Everyone loves pizza, right? Saver of parties, empty fridges and hangovers the world over—pizza has come to the rescue of the human race more times than is worth counting. So, if you can’t imagine your world without dough, cheese and tomato, then this is the book for you.
All things pizza are here—from its history and family tree to world-famous pizzerias and even exploration into the pizza variants we love to hate (hamburger crust pizza anyone?). The Pizza Pilgrims, Thom and James Elliot, have spent years researching the best pizza that the world has to offer and producing their own pizzas across 16 restaurants in the UK (and counting).
Alongside pizza maps of their favourite global pizza cities (so you can conduct your very own pizza pilgrimage) the book is also packed with over 30 recipes to make sure you finally delete your local takeaway from speed dial #1. From a New York slice to true Neapolitan pizza made in a frying pan, Pizza offers classic and new creations, including guest chefs’ signature takes, and the Pilgrims’ very own Nutella pizza ring!
Oven fresh and packed with interviews, pizza facts, movie scenes, world records and even pizza tattoos, Pizza is illustrated with all manner of pie-based fun and written with a hearty dose of humour. The perfect companion for the pizza lover in your life. Fact.
Double Pepperoni & Spicy Honey
Makes enough for 10 pizzas
Spicy honey on pizza is an idea that we borrowed from our good friend Paulie Gee, of Paulie Gee’s pizzeria in Greenpoint, NYC. Along with his first head chef, Mike, he created the Hellboy, a Marg topped with soppressata picante sausage and hot honey made by Mike. Mike ended up moving on from Paulie Gee’s and starting Mike’s Hot Honey, which is hands down the best spicy honey there is. We took this idea and put our own spin on it by adding two different types of pepperoni. We tried to import Mike’s honey from the US but, after two failed attempts in which cases of honey got incinerated at customs (don’t ask), we decided to create our own.
1 ball of Neapolitan pizza dough (recipe below)
80g (3oz) tomato sauce (recipe below)
4–5 basil leaves
Parmesan, for grating
1 tbsp good-quality olive oil
30g (1oz) each of 2 different types of sliced pepperoni
1 fresh chilli, sliced
80g (3oz) fior di latte mozzarella, torn or sliced
40g (1½oz) fresh chilli, sliced
100ml (scant ½ cup/3½fl oz) honey
- First, make the spicy honey by adding the chilli to the honey and leaving it to develop (at least 12 hours, but it keeps for up to 3 weeks).
- Preheat the grill (broiler) to its absolute highest setting, and place a large, ovenproof frying pan (skillet) over high heat and let it get screaming hot.
- Meanwhile, flatten and stretch the dough ball ( following the instructions on page 101) to make a 10-inch pizza base.
- Lay the pizza base flat in the hot, dry frying pan, then, using a small ladle (or a large spoon), spoon the tomato sauce onto the middle of the pizza. Using the back of the ladle, make concentric circles to spread the sauce, beginning in the middle and finishing 1½in from the edge. Then add the basil, a grating of Parmesan, the olive oil, pepperoni and fresh chilli.
- Once the base of the pizza has browned, about 1–2 minutes, add the mozzarella, then place the frying pan under the grill on the highest shelf.
- Once the crust has taken on some colour, about 1–2 minutes, drizzle with some
spicy honey and eat.
Making Neapolitan Pizza Dough
With the knowledge of each ingredient and the important roles they play (see pages 92–95), we can now make Neapolitan pizza dough.
Tip: Weigh out all your ingredients before you start.
1000g (35oz) ‘00’ flour (we recommend Caputo ‘blue’)
2g (⅔tsp) fresh yeast
620ml (21fl oz) tepid water
30g (1oz) fine sea salt
- Make a mountain of flour in the middle of the table. Using your fist, make a deep well in the middle of the flour, exposing the surface of the table (turning your mountain into a moon crater).
- Crumble the yeast into the tepid water. Use your good hand to mash up the yeast in the water until it has dissolved. (Keep the other hand dry for taking Instagram photos to show off to your friends.) Fill your crater of flour with a third of the yeast/water mix. Using your fingertips, start making very small circular motions to combine the flour and water.
- Start dragging in some more flour to the mix, by ‘undercutting’ the walls of the crater with your fingertips. As you do this the mixture in the middle will become thicker. Once it reaches the consistency of porridge you need to add a bit more water. Don’t let it get too thick; if it starts to form a dough too soon it becomes difficult to incorporate the rest of the water. Keep dragging in a little flour to thicken the mix, then pouring a little bit more water in to loosen it, until you have all the water used up.
- Sprinkle the sea salt over the mixture while it’s still very wet to ensure it dissolves and disperses evenly throughout the dough. Now use both hands to push the remaining flour from the outside into the middle. Fold and press the mix until all the flour is absorbed and a dough comes together. If you have a dough scraper it really helps get everything off the table, but you can improvise with a paint scraper, spatula or knife.
- Work the gluten by kneading the dough. Use the heel of your hand to stretch out the dough and roll it back up, while the other hand acts like an anchor. You’ll be able to see the strands of gluten stretching, breaking, being put back together and becoming stronger. Continue this for about 8 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and glossy. It should also feel tighter and elastic.
- Let the dough have a 10-minute rest to relax the gluten. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or some clingfilm (plastic wrap) to keep the air from drying it out. Then divide your bulk of dough into individual portions. We recommend 230g (8oz) dough balls for 10-inch pizzas. Ensure your dough balls are neatly shaped – pinched at the bottom and tight on the top – then place them in a tray or container 3cm (1in) apart. Cover with a tight lid or clingfilm (plastic wrap).
- Now you can relax. The yeast will take over from here. Leave the dough at room temperature for approximately 6 hours until it expands to almost double its size, then store in the fridge overnight. The next day remove the dough from the fridge for 1–2 hours and bring it back to room temperature before making your pizzas
Makes enough for 4 pizzas
1 x 400g (14oz) can of San Marzano (or any good-quality Italian) tomatoes
a good pinch of sea salt
In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes by hand. (This is the old-school way they used to do it in Naples, and for good reason. If you put the tomatoes in a food processor you end up with a depressingly smooth sauce that lacks texture.) Once you’ve crushed the hell out of your tomatoes, add a pinch of salt to taste and that’s it! Pure, unadulterated tomato goodness.
Excerpted from Pizza: History, recipes, stories, people, places, love. By Thom Elliot and James Elliot © 2020 Reproduced by permission of Quadrille. All rights reserved.