The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home: A Cookbook

The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home: A Cookbook

by Ken Forkish

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In this highly anticipated cookbook, Ken Forkish—owner of the beloved restaurant Ken’s Artisan Pizza in Portland, Oregon; the James Beard and IACP Award-winning author of Flour Water Salt Yeast; and one of the most trusted baking authorities in the country—proves that amazing pizza is within reach of any home cook. 

The Elements of Pizza breaks down each step of the pizza-making process, from choosing a dough to shaping your pie to selecting cheeses and toppings that will work for your home kitchen setup. Forkish offers more than a dozen different dough recipes—same-day “Saturday doughs” that you can make in the morning to bake pizza that night, levain doughs made from a naturally fermented yeast starter, and even gluten-free dough—each of which results in the best, most texturally sublime crust you’ve ever made at home.

His clear, expert instructions will have you shaping pies and loading a pizza peel with the confidence of a professional pizzaiolo. And his innovative, seasonal topping ideas will surprise and delight any pizza lover—and inspire you to create your own signature pies, just the way you like them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607748397
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 04/19/2016
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 40,819
File size: 138 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

KEN FORKISH is the author of the James Beard and IACP Award–winning book Flour Water Salt Yeast, and the owner of the popular Portland, Oregon, restaurants Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Ken’s Artisan Pizza, Trifecta Tavern & Bakery, and Checkerboard Pizza.

Read an Excerpt



The hidden reality of pizza is that you can easily make better pizza at home than you can buy at any but the best independently owned, quality-focused pizzerias. All you need are good ingredients—flour, canned tomatoes, and cheese—plus a few tools and a standard home kitchen oven. And some good instruction. Even if you live somewhere that has great pizzerias, imagine making your own—a pizza that you can be proud of and is exactly how you like it. Discover for yourself what different cheeses are like on pizza: splurge on water buffalo mozzarella, see what happens when you seek out caciocavallo cheese, or try adding freshly grated Pecorino Romano. Master thin-crust and Neapolitan-style pizza. Bang out a couple of killer pan pizzas to eat with Sunday football. Serve it with confidence to your family and friends. Making it yourself will give you a greater appreciation for the craft of the pizzaiolos at your favorite pizzeria: you will probably find yourself looking more closely at their shaping technique; the dough they use and its texture; and how it’s topped, loaded into the oven, and baked. By making pizza yourself, you become more intimate with it. It’s seductive. You are more informed, and that understanding leads to better pizza, great pleasure, and plenty of pride. 

Makes one 12-inch pizza 

Imagine yourself as the king of Naples in 1782. You want pizza, but you don’t want your wife, Queen Maria Carolina, to find out. So you disguise yourself as a commoner, sneak out of the castle, and slink through the streets to a pizzeria called Ntuono (Tony’s) to satisfy your craving. Pizza is for common folk, not for royalty like you; don’t you know that? You order the same pizza everybody else orders, topped with olive oil, garlic, oregano, and salt, with a little bit of cheese sprinkled on after it is baked. DUDE, she’s going to smell the garlic on your breath! 

If it was good enough for Ferdinando to sneak out for, risking the wrath of his royal lady, then it must have been pretty tasty. And this historic pizza of Naples is also a delicious model of simplicity. Like all of the very simple pizzas, it demands an excellent crust. 

To bake this pizza, you’ll pass on the broil stage I recommend for most of the pizzas in this book, removing the pie after 5 minutes of baking. The oil and the garlic should be completely done at this point. Any extra baking, or finishing with a broil stage, will burn both the garlic and the bubbles in the crust. 

1 dough ball 
Extra-virgin olive oil 
3 or 4 cloves garlic 
0.5 gram ( 3⁄4 teaspoon) dried oregano 
Sea salt 
15 grams (about 1⁄4 cup) finely grated pecorino cheese 

1. If you use a dough recipe that calls for refrigeration, remove your dough ball from the refrigerator about 60 to 90 minutes before baking pizza. Put your pizza steel or stone on an upper rack in your oven no more than 8 inches below the broiler. Preheat the oven to 550°F (290°C) for 45 minutes. 

2. Slice the garlic thinly, place it in a small bowl, and drizzle just enough olive oil over it to coat the slices. Use your fingers to ensure each slice is coated—this prevents the garlic from burning. Set aside. 

3. Set up your pizza assembly station. Give yourself about 2 feet of width on the countertop. Moderately flour the work surface. Position your peel next to the floured area and dust it lightly with flour. Have the olive oil, garlic, oregano, sea salt, and cheese at hand. Switch the oven to broil 10 minutes before loading the pizza. 

