Written Recipes
Drunken Mesquite Dough
Brad English

What do you do with some Firestone Double Barrel Ale, Fire Roasted Western Honey-Mesquite Flour and a need for pizza? Well the answer is simple: you make some of my desert-inspired Mesquite Dough.  However, you not only sip on your beer while making it, but you make the dough with some of your beer!

I set out to just make the dough, and took some pictures of the set-up because it just seemed like a "cool"  thing to do.  Or, maybe it's because I often take pictures and blog about what I do around the kitchen?  You decide.  Anyway, as this dough came together it turned out to be a wet one.  So, I started taking some more pictures as I went along.  Here at Pizza Quest we see a lot of comments and I also get a lot of personal questions about making dough, and one recurring question is how to handle a sticky wet dough?  And this one was definitely sticky and not just tacky. I must have simply added too much beer.

I remember when I first started making my own pizza dough how it scared the heck out of me when I encountered a really wet/sticky dough.  If you haven't handled much dough, the sticky dough syndrome can intimidate you enough to stay away from the whole dough-making thing for years. Years!!  If you're hungry and determined, then maybe you will fight through it.  You'll see in the photos that I added flour and kept stretching and folding this dough to get it to the right consistency.  I tried to do so as little adjusting as possible, but it was a pretty wet, beer soaked blob of flour.  Each time I performed the "Stretch and Fold" it got a little firmer.

 

This dough is based on Peter's Neo-Neopolitan Dough, which is a great home pizza dough!  It's truly the easiest, and I always get great results with it in my home oven.  So, when I tweaked it for my original Mesquite Dough, Peter had suggested using about 10% Mesquite flour in my quest to create a desert-inspired pizza.  That dough came out amazingly well and was a perfect platform for that particular pizza, which I blogged about awhile back.  The mesquite flour gives the dough an earthy, nutty flavor, but it's also very light and smooth tasting.  The mesquite flour actually makes the whole dough a little more velvety, if that makes sense. So here's the latest version, with me pushing the envelope as far as I could to see where it would take me.

For more information and fun here are the links to my original Mesquite Dough Pizzas.

The Hwy 15 Pizza: *Link

A Wandering Desert Road Pizza:  *Link

 

Drunken Mesquite Dough

- 22.6 Oz (just short of 4 3/4 cups) of Unbleached Bread Flour
- 2.4 Oz (about a mesquite twig tip over - half a cup) of Fire Roasted Western Honey Flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons (0.14 oz.) instant yeast
(or 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast dissolved in the water)
- 2 teaspoons (0.5 oz.) kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) olive oil (optional)
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz.) honey (optional)
- 2 1/4 Cups (18 Oz) Beer - A Firestone Double Barrel Ale in this case
(A little less if using the honey and, or oil)

Combine the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl first and mix with a spoon.

Add the olive oil and honey if using followed by the beer.

Mix for about 1 minute to get the ingredients to come together.  Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes and mix again for another minute until it's a relatively smooth ball that has come together.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface/counter.  With a little oil on your hands fold the dough into a ball and let it rest for another 5 minutes.

Here's where my dough pictorial goes off the tracks!  You can see that this initial dough is super sticky!  It's impossible to roll/fold this dough with my hands.  I had to use an oiled dough scraper to get it off the counter and try to make it into a ball.  You'll also see in the photos that the ball was flat and just kept spreading out under it's own weight.  It didn't sit up like a standard dough ball because it was so moist.

To handle a dough this wet, I had to add a generous sprinkle of flour to the work surface and, thus, to the dough.  Once added, I performed another series of stretching and folding and let it rest again.  It took more than the couple stretch and folds to get this dough to a place where it could be handled.  You can see it sticking to the counter.  After the dry flour gets incorporated and sucked up by the wetness, the moisture still comes forth and takes over.  So, you just have to keep at it.  Add a little more flour.  Stretch and fold and let it rest.

