Making Pizza With Mario Batali and Sons – Fun With Kids In The Kitchen

This one is certainly interesting considering the source. I would say this concept is really based around having kids in the kitchen and making the process convenient and fun for the group of you, but who knows, maybe parbaked pizza is the wave of the future! Or maybe its home-made frozen pizza? You be the judge!

Here is the actual “making of” video:

The Batali family pizza recipe is highly practical: small rounds cooked on a stove, no pizza oven or grill required. The plain parbaked crusts last for days (like the ones you can buy at the supermarket, but without the artificial ingredients), and need only be topped and broiled when it’s time to eat. Yes, there are a number of steps, but mixing, kneading and punching down a yeast dough is pretty amazing if you’ve never done it. And pizza gives us a number of points to discuss in our live chat about cooking with kids: for example, there will be magic, and there will also be mess.

Batali Family Pizza

Yield 8 small or medium pizzas

Time 2 hours, plus rising time

For the dough:
    • 1 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
    • 3 1/2 cups (15 ounces) “00” fine Italian bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
    • Scant 2 tablespoons course or kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Semolina flour, for dusting
To finish:
  • 6 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh mozzarella
  1. Make the dough: Whisk 1 1/4 cups warm water (95 degrees), yeast and sugar together in a bowl. Let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until yeast is foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together bread flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add yeast mixture and oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until mixture is too stiff to stir, then mix with your hands until dough comes together and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding only as much flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth, elastic and only slightly sticky. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or overnight, until doubled in size.
  3. Punch down dough and turn it out onto a well-floured work surface. Divide into 8 pieces (about 4 ounces each) and shape each one into a ball. Cover with a tea towel and let stand for 15 minutes.
  4. Heat griddle pan over medium heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Dust a large work surface with a mixture of flour and semolina. Pick up one of the dough balls and begin to pull and stretch dough into a circle, then lay on work surface and press into a thin round (about 8 inches), adding only enough flour and semolina to keep dough from sticking. Using one hand as a guide, slope a slightly thicker rim all around dough circle. Work quickly, and be careful not to overwork dough; if it resists or shrinks back, let it rest briefly before proceeding. (If you prefer, you can roll out dough with a rolling pin; lightly flour work surface and pin.) For larger pizzas, use 2 dough balls.
  5. Carefully place dough round on griddle pan and cook until barely tan on first side and browned in a few spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip crust over and cook until second side is completely dry, about 1 minute.
  6. Transfer crust to a wire rack or a baking sheet, brushing off any excess flour, and allow to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. (Parbaked crusts can be refrigerated overnight or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 weeks.
  7. Top and broil each pizza: Heat broiler and place a pizza stone or baking sheet inside to heat. Spread a very light coating of pesto evenly on crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Scatter mozzarella over pesto. (Don’t put toppings on crust until ready to broil, to avoid sogginess.)
  8. Place pizzas on hot stone or pan; slide under broiler, about 4 inches from heat source; and broil for 7 or 8 minutes (or as long as needed), until toppings are heated or cooked through, or both, and crust is charred and blistered in spots. Watch closely so that ingredients don’t burn, and move pizza around or lower broiler rack if necessary. (Depending on topping, bottom of crust may start to become soggy; you can slip pizza back onto griddle momentarily to recrisp.) Cut into slices and serve hot.
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Peter Reinhart’s Pizza Quest | Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco, California

Man, have I mentioned how much I like Peter Reinhart? Oh, I haven’t? This doesn’t sound familiar? I love Peter Reinhart!! Anyways, here is the latest in his “Pizza Quest” series which is fabulous as always. This episode showcases Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco, California. Alicia and I were in SF last year and had a wide sampling of Pizzeria Delfina’s pizza, and although it was great, it really couldn’t hold a candle to Tony Gemignani’s “Tony’s Pizza Napoletana” in North Beach. I mean, it didn’t hurt that Tony’s serves a Central Milling pie, but overall, the quality and variety at Tony’s topped both Pizzeria Delfina and Pizzetta 211. Here’s the official word from Peter:

I mentioned last week that Anthony Strong was recently named San Francisco’s 2012 Rising Star Chef for his work at Locanda, Craig Stoll’s newest restaurant, located just around the corner from Delfina and Pizzeria Delfina in the part of town they affectionately call, The Gastro. So, in tribute to Anthony’s well deserved success and budding fame, and for those who missed this the first time around, we’re replaying our visit with him when he was head pizzaiolo at Pizzeria Delfina. In this segment, I sit down with Anthony and Craig as they explain how Pizzeria Delfina evolved out of the original Restaurant Delfina (“If Delfina is John Coltrane, then Pizzeria Delfina is Iggy Pop,” Craig says — I love that analogy!). You will also hear one of our all time favorite Pizza Quest sound bites, also featured in our introductory webisode at the top of the home page, in answer to the question of why they work so hard and do what they do. As Anthony says, “It’s a compounding interest of obsession.”

