Pizza Czar: Globetrotting Recipes and Wisdom from a Pizza Obsessive

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As one of the most universally cherished foods, pizza invites endless creativity and passion. For self-proclaimed “Pizza Czar” Anthony Falco, making pizza is not just a hobby – it’s a calling. After traveling the world eating at iconic pizzerias, he became determined to demystify homemade pizza for even novice cooks.

In this book, Falco imparts years of wisdom learned turning pizza obsession into a career. He breakdowns everything from choosing ingredients to baking techniques, so you can make restaurant-caliber pizza in your own kitchen. Follow the Pizza Czar’s guidance, and you’ll gain the expertise to create pizzas that dazzle like a proper pizzaiolo.

Ingredients – The Keys to Pizza Greatness

Pizza might sound simple, but not all ingredients are created equal. For pies that rival the best shops, source:

Dough: Skip pre-made crusts. With the right flour, yeast and elbow grease, homemade dough is attainable for everyone.

Sauce: San Marzano tomatoes make the ultimate base. Just crush by hand and add a touch of salt, garlic and olive oil.

Cheese: Seek out fresh mozzarella and grate Parmesan, Pecorino Romano or other hard grating cheeses.

Toppings: Quality meats, veggies and seasonings separate the good from the great.

Extras: A drizzle of finishing olive oil before serving makes flavors pop.

Equipment – Outfitting Your Pizza Kitchen

Specialty tools help you work dough, transfer pizzas and replicate the conditions of a professional pizza oven:

  • pizza stone mimics the baking surface of a pizza oven, crisping up crusts.
  • peel makes it easy to slide pizzas onto the blistering hot stone.
  • rolling pin helps flatten and stretch dough evenly. Opt for a tapered French-style pin without handles.
  • Bench scrapers expedite working dough and scooping up messes.
  • pizza cutter slices pies neatly for serving.

Technique – Mastering the Method

With practice, these methods will become second nature:

  • Knead dough thoroughly until satiny and elastic. Let rise twice for light, airy crust.
  • Stretch and toss to shape, using gravity and knuckles to elongate dough.
  • Layer toppings with sauce first, then cheese to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
  • Transfer dough to a floured peel, then slide onto the preheated pizza stone smoothly.
  • Bake at 500°F or the highest temp your oven allows. Broil at the end for extra browning.
  • Rest pizza 1-2 minutes before slicing to allow cheese and toppings to set.

Recipes – Jet-Setting Pizza Inspiration

Now for pie-making inspiration from around the globe:

Margherita – The classic Neapolitan pizza demands quality with simple toppings of tomato, mozzarella and basil.

Thai Chicken – Chicken, peanuts, chilies and cilantro give this pie a Thai twist.

Shawarma – Middle Eastern spiced meat, garlic sauce, onions and tomatoes make an exotic pizza.

Tikka Masala -Bring Indian flavors to pizza with chicken tikka, cilantro and a yogurt drizzle.

Mexicali – Chorizo, poblano, corn and cotija will transport your tastebuds south of the border.

Clam and Bacon– A white pie with fresh clams and bacon is a briny, smoky New Haven-style delight.

Carne – Pile on the pepperoni, sausage, salami and bacon for an ultimate meat lover’s pie.

The options for incredible pizza are endless, especially with the Pizza Czar himself providing wisdom. Follow his lead, and you’ll go from delivery devotee to homemade pizza rockstar. Ready, set, dough!

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