Pizza Quest Globe

Webisode #5: LaBrea Bakery, Part Two

Written By Peter Reinhart
Thursday, 27 January 2011 Webisodes

Last week we saw how La Brea Bakery makes hundreds of pounds of pizza dough every day for Pizzeria Mozza. Led by Production Manager Jon Davis, we watched how the overnight sponge is added to the final ingredients and how the ingredients, some of them proprietary and still a secret even to us,  transform themselves into silky, supple, beautiful dough. This week we’ll follow the dough on its journey as it becomes individual dough balls, ready for packing, chilling, and then delivery to Pizzeria Mozza the next day. So, as you watch, bear in mind that it really takes three days from “wheat to eat” for this pizza: overnight sponge, then dough with another overnight fermentation, and then delivery and finally, the ultimate transformation into hundreds of fabulous pizzas.

As you will see on the video, I was in heaven at La Brea Bakery, where they make many kinds of artisan breads, all at a world class level, for the entire Los Angeles metropolitan area. It’s not easy to keep the quality level this high when the demand and volume keeps growing, but somehow La Brea makes it happen. I want to thank the entire team of bakers and production workers, as well as Jon Davis and the owners of the La Brea, for allowing us to film them at work.

Next week we will be back at Pizzeria Mozza–you won’t want to miss that segment!



Hi Peter,

Thanks for another great episode. The latest one does lead to a few questions. Can you tell us approximately how long this whole process lasts from start to finish? It would appear there is no retardation period, correct? What would really be helpful to those of us trying to learn how to reproduce this great dough would be a timeline from start to finish of what you do when.

Many thanks for your very informative videos!

Jim S.


Thanks Jim,
From what we could tell there is a retardation period after the dough balls are shaped. They are then put in dough boxes and held overnight in the refrigerator, and then shipped the next day to the restaurant where they are given time to proof at room temperature before they go into the oven. I don’t believe there is any bulk fermentation after the mixing stage–just a little floor time while the dough waits to go into the divider. Most of the magic happens, in my opinion, during the overnight retarding (ie, cold fermentation). Can’t give you more specific time lines than that, but it’s a pretty straightforward process and the refrigeration (retarding) allows for a lot of flexibility. I hope this helps.

Barbara Jacksier

Thanks for the inspiration AND how-to. One question… what is that great background song?


It is impossible to know the secret ingredients but the color of the additive looked like it contained some rye flour.

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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
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
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