Obsession — in this context I believe it represents the notion of passion, but perhaps passion on steroids — is a driving premise of Pizza Quest. We saw it in Anthony’s eyes as we chatted with him and Craig over some potent cups of cappuccino (trust me, it was there both before and after the cappuchino). Craig has it too — this obsessive streak– but as an older, mature, James Beard Award winning chef who has already been to the mountaintop, he does a great job of what I call “keeping a lid on his happy.” In his own way, though, he too embodies obsessive drive. But as you focus on Anthony in this segment, perhaps many of you can relate to that youthful excitement of discovery, the realization that life is fathomless, opening before us like a springtime tulip; a relentless, enervating, delicious adventure. Anthony and Craig represent bookends, in this regard; the arc between a chef on the rise, at the genesis of what promises to be a great career, and an already celebrated chef who has achieved far more than 99% of the chefs in the world, at the zenith of his success, yet still looking for new mountains to climb and talented young chefs to mentor.

These are the people we look for, the artists we celebrate, whose contagious excitement about their own discovery process leavens the rest of us, whether through the food they feed us or simply the energy that they generate as a result of their obsessive drive on our behalf and that we just want to absorb.

Congratulations again to Anthony — and also to Craig (and his equally talented wife Annie, the co-creator of the Delfina/Locanda empire)! And, to our viewers, especially the ones who missed this the first time around, enjoy the vicarious thrill of being in their presence and sharing their vision. Fire up your espresso makers and dive in.

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Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough as Seen in Bon Appetit Magazine

I know. It seems like a recipe that basically requires no sacrifice, no technique, and no special ingredients is just a recipe for the uninitiated, right? I mean, this thing doesn’t even require you to get your hands dirty or own a cool, fancy electric mixer. How could it be good? HOW? Let me tell you my friends, this dough recipe is one of the best out there. It defies all logic. Heck! It defies all food science. This is a great example of how very, VERY simple ingredients paired with the idea that time is your number one secret ingredient can make one of the best pizzas doughs of your life. I know, you’ve written off this no-knead nonsense before. Let me impress upon you – try it once, you may just never go back. Here are the details:

This dough is chewy, bubbly, and better than what you’ll get at most pizza places. It bakes wonderfully in a home oven, on a pizza stone or a baking sheet. And thanks to the brilliant no-knead method of Jim Lahey—owner of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery and pizza spot Co.—it’s easy to prepare, deriving its character from overnight fermentation, not laborious kneading. Just remember to start at least 1 day ahead – but three days ahead would be even better!

Makes six 10″–12″ pizzas

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  • Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a spoon, gradually add 3 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature (about 72°) in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
  • Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
  • Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for 2–3 hours before shaping.

To Make the Pizzas

  • During the last hour of dough’s resting, prepare oven: If using a pizza stone, arrange a rack in upper third of oven and place stone on rack; preheat oven to its hottest setting, 500°–550°, for 1 hour. If using a baking sheet, arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to its hottest setting, 500°–550°. (You do not need to preheat the baking sheet.)
  • Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough generously with flour and place on a floured work surface. Gently shape dough into a 10″–12″ disk.

If Using Pizza Stone

  • When ready to bake, increase oven heat to broil. Sprinkle a pizza peel or rimless (or inverted rimmed) baking sheet lightly with flour. Place dough disk on prepared peel and top with desired toppings.
  • Using small, quick back-and-forth movements, slide pizza from peel onto hot pizza stone. Broil pizza, rotating halfway, until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, 5–7 minutes.
  • Using peel, transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat, allowing pizza stone to reheat under broiler for 5 minutes between pizzas.

If Using a Baking Sheet

  • Arrange dough disk on baking sheet; top with desired toppings. Bake pizza until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat with remaining pizzas.

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Tony Gemignani Shows Peter Reinhart His Pizza Ovens

Here is what Peter has to say about this episode:

Okay, this is the webisode many of you have been waiting for, where Tony Gemignani shows us all four of his ovens and also, as a bonus, explains the difference between the various types of Double Zero flour — it’s a whirlwind of information and I think you will want to watch it more than once and take notes. One of the joys we’ve had in traveling and meeting all these pizza masters is seeing how deeply they look into all their choices, whether it be flour, tomatoes, cheese, or other ingredients, ovens, heat sources, etc. They all have their own reasons for the choices they, which is great for all of us pizza hunters, as this attention to detail is what distinguishes them as artisans, and that’s why we celebrate them.

Read more…

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Tony Gemignani Prepares a San Felice Margherita

Here’s what Peter has to say about this episode:

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.

