Pizza News, April, 2011
(Volume Xl No. 4)      (ISSN: 1533-3795)   

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 Pizza on Earth,  Good Will to All!

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1) What's New?  John Arena Makes Me The King of Pizza...

2) Making Good Pizza Progress...

3) Taking Pizza to the Next Level

4) Using a Cold Ferment for Pizza Dough

5) Justin Bieber and The Law of Attraction


1) What's New?  John Arena of Metro Pizza Makes Me The King of Pizza...

From my Las Vegas Pizza Expo Journal...

John Arena called me up and told me: "Albert, get ready...I'm coming over to pick you up. I've got some special guests coming over to Metro. I'll be doing a pizza demo for them and I want to make pizza for all of you."

I got ready quickly and true to his word, John showed up in minutes.

"Get in", he commanded.

I hopped into his car and John explained about his special guests. "These are pizzaioli from Korea" he stated, "They are huge pizza fans".

At Metro, John introduced me to James and Chef Kim. As soon as we were introduced, I knew I would like them. They were both pleasant and very enthusiastic about pizza.  James had gone to college in the U.S. and wanted to get into the pizza business in Korea. Chef Kim was a pizzeria owner, he spoke little English, but it didn't matter, we were speaking the language of pizza.

John seated us at a table right in front of Metro's massive oven. He then proceeded  to bring out not only pizza but all manner of appetizer and small Italian snacks.

James, Chef Kim and I were in Pizza Heaven. As each dish came out we looked at each other and smiled. We were Kings of Pizza. We were treated like royalty. Dish after amazing dish was presented to us. We sampled all manner of incredible food. The pizzas were outstanding! We had our own personal wait-staff who brought us drinks and cleared our table. Pizza after incredible pizza was placed before us. We kept smiling.

John gave a running commentary on how each pizza was prepared. He explained the process of how each pizza was created. He gave us each a dough ball to practice making pizza. He even took us in the back and pulled back the curtain on the entire pizza operation.

This was one of my most memorable pizza experiences ever. We smiled and ate. We ate and smiled. But even Kings can have to much of a good thing.

I finally had to announce: "No mas". (No more). I had eaten all I could eat.

Finally, it was time to go.  James and Chef Kim took me home.

As soon as I got in, my brothers, Tom and Steve asked me if I wanted to go with them to an "All-You-Can-Eat Buffet..." "C'mon, let's go" they told me.

"No thanks", I muttered. "Honestly, I need a break..."

"But boys, remember," I whispered as they left, "tomorrow is another day..."

And it was. And the next day, true to form, I ate more pizza! And I was a Pizza King once more...


Here are a few of the pictures:

Eggplant pizza from Metro by

Eggplant Pizza at Metro

 Stuffed peppers

Stuffed Peppers at Metro from Pizza Therapy


John Arena, James, Albert Grande and Chef Kim at Metro from

John Arena, James, Albert and Chef Kim

Sausage and pepper pizza from Metro by

Sausage and Pepper pizza.

The next night, John arranged for us to attend a pizza class at Metro.
You can read about it and see a video at The Pizza Blog, here.


John is also known as The Pizza Professor. He teaches the only University Certified pizza class in the nation.
You can see John's Pizza 101 Course Proposal Here.

2) Making Good Pizza Progress...

Wayne writes:

I have been making good progress on the pizza. I found a premium mozzarella at Costco, where I quite often buy their regular mozzarella. I found that the premium mozzarella cheese was a better texture than the regular, and I thought it tasted better too.

I got some of the hard white wheat flour here at a local flour mill, and it was a high gluten spring wheat flour from the West. Although the flavour was rather bland, the texture was perfect.

I am thinking about experimenting with 20% all purpose flour, and 80%hard white wheat, and very the ratio until I get the right texture and flavour., If you have any suggestions regarding the flour, and cheese, I would appreciate hearing your suggestions.

Last Thursday, and Friday I ate a 12 inch round pizza that I was happy with the crust texture, but crust flavour was not quite as good as expected. But, hey, it was some progress which I am thankful for.

My toppings are not my main concern, as I will continue to use fresh ingredients in season, for both nutritional value, and flavour. I will also vary toppings for experimentation and variety.

I like all food, so toppings for me are easy. Also your book (The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book) provides a variety of ingredients to choose from, which is helpful. I wish that I had access to fresh clams, as I love seafood, but I don’t know of anywhere close where fresh, saltwater, seafood is available.


 My response:

 You Wayne, are now the Master. I salute you.

Cheese: I have found buffalo mozzarella at our local Big Box Store a couple of times. When I can get it, I use it. If not they usually have whole milk fresh mozzarella...I use that.

There are times when I have to use regular mozzarella. I usually buy a 5-10 lb bag. Cheese is much cheaper when you buy in bulk. I usually split it up into a number of packages and freeze what I do not use.

Mozzarella will usually freeze very well. I have never frozen fresh mozzarella, so I am not sure how it would work.

For cheese. I also like parmesan. I usually add it to all of my pizzas. I like asagio and percarino cheese as well.  I have also used provolone on pizza with good results.

The flour? I have used all kinds of flour: I really like Caputo 00 Antimo Pizza Flour - 10/2.2 lbWheat Flours and Meals) . It is great. I like King Arthur they make a Sir Lancelot wich is great for pizza. I have used General Mills Artisan flour. It used to be called Harvest King but I think they renamed it. Sometimes, where I live, quality ingredients like quality flour is hard to get and very expensive. So when all else fails, I use All Purpose flour. Sometimes I use and 50/50 All Purpose and Bread flour with good results. So the type of flour really depends on what taste you like and what you are going for.


