cover image The Pizza Bible

The Pizza Bible

Tony Gemignani. Ten Speed, $29.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-60774-605-8

With résumé credentials such as Guinness Book of World Records holder for creating the largest pizza, and president of something called the World Pizza Champions, it would be easy to not take Gemignani seriously. But given the content of this collection of more than 100 recipes, this would be a mistake. He approaches the craft of making pizza dough with the same intelligence and expertise as that of a pro brew master concocting an artisanal ale. In the opening section, he teaches a master class of crust, exploring everything from the proper flour and yeast and kneading and fermenting to the correct technique for moving a pie from countertop to oven. He makes no apologies for the precision found in weighing ingredients using metric measurements, though he is perhaps owed one from the designer who decided to list recipe ingredients in narrow, left-hand margins that sometimes, confusingly, run on for more than one page. Pizza styles from across the country and around the world are touched upon, so there is plenty to love and to hate. Beyond the classic opposites, New York thin crust and Chicago deep dish, there are sweet California options like a multigrain white pie drizzled with honey, and a Monterey Jack pizza topped with figs and roasted almonds. The sauce for a Barcelona pie contains Spanish saffron threads, and his Sardinian recipe calls for a regional pecorino cheese. (Oct.)