~ Totally Undeserving of the James Beard Award

~ Completely Undeserving of the James Beard Award ~

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Now That's a Serious Pie...

My lovely bride, Mrs. Blogger Man and one of my wonderful daughters (Miss Blogger Man's Daughter) gave me a great present for last Christmas, a cooking class…or I should say a PIZZA cooking class.

Plus, it was not at some random cooking school or dorky kitchen store…but at none other than Tom Douglas's "Serious Pie". I was grateful the participants were not on "date time". I have gone to other classes where the participants were just on a date night, goofin' off, not really interested in learning…just something to do. This time, everyone was tuned in. Not to be a sour puss, but I wanted to learn stuff and was thankful others did not spoil MY experience there.

OK…enough B.S….let's get to the class, shall we?

They gave us a handout which included a dough recipe…not THIER recipe (RATS!), but one that is apparently close. Their dough is a 3 day process for the restaurant…this one is a 2 day or overnight. It includes bread flour, semolina, yeast (of course) honey, salt, olive oil, water and quite wet.

What we worked with was THEIR flour…soft, supple like a…umm…ah…nice...dough? Here's mine...stretched out on the peel. 

Mr. Jim was our teacher…I believe he said he was the Sous Chef. (must have been a minor earthquake when I snapped the pix) 

We were supplied an assortment of goodies for toppings, red sauce, olive oil, garlic, sausage, pancetta, two types of mushrooms, peppers, escarole, sliced yukon golds and pears.

I decided to make a half and half…red sauce, sausage, olives, peppers and olive oil, garlic, escarole, mushrooms, pancetta.

Behind the line we went to the apple wood fired oven. I noticed the temp was about 680ยบ F. 

So you are now thinking…where's the cheese? They add it when the pies are about 3/4 of the way done, but that depends on what cheese you asked for. We had the choice of fresh buffalo mozzarella, a wonderful truffle infused cheese, parmigiano reggiano and a 22 month old pecorino. 

We were able to sample the cheeses...so I opted for the truffle cheese for the non-red side and the fresh moz for the red side.

Mr. Jim slid the pies into the inferno, spinning them every once in a while…moving them to hotter or cooler areas. The moz was added to my pie first, then baked a bit more…then the thinly sliced truffle cheese was added…baked a bit more, then pulled. When I handed over my creation to be baked, I saw one of the line cooks prepping for the day and mincing up some fresh rosemary…so, I asked them to sprinkle a touch of the fresh rosemary over the red side when it's ready to be cut.

TA DA! I think the combination worked, especially paired with a nice glass of chianti.

Like a well made sandwich, the bread make or breaks the sandwich…I think the dough makes or breaks the pie. 

Thanks ladies!…I hope I can make you some decent pizzas!

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