This dough took about 4 rotations to get it to where I could stop and the dough still remained super supple, but now I could handle it (of course, if I had cut back on the water -- or the beer -- by about 1/4 cup I might not have had to make all these adjustments).

But the point of this post is to demonstrate how to work through an issue that can easily come up if you incorrectly measure ingredients, or are dealing with a wet dough.

So, if decide to make this dough, you may want to cut back the liquid just a little and you won't have quite the wet experience I had, but will still come out with an amazing tasting dough.  The flavor is nutty and light and, I want to add, the Double Barrel Ale brought out a maltiness that was terrific.

 

 

*Additional Note:

You can see below in the gallery how I had to keep adding a little flour and working the dough until it finally found the right balance.  It still remained a "wet" dough and baked up nicely in my home oven.  I hope this helps some of you get through one of these experiences.  A little music in the background and a beer in your left hand helps!

"Another Breakfast Pizza" recipe:  *Link

 

 

 
Another Breakfast Pizza
Brad English
Blog Post - Breakfast

I've been gone from these pages a while!  I have been busy with my real life, not this fantasy pizza guy life.  I've been working out of town a bit and when available, racing around to my kid's sporting events!  I thought life was busy when they were little!  It's funny how your perspective changes to catch up to reality.  One day you look back and almost always laugh at what you were thinking while going through something.  Remember worrying if your kid would ever stop sucking their thumb? Eventually that stuff all works itself out and you often only realize that after the time is gone and you are looking backwards wishing it was here again.

 

Anyway, I wanted to throw a quick post up about my first homemade pizza in a while!  I was just in San Francisco and was lucky enough to find my way over to Tony Gemignani's and Delfina Pizzeria a couple of times.  The stand out pizza for me was Tony's Detroit Style Red Top which we added sausage and caramelized onions to.  Hold the presses, this is a must try pizza!  The crust is a thick one, but it's puffy, light and delicious at the same time.   I had it more than once while in town - taking some clients there, and circling back 2 other times!  It was cooked to perfection with little crispy burnt tips of crust and cheese.  At Delfina my favorite was the Clam Pie!  It may not sound as exciting, but it was.  It was a simple pizza with a superb crispy thin crust.  The sauce had a little bite while being almost sweet and very fresh tasting.  There were just enough clams and a sprinkle of grated parmesan.  It was my friend Greg's first non cheese topped pizza that he's ever liked.  It was delicious.

So, I'm back in town now.  I had a dough ball in the freezer and took it out the night I got home.

In the morning, I turned on the oven and set the dough on the counter.  Kids off to school -- it was now time to throw a breakfast pizza together.  No eggs!  Oh well, what to do.  What did we have?  I realized I hadn't thought this through the night before.  I thought about putting the dough back and getting some ingredients and making the pizza later that day.

Canadian Bacon…

Ok, that's interesting - sounds like breakfast!  We had mozzarella, but an aged white cheddar caught my interest.  I was thinking that maybe I'd blend it with the Mozzarella, but decided to just go with the cheddar.  Ok, this will be an herb oil base and I was off to the races.

My wife had to leave for some appointments and as I was moving to start my pizza making process I realized that my camera was in her car!  Could I just make a pizza and not take pictures?!  What if this was the one?!  I know it's not really possible, because there's always another one, but it could be the temporary ONE I've been searching for - you never know.  I did have my trusty iPhone! Someone told me that the iPhone is the camera that takes the most pictures of any other type of camera now.  The pics didn't come out half bad.

Once you get in the habit of making dough and freezing it, it's not that difficult to throw a single pizza together.  You do need to think ahead enough to get the dough out with enough time to thaw, but those steps don't take much effort at all - just a little planning.

Here's my impromptu Breakfast Pizza that I whipped up.

A Quick Breakfast Pizza

-  Pizza Dough
*I had a Fire Roasted Mesquite Dough that I had made up a few weeks ago.  I will post a demo of that next week.
- Peter's Herb Oil
- Grated Aged White Cheddar
- Canadian Bacon
- Sliced Red Onion
- Salt Packed Capers to finish

 

Getting things done:

Pre-heat the oven to 550 and before you start cooking the pizza, change it to convection bake.

Spread out the dough and layer with the herb oil, cheese and top with the Canadian Bacon and sliced onion.

While the pizza is cooking, rinse off some of the capers and chop them up.  When the pizza comes out of the oven, sprinkle the capers over the pizza.

Slice and serve!

This pizza was surprisingly good.  I say "surprisingly" because I just used what was in my fridge that seemed like they would taste good and satisfy my breakfast quest that morning and I was happily surprised!  Had my wife made sure there was an egg in the house, this would have been a great addition to this pizza!  *Insert smile here :)!!!  Add that to your list if you make this one.

The ham and the cheese both had some deeper flavors.  The richness of the cheddar pulled out the smokiness in this otherwise simple ham.  The salty briny capers were also a terrific accent that brought a lighter brighter note to the taste profile!

My wife came home and snagged the last slice.  She looked at me and said, "That's really good!"  It was even better when hot!

Enjoy the Iphone photos!

 
Brussels-eroni Pizza
Brad English

You may think I've gone off the rails here with my pepperoni-ing of everything, but realize this isn't all I eat!  I sit around and come up with an idea and make a bunch of pizzas to try something out.  As you can see from the last few weeks, it takes some time to get these postings together.  It doesn't take nearly the time to make and devour the actual pizzas!

I have always been a fan of Brussel Sprouts.  Fortunately, these strange tasting little bulbs have become quite popular lately.  I was at Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York not long ago and had some amazing Brussel Sprouts and also swung through Boulder recently and had an amazing pizza that Kelly Whitaker adorned with clusters of brussels as a topping.  My favorite way to eat them is roasted with some olive oil, salt and pepper and then, sometimes, slicing them in half and finishing them in a pan with some shallots and pancetta.  There are tons of great recipes out there for these babies.

While I was thinking of my pepperon-ification of everything, Kelly's pizza popped into my mind.  What if I roasted them 80% of the way and then sliced them into thick discs and seasoned them to taste a bit like pepperoni?  That could be interesting.  There is a little bite in a brussel.  That slight bitterness may be interesting with the spicy pepperoni flavors.

I looked up Momofuku Roasted Brussels Sprouts and found this recipe online - which I will now have to try!  Of course David Chang uses fish sauce which adds such an amazing flavor to almost everything.  My friend Kim, who runs my favorite home kitchen (I've featured her here, along with her mom, making "Mom's Soy Pickled Jalapeños" along with her sister, who came down to help us make some amazing Vietnamese inspired pizzas) says she adds fish sauce to almost everything.  "It just intensifies the flavors and tastes so good!"  When I made my first pepperoni vegetable with broccoli stalks, I used a liquid pepperoni sauce that used fish sauce and it came out great.  But, lately I have just been using dry ingredients because some of my family don't like that flavor as much.

Here is the link the the recipe for the Momofuku Roasted Brussels on a food blog called Food52:  *LINK

I would recommend blending this or maybe sprinkling some fish sauce into my brussels-pepperoni sprouts as an option!

 

Roasted Brussels-eroni Sprouts Pizza

- Favorite Dough

*I made up my "desert dough" with 10% Fire Roasted Mesquite Flour!  *Link

- Peter's Basic Tomato Sauce

*I had a #10 Can of Bianco Dinapoli Tomatoes and I wasn't afraid to use it!

- Fresh Mozzarella

- Brads Brussels-eroni *Recipe below

- Pepperoni Seasoning *Recipe below

 

Here we go:

Roast your brussels.  Clean off any dirty tips and wash the brussel bulbs.  Place them in a bowl and drizzle some olive oil over them and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place them into the oven to roast until just done, or maybe just a little underdone - so you can cut them into slices and have them hold together.  Most recipes call for about 30-40 minutes in an oven at 400 degrees.  But, I had my oven cranked to 550, so I checked them at 20 minutes and pulled them a little bit after that when the tips were turning brown and they were soft enough.  You could do this earlier as well and let them cool.  Mine were still hot when I was cutting them, which makes that dance a little more entertaining for your fingers.

