In The Kitchen

2012 March: Dough Doctor

2012 March: Dough Doctor

Q: We get a lot of requests for a whole-wheat pizza, but all of our attempts to make one end up with dry, hard texture and poor flavor. What is the secret to making a good whole-wheat crust? A: Like so many other things in life, once you know the secret, it really isn’t allMore »

2012 February: Hold The Meat

2012 February: Hold The Meat

While there are varying degrees of vegetarianism, let’s use the simplest terms. A vegetarian does not eat meat, fish or poultry. Veganism is where it gets a little more complicated. Vegans also abstain from meat, fish and poultry, with the addition of not consuming any animal products or by-products. They will not eat dairy, usuallyMore »

2012 February: Ask Big Dave

2012 February: Ask Big Dave

Tim Ridout, via Facebook Big Rounds Ravenna, Michigan Hey, Tim. Without exception, I can’t think of any ingredient that has gone down in price. Since cheese is the costliest ingredient on our pizzas, and we buy so much of it every week, it comes to mind first. The wholesale price of mozzarella is fixed everyMore »

2012 January: Trending Now

2012 January: Trending Now

This year will be all about healthy eating, so be prepared to think about how you can tweak your menu and your existing pizza, pasta and salad offerings to reflect forward thinking as it relates to “tastes better, better for you, less filling.” I am not suggesting that you have to do a 180 onMore »

The Dough Doctor takes a look at modern mixers

2012 January: Dough Doctor

Q: Our mixer finally crashed and we got a 40-quart vertical cutter mixer (VCM) to replace it. How does this mixer compare against our old 80-quart mixer? A: The first thing to know about the VCM is that it has a much higher mixing speed. The two-speed models mix at 1750 RPM at low speed andMore »

2011 November: Dough Doctor

2011 November: Dough Doctor

Q: In looking at different methods of dough management, some call for allowing the dough balls to rest at room temperature for an hour or more, while others say to take the dough directly to the cooler without any room temperature rest period. Does it really make a difference? A: Yes, it does make aMore »

2011 November: JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

2011 November: JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

You’re sitting down for dinner when you realize you haven’t washed your hands in hours. You go to the restroom, wash your hands and reach for a paper towel. But there are none –– and no hand-dryer either. Now you’ve got that icky wet-hand feeling, and a few doubts about the place you’ve chosen forMore »

2011 November: ITALIAN CLASSIC

2011 November: ITALIAN CLASSIC

Meatballs, which have been around for hundreds of years and were once considered peasant goods, have gone mainstream. In fact, one Chicago restaurateur has opened a restaurant called “The Ball Room.” Yes, meatballs of various style (and shape) served every which way are the mainstays of the menu. Let me put it this way: whoMore »

Ravioli: Get stuffed

2011 November: GET STUFFED

Cheese-filled ravioli is an Italian staple that we’ve seen on menus for decades. Over the last several years we’ve seen these delightful stuffed pasta pillows get a delectable makeover. As we culinary folks have come to look at stretched pizza dough as an empty canvas where almost anything goes, we have realized the same isMore »

2011 November: SEAWORTHY

2011 November: SEAWORTHY

I always wonder why more pizzeria operators don’t do more with shrimp. Yes, I know adding any type of seafood to the operation poses a few issues –– buying, storage and cooking — that might be more than some operators want to deal with. But using shrimp on pizza, in a pasta dish or asMore »