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Learn How To Make The Best Pizza Ever



"The best pizza ever"?  For real?

Well, one consistent thing about pizza is the subjectivity of it all.  To me, this is the best pizza ever. 

Pizza is a fascinating topic from a science standpoint, but it's also delicious.  And I've been making pizza for some years, trying to perfect the recipe (if there is such a thing).  Along the way, I decided to write a book detailing the more technical aspects of what makes a good pizza.  And so, I wrote the Kindle e-book:

The Science of Bread and Pizza:  From Biochemistry to Baking



Delicious Homemade Pizza

(Photo notes:   Minolta X700  /   50mm f/1.7  /  Fuji Superia)

The primary critique I'd make on my own book is that I didn't have a photo of Neapolitan leopard-spotting.  Instead I used the photo above.  Nothing wrong with it, except that what you're seeing here is not considered "leopard spotting" by Neapolitan enthusiasts. 

I never said it was full-fledged leopard-spotting, actually;  just the very beginnings. 

This was something I think could have been clarified a bit.  It's not that these spots would develop into big coal-black leopard spots if only the oven were hotter.  It's that this crust has started to have some of the chemical and biochemical changes that ultimately produce that kind of spotting.  I know this, because longer fermentations produce more leopard-spot-like charring.

Therein, we have an important scientific point, and a controversy.

The Neapolitan pizza makers define leopard spotting, roughly, as "what happens to a real Neapolitan crust".   There is small-diameter charring on a raised surface.   (From what I've seen, Neapolitan charring is not always that small in diameter.)

What interests me is the particular reasons for it.

Leopard spotting is not a one-zero, binary type of occurrence.  People on forums have shown photos with the distinctive raised charring, and a Neapolitan guy-- I mean a Neapolitan pizza maker, not an expatriate of Naples-- would say "That's not leopard spotting".

Well, it was, but it wasn't a Neapolitan pizza with the particular type of spotting he was looking for.


Pizza, as far as I'm concerned, is one of the best things on earth. 

With this in mind, I wanted to write the "only pizza book I'd ever need". 

It still is.


So anyway, to critique my own book, I'd probably never have mentioned the leopard spotting at all.  Neapolitan pizza makers get extremely passionate about their distinctive "brand".  They are quick to keep anything not-Neapolitan from getting classified as such.  Given that so many good things have gotten diluted over the years, can you blame them?

However, I believe the conventional definition of "leopard spotting" vs. "uneven browning" is incorrect:  too binary, too qualitative.   I'd bet there are some important commonalities, by which one of them can grade into the other.  But we'd need some pretty sophisticated lab tests, done with some high-tech equipment.  And one or two studies probably wouldn't solve it.

I actually have plenty of thoughts on why leopard spotting happens, but it's highly technical.  My book goes into quite a bit of detail on this, which brings us to...


The Future


My book delves into technical detail to a point that might bore some readers.  Past a certain point, you can't popularize science without it not being science anymore.

I actually toned it down, because the original version was even more technical.

There are some other considerations, too;  the digitizing of information and photography has altered the economic landscape in some very real, serious ways.  That's a whole 'nother subject I won't get into in this article.

Therefore, The Science of Bread and Pizza is currently not available, unless I hear enough clamor from readers of this site.   I'm planning to release the book in printed format one day, but it's going to have to be a long-term project. 


Conclusion


Here's my advice to home pizza makers.  Make the pizza that you like.   Realize that some people get very passionate about their particular "brand" or type of pizza, and that's okay.   Pizza attracts a diverse crowd, and there's a lot of opinion in there. 

In the near-term, you might find some pizza-related articles appearing on this website.  They might not get into the technical aspects as heavily, but there will probably be some useful product reviews and tips on making a better pizza.

As always, thanks for visiting this website!




P.S. Chemical leaveners, really?  Yep.  Try it sometime.   When I make a baking-powder pizza-- distinct from a yeast-leavened one-- it lasts about two minutes, because everyone eats it up.  

         

More Pizza Articles:

Review - Emile Henry Baking Stone
One of the Best Pizza-Making Tools Ever.



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