Written Recipes
A Buonchristiani Pizza with Spicy Pork Sausage
Brad English

I was making a bunch of pizzas recently and taking lots of photos, so I went to the meat department where I shop to see if they happened to have any lamb sausage.  Yes, Jay Buonchristiani's Lamb Sausage with Fennel Pizza was that good and I wanted to make it again (see the Instructional Section for the original posting on this).  And, I had another bottle of his Syrah hanging around, so I thought, why not try it again.  But, the butcher didn't have any lamb sausage.  Since I was in a hurry, I thought I'd pick up some spicy pork sausage and give the pizza a try with that.  Jay's recipe calls for any type of lamb sausage - but not spicy because of the wine he was pairing it with.

I was having some friends over and, because of the spices, I decided to open a different wine to use to make this pizza, as well as to drink with them - a 2008 Dover Canyon Barbarian from the Central Coast.  We had recently taken a family trip to Cambria, CA with our friends, the Dunhams, and they were coming over for dinner.  Kevin and Kristin are good friends with the owner of Dover Canyon, Dan Panico.  We were lucky enough to be able to tag along for a barbecue at the winery on one of the nights while we were up there. 

What a great time!  A number of people I know who have houses in Cambria had told me to visit Dover Canyon and were jealous when I told them we were not only going wine tasting, but also going over for a barbecue.  I've had their wines on numerous occasions while sitting by the Dunham's pool snacking on cheeses and salted pork products.  You don't often get go to a private barbecue at a winery, and almost never as a family guest, kids and all.  So, I thought it was a good idea to follow up and make this pizza with one of the delicious wines we bought that weekend. 

Dan and his fiance' Glenda were gracious hosts at the winery.  When we showed up a little late, after getting out of LA traffic that Friday, we were immediately given glasses of wine and began to get acquainted.  The guys moved upstairs, above the tasting room for some pool, while the women did - something else.  Who knows?!  And, at the time, who cares!  They were busy, happy, and the kids were off running around outside, and we were drinking great wine with the winemaker and playing pool.  How do you beat that?

A little while later, we moved over to the house to start grilling.  The dinner consisted of some marinated lamb, mashed potatoes with root vegetables mixed in, grilled avocados stuffed with shrimp and mango salsa, a fresh farmers market salad, some great fresh bread, and lots of delicious wine.  We sat out on the covered back patio with a soft rain coming down and enjoyed a memorable candlelit meal. 

And we even came back the next day to do some "official" wine tasting.  

Dover Canyon is a small winery that sits on top of a beautiful rolling hilltop.  Dan and Glenda live in the older farm style house that overlooks it all.  If you ever visit the tasting room, you will surely be greeted by the big, gigantic, lovable "puppy" Saint Bernard named THUNDER!

 
Sprouted Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Peter Reinhart

I've been asked for this recipe many times even though only a few of you actually have the sprouted wheat flour but, in the hopes that you will soon acquire some, here's what to do with it when you get it: make a killer pizza dough.  As I mentioned in earlier posts, this flour is so remarkable that you don't need a preferment, nor oil, nor sweetener, nada -- just flour, water, salt, and yeast. Furthermore, you don't have to make it the day before, as I advise with regular pizza doughs, because the sprouted wheat has already created its own enzymatic changes before it even gets to the flour stage. However, it is okay to hold the dough in the fridge for up to three days if you prefer. You will get a little more acidity by doing so, which is a good thing. Either way, you will never taste another 100% whole grain dough like it, and if you don't tell folks that it's 100% whole wheat and then ask them what they think, they will probably guess that it has only a small amount of whole wheat in it. Yet you will know that, not only are they getting the benefits of 100% whole grain, but it is even more digestible than regular whole wheat and more of the nutritional benefits of the grain are available to the digestive system (the jury is still out as to how much of those benefits survive the baking process so I won't make any specific claims, but the digestibility factor is immediately apparent).

To get this flour, find the Peter's Blog dated June 7th and

 
The Cass House Mulberry Pizza
Brad English

Pizza Quest is about to take us on a journey up to the Central Coast of California.  We had the good fortune to stumble upon a small coastal town called Cayucos that has some real hidden gems worth the a special trip.  One of the focal points of our visit was to explore what pizza is and could be with the terrific chef and proprietor of The Cass House Inn - Chef Jensen Lorenzen.   We'll let you in on more of the details as we release the coming video segments where we explore Cayucos with Jensen and some of the other local food stars!

I was recently reviewing some of the footage and was compelled to try to make a version of the pizza I watched Jensen and Peter create before our eyes.  Jensen had assembled a host of local ingredients, one of which was fresh local mulberries. 

 
Mother's Day Breakfast Pizzas
Brad English

I have been working up in Vancouver, BC for a number of years.  I've come to love the city as a second home.  The Canadian people are truly amazing to me, and they are as obsessed as I am about good food.  They love to have a good time, they work hard, and, best of all, they have a great sense of humor.  Ask anyone where to get a good bite to eat and you'll be in for a surprising amount of information.  On top of all of that, British Columbia is paradise on earth.  I supposed you have to be okay with rain, but this whole region "The Pacific Northwest," is one of my favorite all time places. 

I have been able to bring my family up to visit with me numerous times while working in Vancouver.  A couple of years ago, when I had a weekend off, we took a trip over to Victoria.  One of my favorite parts of the trip was the ferry ride through the smaller islands as you make your way across the straight.  We were lucky enough to see an Orca Whale along with many other beautiful sights.  If you ever get the chance to visit the area, I highly recommend it.

