The Joy of Pizza


Learn to make artisan pizza the American way in this accessible, informative guide to the perfect pie from the creator of “the best pizza in New York” (New York Times).

Pizza is simple: dough, sauce, cheese, toppings. But inside these ordinary ingredients lies a world of extraordinary possibility. With The Joy of Pizza, you’ll make the best pizza of your life.

Dan Richer has devoted his career to discovering the secrets to a transcendent pie. The pizza at his restaurant, Razza, is among the best one can eat in the United States, if not the world. Now, Richer shares all he has learned about baking pizza with a crisp, caramelized rim; a delicate, floral-scented crumb; and a luscious combination of sauce, cheese, and toppings that gets as close to perfection as any mortal may dare.

You’ll learn how to make Razza specialties such as:

  • Jersey Margherita, a new classic improving on Neapolitan tradition with
  • Meatball Pizza, the first time Richer has shared the recipe for Razza’s legendary meatballs
  • Project Hazelnut, pairing the rich flavor of the nuts with honey and mozzarella
  • Santo, topped with caramelized fennel sausage and drizzled with chile oil
  • Pumpkin Pie, a cold-weather pie with roasted pumpkin, ricotta salata, and caramelized onions
  • And many more inventive and seasonal pizzas, from Funghi (mushroom) and Montagna (arugula and speck) to Bianca (white pizza) and Rossa (vegan tomato pie)

Suited to beginning home bakers and professionals alike, these crusts begin with store-bought yeast as well as sourdough starter. Richer shows how to achieve top results in ordinary home ovens as well as high-temperature ovens such as the Ooni and Roccbox, and even wood-fired outdoor pizza ovens.

The Joy of Pizza is rich with step-by-step photography, links to instructional videos, and portraits of every pizza before and after it meets the heat of the oven—so you’ll know exactly what to do to create superior results.

The ingredients are simple. The methods are straightforward. And the results are deliriously delicious.

Dan Richer is the chef and owner of Razza in Jersey City. A graduate of Rutgers University, he skipped his own graduation to fly to Italy and begin his real education: in pizza. He is a four-time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic award, as well as a James Beard Rising Star Chef semifinalist.

Katie Parla is an Italy-based food and beverage writer, culinary guide, educator, and award-winning cookbook author. She is the cohost of the Gola podcast about Italian food and culture and regularly appears as an Italy expert on CNN, the Travel Channel, and the History Channel. She has lived in Rome since 2003, and Razza Pizza.

“What makes this book so compelling and perfect for beginners is that Richer starts with the basics. Perfect your own pizza dough, sauce, and cheese selection before combining them all into creative concoctions… You’ll learn how to assess your cheese, measure your cooking temperatures, make your own sourdough, and much more. The Joy of Pizza is beautifully photographed and offers useful tips for beginners and advanced skills for pizza pros.”—Cool Material

Home cooks interested in learning how to make pizza from scratch will appreciate this cookbook by rising culinary star Richer… The recipes for different kinds of pizza dough (including sourdough) are worth the price of admission alone, but the book also helpfully includes rubrics for evaluating tomatoes, olive oil, and mozzarella.—Library Journal

“For Dan Richer, the best pizza is not in New Jersey, or New York, or even Italy—but wherever you happen to be. As long as you get your hands on the finest local ingredients and master the art of dough-making, you can produce a truly exceptional pie from just about anywhere. The Razza chef/owner explains this, along with everything else he’s learned in his 20 years of making pizza, in The Joy of Pizza.”—Thrillist

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