Pizza Toppings: Garden Fresh

2012 May: Garden Fresh

Think outside the tomato when it comes to fresh veggies on pizza   Artisan pizza is booming right now thanks to an influx of upscale ingredients that are more readily available than ever before. One of the latest trends which I believe is here to stay is to “buy local” in areas that we can,More »

Sauces — Beyond Red

2012 May: Beyond Red pasta with Gorgonzola Cream sauce

Artisan sauces take pizza menus beyond the red sauce   At the dawn of the pizza age, tomato sauce –– or crushed plum tomatoes –– was what a customer would expect to find on the pie that was put before them. Over time, though, it was simply a matter of trying out new ideas. TheMore »


2012 May: SHOWTIME

Performance kitchens put staff center stage   For Brixx, a southeastern-U.S.-based chain of brick-oven restaurants, having a performance kitchen was just a natural extension of the restaurant’s branding strategy. “Making the pizza in the brick oven is all part of the show,” says Eric Horsley, Brixx managing partner and lead design strategist. “Guests are fascinatedMore »

The Dough Doctor examines ovens’ effects on dough

2012 May: Dough Doctor

An interesting question came across my desk asking how the physical attributes of an artisan pizza would be affected by baking the same pizza in different types of ovens. Let’s take a look and see how a New York-style thin-crust pizza might vary when baked in the different types of ovens. Since this is aMore »

Forbidden Fruit?

Purple People Eater

Fruit pizza toppings add a whole new flavor dimension Hawaiian Pizza and its variations broke the mold years ago, combining sweet, tart pineapple with savory, salty ham to create a menu favorite across the country. While pineapple has become a mainstay on many pizzerias’ toppings lists, there is a world of fruits just waiting toMore »

Dough Doctor: What is ‘dough factor,’ and does mixing time really matter?

Q: I’ve heard of a thing called “dough factor.” Can you explain this to me? A: Dough factor –– also known as “dough loading” –– is used to calculate the amount of dough needed to increase or decrease a pizza’s size while keeping everything in correct balance in regard to dough, sauce and cheese weights. InMore »

Raid The Pantry


Optimize ingredients you have on hand   It’s certainly important to consider and sample new items to incorporate into our menu to keep our customer base excited and interested. Although I do think it’s critical to periodically introduce new dishes, it’s not always necessary to bring in new ingredients. All too often we overlook theMore »

Dough Doctor: Wholesome

2012 March: Dough Doctor

Whole-wheat crust requires special handling   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 knowMore »

Bruschetta Basics

2012 March: Bruschetta Basics

Bruschetta (broo-SKEH-tah) has emerged as a very popular appetizer (running a close second to fried calamari). In the Italian repertoire of appetizers, offering bruschetta makes a lot of sense. It’s easy to prepare, it holds well (meaning it can be prepped well ahead) and it can be offered at an attractive price. The food costsMore »