In Search of the Perfect Pie » Tips & Info A pizza making blog showcasing recipes, instructions, tips & tricks, photos, videos and more! Tue, 10 Sep 2013 09:57:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Peter Reinhart’s Pizza Quest | Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco, California Mon, 09 Apr 2012 16:30:58 +0000 Ryan Sanders ]]>

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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Tony Gemignani Shows Peter Reinhart His Pizza Ovens Sat, 15 Oct 2011 17:31:28 +0000 Ryan Sanders ]]>

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 Fri, 14 Oct 2011 17:18:43 +0000 Ryan Sanders ]]>

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 Thu, 13 Oct 2011 17:00:04 +0000 Ryan Sanders ]]>

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 Wed, 12 Oct 2011 16:08:24 +0000 Ryan Sanders ]]>

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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Peter Reinhart Chooses Central Milling Flour Wed, 28 Sep 2011 17:00:33 +0000 Ryan Sanders ]]>

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 Sat, 03 Sep 2011 04:04:10 +0000 Ryan Sanders ]]>

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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I’m Back! New Flours from Central Milling, SF Pizza and More Tue, 31 May 2011 23:33:26 +0000 Ryan Sanders ]]>

Alicia discovers just how popular Central Milling really is in San Francisco!

It’s been a while since my last post, and in the period of radio silence a lot has happened! We bought a small house with a gas oven, I found a new and exciting job, and perhaps most exciting of all, we traveled to San Francisco and had some world-class pizza. Also while in San Francisco, we had a chance to visit with your good friend and mine, Nick from Central Milling. Not only did I buy 100lb of their new ’00′ Normal Pizza Flour, but I also have in my possession 20lb of their newest experimental pizza flour “Pizza Germania.” Between new ovens, reports and reviews from Pizzeria Delfina and Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, and results photos from my experiments with the new Pizza Germania flour, you can expect this blog to roar back to life in the coming weeks.

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Food 52- A Place for Unique Eats Fri, 03 Dec 2010 22:07:10 +0000 Aimee ]]>

Tonight at our house is Pizza Friday.  We look forward to this day each week for two reasons, convenience and it’s our favorite food.  I like to make one regular cheese pizza for my fiance, Jon and one unique one, for moi!  This week I turned to Food 52 for my unique eats.  Pizza CAN be healthy, you just need to tweak the ingredients to make it healthy. I am going to try a broccoli rabe, potato and rosemary pie to add a vitamin rich element to our dinner tonight.

I check out Food 52 daily to see what trends us common cooks are diving into. Amanda and Merrill, the authors of said website, are packed with knowledge and love to share it with us. I can always count on finding a creative alternative to a dish that has run it’s course on our pallets.

Stay tuned for an update on how this unique pie turns out!

Broccoli Rabe Pie

courtesy of Sarah Shatz Food 52 contributor


Broccoli Rabe, Potato and Rosemary Pizza:

  • 2 uncooked pizza crusts (recipe below)
  • 1 large yukon gold potato, very thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound broccoli rabe, washed, ends trimmed
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced, plus 2 garlic cloves lightly smashed but still intact
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Rosemary sprigs for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Arrange potatoes in one layer on a baking tray. Bake until edges begin to turn golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Increase oven temperature to 475 F.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add broccoli rabe and blanch 30 seconds; drain. Plunge broccoli rabe into a bowl of ice water. Cool and drain again. Lay in one layer on a kitchen towel to thoroughly dry. Cut in 2″ pieces.
  4. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté briefly, 30 seconds. Add broccoli rabe and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté one minute. Remove from heat. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  5. Assemble pizzas: Lightly brush pizza crusts with olive oil. Rub all over with smashed garlic cloves.
  6. Arrange one layer mozzarella cheese over crusts. Top with one layer of potatoes and broccoli rabe. Sprinkle one tablespoon rosemary over each crust. Top with grated Pecorino cheese.
  7. Bake on pizza stone or on tray on lowest rack in oven until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes.
  8. Before serving, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with fresh rosemary leaves and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

Pizza Dough Recipe:

  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups cold water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
  2. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 2 equal disks (or 4 if you would like small pizzas.) Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to 10″ shapes.

Read more:

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Pizza Recipes and Videos from Bobby Flay Thu, 02 Dec 2010 15:45:26 +0000 Ryan Sanders ]]>

Whether you’re into grilling pizza on the BBQ, or mixing Southwestern flavors into your cooking, Bobby Flay is the man for the job when it comes to crunchy crusts and spicy, unique flavors. Check out this selection of videos from the chef himself.

Grilled Pizza and Spicy Hummus

Bobby invites Iron-Woman in training Sharon Sperber to grill pizzas. Sharon loves Bobby’s Grilled Pizza with Spicy Hummus, Vegetables and Goat Cheese. Bobby is equally impressed with Sharon’s novel twist on 2 classic Italian pizzas – Margarita pizza with garam masala-spiced tomato sauce, and curried greens on a 4-cheese pie.

Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto Pizza

Bobby tours NY from Soho to Brooklyn for a taste of pizza greatness. Then he shares recipes for Grilled Lavash Pizza with Spicy Hummus, Grilled Eggplant, Feta, Red Chili Oil & Mint Red Chili-White Anchovy Caesar Salad Pizza, Caesar Salad & Grilled Shrimp & Cilantro Pesto.

Steak and Blue Cheese Pizza

Bobby invites Iron-Woman in training Sharon Sperber to grill pizzas. Sharon loves Bobby’s Grilled Pizza with Spicy Hummus, Vegetables and Goat Cheese. Bobby is equally impressed with Sharon’s novel twist on 2 classic Italian pizzas – Margarita pizza with garam masala-spiced tomato sauce, and curried greens on a 4-cheese pie.

Throwdown – Pizza Lasso NYC

Giorgio Giove is the pizza king at Brother’s Pizzeria in Staten Island. In fact, he has just come back from Italy where his special pizza won second place in the World’s Best Tasting Pizza competition. To celebrate his award-winning pies and his return from Italy, Giorgio is throwing a big family reunion. He doesn’t realize that Bobby’s been secretly brushing up on his pizza-making skills in order to crash Giorgio’s party and challenge him to a Throwdown. Bobby’s up against a seasoned pro in Giorgio, not to mention the entire Giove family, so he might have to change his whole strategy for this competition.

Throwdown – Deep Dish Pizza

Bobby visits the windy city of Chicago to challenge deep dish master Lou Malnati to a pizza throwdown for the ages.

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