Monday, November 07, 2011

PIzza Frenzy

Pear, Gorgonzola and pine nut pizza
My good friend, Auntie Pumpkin (a long story and one she would much prefer I did not share publicly, alas) and I attended a cooking demonstration at the Kirkland branch of Sur la Table.  The instructors that night were Chef Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg, MD.  They have a wonderful new cookbook just published, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in 5 Minutes a Day.  Auntie Pumpkin and I sat in amazement when they took the ingredients for the pizza dough and literally dumped and stirred and called it done (except for a 2 hour rise on the counter and at least 3 hours in the refrigerator to make the dough easier to handle).  Then they started making pizzas for us to taste with some prepared and risen dough.

I can sum that experience up in one word---and that word is YUM!
Image taken from the website 

So far I have made three pizzas with the dough I "threw" together, following their directions.  (It took maybe 90 seconds.)  I've made a tomato sauce, onion and olive pizza twice and the pear, Gorgonzola and pine nut one once.  All three were delicious and just about perfect.  (Of course, these are favored pizzas of mine---you might have other combos that you favor.)

You know that crunch a perfect pizza has when you cut into it?  That sharp, crisp crunch that almost crackles?  Well, these pizzas all had that sound and the chewiness and "tooth feel" of the dough is wonderful, as is the taste.  I am so impressed!  (Do use a well preheated pizza stone to bake the pies.  It is part of the process.)

Tomato sauce, sliced black olives and onion pizza
I am not (usually) a big pizza fan, but that has all been changed in the last week.  I am already dreaming of my next pie.  And then, maybe I'll make the pita bread recipe in the book.  Or the naan recipe.  Or both.  I will have to be very careful that I don't blow up like a beach ball, but I will be trying more of the recipes in this fun cookbook.

If you are a pizza aficionado, go to their website and be sure to try their method.  I think you'll be amazed. 

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