Pizza Quest Globe

A Championship Margherita by Tony Gemignani, part 2

Written By Peter Reinhart
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 Webisodes

I was mistaken last week when I said the Margherita that Tony made was his World Championship version. Actually, this week is the version that won it all. As it turns out, last week’s pizza was made with Caputo flour and this week’s is made with San Felice flour. When Tony won the World Championship in Naples, which he’ll talk about a little in this week’s segment, he used the San Felice flour so that’s the one he reserves this flour for at his restaurant. He uses Caputo on all his other Napoletana pizzas and, as he indicates here, it’s almost impossible to tell them apart and he loves both brands. But, because he won the title with the San Felice, that’s the one you get if you order the Championship pie, served on the special pedestal platter. Tony told us that he tries to replicate the Margherita exactly as he did it for the judges, and he only makes 73 each day and when the dough runs out he stops taking orders for it. The number has special meaning for him but now I can’t recall what it signifies so be sure to ask when you eat there.

Another surprise for all of us (and even for one of the judges, it so happens) is that the traditional competition Margherita is not required to be made with Mozzarella di Bufala but should actually be made with Fior di Latte (cow’s milk mozzarella). Now we know. Hey, you’ll learn all sorts of new things from hanging out with the Masters, which is why we go on these crazy quests. So sit back and enjoy or, as the saying goes, watch and learn….




What size doughballs are we looking at in this video? To get the 10-12″ pie? I do all my measurements in grams, but these look a lot bigger than mine.


Did Tony share his recipe for that tomato sauce?
I am rebuilding my oven and was intrigued by the metal extraction hood and the relative absence of shelf area there, it lets him work the pizza with a short peel. There must be a way without expensive extraction to build a neat chimney to keep the fire within reach like that. Who was the manufacturer so I can have a closer look at how the fumes are channelled away.

Bill F

Brent, I was with Frank G when he delivered a metal peel to Tony Gemignani so I can say with some confidence that may have the peels you may want. Good luck. A good peel is not only delightful but also essential.

Bill F

Phil, for his Margherita Pizza, Tony G. uses San Marzano tomatoes (Cento if I remember correctly) from which he meticulously removes skins, seeds and core. The % of a can he keeps is ridiculously low. Add salt, sugar and EVOO. Not much of a secret recipe. I might find my notes from his pizza school if you need more details, but it is really about using high quality ingredients and taking care with each step. Go to his restaurant and you’ll see: Every pizza style gets its own flour, oven, tomato sauce (when it has one) and cooking style. It is never a one size fits all to pizza making like most pizza makers use. I had 3 pizzas there last night and each one was SO different from each other. Wood oven with San Felice flour, coal oven with Power flour, electric oven with Caputo, etc… He is an artist.


Question about 00 flour please?
I have read (on a local pizzeria webiste) that 00 flour should not be used if baking under 750 degrees (again, i’m baking in conventional oven around 525-550. Some folks mix half 00 with bread flour. Just wondered if anyone has first hand knowledge.
Rick in Atlanta

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