Reinhart Speaks About Pizza and Bread
One of my highlights of going to Pizza Expo was being able to have conversations with Peter Reinhart. Over the course of several days, I had multiple conversations with Peter and learned from each one. I like to think we started a long conversation many years ago that just goes on and on. He is forthcoming and open about sharing his extensive knowledge. He is a a great guy to hang out with.
Peter is an expert on bread making as well as pizza. He is an ultimate pizza maker, bread baker and educator. He is one of the luminaries of the craft of making pizza and bread. He has encyclopedic knowledgeable about all aspects of making bread. He has written numerous books on the art and craft of bread making. These books are all classics. He wrote American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza (I was honored to be included!), The Bread Bakers Apprentice, as well as Artisan Breads Everyday among many others. He also has a wonderful Pizza Resource with his personal blog, Pizza Quest.
I was fortunate to be able to record this sit-down conversation with Peter Reinhart at Pizza Expo. Peter begins by highlighting a Workshop he presented at Pizza Expo. The workshop was co-presented with Pizza Expert John Arena. The purpose of the workshop was to explain to pizzeria owners that they have the ability to make Artisan Bread in their pizza shops. Peter explained by just changing their pizza dough recipe a bit, pizzeria operators are able to create wonderful breads with little extra effort.
Peter stated the single biggest difference anyone can make in their dough is to ferment their dough a minimum for 24 hours. A 48 hour ferment or longer is also possible and will impart a greater flavor into the dough.
I brought up to him the fact that pizza makers can be excellent bread bakers. The opposite also holds true: a bread baker can be a great pizza maker. Peter agreed and stated that the skills used to make pizza or bread are universal and can give one the ability to make great bread or pizza.
I asked him to explain the difference between good pizza and great pizza. His answer was exactly what I thought of great pizza. You could say I stole his definition. I’m sure that Peter is OK with that…
There are many variations of pizza and basically pizza is dough with something on it (or in the case of a calzone, dough with something in it. There are many cultural variations of pizza.
Peter states that all pizza is good pizza. But not all good pizza is great pizza. 99% of pizza is good pizza. It is hard to ruin pizza he stated, unless you burn it. Great pizza is memorable pizza. Great pizza is the pizza you cannot get out of your mind. You become obsessed with great pizza. It is pizza so memorable you think about it all the time. You cannot wait to try it again.
The Great Pizza is something special. I have my own idea of great pizza, but I would love to hear from you what to think is great pizza. Please leave your comments below! I’d love to hear what you think.
The best thing about this pizza conversation on what is great pizza, is that we are all totally right. There is no right or wrong answer. We both know in our hearts what is great pizza!
If you get a chance, I would really love to hear your comments, so please share your thoughts below this post!
Here is the Peter Reinhart interview:.
Here are the resources we discussed in the video:
MARCH 19 – 22, 2018
EXHIBITS OPEN: MARCH 20 – 22, 2018
LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER
If you are a pizza professional, I cannot recommend Pizza Expo enough!
Here is the link to Pizza Quest
You can sign up for a free mini course taught by Peter by clicking the image or link.
Here are links to Peter’s Books:
American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza