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Get some therapy, Pizza Therapy!Pizza News,Get some therapy, Pizza Therapy!
2006, Part 2

(Volume VII No. 3b) (ISSN: 1533-3795)

"Pizza on Earth, Good Will to All!"

"Pizza News" is now being delivered to all 50 states (U.S.) including D.C., and the following countries: Canada (including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan), Afghanistan,  Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia,  Australia, Austria,  Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Christmas Island,  Columbia, Croatia (local name: Hrvatska), Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic,  Denmark, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Egypt, Eritrea, Fiji, France, Germany,  Guatemala, Guam,  Hungary, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan,, Kuwait, Latvia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia (Slovak Republic), Slovenia, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Trinidad, Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Virgin Islands (British), Yugoslavia,  Zimbabwe, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands,
and over 700 subscribers who could be anywhere in the Pizza Therapy Universe!

This issue is going out to over 5,000 Pizza Fanatics Worldwide!

pizzatherapy.com is proud to be sponsored by Fleischmann's Yeast.
When we make pizza, we only use Fleischmann's Yeast.
Visit their great web site through the banner on our site, and tell
them pizzatherapy.com sent you!

"I used  Fleischmann's before they became a sponsor
I will use
Fleischmann's after they are no longer a sponsor."

Albert Grande, The Pizza Promoter


Please continue to support our mission!
Remember, if you do purchase from 
amazon.com please to go to pizzatherapy.com
first and click on the link for amazon.com,  or any other product you wish! Thanks!
(You will not be charged one penny more, but you will be supporting our website!)

Find e-books and information.
Visit: grandepublishing.com


For the absolute best pizza products,
you need to check out:

 Forno Bravo Store Home



1. What's New: Pizza Notes from pizzatherapy.com Blog and Other Tales

2.  The fornobravo.com interview

3. Another Appeal for a Peel

4. A Really Big Pizza!


Would you please do me a favor?

Would you please,

Tell your friends about pizzatherapy.com
(Opens in a New Window)

Thank you very much.

Albert Grande, The Pizza Promoter



1. What's New: Pizza Notes from pizzatherapy.com Blog and Other Tales

I have decided to jump on the Blog bandwagon. Believe me I resisted for a long time. I now have an official Blog called: Pizza Notes from pizzatherapy.com Here is the link: click here.

A Blog is kind of an on-line journal. For me it is a way to think out loud. I think of it as opening up the hood of pizzatherapy.com and seeing how everything is running. I will write about things that interest me that really won't fit anywhere else. If you like to write, you need a blog! (It's free and easy to set up. If you need help setting up your blog, please let me know.)

Here is what is really cool about a Blog: it is interactive. You can post to you blog and other people who read it, can also comment on what you wrote. (Of course, you can maintain editorial control. If you own the blog, you decide if a comment is appropriate or not).

 If you do want to comment, in order for everything to be safe, you will need to register, with a valid email address. There is no charge to register, and you will not be spammed. It is a security measure.

I hope you comment. Please comment, please! I would very much enjoy reading what you have to say. Here is the link again: Pizza Notes from pizzatherapy.com

Which brings me to my other tale. I am trying to set up a pizzatherapy.com forum for all of The Pizza News Readers and other Pizza Fans. (A forum is kind of a bulletin board where people can have a conversation.) OK it is not totally my original  idea, but I am embracing it! Thanks everyone who suggested it!

 However, I am having some major problems. All is not well in pizzaland. I talk about it in the blog If you have some expertise, I would greatly appreciate your help. If you know how to set up forums, please check out the blog and email me if you have a solution or a direction for me. I am totally stuck! I go through the whole story on the blog

Also, could you please do me a favor? Can you please Tell your friends about pizzatherapy.com Click Here!  
 (Link will open in a new window and you can fill in their email addresses.
 You will be able to send your friends and family a personalized note!)
Thanks for the support.

