The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home by Ken Forkish

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  • 24- to 48-hour pizza dough

    • Zosia on May 04, 2019

      The dough was easy to make and to shape and baked up thin, crisp and chewy and able to support substantial toppings. I used it for the sausage and onion, and artichoke and bacon pizzas.

    • Rutabaga on October 18, 2016

      I chose this recipe because it times out well for making weeknight pizza, although it's still can be a challenge following Forkish's directions to let the dough sit for at least 60 minutes prior to baking. I used it for pan pizza after about 24 hours proofing and tarte flambee after about 48 hours. I thought it was especially good with the tarte flambee, perfectly crisp and toothsome. While it was good on the pan pizza, too, I think it really shines when baked directly on the pizza steel.

    • Rutabaga on September 15, 2018

      This time I made the dough using Bob's Red Mill bread flour, and thought that made for a particularly good crust - sturdy, with a pleasant amount of chew, yet not at all tough.

  • Fennel sausage and onion pizza

    • Zosia on May 04, 2019

      This one takes a bit of time as the onions are caramelized first but once that's done - it can be done ahead of time - the topping is quick to prepare. I used spicy turkey sausages and added a sprinkle of fennel to the meat. Good combination of flavours.

  • Artichoke and bacon pizza

    • Zosia on May 04, 2019

      The bright and tangy flavours were balanced by the provolone and bacon and made for a really tasty combination. I cut the artichokes into smaller pieces than directed - so used fewer - to make it easier to enjoy the pizza.

    • Rutabaga on March 19, 2019

      This is a delicious, simple pizza topping that the whole family enjoyed (although I left the artichoke hearts off the ones for the kids). I used low moisture mozzarella in place of the provolone.

  • Pepperoni, mushroom, and onion pizza

    • Rutabaga on April 27, 2019

      I made a simple pepperoni version of this pizza, omitting the onion and mushroom. Parbaking the crust worked perfectly, the pizza wasn't the least bit soggy. And since I parbaked both crusts first, I was able to quickly finish each individual pizza one after the other so that the first one hadn't cooled completed by the time they were served. The family gobbled them up!

    • StoicLoofah on June 20, 2017

      Great flavor. Cooking time got it pretty crispy, even with only 1 minute on the broiler.

  • Grandma pie

    • Rutabaga on October 14, 2016

      This is a great pizza for feeding the family. As someone who usually bakes a batch of single, thin-crust pies - one after the other - it's so nice to just bring one pizza to the table and sit down and dig in all together. While I enjoyed it, the crust did get a little darker than I had expected, so it's worth checking on the pizza a few minutes for the time is up if you prefer a lightly golden crust. The mix of parmesan, low moisture mozzarella, and fresh mozzarella works really well, and it's the prefect vehicle for almost any other topping you can think of. Plus, par-baking the crust gives you great flexibility to finish off the pizza cleanly and efficiently come dinner time.

  • Prosciutto pizza

    • Rutabaga on September 30, 2018

      Very good, although I usually add prosciutto prior to baking the pizza because that's how my husband prefers it, although adding it afterwards, as called for here, is a more traditional way to serve it.

  • The Tommy Habetz pizza

    • Rutabaga on March 04, 2018

      I really liked this somewhat unusual pizza topping combo, but the rest of the family wasn't as into it, probably because they tend to prefer pizzas with sauce. One odd thing, however, was that the onions seemed to sweat quite a bit and make the pizza a bit soggy, although the crust still stood up to this quite well.

  • Oregon basil pesto and burrata flatbread

    • Rutabaga on September 15, 2018

      Just wonderful - my husband and I both loved this flatbread. The fresh pesto and burrata combination is divine, and the baking technique detailed in the recipe really works. I used the 24-48 hour pizza dough recipe, my usual go-to, made with Bob's Red Mill bread flour, and it was perfect here.

