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Peter’s Blog, August 8th — Alright, Controversy!!

Written By Peter Reinhart
Thursday, 09 August 2012 Peter's Blog

I’m packing and getting ready for the big book launch over the next two weeks in SF and the Bay Area, so will keep this short.  The schedule is listed below in my previous Peter’s Blog, if any of you can make it to any of the classes or book signings. There are still a few seats left for the classes but you’ll have to call the venues for more info.

But this week I think we’re going to have to address the controversy that emerged in the Comments section of my last posting, thanks to someone named Scott007 and a few other voices, including another Scott — Scott123. It’s actually kind of exciting — apparently, I’ve pissed a few people off and am not sure why but would sure like to find out what I did (if you aren’t up to speed, please check out the Comments thread in the recent Peter’s Blog — last time I checked there were 14 comments).  So, what I’d like to do is open up the discussion here on this posting, via a new Comments section, the one on this posting, and ask any and all of you to chime in.  If I’ve trashed NY pizza culture, as Scott123 accuses, or passed on misinformation about pizza methodology or dough science, let’s get it all on the table so we can clear it up.  Scott(s), how about getting specific and make your case — I hear that 123 is a well respected pizza authority so maybe I have something to learn from you. None of us have a monopoly on the whole truth and Pizza Quest was created to be a forum for the sharing of our mutual pizza journeys and celebration of artisanship. I’m open to learn from you but also would like to know the actual specifics of where you think I went wrong, rather than generalized attacks.  The only rule for this discussion is civility — I reserve the right to edit out ad hominum attacks, unnecessary language, and nasty language.  But differences of opinion — sure, I’m okay with that. So, for those who want to play along, go ahead and express yourselves — but let’s do it respectfully, please.

I won’t be posting another Peter’s Blog till I return at the end of the month, but will try to join in the Comments section from the road if my i-Pad and local WiFi will allow it. In the meantime, let’s get to the heart of it — we’re on a search for the truth (or, perhaps, truths). Let the discussion begin….

 

Comments

peter

Good stuff, for sure, but aren’t there any other viewers who want to expand the scope of this discussion? What about the charge from Scott123 that I trashed NY culture (pizza culture, I assume he means)? What about other ways that I and other bread or pizza writers misrepresent the truth? Pappy, can you get Scott into the discussion since he seems to have strong feelings about this? I think we can already see that techniques like autolyse and cold fermentation may have many iterations, but let’s see if we can clear up any misinformation, whether from me or from others, that could be leading earnest bakers astray. I really appreciate the serious earnestness that Pappy and Tony C are bringing but I have to think there must be more of you out there with opinions or questions. Any other takers? (And this doesn’t mean Tony and Pappy shouldn’t keep writing in — I love what you’re bringing!)

Pappy

Peter,

I had an email exchange with Scott123 today, in which I informed him of this development at your site. He’s now been over here and read the various posts and comments. He told me that he is going to take his time and gather his thoughts, as he has a lot to say.

I cannot speak for Scott123, but I do know he was angered by Scott007’s unauthorized dumping of his more vitriolic comments upon your doorstep, as it were. Scott is a very passionate individual, and has been very generous with his advice over at pizzamaking.com. I owe a number of breakthroughs to his input. He welcomes the opportunity for dialogue, and I’m sure we will hear from him soon.

peter

Cool! He’s welcome in anytime and I look forward to learning some new things from him and anyone else who wants to climb this mountain with us. This is getting fun….

Kenny

I have browsed the forums on pizzamaking.com as well as pizza quest. PM has a lot of great info & a ton of knowledgeable people.PQ has a lot of great info as well, but I enjoy coming to PQ because the vision statement captures what the site means to me & keeps me coming back every Tuesday.I have a” can’t wait to see what Brad or Peter have up their sleeve” attitude each week.I guess this anecdote sums things up best:My wife & I approach any food process different ways.She is a hard and fast recipe follower.There is no room for doing anything different from what the recipe calls for because that is just blasphemous! (I am exaggerating a bit).There are good points for being this way.Her end product is always consistent.When she makes family recipes, she can actually say, “just like mom used to make.”I on the other hand am a culinary rebel.

Kenny

I can read or watch someone make a recipe and replicate the recipe with my own spin. My family has more of an oral tradition of recipes. Nothing is written down because we explore the how of the recipe more so than the why.If I make a cajun dish I know that I will be adding celery, green pepper, and onion for the base veggies. There will also be white, black & red pepper(cayenne) added to the mix. Measure? No. Taste, feel, smell. It is this way for making pizza dough for me. Yes, I have a base recipe to follow, but I live in Florida. Humidity my friends makes my pizza dough react differently and I have to know by feel when to add more water or flour to my dough.Cold fermentation.Autolyse.Amaylse.Honestly, not curious about the why yet, but more focused on the how. This is my pizza quest.

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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