Ok, the blog is not just full of my problems, there are some pizza insights, as well.

In the blog, I write about a conversation, I recently had, with Chef Peter Reinhart (author of American Pie) Very interesting! Read the blog! Incredible pizza wisdom from Chef Peter! He told me things I never knew about pizza.... Go to the blog , right now.
Please leave a comment! Don't be shy...

I'll be right here, until you get back. No kidding.




For the absolute best pizza products,
you need to check out:

 Forno Bravo Store Home


2.  The fornobravo.com interview

I was fortunate enough to get James of fornobravo.com to take out a few minutes out of his work day for an interview. James shared how he got his start making pizza: using a pizza stone.

Albert: Hi James you are the owner of fornobravo.com . Can you tell me
a  little bit about your company and products?

James: Hi Albert. Thanks for having me on Pizza News. I love your
site -- which is how we met. Forno Bravo specializes in wood-fired pizza ovens, brick oven accessories and pizza ingredients. We have a range of pizza oven types and sizes for the home owner, including pizza oven kits, real brick ovens, and fully assembled ovens.
Typically, residential pizza ovens are between 31" and 43" -- large enough to cook multiple pizza at a time, but still easy to manage and fast to heat up. Our ovens, tools and pizza ingredients are all made in Italy -- and they let the American pizza chef make world-class pizza at home.

Albert: How did you get interested in wood fired ovens?

James: I got into wood-fired ovens the same way most Pizza News readers
got interested in making pizza -- I started with a pizza stone. After doing that for a while, I was ready for the next step. There were plans you could buy for building a brick bread oven, so I got a set and built the oven. It was great learning experience. The oven design
is wrong, but it was great having a real wood-fired oven. I went ahead and put one in our kitchen/great room, and I was hooked. Cooking in a wood-fired oven is one of life's real pleasures.

Our ovens are designed to cook at about 750F -- making the perfect 2-3 minute pizza.

Albert: I understand you had some training and visits to Italy can
you  tell me about that? Is it true that for Italians, having a wood fired oven is as common as the American Bar-be-cue?

James: As a cooking enthusiast, one of the first things you notice when you
are in Italy is that there are brick ovens everywhere -- particularly in Tuscany. We lived in Florence for two years while we were starting up Forno Bravo.

For example, daughters were invited to birthday parties through their school -- and 4 of the first 5 houses we visited has brick ovens. Both of our neighbors had ovens, and when I was installing an oven at our rental house, the garden came up and introduced himself, and proceeded to tell me about his oven, and how I should install my oven. The firewood company we used had a regular delivery schedule for 30 wood-fired restaurants just in the neighborhood south of the Arno.

There are a number of options for learning to make great pizza. I took lessons from a handful of schools and teachers in and around Florence. But the real home for pizza is Naples, where there are 1500 wood-fired pizzerias in the city itself. You can take lessons
and become a professional pizzaiolo -- but it takes time. A number of Forno Bravo owners have taken the one-week class, and they all say that a week just isn't long enough.


Albert: You really are a champion of wood fired ovens, is  it true that you sell / give away plans to build your own oven?

James: My goal is to grow the English speaking community of people who
have and love wood-fired ovens. That is why we give away plans for building a real Italian wood-fired oven. It is called the Pompeii Oven, after the great ovens excavated in ancient Pompeii. A large number of Pompeii ovens have been built all around the world
from our plans.

The plans are on www.fornobravo.com, and a group of owners are putting together a PDF version. It is like the open source software movement, where the plans are freely available (though of course still the property of Forno Bravo). There is a Pompeii Oven link on every page of the Forno Bravo web site.

We also have an excellent user group, where anyone with a brick oven
or a pizza stone is welcome. The group talks about pizza, ovens, bread, dough, pizza ingredient and everything else to do with brick ovens. You can find that group at http://www.fornobravo.com/forum

(Albert mental note: James might be the guy I need to talk to about my forum problems.