After slicing them up, sprinkle them with your pepperoni seasoning.

 

Pepperoni Seasoning:

- Salt - 1 Tbsp

- Pepper - 1 Tbsp

- Paprika - 1 Tbsp

- Ground Mustard Seed - 1 Tbsp

- Ground Fennel Seed - 1 Tbsp

- Crushed Red Pepper - 1.5 Tbsp

- Garlic Powder - 1/2 Tbsp

This is where I started.  After I mixed it up, I added a little more paprika and played with it a little.  My next run with the Brussel Sprouts will see some fish sauce added into the mix.

Season the sprouts on both sides!

 

Construction:

- Spread the dough

- Spread the sauce

- Sip your beer

- Place some of your fresh mozzarella around the pizza

- Lay out your sprouts

 

Into the oven.

So, here we go into the oven.  In these photos you will see a new item in my oven.  I recently acquired a new pizza cooking surface - called The Baking Steel.  I've been using this for the past few pizza making sessions in my oven set up.  I've placed this in the center of my oven and used my thick Forno Bravo Pizza Stone on top of this because I like the idea that the heat retained in the top stone would radiate back down onto my pizza.  (My other theory is that having a couple stones in the oven, helps maintain the temperature when making multiple pizzas.  You can also rotate which stone you use as the pizzas take heat out of one stone you can cook the next one on the other stone etc.)

Anyway, there's something interesting going on here with this Baking Steel product.  I'm getting 6 minute pizzas consistently.  My stone-only set-up may come close to that for the first pizza, but usually is in the 8-9 minute range.  There seems to be a very good heat distribution going on with the steel.

The other nice thing is that it comes with a carrying case and since it's steel, it's easily transported without fear of it cracking.  I'm still a huge fan of my thick stone, but this new product is a great addition to the potential tools we have for cooking pizza in our home ovens!

 

6 Minutes Later:

I pulled the pizza and steel out on the rack to take a picture of the pizza before it came out of the oven.  Looks great!  Nice crust.  If you haven't tried this "desert pizza crust" I came up with, I highly recommend it.  The mesquite flour makes the whole dough smooth and almost velvety.  Very interesting.

Look at this oozy pile of brussels-eroni and melted fresh mozz swimming in a sea of Bianco Dinapoli goodness.  I'd call this pizza a success.  Give it a whirl and let us know how it comes out for you.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 
Neo Neapolitan Sourdough Pizza Dough
Teresa Greenway

This pizza dough is a sourdough variation of Peter Reinhart’s Neo Neapolitan Pizza dough. The dough uses a small amount of commercial yeast and sourdough starter at 100% hydration. The result of this high hydration dough is a bubbly crisp pizza crust, which is easy to stretch out once you allow it to proof long enough.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast (or 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast)
1 oz/28g hot water, about 115F degrees.
--Add the yeast to the hot water in a small container and stir.  Allow the yeast to proof for about 15-20 minutes.

Next, in a large proofing container or mixing bowl add together:

8 oz/226g of ripe and vigorous 100% hydration starter (ie, wet sponge starter as opposed to a firm starter)
13 oz/368g warm water, around 110F degrees
1 oz/28g olive or vegetable oil
.5 oz/14g brown sugar
.5 oz sea salt
--Mix all if the above ingredients by hand or mixer until incorporated and then add:

The yeast mixture
20 oz/567g bread flour

--Mix in the flour for about 1 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture forms a sticky dough ball. Allow the dough to proof in a lightly oiled, covered container for four hours. Fold the dough every half hour during the four hours for a total of six folds. It will firm up slightly and be less sticky.

