Webisodes
Tony Makes a Traditional Italian Pizza
Peter Reinhart

Here's another in the extremely informative sessions we had with Tony Gemignani at his landmark restaurant, Tony's Pizza Napoletana in North Beach, San Francisco. In this websode, Tony shows us the difference between what he calls a "traditional Italian pizza" and the Napoletana/Neapolitan pizzas he made in previous segments. I think we might also more accurately think of this as "traditional Italian-American" pizza. This style is baked in a gas fired oven, not wood, at a lower temperature (550-600 degrees) for a longer time, with different flour and, in this case, with some finishing ingredients after it emerges from the oven. In many respects, this is the type of pizza closest to what home cooks can achieve, in a regular oven, perhaps on a baking stone. Even the time frame is about the same, about 7 to 8 minutes. The dough recipe in our Instructional section for Neo-Neapolitan dough (also found in "American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza"), is closest to Tony's, but he uses a type of Italian flour (not Caputo or San Felice Double Zero) whereas our version uses American bread flour (some folks like to use half bread and half all purpose flour for a more tender mouth feel, but I like the toothsome quality of bread flour). Regardless, you'll get some great ideas and techniques by watching Tony put together a beautiful prosciutto/Parmesiano/arugula pizza right before our eyes. One tip, not shown on the video, is to toss the fresh arugula first in a little olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Mangia!!

 
Tony G. Makes us a Sicilian Pizza
Peter Reinhart

In this webisode, Tony Gemignani shows us his take on a classic Sicilian-style pizza, such as found at only a few places in New York City, Brooklyn, and other east coast cities, and now at Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco. This type of pizza, in which he first bakes the crust to set it and then tops it with sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and sausage for a final bake, is not unlike Genoa-style focaccia in thickness and crumb structure. As with all his pizzas, Tony has a special oven dedicated to baking only Sicilian pizzas in order to properly control the bottom and top heat. Wait till you see the beautiful underskirt of this pizza, shown very briefly towards the end of video. As always, a terrific educational and delicious moment, thanks to Tony G.

 

 
Flying Pizza with Tony Gemignani
Peter Reinhart

You're going to love this one! Tony schools me on the art of dough tossing, both for function and for acrobatics.

As those who have made my recipes know, my doughs tend to be too wet and fragile for tossing so I always use flour on the back of my hands, with my thumbs on the edges, to rotate it around. Tony's dough, which is firmer and not sticky, was easy to toss around and, after a few minutes of lessons from the master I was not embarrassing myself too much (we had gathered a nice crowd round us, there in the middle of North Beach, SF, where Tony's Pizza Napoletana is located). This webisode should prove instructive for any of you who want to toss your dough the way the professionals do and, in these few simple instructions, Tony really does give us a lot information and technique. Enjoy the short tease at the end of Tony spinning dough for us--it is but a small sample of what he can do when he gets going. There are other videos of Tony on YouTube doing competitions and exhibitions and, for those who have never seen him or heard of him before now, you should know that for about ten years he was pretty much unbeatable and a many time world champion before then winning the world championship for his Margherita pizza. Sit back and enjoy--this one is pure fun!

 

 

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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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