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:

This Curds for You – Making Fresh Mozzarella

So you know how you’ve been futzing over tiny changes in your pizza dough? Or maybe you’ve been looking for that certain something to brighten up your pizza sauce and because it might be a bit dull right now? Well forget that – you’ve stend plenty of time worrying about dough and sauce, but how many sleepless nights have you spent worrying about how fresh your cheese is?? My guess would be less than you would care to admit. Here are two mozzarella making videos that will get you started on a whole new level of “pizza obsession”… whatever that is.


White Alfredo Sauce – Goes Great with Chicken, Broccoli, Garlic and More!

Hi guys,

I thought the sauce selection here looked a bit slim, so I will be adding a few more to balance things out. This is a recipe I found on and it works great for white pizzas as well as garlic chicken pizzas or even a pie with broccoli on it! When you don’t want to just open a jar, check out this easy and quick Alfredo recipe.

Alfredo Sauce

This creamy white pizza sauce recipe has long been a favorite on pasta, but it’s one of the best things to happen to pizza in a long time.

1/4 cup butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt and pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese, cream, salt and pepper and heat through, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

You People Love Your White Pizza – What the Food Network Has to Offer

I’ve noticed a trend over the past few months of writing this blog and it is this: you people LOVE your white pizza! The top ten most searched terms on the blog, as well as search engine hits, all have “white pizza” somewhere in the search string. So what is up? What’s with the white pizza obsession? Are you purists who would rather eat pizza in its original state before tomatoes arrived in Italy? Are you all on some kooky new diet where you can’t eat any fruits or vegetables and instead are only eating carbs and dairy? Or is white pizza America’s hidden secret favorite pizza and I’m only just now arriving at the white pizza party? I’d love to hear what your reasons for loving white pizza are!

Anyhow, I thought since you are SO into white pizza, I’d start creating a few white pizza posts specifically for you. Here are a few of the “celebrity” chefs’ takes on white pizza. Many of these preparations call for “pizza dough” without really giving you any specifics. I’d like to humbly point you to this post which I believe is the best dough recipe I’ve tried so far. Enjoy the recipes, and as always, leave me some comments and let me know what you’d like to see next from In Search of the Perfect Pie.

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe Traditional White Pizza

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe Roasted Garlic White Pizza with Garlic Sauce

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe White Pizzas with Arugula

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe White Pizza with Alfredo Sauce

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe Pizza Bianca

Yugon Gold Potato White Pizza

I saw a pizza episode of “The Best Thing I ever Ate” the other day and Alex Guarnaschelli said that her favorite pizza was the Five Points, yukon gold potato pizza. Well this sounded interesting and new, so I ran out and whipped up what I thought the pizza would be like – and let me tell you, it sounds super funky, but man oh MAN it was good! See recipe and photos to follow.


  • Pizza Dough – I used this recipe.
  • Mozzarella – I used fresh mozz here, which I liked a lot, but the grocery store stuff would work too.
  • One Yukon Gold Potato
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic Salt – I used Chico Spice Garlic Powder, made right here in Chico.
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to as high as it will go. Slice your potato up into the thinnest possible slices you can. Using a mandoline would make this process a piece of cake, but all I had was a knife, so I cut slowly and carefully. Next, spread out your dough onto whatever pan, peel, or whatever you are going to use to bake the pizza. Use a silicone brush to brush on a thin layer of olive oil. Next, give the whole crust a light sprinkling of garlic salt and rosemary, and then crack a bit of fresh black pepper on top of the spices. Then, spread out the potatoes in concentric circles around the pie. Place your medallions of cheese down on top of the potatoes. Put a few dribbles of olive oil down on top of the pie and I like to brush on some more oil on the outer crust (and dash on some more garlic salt on there for a yummy finish to each slice).  Place it in the oven until you see some nice browning on the cheese and crust and that’s it! You’ve got yourself potato pizza my friend! Enjoy :)

Tony Gemignani's Pizza Dough – Both a Tossing and a Tasty Champ

Just saw Tony Gemignani on an episode of “Will Work for Food” and I had to go search out his recipe. Not only am I looking for a more hearty dough to practice my stunt pizza tossing, but I wouldn’t be too disappointed if it were also an award winningly tasty dough as well. I have a dough ball rising as we speak, so I’ll get back to you with my success/failure.

UPDATE: This recipe has become my favorite dough recipe. It tops all of my sourdough experiments, which is a bit embarrassing to admit. Try it out – you won’t be sorry.

This recipe goes with Tony’s Hand-Tossed Pizza


Makes dough for 3 pizzas (Tony claims this makes two 14″ pizzas – I say it makes three minimum, but you may even be able to get four thin pizzas out of it.)