  • Oregon basil pesto

    • Rutabaga on September 15, 2018

      I made this for the pesto and burrata flatbread recipe. OK, it's just pesto, but as always, homemade pesto made with vibrant fresh basil really can't be beat, and as an Oregonian who grew up eating filberts (no one in Oregon called them "hazelnuts" in the '80s), I appreciate the use of hazelnuts instead of pine nuts. I think I like it even better than the pine nut version.

  • Tarte flambée

    • Rutabaga on October 18, 2016

      I made a few modifications; instead of lardons, I used turkey bacon (that may sound blasphemous, but good quality natural turkey bacon cooked in a little oil is quite tasty), and I spread a little cream over the crust before scattering on some fresh mozzarella since I had no fromage blanc. For crust, I used the 24-48 hour dough. It was beautifully crisp and the flavors of the topping melded seamlessly.

  • Prosciutto and bufala

    • Rutabaga on June 27, 2017

      Instead of using sauce, I used sliced fresh tomatoes on this pizza (and for what it's worth, I think sauce would be the better option, as called for in the recipe). Following Forkish's directions, I baked the pizza without cheese for four minutes, then added the mozzarella di bufala and broiled it to finish the pie. Since I like my prosciutto to be a little crispy on the edges, I added it together with the mozzarella. This really does keep the mozzarella from overcooking, but I found that with my broiler about two minutes, not 30 seconds, was ideal. The first several pizzas I made turned out to be undercooked - you really want a little char on the crust here. Also, this pizza is definitely best fresh from the oven (maybe give it a minute to rest before slicing). The toppings cool very quickly, and aren't nearly as appealing once the cheese solidifies.

  • Zucchini blossom pizza

    • Rutabaga on September 30, 2018

      This pizza is both beautiful and delicious (although I don't think it was favored by the kids, who stuck with prosciutto and salami slices). Since we're not big ricotta fans, I replaced that with goat cheese, which is a great match for squash blossoms.

  • River Po pizza

    • Rutabaga on November 10, 2017

      These toppings really come together to make a harmonious whole. I substituted ground spicy Italian-style chicken sausage for the salami, but otherwise made it as directed. The light squeeze of lemon juice is an especially nice touch, something I hadn't tried before. My husband thought the arugula was a little chewy (I didn't find that to be the case), but I agree with Forkish's statement that it helps cut the richness of the other ingredients. All in all, it's a great pizza.

  • Simple tomato pie

    • Rutabaga on October 18, 2016

      My husband especially liked the sauciness of this pizza. The cheese and sauce combo here makes this pretty much the platonic ideal of pizza toppings. I used the 24-48 hour pizza crust here, but made the mistake of stretching it by hand rather than rolling it, which made the crust to thin and droopy in spots and too thick and doughy in others - I won't make that mistake again. Other than that, it was great. I topped one with pepperoni and olives, another with prosciutto and artichoke hearts. The second pizza didn't bake as well, so it would be best to turn the oven back to broil for ten minutes again before baking a new pie.

  • Vodka sauce and sausage pizza

    • Rutabaga on March 04, 2018

      As with many of the best pizzas, this one is quite simple. I liked the trick of partially cooking the sausage while the over was pre-heating, then finishing it when the pizza bakes. This was well-liked by the entire family.

  • 48- to 72-hour biga pizza dough

    • Rutabaga on June 27, 2017

      It probably goes without saying that this dough yields a great pizza crust. I used mostly all-purpose flour, with a small amount of tips 00 in the biga. The five dough balls were in the refrigerator for 72 hours before the pizzas were baked. While the dough was easy to stretch, it was also extremely easy to tear, so next time I will probably divide it into only three balls to make it easier to stretch without breaking. Be sure to let the crust char a bit on top; this gives it the best flavor and texture. Otherwise, it will quickily go limp under any wet toppings.

    • Rutabaga on November 10, 2017

      I've made this again and divided the dough into only three balls. It worked perfectly. I could easily stretch the dough to make about a twelve inch pizza without tearing, and it withstood the toppings despite still being a thin crust. The edges puffed up beautifully in the oven. I followed Forkish's baking instructions for the "River Po" pizza exactly as written, and these were some of the best-looking pizzas I have ever made, including a pepperoni and cheese one made especially for my son.

