I’ve made pizza many times before, sometimes with premade crust, sometimes from scratch and every time it’s good, but not the best. Since I’m always looking for the next best tip I jumped at the chance to order “The Elements of Pizza”, my first and only cookbook on the subject. The author Ken Forkish is a James Beard award winner author of the book, Flour Water Salt Yeast and also owns three restaurants in Portland Oregon, Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Ken’s Artisan Pizza and Trifecta Tavern. Obviously this guy knows his stuff.
"The Elements of Pizza" is divided into 7 chapters. The first is titled “The Soul of the Pizza”. This section describes the author’s travels in Italy and how he set out to understand pizza’s history and place in their culture. Next on to Pizza Styles, Eight Details for Great Pizza Crust, Ingredients and Equipment, Methods, Pizza Dough Recipes and Pizza Recipes. In the chapter Pizza Dough Recipes; there are 12 different styles for dough plus one for gluten-free. The recipes are divided into length of refrigerated time. The author explains that time is the critical ingredient, and that also depends on one’s schedule. There are important tips for a great crust such as hydration, time, temperature, climate, mixing and salt. What I found interesting was there was oven time and some broiling time to help get those temperatures up for a great homemade crust.
I would definitely recommend this cookbook to anyone who loves pizza. There is a pizza style for everyone and the directions and tips are very concise. The photography is beautiful and the pictures will help guide you through the steps, you will definitely feel the love.
Soon after receiving this cookbook, we drove to our summer home in Yachats, Oregon. The first week-end there was a Taste of Yachats Forest, Farm and Tide event in town. The Drift Inn which is one of our favorite places to enjoy a great meal had a come make your own wood fired pizza class/event. There were people of all ages which once again proves the fact pizza is a food for all ages.