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New Webisode, Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza, Part 1

I’m on my way to Denver as you read this, and am planning to have dinner at Racca’s, one of the most highly praised pizzerias in town. Had I not run into Mark Dym, the owner and patron of Racca’s, in NYC at the World Pizza Summit a few months ago, I would not have discovered that I’d already eaten at Racca’s a couple of years ago, except it was…Read More…

Peppe Miele, Part 10 (finale): Calabrese pizza

So here we are, at the end of our 10-part series with pizza maestro Peppe Miele, finishing up with one of my favorites, the Calabrese pizza.  Here’s the bottom line about this pizza: Calabrese salami is not pepperoni — it’s way better!  Not that pepperoni is bad, after all, how bad can any spicy salami with paprika be (other than how greasy it gets but, hey, for some people this…Read More…

Peppe Miele, Part 9, Pizza Bianca

White pizza can take on many forms, whether with ricotta cheese and spinach, as we often find in the popular New York-style version, or simply any pizza without tomato sauce.  In this classic Neapolitan version, Peppe shows how he builds his bianca by first making, essentially, a Margherita without sauce, and then layering on the flavors after it comes out of the oven. In this instance, fresh prosciutto crudo (raw,…Read More…

Peppe Miele, Part 8, Calzone

I often say that pizza is just dough with something on it. But, when you think about it, it can also be dough with something in it (which means, a nicely made grilled cheese sandwich is a kind of pizza too!). In this week’s segment, Peppe shows us how easy it is to use pizza dough to make a classic calzone filled with salumi, ricotta and mozzarella (with a dash…Read More…

Peppe Miele, Part 7, Marinara Pizza

In bread baking, it is the simple baguette that is held as the benchmark of a baker’s skills. A Mexican restaurant better make a killer salsa or I’m out of there. Any ice cream artiste can make fanciful flavors but it is their vanilla or chocolate that proves if they have the golden touch.  For Neapolitan pizzas, it is the Margherita, for sure, but also the lesser known (in the…Read More…

Peppe Miele, Part 6, Margherita Pizza

Welcome back to our “Master Class” series from Peppe Miele. In each of these segments we’ve learned another golden nugget of pizza wisdom and this one is no exception. For instance, he mentions (so quickly that I almost missed it) that the”official” Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) Margherita Pizza is supposed to use a sprinkle of only Pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese, even though most places (even his) now use mostly Parmesan….Read More…

Peppe Miele, Part 5, The Oven

We continue our exploration of Vera Pizza Napoletana with our Naples guru Peppe Miele. In this installment we turn to the wood-fired oven that is absolutely essential if you want to get certified as a real deal, verace pizza guy. It’s hard to believe, but important to recall, that only a few years ago in the United States a wood-fired oven siting was a rare and exciting discovery. Little by…Read More…

Peppe Miele, Part 4, Dough Fermentation

Peppe Miele, our Virgil of the Vera Pizza Napoletana universe, continues his guided tour in this segment, turning his attention to one of my favorite subjects, dough fermentation. We receive a lot of e-mails asking about how long dough should be fermented before making the pizzas, and the answers are nearly infinite and weighted with lots of theories and opinions. But Peppe cuts right to the chase as to the…Read More…

Peppe Miele, Part 3, Flour

In this short segment we discuss with Peppe the use of Italian -00- (Double Zero) flour, which he defines as a balance between the fineness of the grind (ground very fine and, in my words, extracted from the pure endosperm with all the fiber sifted out) and the protein content (he doesn’t specify the amount but it’s probably between 10%-11.5%).  An important take-away form this conversation is the ideal fermentation…Read More…

Peppe Miele, Part 2, San Marzano Tomatoes

Welcome Back! We have 10 webisodes in this interview series with Peppe Miele, so we’ll be covering a lot in the coming weeks. In this segment, Peppe explains a little more about the Vera Pizza Napoletana school of thought, focusing on the famous tomatoes from San Marzano. As you will see, the sauce made from these tomatoes is beautiful (and it tastes as good as it looks, with a fresh,…Read More…

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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.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on Amazon.com