This week I had the tremendous pleasure of doing an event with the Minnesota Food Bloggers. The group is held together with the love and sweat of Stephanie Meyer and includes 450 passionate food lovers. The group gets together about once a month to celebrate what is exciting and new in the Minneapolis food scene, which is growing larger and more exciting every day. Stephanie invited me to do a pizza class for the group, and I jumped at the chance. An excuse to hang out with this group and an opportunity to get them all tossing dough in the air and baking pizza. The venue was also a tremendous draw for me, we did this giant pizza party at the Kitchen in the Market. A fully equipped professional kitchen run by the sweet, sassy and talented duo Molly McDonald Herrmann and Tracy Morgan. Here is a lovely post of the party by Sarah Kieffer whose site The Vanilla Bean Blog is just beautiful.
We made dough from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day the kind made specifically for tossing high in the air. The dough for tossing is made with Bread Flour, so it is a bit stronger and can handle being thrown as high as you dare. The group has several folks who are on a gluten free diet, so we had our gluten free crust available to them. The g-f crust is tasty and makes a brilliant pizza, but can’t be tossed high in the air and needs to be handled in a different way from traditional dough. Below are our instructions for the no-fail gluten free crust. But, before I roll out the dough, I want to say a little about the toppings. There are some gifts that are priceless…so rare, so precious and so fleeting that they make you want to weep. Kathy Yerich, one of the partners of Rouge Pottery, brought me such a gift at the pizza party. She went foraging for morel mushrooms, ramps (spring onions) and nettles and brought them to me in a basket. The contents of this basket were almost too gorgeous to eat, but I managed and made this pizza, which my husband said “tastes like summer!” What a gift. (more…)
We are ready for warmer weather (50 degrees yesterday in Minneapolis!), and that means grilled pizza. There’s no better place for that than Phoenix, which is Minneapolis’s alter-ego– it’s pretty hot for indoor pizza-baking in the summertime (which is coming!). So we journeyed south a couple of weeks ago to do a demo of grilled pizza on the NBC affiliate down there– and soak up a little sunshine. We also taught again at Barbara Fenzl’s Les Gourmettes Cooking School. Thanks for an appreciative group, Barbara!
One thing to explain though, hostess Destry Jetton said that this was cracker-crust pizza on the grill–it’s not. Everything we showed in Phoenix was Neapolitan-style thickness, about 1/8 to 1/4-inch. We do have lots of directions for both kinds of pizza in Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day.
Check out the Apr/May issue of Fine Cooking Magazine to see the feature article Jeff and I wrote about making quick, easy and delicious pizzas. On news stands now!
The concept for these little pizza/tarts came from a family recipe. My cousin, Riad Nasr, is a world class chef and quite often the source of inspiration in my kitchen. He practices his craft in New York City at a line-up of crazy-popular restaurants including Pastis, Minetta Tavern and Balthazar. Several years ago he wrote the Balthazar cookbook and included a savory tart with herby caramelized onions and goat cheese. I made it and fell in love. When Jeff and I decided to write our Pizza book I knew this flavor combo would be fantastic as a pizza. I’ve made it in several classes that we’ve taught to rave reviews, so I thought I would make it with you here.
The key to this pizza is caramelizing the onions. You can speed up the process by using a slightly higher heat and adding a touch of sugar, but for this recipe we’re going the old fashion route and doing it slow. I admit this may take a few more than 5 minutes, but I think it’s worth it. For those of you looking for a speedier version you can find one on page 108 of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. (more…)
(photo by Mark Luinenburg) If you’ve read any of our books, you know that this particularly photogenic fruit (or is it a vegetable?) seems to have captured our imagination. After a year of perfecting the basic tomato/basil/mozzarella topping, I did (believe it or not) get tired of Pizza Margherita. Enter the smoky and savory roasted red pepper. (more…)
From the editors of Mother Earth News…
This pizza is so thin and crackly that light shines through it! It’s much easier to achieve perfection with this Tuscan specialty than you might think. Plus, our TV segment in Charlotte, North Carolina, with former Saturday Night Live cast-member Colin Quinn. (more…)
(photo by Mark Luinenburg) It has been suggested to me that the real reason I like to throw pizza dough into the air when I teach a class is not because throwing the dough improves the pizza, but because I am an incorrigible show-off. I will neither confirm nor deny this beastly rumor. But having now thrown a lot of dough, I truly can say how beautifully it thins the dough and relaxes the gluten. There’s more on this in Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, but here are some photos a video that show how it’s done. (more…)
This week is Chanukah and it is all about frying our food, which brings me great joy. I am constantly trying to come up with something new to add to our menu of latkes, jelly doughnuts and all the other traditional fare. These savory doughnuts were inspired by the fried pizzas I had in Naples. We ate them as snacks during the day, to tide us over to the next pizza. Most of the pizzarias sold them outside their front doors to people waiting in long lines or folks on the run. Pizza dough stuffed with ricotta and deep friend; simple, but perfect. My boys love them stuffed with a variety of fillings, so use your imagination and create your own savory doughnuts. (more…)