4. To shape the pizza, put the dough ball on the floured work surface and flip to coat both sides moderately with white flour. Use the shaping method shown on pages 92 to 95. Transfer the disk of pizza dough to the peel. Run your hands around the perimeter to relax it and work out the kinks. 

5. Drizzle about 20 grams (1 1⁄2 tablespoons) of olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle the garlic and then the oregano evenly over the pizza. Sprinkle with sea salt. Turn off the broiler, then gently slide the pizza onto the pizza steel or stone. Close the oven door and change the oven setting to bake at 550°F (290°C). Let the pizza bake for about 5 minutes, until the crust is golden with spots of dark brown. The garlic color rules when to remove this pizza—don’t let the garlic go beyond medium brown, and skip the broil step for this pizza, as it tends to scorch the garlic. Use tongs or a fork to slide the pizza from the pizza steel or stone onto a large plate. 

6. Top the pizza with the grated cheese and drizzle a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil over it, and serve whole or sliced.

Table of Contents


1 Introduction 







108 Saturday Pizza Dough 
110 “I Slept in but I Want Pizza Tonight” Dough 
112 Single Dough Ball 
114 Enzo’s Pizza Dough 
116 Saturday Pan Pizza Dough 

118 24- to 48-Hour Pizza Dough 
120 48- to 72-Hour Biga Pizza Dough 
124 48- to 72-Hour New York Pizza Dough 

127 Wild Yeast (Levain) Culture 
130 Overnight Levain Pizza Dough 

134 Al Taglio Pizza Dough 
136 Bar Pizza Dough 
138 Gluten-Free Pizza Dough 


145 Basic Tomato Sauce, Two Ways 
146 FWSY Sauce 
147 Vodka Sauce 
148 New York Pizza Sauce 

150 Pizza Marinara 
153 Pizza Margherita 
156 The Ferdinando 
158 Pomodoro Royale (with Cheese) 
161 Prosciutto and Bufala 
163 Mortadella and Pistachio Pizza 
166 Zucchini Blossom Pizza 
168 River Po Pizza 
171 Carbonara Pizza 
173 Pizza Bianca and Pizza Rossa 

175 New York Cheese Pizza 
177 Simple Tomato Pie 
181 Meatball Pizza 
183 A.J.’s Pie 
184 Vodka Sauce and Sausage Pizza 
187 Brooklyn Hot Honey Pie 
189 Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Onion Pizza 
192 Grandma Pie 
195 Adam Kuban’s “Love Supreme” Bar Pizza 

197 Margherita and Arugula, Two Ways 
200 Arrabiata Pizza 
202 Prosciutto Pizza 
204 Fennel Sausage and Onion Pizza 
206 Spring Onion Pizza 

209 Oregon Basil Pesto and Burrata Flatbread 
211 Tarte Flambée 
214 Nettle Pesto Flatbread With Morel Mushrooms 

217 The White Owl 
221 Escarole Pizza 
223 Delicata Squash Pizza 
225 Butternut Squash Pizza 
227 Artichoke and Bacon Pizza 
230 Chanterelle and Garlic Pizza 
233 The Tommy Habetz Pizza 
235 The Pie Hole Skillet Pizza 
237 Hawaiian Pizza 
240 Raclette Pizza 

Measurement Conversion Charts

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The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home Author: Ken Forkish Published: 4-19-16 Publisher: Ten Speed Press Pages: 256 Genre: Cookbooks, Food & Wine Sub Genre: Baking; Bread; Pizza; Italian ISBN: 9781607748380 ASIN: B012KJYR3O Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . Pizza is such a versatile Italian pie that there a very few if any that do not enjoy it. There is the pizza for the vegetarian, meat lover, cheese lover, even those who favor dessert above all else. The Elements of Pizza concentrates on Naples, Rome, New York style pizzas. Many believe there is no such thing as a good homemade pizza, but Ken Forkish shows you the truth. With the right ingredients you can make the best pizza you have ever had before. He shows you the various dough recipes and toppings that suit them. Easy to read and understand recipes. As well as a short expose on the history if Italian versus American styles. So much to learn, but better yet so man pizza's to try. My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
NNLight More than 1 year ago
If you're like me and love making pizza, this cookbook is a must-own! Filled with amazing techniques and tried-and-true recipes, this cookbook is a gem. I loved how open Chef Ken was without talking down to me, the reader. I tried a few recipes on my own retired chef (MR N) and he was really impressed with the taste and flavor of the pizza. Makes a great gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day or birthday. Many thanks to Netgalley and Ten Speed Press for giving me a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.