Here is the blog! Please help!)

Albert: What are some of the benefits to owning a wood fired oven?

James:  To put is simply, wood-fired ovens cook wonderfully. The refractory material that makes up the oven absorbs the heat of the fire to create a hot and moist cooking environment. Also, wood-fired ovens breath, drawing in cold air from the bottom of opening and exhausting hot air out the top half. This creates natural convection.
You can cook anything you would cook in a conventional oven, and it will come out better.

Plus, there are many dishes that need high heat and simultaneous top and bottom heat -- such as pizza, that can only be cooked in brick oven. You can roast meat, grill chops, steaks and vegetables, and bake fish and gratin dishes that are unbelievable. Of course brick ovens are famous because of how well they bake bread.

Albert: Do you own your own wood fired oven? What do you cook in it?

James: We have three at our house in Healdsburg. One outside, one
inside, and a demonstration kitchen for Forno Bravo. We also installed brick
ovens at both of our rental houses in Italy. I haven't been without one for years -- rain or shine. I fire an oven at least a couple of times a week, and I often bake bread on weekends.

We always enjoy pizza, and we have two daughters (7 and 12) that have become
expert pizzaiolos. I like fish, and enjoy putting together entire meals that
come out of the wood-fired oven. For example, grilled shrimp and flatbread to start, followed by a layered baked cod with celery, carrots and onion below, mushrooms with Dijon mustard above topped with arugula, a side dish of baked leak gratin, and baked figs with Greek yogurt and honey for dessert. All out of the oven. It's wonderful.

Albert: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about purchasing / building a wood fired oven?

James: My first advice is to take the plunge and get an oven. They are
not as expensive as they used to be in the states, and it is not that difficult to install one. I would also recommend doing background research on the oven itself. There are many oven producers in Italy, and the range of quality between the various ovens can be pretty
substantial. So while they might look the same, they are not made from the same grade of material.

 For example, our producer is Italy's largest (by a wide margin) and they have the technology and economies of scale to make all of their ovens from an engineered refractory material -- both the commercial and residential ovens. That is important because the better the material, the faster the oven heats up, the longer it holds heat and the longer it will last. The Forno Bravo residential ovens heat up in as little as 40 minutes which is pretty remarkable. At the other end of the scale, there are "clay" and "terra cotta" oven made from natural clays.

If a pre-cast oven is out of your budget range, you should also consider building Pompeii oven. If you do the work yourself, you can install an oven for less cost. Our Pompeii oven builders are all thrilled with the result.

Albert: I understand you recently started to offer pizza products
fornobravo.com (and also pizzatherapy.com gets a cut whenever someone buys through this link > fornobravo.com hint, hint!) tell me what is in your catalogue?

James: Yes, we recently created the Forno Bravo Store, where you can
purchase Caputo pizza flour, San Marzano tomatoes, Sicilian oregano,
capers, Italian anchovies, along with pizza peels, oven accessories,
professional-grade pizza stone -- even our ovens. Pizza is all about the ingredients. The basic Margherita pizza has flour, tomatoes, Mozzarella, olive oil and oregano. That's all there is. That is why the quality of the ingredients, along with your technique and
your oven (or stone), are so important.

If you use wonderful ingredients, your pizza will be noticeably better.

Albert: Tell me how you were able to form a partnership with Caputo
the most famous pizza flour in the world?

James: Like a lot of Pizza News readers, I had heard about Caputo
from searching the Internet and reading cookbooks. The problem was that the flour was only available in 55lb bags, and primarily through wholesalers, some of whom don't sell to the public.

So we got in touch with the company, and found that they are a gracious and well- run organization. Antico Molino Caputo has been run by the Caputo family for three generations, and is how headed by Antimo, the founder's grandson. They say that over half of the 1500 pizzeria in Naples use Caputo flour.