On our last morning in Victoria, we wandered into a modern little French Creperie.  We sat at the counter and watched the chef make crepes and had some nice conversations.  By the way, if you like coffee, this entire region is the place to go.  You could do a Cappuccino Tour and never run out of places to visit.  Of course, the cup of regular coffee I had here was superb.  Sometimes, the simplest thing just hits the nail on the head and sticks with you. 

I noticed that there was breakfast pizza with eggs and a Tyrolean bacon.  Tyrolean bacon!  What was that?!!

 
Kelly's Fontina Challenge Pizza
Brad English

Fontina, Prosciutto Cotto and Wild Arugula Pizza

While at Pizzeria Basta last fall, Peter challenged Kelly Whitaker to come up with a pizza featuring one of Bel Gioioso's wonderful cheeses.  Peter chose to have Kelly use their Fontina Cheese.  What Kelly came up with was a delicious Fontina with Prosciutto Cotto and Fresh, Wild Arugula Pizza.  As with anything Kelly makes, it turned out amazing.  You can see the video in our Instructional section - called "Fontina, Prosciutto Cotto and Arugula Pizza".

What I am trying to do here in my little part of the Pizza Quest world is to explore the notion in the area of artisanship and home chefsmanship (is that even a word? I like it!) that, "If I can do it, anyone can."  I was talking to Peter recently, and I said that I feel a little ridiculous daring to post my adventures alongside such accomplished people such as Peter, Kelly Whitaker, Nancy Silverton, Tony Geminiani and the many more great chefs and pizzaiolos to come.  But, I guess what I do represent is "the people."  *I can't just say "the people" without thinking of King Louis XVI in "History of the World:  Part I":

Count de Monet: “It is said that the people are revolting.”

King Louis XVI: “You said it. They stink on ice.”

 

I am just someone who enjoys cooking.  I found Peter Reinhart when I reached the point where I wanted to make a better pizza crust.  Now, not long after that, I hope I am sharing the home cook side of this quest, the part that is about bringing a piece of that passion home and sharing it on a smaller scale with friends and family.  What I am doing is not always perfect, but it is about the rewarding process of learning and sharing.  In a way, the journey, the quest, is just as fulfilling as the achievement of so called perfection. 

I may be taking advantage of my slot here on Pizza Quest, telling you all about my great pizzas and sharing a nice photo or two (okay, maybe quite a few more than than 1 or 2 photos).  When in reality these may look better than they taste.  You'll never know!  But, the amazing thing is that every time I try something, I learn something new.  For example, I made a couple of Mother's Day Pizzas this morning for my wife.  We fell in love with breakfast pizza while up in Vancouver, visiting Victoria one weekend, where a French chef made us crepes and an amazing egg-topped breakfast pizza.  This morning I made one with scrambled eggs, and one with a partially pre-fried egg to try to get it to cook enough in my home oven.  In the past, I've put a raw egg on the dough and it didn't quite cook enough.  But, this morning it went a little too far.  So, next time, I'll pre-cook it a little less, or maybe throw it on raw again.  Either way, it is the process of trying to find perfection that I'll most likely remember in the long run. 

Anyway, enough excuses from me and onward to my knock-off of Kelly's Fontina Pizza! 

It came out great!  Just look at my pictures! :)

How can you go wrong with such great ingredients! 

Kelly's Fontina Challenge "Fontina, Prosciutto Cotto and Arugula Pizza"

You saw in my previous post that I had made a fresh bruschetta topping.  Now you know why.  Kelly used the juice from the bruschetta as the sauce for the pizza.  I made this early so that it had time to blend together.  I'll repeat that recipe and follow with the rest of this pizza.

Bruschetta topping:
Chopped Tomatoes
Chopped Fresh Basil
A little Chopped fresh Garlic (*I slipped that in this one.)
Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper to taste

The Pizza:
I used Peter's Neo-Neopolitan dough for this one (see the Instructional section). 
Fresh Bruschetta topping (the juice, mainly)
Bel Gioioso Fontina Cheese
Bel Gioioso Fresh Mozzarella
Sauteed Mushrooms
Prosciutto
The Oven
Olive Oil for drizzling when it's done
Fresh Wild Arugula


Spread your dough out on your peel, or work surface. 
*Try not to take pictures and have the dough stick to the surface and then have to spend all kinds of time scraping under it to get some dry flour underneath.  Just a little "insiders tip!"  I'm a one man show here - running back and forth.  By the end of my making a pizza and taking my photos, my camera is covered in flour, sauce and olive oil.

Pour some of the bruschetta juice off onto the dough and spread around as a sauce.  That just looks good by itself. 

Add chunks of the Fontina and Mozzarella
Add a few sauteed mushrooms
Add the prociutto cut up, or torn into bite size pieces. 
*You could cut up the prosciutto, but I chose to tear it up, which
just felt right.  It depends on the final look/feel you are going
for.

Into the preheated oven with my Pizza Stones (crank your oven up as high as it will go).  Always preheat the oven for about an hour to get your stone to temperature.

Once done, drizzle a little olive oil over the pizza and top with the fresh wild arugula.

Cut.  Serve.  Enjoy!

This really was delicious....  I swear!  (My pictures don't lie!)

 

Enjoy the "little" Gallery below...

 

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Peter's Books

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

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