  • 1  package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1  cup  warm (90° to 100°) water – not tap water, filtered only please
  • 1  cup  ice-cold water – filtered
  • 1  tablespoon  sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  salt – sea salt might be a bad choice here because it sometimes contains minerals that aren’t water soluable
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • About 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour – This is important: USE HIGH GLUTEN OR BREAD FLOUR.


i. Place your oven rack on the lowest height possible. Preheat your over to as hot as it will go. If you are using a pizza stone, put it in, then crank the oven up. Turn on your oven hook intake fan – it’s going to get hot.

1. In a small bowl, with a fork, stir yeast into warm water. Let stand until yeast is dissolved and you start to see little bubbles forming on top of the liquid, about 10 minutes.

2. In another bowl, mix cold water, sugar, and salt until dissolved; stir in oil.

3. Place 5 1/4 cups bread flour in your stand mixer with the dough hook. Stir the yeast mixture again with your fork to blend, then add all liquids to the flour. Beat with the dough hook on lowest speed until mixture comes together and is generally smooth – 4 to 5 minutes tops. If the dough isn’t completely uniform, don’t worry about it.

4. Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap, or even better, a clean, brand new shower cap, and let it rest for 20 minutes.

5. Uncover the bowl and start the mixer going again on its lowest setting for another 5-7 minutes. You should see the dough is much more smooth and elastic looking now.

6. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured board; cut in half. With floured hands, pick up one portion of dough; pull opposite edges together toward center and pinch to seal. Repeat all around circumference to form a smooth, tight ball. Place each portion in a large Tupperware container which will allow the dough ball to at least double. Squeeze out air and seal bag, allowing enough room for ball to double. Chill at least 10 hours or up to 2 days.

7. After two days have passed, you will probably see the dough pushing up against the sides of the container. to remove it, run your finger down along the side of the ball to release it from  the sides. Then, flip the container upside down and you should almost be able to let gravity pull the ball out on its own.

8. Place the ball of dough directly into a large mixing bowl or lipped tray full of regular AP flour and coat the whole outside of the ball with a light coating of flour. It’s ok if it seems like a lot of flour, it’s mostly going to come off when you start to toss it around :) In fact, while the ball is in the flour, go ahead and start flattening it into a pancake sized disc. You need to finese this, because what you are wanting to do is not pop all the bubbles in the dough, but reather spread them to the outter edges of it so they form your crust. Starting at the center, slowly massage your dough down to somewhat of a flat shape. Now you are ready to spread your dough. Instead of trying to describe it, why not just watch video lessons on it here?

9. Once you have your pizza spread out, spread a light covering of sauce on, starting from the middle and working your way out. Two things about this: Use less sauce than you think you should. One serving ladel per pie should be about good. Also, try to put less sauce, as well as toppings, in the middle. This is where everything is going to try to pool in the oven, so don’t start it off too thick.

10. Top and slide in your hot hot oven. It should cook in roughly 5 minutes, depending on how how your oven can get. What I like to do when I am not cooking on a pizza stone, is to cook the pizza on a pan until it is JUST starting to brown the cheese, then slide it out of the pan and just cook it on the rack, right above the heating element. This dries out the bottom of the crust further and makes for a crunchier crust. One thing to be aware of – if the pizza looks ultra wet because there are a bunch of fresh veggies on there, or you spread it so thin you could read through it, chances are your pizza is not very structurally sound and wouldn’t support the toppings if you were to take it off the tray. Yet another reason to keep the topping sitch simple I suppose :)

Tossing tips:

The setup: Remove your watch and any rings you’re wearing. Place the dough slightly off-center on the palm of your throwing hand (generally, if you’re comfortable spinning the dough counterclockwise, use your right hand; for spinning clockwise, use your left). Make a fist with the other hand, knuckle side up, and place it under the dough, beside your throwing hand, to support the other side. Hold the dough parallel to the ground, between your waist and chest.

The release: Turn the palm of your throwing hand toward you, then quickly twist your hand outward and up to launch the dough into the air. Catch the round with both fists, knuckles up. Toss with fast, deliberate moves; if you’re tentative and slow, the dough will be more likely to flop over or droop. Don’t get discouraged! In our test kitchen, a little practice produced amazing results (and a lot of laughs).

This recipe was originally published here.

Enjoy Travis!


Mario Batali’s Pizza Dough – Wine and Honey Makes a Sweet Pie!

This was posted a year or two ago in the New York Times and I thought I would pass it along because I’ve never stumbled upon a recipe that used WINE in the dough! If there was ever a pizza dough that was perfect for me, it would be a dough where I pour a glass of wine for me, and a glass for the dough :)

  • Makes two pizzas
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 ½ ounces yeast (1 yeast packet)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour


Combine wine, water and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. Start by adding 1 cup of flour and make a wet paste. Add remaining flour and incorporate.

