Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Pizza Bible

"I want to get you all the way to five-star, killer-pizzeria-quality pizza. I want you to 
master any style you love- whether it's Chicago deep-dish or cracker-thin, a big, 
fluffy Sicilian pan pizza or a classic Neapolitan margherita with that authentic char 
blistering  the edges - right in your own kitchen with whatever you've got." ~ Tony Gemignani

Tony Gemignani has opened his vault of pizza knowledge for all in The Pizza Bible: The World's Favorite Pizza Styles, from Neapolitan, Deep-Dish, Wood-Fired, Sicilian, Calzones and Focaccia to New York, New Haven, Detroit, and More. 

Focusing on the intricacies of the craft of pizza making, Gemignani provides everything from equipment checklist and tools of the trades detail to pizza theory. Though many of the methods were new bits of information, the explanations were easy to understand and in a clear, step-by-step process. 

Chapter by chapter, Tony reveals the depth of his experience and expertise. As an 11-Time World Pizza Champ, he has tackled and triumphed over the top pizza chefs on a global scale. How many people can say that?  

Under the Volcano (p.184) told of the gold standard - the pizza of Naples - and the tedious attention to detail required to win the prestigious World Pizza Cup. Inspired by the delicious instruction in the art of the pizza margherita, my son and I tried Gemignani's recipe at home. The average home chef might have difficulty finding the exact ingredients, like San Marzano tomatoes, in every local grocery store. Substitutions may have to be made, but use of high quality ingredients is key. It's totally worth the extra effort. Our results were far better than anything called "pizza" that previously came out of my oven.

Remember that they don't call it a Pizza Bible for nothing! This is for true pizza worshippers who can't get enough of the stuff, in all its forms. The photography by Sara Remington is so good, it's torture (you'll want to try one of the recipes the same day you get the book). Accompaniments like the Chicago Cocktail or "The Capone" are included to round out your meal.

Want to be a pizza pro? You have no excuses now; Tony has figured it out for you.

[I received this from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review, and I served the home cooked pizza to my family so they'd let me have the book back to do the review. I go the extra mile.]


  1. Now I'm hungry! I always have room for pizza. Thanks for the recent comment on my blog as always--we are definitely on the same wave length.

    1. The pictures make you want to start on the dough immediately.

  2. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    "All we are saying is... give pizza chance."

    The Pizza Bible is a Revelation. It will make a great stocking stuffer this Christmas and I intend to gift it to Mrs. Shady. She LOAVES to make homemade bread and I'm confident she will be equally enthusiastic about making the different types of pizza featured in the book.

    Happy Friday, dear friend Cherdo, and have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Gonzo will probably steal this book from me. He is pretty excited about making new pizza recipes.

      How do you fix a broken pizza? With tomato paste.

      What's the difference between pizza and a Justin Bieber record? Pizza is good.

      See? I was ready to "go there" with pizza humor. Enjoy the weekend, dear pal!

  3. ...they have breakfast pizzas... I want a pizza... Now... No time to bake and I don't have that book.


    1. ...and that, my friend, is how people got hooked on FROZEN pizzas! Have a good weekend, Diana!

  4. Mmm, there's nothing like really good pizza. I wish I liked to cook enough to buy this book...hmm, maybe I can buy it for someone else who will share the pizza they make...Good idea! Thanks :)

    1. We get it where we can get it, girl! Pizza...heaven on a platter.

  5. Dear Cherdo:
    This sounds so far out and groovy!
    Me want pizza now!!!

    As you recall, having been a pizza chef for a bit during my previous incarnation in Youngstown (or would that be incarceration in Youngstown?); but inquiring minds want to know: upon what does he suggest you bake your pizza? A stone? A cast iron pan? A baking steel? How hot does the oven need to be?

    Here in Cow-lumbus no one knows how to make a good thick crust pizza like we were used to getting in Youngstown and Kathy and I have been jonesin' for decades for one.

    I've made a few attempts that turned out pretty good but have yet to master the skill of not over browning the bottom crust while at the same time needing to bake the damn thing in my grill since it is the only thing that gets hot enough (550+ degrees) to give the dough a good "oven spring."

    (OK, well, there's my kiln....but the thought of shelf primer dust in my pizza is a bit off putting!)

    1. You need this book, Gary. He covers anything and everything about it; things that never even occurred to me.

      Every option you mentioned is addressed, but with the Pizza Margherita you heated the oven for an hour with two stones or steels - he preferred steels - at 500, then switch the broiler on. Pizza cooks on the upper steel or stone, with the heat of the steel or stone below it and the broiler to give it that touch of charring heat (like a wood fired oven used with the real deal). The key was simultaneous cooking from above and below. The cook time was only about 1 1/2 minutes.

      Believe me, you won't do much better for pizza in my next of the woods, either. You and I were spoiled growing up in Y-town. Comparatively, it was pizza heaven.

      I told my youngest that it was practically child abuse that he has to grow up with TN pizza.

      We are pizza snobs, Gary. Who knew?

    2. Drool Drool Drool!
      Ok, now I'm inspired to give it another go!

  6. I can live without pizza:) I know! One of the few. I like pineapple on mine but the last time I had pizza was 2 years ago

    1. That just means there's more pizza available for me, Birgit, ha ha. I like the pineapple/ham combo.


Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo