Albert Grande and Peter Reinhart at Pizza Expo

Albert Grande and Peter Reinhart at Pizza Expo

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.

John Arena and Peter Reinhart Bread Workshop

John Arena and Peter Reinhart Bread Workshop

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…

Peter Reinhart Eats Pizza

Peter Reinhart Eats Pizza

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.

Mark Dym. Peter Reinhart, Jonathan Goldsmith, Leo Spizzirri, Albert Grande at Pizza Expo

Mark Dym. Peter Reinhart, Jonathan Goldsmith, Leo Spizzirri, Albert Grande at Pizza Expo

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:

Pizza Expo

MARCH 19 – 22, 2018
EXHIBITS OPEN: MARCH 20 – 22, 2018

If you are a pizza professional, I cannot recommend Pizza Expo enough!

Peter Reinhart's Pizza Quest

Peter Reinhart’s Pizza Quest

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.

Perfect Pizza at Home With Peter Reinhart

Perfect Pizza at Home With Peter Reinhart

Discover Perfect Pizza at Home with Peter Reinhart Click HERE


Here are links to Peter’s Books:
American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, 15th Anniversary Edition: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day


Gail Churinetz · August 3, 2017 at 8:33 pm

This is GREAT Albert. What an exciting convention and I was so happy to finally meet you, along with Tony G and Peter R. I had a wonderful conversation with Peter, such a talented and charming individual! This clip is awesome! “Pizza on Earth”

    pizzatherapy · August 4, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Thanks Gail! You are an awesome person as well! I am so glad you made it to Pizza Expo so we could meet in person. All the Best in your new Pizza By Gail Pizza Business. Please keep me posted on everything…stay well my friend.

    But in your opinion, what makes great pizza?

ben · August 3, 2017 at 8:49 pm

The pepperoni and sausage in the sauce. I love the smaller pieces that allows the flavor to mix in. Then the mozzarella and maybe provolone. Vegetables baked on top. The right amount of heat for a slight crispy. That’s my perfect pizza. I’m hungry .
Perfect Pizza Place: Donatos

    pizzatherapy · August 3, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you Ben…I love it when flavors mix to create great pizza! Thanks for sharing.

susan bliley · August 3, 2017 at 9:50 pm

Great pizza is un- gussied up pizza with the crust as the star. Charred on the bottom, chewy and airy inside. Great pizza is not overly salted or overly sauced. It has a few very premium ingredients and is cooked fast with high heat.

    pizzatherapy · August 4, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Wow you hit all the bases on this comment.
    i agree: the crust is the star! Great comment.

Charles · August 3, 2017 at 10:28 pm

Great pizza is simple pizza. A good crispy, airy dough, crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil, with a sprinkle of fine evoo.

    pizzatherapy · August 4, 2017 at 12:28 am

    I agree, I love pizza that is simple. For pizza as in life: less is more! Thanks for the positive feedback>

deWOZ! · August 3, 2017 at 11:31 pm

pinemoor pizza in crystal lake illinois is what i consider “great” pizza:

    pizzatherapy · August 4, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Excellent…thanks for writing. What makes the pizza there great? Are you the pizza maker there?

Michael P Herzog · August 4, 2017 at 4:21 am

Sally’s Apizza of New Haven is great.

    pizzatherapy · August 4, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I absolutely love Sally’s! Their pizza is made with love and tenderness. I especially love the crust!

Peggy Dunton · August 4, 2017 at 4:55 am

The Best pizza I ever had was at a small family owned pizzeria in Cresskill NJ, Petes Pizzeria. The slices were huge dripping and with oil. The crust was perfect. I always ordered cheese and I would load it with oregano and parmigiana. Back in the day a slice was 15 cents. You can’t beat that

    pizzatherapy · August 4, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Let’s bring back those 15 cent slices! Very nice description of amazing pizza. The small family owned places are the best! I appreciate your comments.

Peter M. · August 4, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Albert, to me “great pizza” is the product of a great crust and good ingredients. The choice of sauce, the cheese and of course the toppings (or none!) all influence or add flavor to the experience of enjoing that “great pizza”. The crust, like the drummer in a band, is what drives that experience. To me, the toppings are the mood setters, a much welcomed accent, the crust, though, is why I eat pizza!

    pizzatherapy · August 4, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Very well stated Peter. Pizza is kind of a magic dance which brings all of these elements together. Thanks for sharing!

Luzmarina · August 5, 2017 at 1:19 am

For me, what makes a pizza memorable are the ingredients. They have to be fresh, made from scratch (if possible), and good quality. I had a pizza some time ago that had the most amazing fresh basil leaves on top. The taste of that basil was unique, so I asked, and they said it was from their own garden! Amazing and unforgettable!

    pizzatherapy · August 6, 2017 at 5:16 am

    I agree…memorable ingredients makes pizza great!

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