Place dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 45 minutes.

The Pizzetta Stone – Translating Jeff Varasano’s Technique

If you, like me, have ever done a Google search for “NY pizza recipe” then you have no doubt stumbled across the bible-esque tome that is Jeff Varasano’s Famous NY Pizza Recipe. The recipe, which is in itself very simple, tips the scale at a hefty 22,000+ words. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve read almost every single one of those words, but it took me months to get up the courage to sit down and plow through it all!

What I’ve prepared for you here is a condensation of Jeff’s recipe; a reduction, if you will, of the simple steps minus all of the asides and fascinating science behind his pie’s creation. What we’ve got here is a recipe you could have open on your laptop in the kitchen (I prepare exclusively from my computer) and actually follow the steps without hours of scrolling looking for the next step. If you ever want more explanation as to WHY you are doing the steps below, please grab a cup of coffee and sit down for a nice bit of reading at Jeff Varasano’s Famous NY Pizza Recipe. And Jeff, if you’re out there, thanks for publishing all of your findings for the rest of us to benefit from. Enjoy!

Things to know before you begin:

  • This recipe assumes you have an active sourdough culture.
  • Prep time on the dough is at least one day.
  • This recipe makes one pie.
  • This recipe is only given in weights. You’ll need a scale that can measure grams.
  • If any of this sounds a bit much, check out my simpler thin crust recipe here.

1. Make sure you have a sourdough starter going before starting this recipe. If you don’t have one going yet, you can order one at or cultivate your own local yeast like this.

2. Measure according to weight (in grams) the following.

  • Filtered Water – 110 grams
  • Bread Flour (Jeff likes King Arthur) – 168 grams
  • Kosher or Sea Salt – 6 grams (This is roughly one teaspoon – my scale doesn’t do well with such small amounts, so I use a tsp)
  • Sourdough Yeast Culture – 15 grams
  • Instant Dry Yeast – 0.5 grams (equivalent to a pinch – optional)

3. Pour everything except for about one quarter of the flour into your stand mixer.

4. Use the standard paddle attachment and mix on the slowest speed until your dough is evenly mixed. You should be aiming for the consistency of a thick batter. It shouldn’t look like dough yet.

5. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. THIS IS IMPORTANT, DON’T SKIP THIS.

6. Put the dough hook onto your mixer and start kneading your mixture. After five minutes, bein to gradually add in the remaining flour. Aim to have all the flour in by about the eight minute mark or so. If you reach a point where the dough looks good but you still have more flour, just don’t add it.

7. After about 8 minutes, click your stand mixer up to the next highest speed. Kneed until you see the dough form a wet ball. Always err on the side of dough that is too wet, and never “be a slave to recipes” as Jeff would say. If the dough needs a bit more flour, put some in.

8. Cover the bowl and rest for 20 minutes. THIS IS IMPORTANT, DON’T SKIP IT.

9. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured counter top, sprinkle the top of it lightly with flour, and use your hands to form it into a nice round ball. It should be wet enough so that it sags when you form your ball. If it’s perk, your dough may be too dry. For photo examples of how wet your dough should look, go to Jeff Varasano’s Famous NY Pizza Recipe of course!

10. Place the dough in a container, cover it with plastic wrap or a nicely fitting lid, and stow it away in your fridge for 1-6 days. The 3-4 day range is best, I’d say.

11. Take the dough out about an hour to an hour and a half before you want to bake it.

12. Heat your oven to as hot as it will go. Jeff broke the safety off of his over and bakes pizzas while it is running on it’s cleaning cycle. Of course, he doesn’t suggest you follow his example… If you are using a pizza stone, make sure it is in when you begin to heat the oven.

12. Spread the dough out on a floured counter (Jeff says it isn’t great for tossing), put a small amount of sauce on. I stick to one ladle full.

13. Top the pie with mozzarella and the toppings of your choice and slide it onto your super hot pizza stone, or if you are using a pan, just slide the pan onto a baking rack.

14. My over doesn’t have a cleaning mode, so I top out around 500 degrees. My pizzas take about 5-7 minutes to bake. Keep an eye out on yours.

15. Pull it out and cool it on a wooden surface if you can. Wait about 3 minutes to cut into it. Serve.

Now if you are dying to know why or how, or want to see examples of what certain stages should look like, or want to know what your options are as far as flours, cheeses, sauces, yeasts, mixers, etc, or just want to read a more in depth explanation of anything you’ve read here, check out Jeff Varasano’s Famous NY Pizza Recipe for Pete’s sake!

Hope you found this helpful!

