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What about that pizza crust? November 3, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. The other night, our friend Ben and I watched Anthony Bourdain’s Pacific Northwest episode from his series “No Reservations.” (Thanks, Netflix!) We thought it was one of the better episodes, showcasing both the unique foodie/artisanal approach of Oregon and Washington State and Tony Bourdain’s entertaining persona and unending flow of bon mots.

But while OFB and I were enjoying the show, something struck me: There’s room for improvement in pizza crust creation. Say what? OFB and I are serious pizza fans. We like to go out for pizza and order it for takeout. We love homemade pizza. (OFB consistently praises my own-made pizza as “the best ever,” forgetting that our friends Delilah and Mary both make much better pizzas on their grills.) I love to improvise by spreading olive oil and/or pesto on the crust before adding tomato sauce, cheese, herbs, and toppings. But it never before occurred to me to consider adding things to the crust itself.

All this changed when I saw Tony Bourdain heading to a pizza parlor, something that, even loving pizza as I do, I’d never have expected, on-air at any rate. But this wasn’t just any pizza parlor. It was a restaurant owned by a chef who was determined to make the perfect pizza. He makes his dough by hand so the crust will be light, crispy, and crackly. (“Nobody does that!” said Tony about professional pizzerias and handmade, from-scratch pizza crusts.) He allows no more than three toppings on his pizzas. And he closes the restaurant once the dough for that day runs out. (“Don’t you care about making money?” “No! I care about making pizza.”)

Watching all this made me think. Why doesn’t anyone add ingredients, enhancements to the pizza crust? Olive oil and Italian herbs (rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme); Parmesan cheese; kalamata olives; sauteed onion and/or roasted garlic; roasted peppers or sundried tomatoes. Maybe a crust with lavender or minced truffles, pepitas or cumin seeds. The possibilities are endless.  I can imagine a luscious crust with a simple assortment of toppings, all working together for the ultimate goodness. Yum!!!

But I’ve never heard of anyone doing this. Do you? If so, what do you do? If not, what do you think of the idea? Please let me know!

          ‘Til next time,

                      Silence

Comments»

1. h.ibrahim - November 4, 2010

thats actually an excellent idea—it happened accidentally once when i was making pizza with my twins when they were very young and they put sun dried tomatoes in to the crust—it was actually quite good.

That’s good to hear, Huma! I’m really going to have to try it. Right now I’m tempted to add cracked fennel seeds to the dough, use basil pesto instead of tomato sauce, top it with mozzarella, and top that with shaved fennel bulb, mushrooms, sweet onion, and shaved Parmesan. I’ll bet it would be really good!

2. Gail - November 4, 2010

That does sound good~and while they are at it, could they offer whole wheat crust pizza!

Good point, Gail! We were so thrilled when a new pizza place opened somewhat-near us and featured whole wheat pizzas, but by the time we got over there, they’d stopped selling them! GRRRR… Btw, guess what my latest cookbook find is? The Bluebird Cafe Scrapbook, discovered in a used bookstore in scenic Jim Thorpe, PA! I went to high school with Bluebird founder Amy Kurland, so of course I had to buy it!

3. olivia pizza - November 8, 2010

To make pizza dough, you dissolve 2 packages of yeast in 1-1/4 cups of warm water. Add 2 cups of flour, stir, then add another 2 cups of flour. Knead dough until smooth and elastic and allow it to rise. It takes a bit of time to make, but it can be frozen so you can make extra to use another time. You can find more information here: http://www.ehow.com/how_1686_make-pizza-dough.html

Thanks for the tips!


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