In The Kitchen

Cheese Encounters

2013 May: Cheese Encounters

I have been involved in a complicated relationship for 14 years. My partner is fickle, moody, unstable and inconsistent, but I can’t get rid of her. Because of her voracious greed, she takes all my money, squanders it and I never see it again. Unfortunately, my customers adore her and cannot get enough of her,More »

Dough Doctor: Dough mixing and pizza ovens

2013 May: Dough Doctor

Q: How do I know when my pizza dough is properly mixed? A: Most pizza doughs as we know them are under mixed in regard to full gluten development. The only real exception is commercially made frozen pizza dough which is almost universally mixed to full gluten development. For the retail operator, though, a doughMore »

The hottest ingredients for 2013

2013 May: THE IN CROWD

Today’s pizzeria customers are savvier than ever thanks in part to a growing trend in upscale options. Sure, pepperoni and cheese are still king in this industry, but customers looking for fresh, organic and locally grown toppings now have more choices than ever. Add in the rise of Neapolitan and artisan focuses, and the pizzaMore »

Dough Doctor: Wood vs. Metal Pizza Peels

2013 April: Dough Doctor

Q: I was recently looking through a catalog that I got at the last Pizza Expo and I saw both wood and metal peels being offered by the different companies. Do you have a preference in one over the other? A: My preference is to use a wood peel as a prep peel — theMore »

Master Of The Pan

Photo by Josh Keown

Pizza pans matter when it comes to creating the perfect crust, flavor At an old used restaurant warehouse in West Virginia, I stared into a dark corner at several three-foot stacks of blue-steel pizza pans piled like greasy towers. Their thick, bumpy sides indicated that they were at least 15 years old, probably older. WithMore »

The Dough Doctor takes a look at using herbs in dough

2009 December: Dough Doctor

Herb infused doughs are one of those things that seem to come and go. It gets popular for a short time, and then it disappears, only to come back again after a few years. For some of us, though, it has found a home on our menu boards as a variation to regular pizza crusts.More »

Gourmet toppings next wave of pizza trends

gourmet toppings

Gourmet toppings for pizza? Where do I begin? I suppose I could start by recounting something I read recently about a pizzeria in New York City that is big on seasonal gourmet toppings such as Brussels sprout leaves, shaved porcini, black truffles and exotic cheeses. If that’s not gourmet, I don’t know what is. IMore »

2009 December: Pasta Primer

2009 December: Pasta Primer

Rigatoni with Chicken & Ricotta The idea behind this delicious pasta dish is that the ricotta is actually the sauce that coats the pasta. To this end, I like to add a tablespoon or two of the hot water from the pasta pot to thin the sauce just a touch. Various steps can be preppedMore »

2009 November: Dough Doctor

2009 November: Dough Doctor

Oil is a truly multi-functional ingredient in pizza dough production. It can affect everything from the crispiness to flavor of the crust, as well as the way the dough handles during shaping. The type of oil used can influence the flavor of the finished crust, providing anything from a neutral flavor to characterizing flavor. ForMore »

2009 November: Fired Up

wood fired oven

Cooking with wood has been around since the dawn of civilization, so there’s no singular revelation attached to that method of cooking. On the other hand, cooking pizza in a wood-fired oven has been going on only since the turn of the century in this country. In recent years, however, the fire has been bankedMore »