Pizza remains America's favorite food, but one that many people hesitate to make at home. In Mastering Pizza, award-winning chef Marc Vetri tackles the topic with his trademark precision, making perfect pizza available to anyone. The recipes—gleaned from years spent researching recipes in Italy and perfecting them in America—have a variety of base doughs of different hydration levels, which allow home cooks to achieve the same results with a regular kitchen oven as they would with a professional pizza oven. The book covers popular standards like Margherita and Carbonara while also featuring unexpected toppings such as mussels and truffles—and even a dessert pizza made with Nutella. With transporting imagery from Italy and hardworking step-by-step photos to demystify the process, Mastering Pizza will help you make pizza as delicious as you find in Italy.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
EVERYBODY LOVES PIZZA
It’s amazing to me how the whole world fell in love with pizza. But I get it. I fell in love with it, too! It’s just so adaptable. Different doughs, different shapes, different toppings. You can make it however you like. And that’s exactly what everyone around the world does. And that’s what you should do. But this book is not an exhaustive survey of every style out there. I focus on the pizzas that started it all, like round pizza Napoletana that’s soft and foldable with a big, puffy rim; round pizza Romana that has a thin, crunchy crust and almost no rim; and rectangular or square pizza al taglio that’s baked in a pan with a superthick but light and pillowy crust. Sure, I have some fun with Naples dough and Roman dough. I show you how to make a few things like calzones and rotolo—a Pizzeria Vetri original! I also show you how to make focaccia, the Italian bread that probably kicked off the whole pizza craze in the first place. Just don’t go in expecting to find edamame pizza with a fucking cauliflower crust. That is not in this book. You won’t find gluten-free pizza either. But you will find gluten-friendly pizza that is thoroughly fermented and made with wheat flour. Yes, it is possible!
You’ll find almost twenty different pizza and focaccia dough recipes and dozens of variations on those doughs. You’ll see plenty of pizza toppings, too—from classics like Marinara and Margherita to some of my new favorites like Zucchine and Carbonara. There are more than forty different toppings and fillings here. Certain toppings go particularly well with certain doughs, and I’ve pointed these out in the recipes. But, really, you can mix and match the toppings however you like. For me, it’s all about nailing the crust. No matter what kind of pizza you make, your dough and your oven will always have the biggest impact on how your pizza turns out.
A lot of pizza books focus on the “one” dough recipe you’ll ever need. Or they show you the “best” method for baking pizza. The truth is, there is no “one” pizza dough to rule them all, and there is no “best” method—and acting like there is can lead you astray. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve and the tools you have at hand. Different doughs and different ovens make different pizzas! If you make pizza in a wood-fired oven at 900°F (482°C), you won’t get the same results when you bake that same dough in a home oven at 500°F (260°C). It just won’t work. My promise in this book is that I will help you make better pizza in whatever oven you have with whatever dough you want.
Like everything else in today’s world, you can get your pizza cheap and easy, or you can seek out better quality. If you’re reading this book, I assume you want to go a step above Chuck E. Cheese’s. Let’s say you’ve never made pizza before, and you want to give it a shot. You’ll find everything you need here to make great pizza from scratch in your home oven the very first time. Or, maybe you’ve been at it for a while and you’ve gotten pretty good at slinging pies. These pages offer lots of opportunity to up your game—from perfecting your dough to getting the most out of your oven, and I bet you’ll also pick up a few new toppings to try out.