The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ken Forkish Pizza Book

EdfromWdstk's picture
EdfromWdstk

Ken Forkish Pizza Book

Just received Ken Forkish's terrific new book devoted exclusively to pizza- The Elements of Pizza- and it is great addition to the list of 'pizza books'. In addition to a great overview of the history of pizza - from Italy to the evolving pies in the US- it has a good deal of helpful information and recipes. For those who have read or use his earlier bread book- FWSY- his observation on the differences in preparing doughs for pizza vs bread is particularly interesting and helpful.Also- as a wfo pizza maker- his commentary on the important differences in terms of dough hydration for home oven pizza in contrast to wfo higher temp oven doughs is very helpful.

 

QuarterBaked's picture
QuarterBaked

Thanks for the review! I only bake the occasional pizza, but my brother-in-law makes them often, and I bet he'll be happy to hear about the book!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I hadn't even heard that this was in the works!

David

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Notwithstanding his "nod" to the fact that he previously recommended dough that was too highly hydrated for pizza, his new book still suggests pizza dough that is more highly hydrated than ideal. 

I see people are also critical of him for recommending Caputo 00 flour for home ovens.  I'm on the fence about that.

Xaipe's picture
Xaipe

What is the criticism of the flour? I have the book and would like to hear more about that. I tried using it (with pizza from FWSY) and it came out extremely wet, almost unusable. 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Apparently, the flour does not brown at temperatures that your gas or electric household stove reaches.   I use it in both my wood fired oven and my regular oven and don't have any complaints, but I always mix it with whole wheat flour. Probably defeats the purpose of using 00 flour when I do that.  

Xaipe's picture
Xaipe

Thanks for this. Next time I use it I will report back. I am excited to try out the new processes he sets up in the book. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This is contrary to may experience. I bake pizza in an electric oven at 500dF, which is its maximum temperature.

See: Pizza Bliss and Pizza Bliss Redux

These doughs are 98% Caputo 00 flour.

David

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I linked to the pizza bliss blog entry, at the pizzamaking.com forum to ask whether those who were against the use of 00 flour in the home oven found your pizza unappealing.  I am curious what the responses are. Maybe they won't like the uneven browning that you get.  But I want to tear into that crust whenever I see the crumb!

Note: You are using olive oil on your dough.  That may be assisting you with the browning, no?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I didn't know even browning was a desirable characteristic in Pizza. I did paint the dough with olive oil before baking. Maybe I should have used shoe polish?

I'll be interested in hearing what the pizzamaking.com pizza makers have to say.

David

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

David, you know more than anybody that one wants a brown crust, no?

I think it depends on the style of pizza one is making.  A NY slice should not be pale, whereas a Neapolitan slice is often pale with the leoparding.

The explanation given was as follows: 00 is not malted.  Malted barley provides enzymes to the flour. The enzymes h help to convert starches to sugars that feed the yeast.  The sugars also help to brown the crust.  At higher temps (like a wood fired oven) the additional sugars can cause problems with over browning (burnt crusts).  At lower temps (like a home oven) the lack of additional sugars provided by the malt will inhibit browning (pale crusts).

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I just re-read the 2013 "Pizza Bliss" topic. SylviaH discussed her view of Caputo 00 for "indoor" versus WFO pizza. It is much like what you described.

Of course, you could just add a bit of sugar/malt syrup/honey to your indoor pizza dough, if it's an issue of free sugar. On the other hand, making pizza with a younger dough might have a similar effect. And, on the third hand, I am now extra-eager to make pizza and focaccia in a WFO.

David

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

uses 55% Caputo 00 35% KA Sir Lancelot and 10% semolina...I do add a bit of sugar expressly for browning purpose. I have switched it up for over 25 years and this is my go to...in a 550 oven on a stone or steel..7 minutes. Every Friday for years and years!!

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Is it SD?  Would love to know the rest of your recipe.

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Has anyone tried baking pizza in a grill?  700-750F on a stone seems like a winner.  I'm afraid of not being able to see it, though, and then losing much of the heat by opening after 3 minutes.

I tried blasting my gas oven to 500+ with the stone on the oven floor ("hearth baking") and the crust burned to a crisp.