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La Pizza: The True Story from Naples (Mitchell Beazley Food) Paperback – 14 Apr 2005
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About the Author
Nikko Amandonico is one of Italy's most noted graphic designers. Born in southern Italy, he grew up in Sweden but now lives and works in Parma. He has always wanted to create cookery books that demonstrate why Italian cuisine is the best in the world. Ewa-Marie Rundquist is an internationally renowned photographer. A swede in love with Italy, her photographs have illustrated many cookery books. Natalia Borri is Italian and graduated in Law before becoming a writer. Her beautiful country house has an authentic pizza oven, which has produced many of the pizzas in this book. Ian Thomson has lived in Rome, working as a journalist and teacher. During this time he travelled extensively in southern Italy. Among the books he has written is Southern Italy (Collins Independent Travellers Guides).
Top customer reviews
I must say though that there could be a few more tips on making dough and how to get the pizza to cook like the pizza you get in Naples or other good pizzerias. I managed to get to Chris Bianca's Pizza Bianca in Phoenix, Arizona a few years ago - one of the best in the USA. He gave me a few tips and they are not in this book. So here they are - use high quality Italian grade 00 flour, use fresh yeast (ask the bakery at Sainsburys for example, 20p for 50 grams. Make your dough several days before you cook it and keep it in the fridge - or use a sour dough recipe). Kneed your dough for 2 minutes then rest for 8 minutes then kneed for 8 minutes. Pizza dough should be really wet! Use plenty of salt as well. Cover the dough with a very thin layer of oil, leave at room temp for 30 minutes before you put the dough in the fridge.
About 90 minutes before you cook your pizza take the dough out of the fridge and make it into cricket ball sized balls. Leave the dough balls to rise about 50% their current size (NOT double!. You must get your oven as hot as it will go - use an old terracotta tile or other floor tile and get that hot was well. Pizza stones are not needed - a tile is just as good. Unless the stone plugs into a socket and has an internal heat coil, its a complete waste of money - though they can look nice!
Never never never use a rolling pin to make pizza. Gently pull the dough and or pat from hand to hand. The dough should be flattened out to about 1 cm with a slight rim round the outside.
Dont put too much on your pizza - leave spaces for the dough to bubble. Cut your mozzarella into 1 inch cubes - this enables the cheese to melt without breaking down and you will have a creamier cheese. If you cut or tear the cheese into thin strips it will break down.
Your oven needs to be at least 240C - another option is to use the grill and cook the pizza at a distance of 8 inches. Use semolina flour to dust the tile or dish.In a home oven the pizza will take about 8 minutes. Using the grill with the oven door closed it will take less time.
Had this book contained the above tips I would have given it 5 stars. Apologies to Amazon and readers for making this more of a pizza cooking tips than a review! The book is lovely and one of the best you can buy on pizza.
A luxury, but one which - as William Morris recommended - is functional as well as beautiful.