Read more…

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Tony Gemignani Teaches Us To Make a Margherita

Here’s what Peter has to say about this episode:

In this webisode, Tony teaches me (and you) how he makes the Margherita pizza that won him the world championship. You’ll notice a few great tips, things that aren’t commonly known even by professional pizza makers, such as: the traditional Napoletana way to load the pizza onto the peel; shaping the dough on the marble slab as opposed to lifting or spinning it; when to put the basil on; and the importance of bringing the dough to room temperature before putting it into the oven to prevent burning the underside.

Read more…

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Peter Reinhart & Tony Gemignani on Pizza Quest

Here’s what Peter had to say on this episode:

In this short, introductory webisode, Tony welcomes us and shows us the oven dedicated to making his World Championship Margherita pizza. In another section he begins making a Sicilian style pizza and gives us a quick briefing on San Marzano tomatoes, which he uses only on a few of the pizzas on his menu.

Read more…

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Puffins = Pizza Muffins | Portable Pizza Bites Ready to Travel


Ever stop by your local pizza spot to grab a quick slice and then, as you drive off, you realize you are going to have to eat that steaming hot, floppy, greasy, messy slice over your lap as you drive? Or maybe you’ve got a great pizza recipe and you want to show it off at your next potluck, but as we all know, pizza doesn’t travel.. Here today, I submit to you this idea: Puffins! Spread out your dough into tiny little pizza crusts, push the crust into a muffin tin, plop a little drop of your toppings into the middle and then fold the excess dough over the top, sealing the Puffin closed. In my experience, the cheese will cause just enough steam to pop a little hole in the dough-top and the cheese will ooze out a bit and get a bit of browning as it touches the muffin pan. And let me tell you, these things are AWESOME. They are completely self contained, fit in the hand well, and are WAY less messy and driving friendly than a traditional slice. Plus, since the dough is holding all the steam and heat from the baked toppings inside, they stay warm for MUCH longer than a pizza slice as well.

World, start your ovens! Report back to me here at with tales of your Puffin adventures.

Happy baking!

Chico, California

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Peter Reinhart Chooses Central Milling Flour

See people? I get on here and blab blab blab about how great Central Milling flours are, even post pics and recipes using the new Germania Pizza Flour blend, and ta-da! Peter Reinhart picks up a sack for himself and loves it! I’ll let you know just as soon as Peter calls to thank me for the incredible tip off. Until then, maybe take a peek at his blog and his experiences/recipes with Central Milling flours.

Here’s what Peter is doing with his bag of Central Milling Germania pizza flour:

The Pizza Quest Challenge Dough (makes five 8 ounce/227 g dough balls)

For best results, this dough should be made at least one day in advance–it will also hold in the refrigerator for up to 3 days with good results. Any longer than 3 days and the dough will weaken (start to break down), though it can last for months if shaped into dough balls and frozen in small freezer zip bags.

22 ounces (624 grams) Germania flour or a blend of 20 oz./567 g of your favorite bread or Double Zero flour and 2 oz./56 g of pumpernickel or coarse rye flour or rye meal).  If you don’t have a scale, this will be approx. 4 3/4 cups of flour.

0.5 oz/56 g. salt (a scant 2 teaspoons or 2 1/2 teaspoons if using coarse kosher or coarse sea salt)

1 oz./28 g crystal beer malt (light or dark–I use amber) or 1 1/2 tablespoons barley malt syrup

0.11 oz/3 g instant yeast (1 teaspoon)  OR, 1 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast dissolved in 4 ounces of the water for about 3 to 5 minutes

16 oz/452 g  water, room temp. (if using Caputo or another Italian Double Zero, reduce the water to 14 oz/399 g)

And just in case you’re not sure who Peter Reinhart is, check out this link – it should explain everything:

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Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe | How to Work With Wet Dough

Recently, I filmed a new video detailing my latest favorite thin crust pizza dough recipe as well as a few good techniques on how to deal with wet dough. I figured instead of talking your ear off about it, I would just show you! Also, I get a lot of questions asking what dough is supposed to look like in certain stages of mixing/prep, so I’ve left LONG sequences of the mixer doing its thing in there so you can check out what the dough looks like as I make it. You can see it really doesn’t look like dough until an hour or so after I started making it. Just takes a little patience and a bit of faith :)

Good luck and enjoy the new video! Hola from Chico, California!


- 22oz of ’00′ pizza flour (
- 15oz water
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1T olive oil
- 1T malt extract

Mix with a dough hook on low until dough comes together. Rest for 30 minutes. Mix on second slowest setting for 12 minutes. Rest for 30 minutes. Seal up in containers and place in fridge for three days. Pull the dough out two hours before baking to let the dough come up to room temperature.

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