Ryan's Thin Crust Pizza Dough

Preheat to 500+ degrees (as hot as it will go). Put your stone in if you are going to use it. Yields one pizza.

  • 2 tsp yeast (one packet)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar (a squirt of honey works too)
  • 3/4 cup water (110 degrees. Use a thermometer)
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup bread flour ( don’t just put more all purpose flour… i said bread flour dammit!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (sea salt would be nice)
  • oil (olive, grape seed, whateva’)

Instructions – Preheat to 475 degrees. Put your stone in if you are going to use it. Put sugar and yeast into 110 degree water. Stir it around a bit to make sure the sugar dissolves and the yeast really starts eating it up. Leave it to the side with a kitchen towel over the top for a couple of minutes. Put both flours and salt into a stand mixer and pulse it to mix the two together. Pour the liquid in on top of the flour mixture and follow these timed mixing stages:

  • 2 Minutes – Mix on medium speed. This stage is to simply bring the ingredients together and get them interacting with each other. Don’t worry if the dough still looks rough after the first 2 minutes.
  • 5 Minutes – Turn mixer off and let dough just sit there. This lets the proteins in the flours relax, unfold, and lets the yeast begin eating the flour as well.
  • 3 Minutes – Mix on medium speed again. If dough is looking too sticky, add more AP flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it pulls away from the sizes of the bowl. If it is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. You’ve got three minutes to get it right!

Take the dough out and throw it onto a floured counter top. Hand kneed it for a minute or two. If it is still too wet or dry, you can continue to add water/flour as you knead. You should see the texture and elasticity of the dough improve visibly as you kneed it by hand. No need to punch it or use fingers. Use the palms of your hands and almost “smear” it across the counter, fold it over itself and repeat. You are kneading to distribute air bubbles evenly into the dough, not pop them by punching it. Anyways, I digress…

If you made this recipe for one, form your dough into a ball, press it in between your hands to form a super-thick pancake form, then start tossing it in the air! If you multiplied this recipe, form your dough into a big ball, rub it with a light coating of oil, and plop it in a big bowl with a dishtowel over the top. When you are ready to toss the dough, pull a ball of dough out of the bowl in the neighborhood of a baseball/softball size, press it in between your hands to form a super-thick pancake form, then start tossing it in the air!

Although you don’t have to, you should have no problem getting this dough thin enough to see light through it. Bake the pizza until you see the cheese/toppings just starting to brown and you can lift a corner of the pizza up off the pan/stone and it seems to support it’s own weight. At this point, you’ve got maybe a minute or two more in the pan/stone OR (what I like to do) put one of your oven’s racks on the lowest height possible and slide the pizza in just on the rack itself. Because it is so close to the heating element, the bottom of the crust will get browned pretty quickly and after a minute or so you should have an extra crunchy crust. Keep a close eye on it because by the time you smell it burning, it will be nice and black :)

Other Cooking Tips – You are going to find using a metal pan is actually easier than a pizza stone, but a pizza stone will yield a crispier, crunchier crust. If you use a pizza stone, you need to preheat the stone as well as the oven. The problem with this arises when you realize: you can’t assemble the pizza on the stone. It’s 475 degrees! You’ll need to have a way to build the pizza and then transfer the completed creation to the blazing hot stone. A pizza sleeve (big wooden shovel thing) would be ideal for this, but a large, floured, portable cutting board works decently as well. If you use a metal pan, you can make the pizza directly on the pan and then just slip the pan into the stove. In order to get some of that crispiness back, I liberally oil the metal pan before placing the dough down into it so that as the pan heats, the bottom of the dough actually fries. Different kind of crispy, but super yummy all the same. If you are thinking of using very naturally wet vegetables (onions, bell peppers, etc.), your chances of success will greatly increase if you cut the vegetables before hand, lightly salt them (salt draws the liquid to the surface), and then roll them up in a dish towel so it absorbs all the excess moisture. I’ve had pizzas become too wet because of the fresh veggies and collapse through the middle of the crust right onto my oven’s heating element.. Plumes of black smoke tend to ruin dinner parties.

Final Tips – When shopping for mozzarella cheese, make sure it is part-skim, low moisture. Again, water on top of thin crust is bad and disastrous. For sauce, I like Newman’s Own Marinara or Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce found in the canned foods at Chico Natural Foods which is called Pizza Sauce which is organic and tastes pretty good. They also have a really nice pepperoni in the meat and cheese cooler in back which knocks the pants off of the hormel or whateva’ brand you’ll find in most grocery stores.

I’m working on my next pizza volume now… Coming soon, to theaters near you: The Pizza Bible II – Return of Son of Pizza Bible! This time, it’s sourdough!!!!!