The Pizza Bible, And Honey BBQ Chicken Pizza


I recently received a copy of The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani. (Subtitled:  The World’s Favorite Pizza Styles, from Neapolitan, Deep-Dish, Wood-Fired, Sicilian, Calzones and Focaccia to New York, New Haven, Detroit, and more). I requested it as a gift. I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of YouTube videos focused on breads and pizza, and Gemignani stood out to me as someone with a broad and deep knowledge of what makes good pizza. He’s a 11-time World Pizza Champion, and he owns a restaurant in San Francisco that features 7 pizza ovens, each focused on a different style of pizza — each style has it’s own distinct dough and handling. He’s clearly really done his research.

The book is excellent. I picked up a few ideas, a couple of which went into this BBQ Chicken Pizza with Shallots and Mozzarella.

180106 bbq chickken pizza2

The Recipe:  I “marinated” two minced shallots in Honey BBQ sauce with a little red wine vinegar and mixed ground peppercorns. Chicken tenderloins were poached, cooled, cubed, and allowed to rest in a light coating of BBQ sauce.

The dough:  300 grams bread flour, 190 grams water (63% hydration), 6 grams kosher salt (2%), 15 grams olive oil (5%), 6 grams diastatic malt (2%), 1 teaspoon instant yeast. Mix all ingredients on low speed for 8 minutes. Let rest 30 minutes, then stretch and fold the dough. Preheat oven with pizza stone to 500F at least 30 minutes, I gave it an hour.  Let the dough rise another 90 minutes. Shape the dough, top with the BBQ/shallot mixture, and bake on the stone for 8 minutes. Top with the chicken and mozzarella and bake 5 minutes more.

The first new “tip” from the Pizza Bible:  Gemignani will use a variety of combinations of “dusting” flour when he stretches the dough. I used about a 50/50 mix of AP flour and semolina. I pressed out the pizza by hand, taking care not to squeeze the air out of the edges. In the process the dusting flour with semolina was incorporated into the bottom of the pizza.

2nd “tip”:   2% diastatic malt is loosely double what I’ve typically been using for pizzas. Many recipes in The Pizza Bible recommend that amount of malt. It seemed to give very good results this time.

The book is written very much in his speaking style. Here he is discussing the new book (December 2014) – “Food At Google”


And March 2015 “Chefs At Google”:

The two videos total around 90 minutes — I feel like I learned a number of things from the videos.  Highly highly recommended watch.

The Amazon link to the book.

I think I may need to start using higher hydrations for pizza. The end result is lighter. It creates a big pizza that’s more air and the pizza doesn’t weigh me down after eating it. Nobody loves a gut bomb.


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