The list of accolades for Caputo flour is very long, from the Verace, Pizza Napoletana association, which recommends Caputo on its official web site, to Peter Reinhart, who uses it in his pizza cooking classes. It turns out that many of the "world's best pizzas" in Reinhart's book American Pie, use Caputo flour.

(Albert's Mental Note: Hey did I tell you I was just talking to Chef Peter the other day. You can read all about my conversation at my blog: HERE.)

I met with Enzo Coccia, Naple's top pizzaiolo trainer, in central Naples, and we drove to the mill on his motorcycle (past his brother's pizzeria). We toured the mill and their laboratory -- where he tests grains from all over the world to be blended into
their flour. We at pizza and Mozzarella and talked about the American market. They saw the opportunity, and are now packing the Caputo Blue
Tipo 00 flour (Ideale per pizze)
in 1kg (2.2lb) bags. Today,
you can buy either a 5-pack of the 2.2lb bags, or a 55lb bag from
fornobravo.com -- at reasonable prices.

 (And pizzatherapy.com will get a residual, if you buy through this link fornobravo.com! , thanks!, AG)

The flour really is as nice as everyone says, and a growing number of
people have started ordering it regularly.

Albert, thanks for the opportunity to talk with you.

Albert: Thank-you James. Now about my forum problem...

Visit fornobravo.com.

Get caputo flour.

Make incredible pizza!


3. Another Appeal for a Peel

Betty writes:

Mr. Grande,
Sorry, I haven't made a pizza yet. I need to purchase a peel. Can I substitute something else to use for the peel, until I purchase one? I'll definitely be trying one of your pizza recipes soon. I have never ate a pizza with stewed tomatoes as the sauce.
Thank you,

My Response:

Hi Betty, you certainly do not need a peel to make god pizza.

I used a cookie sheet, and then a regular pizza pan, for years before I got a peel.

My pizza's all turned out great.

If you do not have a peel, you could do what my friend Espo
did. I do not recommend this, but he claims it worked.

He used a piece of thick cardboard to slide the pizza on and
off the stone.

Please, don't do what Espo did!

I say use a cookie sheet or pizza pan. It will work fine.
Then when you want, get a peel. Though a peel is not essential to make good pizza.

Please let me know how you make out.

And of course you can find a top quality peel at: fornobravo.com.

Pizza on Earth,

4. A Really Big Pizza!

Christine shares this story:

PITTSBURGH -- It's a pizza big enough to feed an army.

Mama Lena's Pizza House in McKees Rocks, Pa., outside
Pittsburgh, is hoping to land a spot in the Guinness record book with its Big

Pizzeria owner Rob Carrabbia says his is the planet's largest
commercially available pizza. It measures about three feet by four-and-a-
half feet. The Big One costs $99 and has 150 slices.

He said it takes 20 pounds of dough, a gallon of sauce, 15
pounds ofcheese and a lot of TLC to make the Big One.

Carrabbia reported selling about 10 of his mega pizzas in the
last 10 years.

But if you want one, call ahead. Carrabbia said the Big One takes about 15
minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to cook.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.

Thanks Christine. I have to ask: have any Pizza News readers sampled,

The Big One
at Mama Lena's Pizza House? Please let me know!



Our latest e-book:
"The Pizza Book"
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Become a certified Pizza Therapist
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For the best pizza products, click below:

 Forno Bravo Store Home



"Pizza on Earth, Good Will to All!"

That's it for this issue of "Pizza News!" 

Albert Grande, The Pizza Promoter

Email: webmaster@pizzatherapy.com

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Home | History DoughMaking Pizza | Italian Recipes | Tips | More Tips | Pizza News Archives  | Pizza Business  | Pizza Blog
  Pizza Books Tricks | Learning | Tools |Best Pizza Pizza Poll  | The Store Free Stuff ||  pastatherapy.com Legends of Pizza: Volume 1

  Cooking Articles,      Non-Pizza Recipe Index here  Visit the Legends of Pizza      Links


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