    • Rutabaga on September 30, 2018

      I made this dough another time only two weeks after making the 24 to 48 hour dough. Having made each recipe a number of times, I can now say that I find the 24-48 hour dough much easier to work with. While this dough has great flavor and texture, I have a hard time rolling or stretching it as thin as I'd like without creating holes too-thin patches. The other dough is much easier to stretch and roll evenly.

  • Basic tomato sauce, two ways

    • Rutabaga on October 14, 2016

      Pizza sauce doesn't get any easier than this, and with good quality canned tomatoes (I like Cento) it tastes great, too.

  • Vodka sauce

    • Rutabaga on March 04, 2018

      This sauce is super simple to make, although you do need to allow for half an hour of cooking time. Since I only made two pizzas with it, there was enough sauce leftover for about a pound of penne pasta, making for a quick and easy dinner the next night. The kids really gobbled it up!

  • Enzo's pizza dough

    • Rutabaga on April 27, 2019

      This dough turned out quite well even though I mistakenly put it in the refrigerator for the day; unlike many of the other doughs in this book, this one is supposed to rest all day at room temperature. I also used all purpose flour since I didn't have bread flour on hand, which I prefer for pizza. It was still very easy to work with and stretch, and made a wonderful, crispy base for our pizzas. I definitely want to try it again with bread flour and let it rise at room temperature to see what difference that would make.

    • tekobo on April 13, 2018

      Great for same day dough as long as you start by 9am. Foolproof for a beginner like me and Ken's YouTube videos helped with pizza shaping. Made thin base pizzas and really liked the crunchy yet pliable texture.

  • Saturday pan pizza dough

    • Rutabaga on October 14, 2016

      It's been a long time since I've made pan pizza, but this crust was fantastic! Great chew, big air bubbles, and easy to work with to boot. I used it as the base for the grandma's pie recipe.

  • Overnight levain pizza dough

    • HalfSmoke on April 08, 2017

      Made this using the recommended 00 flour and using a baking steel with Forkish's broiler technique. The result was excellent, reminiscent of pizzas I've had in Italy. Have done other levain based pizza doughs and this one is amongst the best.

  • Pizza Margherita

    • StoicLoofah on June 20, 2017

      This is my current go-to margherita pizza. Crust on the outside does get pretty crispy, but the bottom is great, and it all cooks really evenly

  • Saturday pizza dough

    • StoicLoofah on January 27, 2018

      Delicious. I have been using Jim Lahey's no-knead pizza for awhile because it's so easy, and although this is more work, it is significantly easier to shape and comes out great.

  • Chanterelle and garlic pizza

    • StoicLoofah on January 27, 2018

      Very good. Would add more salt to the mushrooms to get more flavor out of them. My main knock is chanterelles are kind of expensive, and I was hoping for more from them.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    Until Modernist's Pizza volumes are published or until I see Vetri's Mastering Pizza - this book is the book for pizza lovers.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1607748398
  • ISBN 13 9781607748397
  • Published Apr 19 2016
  • Format eBook
  • Page Count 256
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

A follow-up to the James Beard and IACP award-winning book Flour Water Salt Yeast, featuring an unprecedented look into the mechanics of pizza-dough making, plus scores of recipes for pizzas in every style: Neapolitan, Roman, American pan pizza, New York-style, creative flat breads, gluten-free pizza, and more.
Ken Forkish is one of the most respected and trusted bread-baking authorities in the world. In The Elements of Pizza, Forkish turns his attention to pizza, offering readers a complete education on the craft of artisanal pizza-making, with techniques and insights from the very best pizzaiolos in Italy and the United States. Forkish's methodical and rigorously tested dough recipes prove that even home bakers can make incredibly flavorful, texturally sublime crusts. And his inspired topping ideas will get you thinking outside of the cheese-and-pepperoni box, opening your eyes to the wide world of delicious, seasonal pizza.

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