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The Pizza Bible and Baking Steel

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Tony Gemignani, is a well-known name in the world of pizza. In 2007 he became the first American to win, "World Champion Pizza Maker" at the World Pizza Cup in Italy. He is the owner and head chef of 8 highly praised restaurants on the West Coast and he is also the founder of the International School of Pizza, located in San Francisco. Let's just say, he knows his stuff.

Over a year ago, Suzie Heller, a widely respected name in the culinary world, had contacted me and asked me to get a Baking Steel out to Tony, who was getting ready to write a cookbook. Absolutely. But a year passed and I never heard anything, it wasn't until early last month did I hear from Suzie again. She shot me an email to give me a heads up, the Baking Steel would be making an appearance in Tony's latest book, which was to be released on October 28th. Wow.

I was able to get my hands on an early copy ofThe Pizza Bible and I was blown away,The Baking Steel is cited in every recipe and we are sourced in the credits.  A few weeks later Tony made an appearance on Kelly and Michael, and for the first time ever, the Baking Steel made its national television debut (granted, we were in the ovens…but we're still saying it counts).

The Pizza Bible is out, and I can honestly say it's a game changer for home pizza cooks.  The Pizza Bible is the most thorough pizza book out there, I highly recommend going out and buying a copy.  It will elevate your game and I promise, I am not being bias. Tony touches on almost everything pizza, from ingredients to tools and tricks and methods of the trade.   There is so much information inside, I wanted to start with the best pizza from the Pizza Bible.  I decided to try out his Cal-Italia recipe.  It was a hit in my house. I knew right away that I would be testing out many more of Tony's recipes. So far the Cal-Italia is my personal favorite from the book, but there are still many more to go!

Tony was inspired by combining flavors from his two favorite pizza worlds, California and Italy. The rest as they say, is history....

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Recipe by The Pizza Bible, Tony Gemignani with a few small modifications.

INGREDIENTS

1 dough ball (We used a no-knead pizza dough ball)

2 ounces (55-gram) piece Asiago cheese cold, for shaving

6 ounces (170 grams) whole-milk mozzarella cheese shredded (1-1/2 cups) 

1-1/2 ounces (45 grams) Gorgonzola cheese, broken into small pieces

 2 to 3 tablespoons (40-60 grams) fig jam, preferably Dalmatia brand

 3 ounces (85 grams) thinly sliced prosciutto (about 6 slices)

 Balsamic Glaze , in a small squeeze bottle 

*Balsamic Glaze, reduce balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer and reduce liquid by 3/4.  Remove and place in a squeeze bottle.

Procedure

Remove the dough ball from the refrigerator and leave wrapped at room temperature until the doughwarms to 60°F to 65°F.

Meanwhile, place a Baking Steel on top rack and preheat for 45 minutes at 500 F.

Dust the work surface and stretch out the dough to a round cylinder

Move the dough to the peel. As you work, shake the peel forward and backward to ensure the doughisn't sticking.

 Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Asiago over the surface of the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Mound the mozzarella in the center of the pizza and use your fingertips to spread it out evenly over the Asiago.

Slide the pizza onto the top Baking Steel.

 Bake for 5 minutes. Lift the pizza onto the peel and distribute the Gorgonzola pieces evenly over the top. Rotate the pizza 180 degrees, and place back on Baking Steel, and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottom is browned and crisp and the top is golden brown.

 Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut into 6 wedges. Spoon small dollops of fig jam (about 1/4 teaspoon each) around the pizza.

 Tear the prosciutto slices lengthwise into 2 or 3 strips and drape the pieces over the pizza slices. To finish,squeeze a thin spiral of balsamic glaze onto the pizza.

 Slice and Serve

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