Please come to the Pizza Therapy Forum add some comments, and some of your insights. And at Pizza Therapy Pizza Blog please add some comments...  I hope this helps.

pizza all over your kitchen...

Special Deals at Pizza Therapy


3) Taking Pizza to the Next Level

Jess writes:

 I have been making pizza at home for many years and your website is an inspiration for me.

Like yourself I have taken it to another level. I have only taught one person how to make my pizza and he sells them at the post office when he goes to work because they are located in an area without many places to go for food.

Having lined my oven with pizza stones and buying only the best flour that only comes in 50 lb. bags along with the Grande cheese I have it down pretty good. As we both know you can't do this if your buying from the supermarket for supplies.

My only quest at the moment is to make a good tomato sauce. Have your ever blended plum tomatoes with whole ? Do you have a recipe that you like for sauce. If your ever in Florida you are invited for dinner Albert.

My plan is to live here in America and Medellin Colombia because my wife is from there and has a huge family over there. So there you have it for now.

My Respone:

Thanks for writing.

Honestly, I use whole stewed tomatoes on my red pizza.

I drain most of the liquid out and squish them with a fork.
Then I season with minced garlic and basil, salt and pepper.

I do have red sauce recipe (gravy) that I use for all of my basic sauce needs.

You can find it on this page:

Sounds like you are an advanced pizza maker!

Good luck in all of your pizza adventures,

pizza on earth



4) Using a Cold Ferment for Pizza Dough

I have basically always used the following basic pizza dough recipe for all of my pizza making.

During the last few years, I have added an extra step for making my pizza. I always make it the day before and use a cold ferment method.

Here is the basic dough recipe. Read on for the added twist, to really kick up your pizza making.

As Peter Reinhart (The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary BreadFood Science Books) told me: making your dough the day before will really improve the taste of your pizza.

Ingredients for the Easy Dough Pizza Dough Recipe
(Makes 2 or 4 Pizzas!)

Use this recipe if you will be making your pizza the same day.

1 Packages yeast (1-2 teaspoons of yeast or less)

2 teaspoons of sugar

4 cups of flour (Can be All purpose or Bread Flour. I recommend Caputo or King's Arthur flour.)

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 1/4 cup olive oil

· 1 and 1/2 cups of warm water


1. Put yeast in a cup. Add sugar and 1/2 cup of water. The water should be between 100°and 110°F (37°C- 43°C .) degrees. Mix well. Wait about 5 minutes for the yeast and sugar to activate.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add the olive oil, flour, salt, 1 cup of warm water and the yeast mixture. Mix this with a fork to get all the liquid absorbed by the flour.

3. Place a handful of flour on a mixing surface. Dust your hands and spread out the flour. Empty the contents of the bowl on to the flour.

4. Knead the dough vigorously for 6-8 minutes or until the texture is smooth and uniform. If the dough seems a little sticky, add a little more flour.

5. Place dough in bowl. Drizzle dough with olive oil. cover with cloth or plastic wrap.

Allow the dough to rest for an hour to 1 and 1/2 hour. Punch down and and wit another hour.

Cold Ferment Alternative Dough

A better alternative to this recipe is to make your pizza dough the day before and use a cold ferment. Using the cold ferment method, you make your dough the day before and allow it to proof in the fridge overnight.

All ingredients are combined and mixed as above. It is not necessary to use warm water.

You can also omit sugar if using this method. Place dough in a plastic bag and drizzle with olive oil.

Take the dough out of the fridge and allow to warm to room temperature. About 1 to 1/2 hour.

Dough balls from


5) Justin Bieber and The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction works in strange and mysterious ways. Here is a
true story of how my 7 year old taught me about the Law of attraction.

The television story said that the upcoming Justin Bieber Concert was sold out. Tickets were impossible to get and there was no way you would be able to get in.

My seven year old daughter was excited. “Dad can you get me tickets to Justin Bieber. I really want to go more than anything.”

I was surprised and shocked. Not that she wanted to go to a concert, but that she knew who Justin Bieber was. I had heard of him. Not his music. But I was aware that his video is the most watched video on YouTube.  No small feat. That is big news .

But I didn’t know my daughter even knew who he was.  She had never talked about him. She didn’t watch him on television. She had never talked about him before.

“Dad, I want you to get tickets for Justin Bieber” she pleaded.

Sorry,” I explained, “There is no way you can go. You just heard the tickets were sold out. “

“Dad I want to go see Justin Bieber. I really want to go”

“I didn’t know you even knew who he was”, I explained.” If I had known you wanted to go, I would have tried to get tickets”.

“I want to go Dad. Get me tickets.”

I explained again (and again) that the concert was sold out.  I told her there was no way she was going to go to the concert.

“I’m going to the concert, she announced. I want to go and I’m going to go.”

Does she get to go to Justin Bieber?

Or does she learn the true ways of the world: you can't always get what you want?

Read the rest of the Justin Bieber story here... (click here)


The Happy Italian Cook Book by Albert Grande

As usual Dear Pizza Fan: Thank you. I really appreciate your support.


Remember: "100% of the shots you never take, don't go in..." Wayne Gretzky


I'm taking some shots. Wish me well.


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