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Joseph’s Provolone Pizza

Written By Peter Reinhart
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 Video Recipe Demos

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.




I forgot!

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what was the name of the Pesto again?

Thank you!

Pierre Larocque

We Ron,use olive pesto spread on the dough and we then use small balls of bocconcini cheese cut in half.That’s it. We serve it as an appetizer.


Nice idea. WFT the wooden peel I did couldn’t find one and had to start using a metal one and now I can not change over. The metal peels are great because they stay dry and don’t collect moisture.


My OCD has finally got the best of me, so going back to my original post over two years ago, if you watch the video, you will see that Peter talks with Joseph about his “tools and toys” One of those tools was described by Peter as a “wood Peel”. But it is not the traditional peel that is used to transfer the raw pizza to the oven. I own a wood fired oven, so I have many peels. However the one Peter and Joseph are talking about is a “peel” that appears to be a metal pole with an oblong straight and sturdy metal blade that Joseph uses to push and move the burning wood logs around the oven. In the video he says it’s become his favorite tool. I can see why and that is why I am still looking for. If anyone knows where to find such a tool, please let me know. Thanks!! BTW, in response to Christopher, I exclusively use a perforated peel for transferring my pizzas to the oven. My dough is pretty wet so I need a lot of four and the perforations allow me to shake off the excess.

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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