Chef Ben Roche, the Executive Pastry Chef at Moto Restaurant in Chicago. For those who don't know about Moto, it is one of the few molecular gastronomy restaurants in the United States, featuring a 20 course tasting menu (also a 10 course version for the less adventurous) consisting of wildly imaginative small courses that add up to a big WOW of a night (3 to 4 hours are suggested to properly enjoy the meal). Chef Ben gets to create the desserts, many made with liquid nitrogen or the use of a laser or other cool tools that have been adapted for cooking. He recently obtained a Pacojet, which is one of the most beloved of the new generation of cooking toys, able to turn frozen ingredients instantly into the smoothest, best ice creams and sorbets imaginable. Needless to say, Ben has a sweet, fun, but demanding job in which he must always be thinking outside the box and continually coming up with new, mind boggling dessert concepts. For our students, he




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Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

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American Pie Artisan Breads Every Day Bread Baker's Apprentice Brother Juniper's Bread Book Crust and Crumb Whole Grain Breads

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