The best books for making pizza from scratch

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a cookbook author, editor, local food enthusiast, and the creator of the blog Thursday Night Pizza, where I share weekly recipes and de-snobbify the process of from-scratch pizza for home cooks of all skill levels. When I’m not in the kitchen or behind my computer, I enjoy gardening, working on house projects, tending to my Little Free Library, and roaming my city of Philadelphia with my husband and son.


I wrote...

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook

By Peggy Paul Casella,

Book cover of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook

What is my book about?

Straight out of the sewers and right into the kitchen, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' favorite pizzas are finally yours to create and enjoy! Join Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo on a seriously ooey, gooey, cheesy adventure inspired by the beloved original cartoon series.

This cookbook contains sixty-five righteous recipes, from old-school classics such as the New York Style Pepperoni to newfangled feasts such as the Lean, Mean, and Green and Shredder's Revenge. There's a pizza for every occasion — breakfast pizzas, mini-pizzas, party pizzas, and even dessert pizzas.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza

Peggy Paul Casella Why did I love this book?

If you want to delve deep and learn the hows and whys of pizza and bread making, this book has everything you’re looking for. Forkish is one of the great sages of breadmaking, and having this book on your shelf is like having a grand master at the ready.

By Ken Forkish,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flour Water Salt Yeast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From Portland's most acclaimed and beloved baker comes this must-have baking guide, featuring recipes for world-class breads and pizzas and a variety of schedules suited for the home baker.

There are few things more satisfying than biting into a freshly made, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-supple-on-the-inside slice of perfectly baked bread. For Portland-based baker Ken Forkish, well-made bread is more than just a pleasure—it is a passion that has led him to create some of the best and most critically lauded breads and pizzas in the country.

In Flour Water Salt Yeast, Forkish translates his obsessively honed craft…


Book cover of My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home

Peggy Paul Casella Why did I love this book?

Lahey is another pizza sage I refer to often. His no-knead pizza dough is a revelation, and his composed pizza recipes are at once simple and mind blowing.

By Jim Lahey, Rick Flaste,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Pizza as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Make homemade pizza that exceeds your wildest expectations—yet couldn’t be simpler—with Jim Lahey’s groundbreaking no-knead dough and inventive toppings.
 
Jim Lahey, the baking genius behind New York City’s celebrated Sullivan Street Bakery and Co. pizza restaurant, has developed a brilliant recipe that requires no kneading and produces an irresistible crust in any home oven—gas or electric—in fewer than five minutes. The secret to incredible pizza is a superb crust—one that is crisp yet chewy, and slightly charred around the edges. My Pizza shares this revolutionary technique and the creative pies that put Co. on the map, as well as recipes…


Book cover of The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs

Peggy Paul Casella Why did I love this book?

Once you master a good pizza dough recipe, the next step is experimenting with different combinations of toppings. Whenever I need some pairing inspiration for seasonal produce or meats or a special type of cheese, this is the first book I reach for. 

By Karen Page, Andrew Dornenburg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Flavor Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Great cooking goes beyond following a recipe--it's knowing how to season ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them. Drawing on dozens of leading chefs' combined experience in top restaurants across the country, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg present the definitive guide to creating "deliciousness" in any dish.

Thousands of ingredient entries, organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, provide a treasure trove of spectacular flavor combinations. Readers will learn to work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients; experiment with temperature and texture; excite the nose and palate with herbs, spices, and other seasonings; and balance the sensual, emotional, and spiritual elements…


Book cover of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Peggy Paul Casella Why did I love this book?

The key to amazing homemade pizza is balance. Since only so many ingredients can fit on a round of dough, everything shines through and it’s obvious when the flavors aren’t working well together. This book, by the incredible Samin Nosrat, will help you learn how to create balance in pizza and all your home cooking.

By Samin Nosrat, Wendy Macnaughton (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major Netflix documentary
A Sunday Times Food Book of the Year and a New York Times bestseller
Winner of the Fortnum & Mason Best Debut Food Book 2018

While cooking at Chez Panisse at the start of her career, Samin Nosrat noticed that amid the chaos of the kitchen there were four key principles that her fellow chefs would always fall back on to make their food better: Salt, Fat, Acid and Heat.

By mastering these four variables, Samin found the confidence to trust her instincts in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients. And with…


Book cover of Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables

Peggy Paul Casella Why did I love this book?

Not only is this book a beauty, but it’s also a great way to discover new pairings for your favorite seasonal pizza toppings. Many of my favorite pizza recipes have been adapted from combinations of ingredients found in recipes for salads, casseroles, fancy meals, sandwiches, and more. If you’re a farmers’ market fiend and a homemade pizzamaker, you need more books like this one.

By Martha Holmberg, Joshua McFadden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Six Seasons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Six seasons - each with its own character. The first vegetables of spring are all about tenderness and new growth. We've been eating sturdy winter fare for so long that slender, tender, and delicate is exactly what we need ...a ripe juicy tomato would feel too much, too soon. Early summer steps up that game a bit - the flavours aren't yet intense, but the fresh and green notes are deeper and all is livelier. Midsummer starts the flavour riot - more variety, more colours and textures. Late summer is the lush period - the richest colours, most vibrant flavours,…


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The Wonder of Jazz: Music that changed the world

By Sammy Stein,

Book cover of The Wonder of Jazz: Music that changed the world

Sammy Stein Author Of Fabulous Female Musicians

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been passionate about music for almost my entire life. Jazz music in particular speaks to me but not just jazz. I love music, full stop. I really discovered jazz when I attended a jazz club workshop in London and there, I had to join in or leave. I chose to join in and since then I have never looked back. I was introduced to more jazz musicians and now write about music for three major columns as well as Readers’ Digest. My Women In Jazz book won several awards. I have been International Editor for the Jazz Journalist Association and had my work commissioned by the Library of Congress. 

Sammy's book list on female musicians

What is my book about?

With input from over 100 musicians, the book discusses what exactly jazz is, and how you know you are listening to it. Do we truly know when and how jazz first originated? Who was the first jazz musician? How does jazz link to other genres? What about women in jazz? And writers and journalists? Do reviews make any difference? 

This book is a deep dive into jazz's history, impact, and future. It discusses jazz's social, cultural, and political influence and reveals areas where jazz has had an impact we may not even realize.Its influences on hip hop, the connection to…

The Wonder of Jazz: Music that changed the world

By Sammy Stein,

What is this book about?

This book is very different from other, more general jazz books. It is packed with information, advice, well researched and includes experiences from jazz musicians who gleefully add their rich voices to Sammy's in-depth research. All genres, from hard bop to be-bop, vocal jazz, must instrumental, free jazz, and everything between is covered in one way or another and given Sammy's forensic eye. There is social commentary and discussions of careers in jazz music. The musical background of those in the book is rich and diverse.
Critics comment:
"This new book by Sammy Stein is a highly individual take on…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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