--Once the dough is proofed, divide it into four or five pieces and form dough balls. Mist or brush the dough balls with oil, place them in a covered container, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Before using, allow the dough to warm up, uncovered, but well oiled, at room temperature for at least two hours. One-half-hour before baking, stretch or roll dough out and allow it to set for a while until baking time. (I stretch my dough and place it on parchment paper.)

--Then cover the dough with more oil (preferably olive oil), spread on your sauce and toppings and bake (baking time varies) in your very hottest oven. (Start with your oven rack and stone on the very bottom shelf preheat for at least an hour. Every oven is different so, if the pizzas bake too dark on the underside, move the stone up a shelf or two till you achieve an evenly baked pizza).

Note: The pizzas in the photos were made by Alexandra Jean and Teresa Greenway. For more information on baking with sourdough, my website is: www.northwestsourdough.com

 
Pepperoniplant Pizza
Brad English
This is my first follow up on my broccoli pepperoni experiment.  I think I'm onto something here. Pepperoni is so popular because it is a great topping for pizza.  It offers a spicy kick with concentrated salt accents. It has a deep flavor with spicy and salty exclamations! When I'm making pizzas at home I tend to use a good salami rather than a traditional pepperoni but, every once in a while the kids will order your basic pepperoni pizza and I'll nab a slice and remember why it's so popular.
I was making some pizzas recently and while shopping I saw a pile of little japanese eggplant sitting there.  The spot lights on the ceiling reflected back at me from their shiny purple skin.  I decided to pick one up and try using it as my next platform to play with my pepperoni-ing project.
Let's get right to the pizza since this is a follow up to the previous recipe post.

The Pepperoniplant Pizza

- Dough: I used Peter's Country dough that I made using a Firestone Double Barrel Ale instead of water.
- Peter's herb oil
- Grated Mozz and an English White Cheddar
- Brad's Pepperoniplant
- Sauteed chilis (Fresno and Serranos)
- Salt/Pepper to taste
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Making the Pepperoniplant:
*I know the name is lame. But, I am writing this blog and I get to use it!
- 1 Japanese Eggplant
- Olive Oil
- Soy Sauce
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Paprika
- Garlic Powder
- Ground Fennel Seed
- Ground Red Pepper Flakes
- Ground Mustard Seed
- A little Cayenne Pepper
- Ground Black Pepper
- Salt
*
*
*
*
Simple:
Slice eggplant into 1/8" - 1/4" strips.  Saute in Olive Oil and add the rest of the ingredients to your eye.  Drizzle a little soy for color and a depth of flavor.  I feel like the soy adds a nutty, or meaty quality to the taste. Add a little of the rice wine vinegar for a little tang and brightness.  Sprinkle the moistened eggplant with the dry ingredients until it's the right color and you feel you have the right balance of spices.  I flipped them over back and forth as they sautéed in order to make sure to distribute the spices and liquid evenly on each slice.
Saute until just done.  This could be done ahead of time and saved in the fridge.
*
*
The bake:
Pre-heat your oven to 550 Degrees for an hour.  When ready to bake the pizza switch it to Convection bake.  I find the circulation of the air helps cook the pizza faster.
Spread the dough and build your pizza.  Haven't we gotten this down yet?
Sauce
Cheese
Pepperoniplant and chilis.
Into the oven it goes.
6-10 minutes later it will be bubbling hot and ready to come out.
Welcome to my vegetable pepperoni quest!
*
*
*Note on the asterisk's:  Enjoy them.  Follow them down the page.  They lead you to the next sentence.  Ok, really, the web program just wasn't cooperating today.  I could not space anything out.  So, I "outsmarted" the programming and entered the asterisks.
*
*
Enjoy!
 

StartPrev12345678910NextEnd

 

Login Form

Who's Online

We have 137 guests online

Peter's Books

American Pie Artisan Breads Every Day Bread Baker's Apprentice Brother Juniper's Bread Book Crust and Crumb Whole Grain Breads

… and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on Amazon.com

Home Instructionals Written Recipes