Written Recipes
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
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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
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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.
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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!
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*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.
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Enjoy!
 
Broccoli Pepperoni
Brad English

Broccoli Pepperoni?  Broccoli and pepperoni don't go together in a sentence very often. The pepperoni pizza is, by all accounts, the most popular pizza here in the USA. Picture your average 10 year old boy walking into his local pizza shop.  "Can I have a medium pepperoni pizza, uhmm…also with roasted broccoli?!!"  That just isn't going to happen.  Maybe I'm wrong though.

 

 

I love broccoli.  Even my daughter loves broccoli and that kid is like a cat - she's finicky!  If you've read my recipe musings you'll already know that Owen (my son) likes broccoli.  He's like Mikey; "He eats everything!"  I was making some broccoli a while back and, after cutting the branches off the stocks, I noticed the cross section of the stalk and it looked moist and interesting for some reason. So, I sliced a piece off and ate it.  It was good.  I thought, why do we cut off the top of the broccoli, the florets, and just throw all of this away?  Maybe the collective "we" doesn't, but I had never really been served broccoli trunk before.

So, I started chopping more of the stalk and using it in salads, or even thicker chunks when steaming broccoli for dinner, and life was good.  One day when I was slicing some stalk I noticed the shape of the little discs.  For some reason I thought of pizza topping and then, aha, broccoli pepperoni!  I know this may not be something I should be sharing in public, it could get me locked up.  But, I trust you all to keep this part of the story to yourselves.

I am still working on the recipe, but thought I would share it now, even while still in development, because I think it's an interesting concept.  A big part of what we are searching for here on Pizza Quest is not just that perfect pizza, or perfect final product, but what is interesting; what is the process; who are the driven people and what drives them to create amazing food -- how did they get here?  I know this aha moment is just a small example of that quest, but it is a part of the process, at least for me, of making our lives interesting, enriched, and fun. In other words, broccoli pepperoni is me, in my driven state.

I was also thinking that I'd like to extend this concept into zucchini, or maybe even try a breaded eggplant "pepperoni."  The real quest here, as it often is, is my search for flavor.

By the way, my daughter gave this pizza two thumbs up!

 

Broccoli Pepperoni

- 3-4 Large Broccoli Stalks

- Olive Oil *Approx. 1 - 2 Tablespoons

- Soy Sauce *Approx. 1/2 - 1 Tablespoon

- Rice Wine Vinegar  *Approx. 1/2 Tablespoon

- Paprika *Approx. 1 1/2 tablespoons

- Garlic Powder *Approx 1/2 Tablespoon

- Ground Fennel Seed *Approx 1/2 Tablespoon

- Ground Red Pepper Flakes *Approx 1/2 Tablespoon

- Ground Mustard Seed *Approx 1/2 Tablespoon

- A little Cayenne Pepper

- Ground Black Pepper

- Salt

 

*Note:  I have been making this by "eye" and "feel."   These amounts are approximate.  Start with less and add more of each as needed, per your taste.  Mix it all together and taste one piece.  Adjust and taste again until you have it where you like it.  You can find all sorts of homemade pepperoni recipes online that can guide you if you want/need exact spice measurements.  As I play with this, I'll updated the recipe here. Please do the same if you have any suggested tweaks.

 

To do:

Cut the broccoli heads off the stalks.  Trim the stalks as needed.  Cut off the bottom edge.

Slice broccoli into 1/8" slices.

*You don't have to be precise because varying the slices gives a variety of textures after they are cooked.  The slightly thicker slices are more moist, while the thinner ones get a little crispier and curl up more.

Place slices in a bowl and add the ingredients.  I did so to taste.  I've added approximate amounts above, but think this can be done by adding what you think feels right and then tasting and adjusting.

I used the olive oil, soy and rice wine vinegar to form the spices into a marinade and add flavor.  In a previous version I used a brewed my own fish sauce, which is basically equal parts commercial fish sauce, vinegar, water and sugar, boiled.  I loved the flavor that brought, but my wife thought it was a little fishy.  Try that if you like the fish sauce flavor instead of the soy/vinegar combo which turned out quite nice as well.

 

Pre-Bake:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 Degrees.

Lay your marinaded broccoli "pepperoni" slices out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. This is a little work because they will all be stuck together in the bowl!

Place into the oven for about 8-10 minutes.  Check, and when they are softening and starting to curl, or some of the thinner slices are starting to brown on the edges, pull it out and turn the slices over with a  pair of tongs.  Place the pan back into the oven and check the pieces in about 5 minutes.  You don't need to cook them all the way.  If using on pizza they will cook another 6-10 minutes.  The pre-baking is just to get them started.

You can cook these ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator for later use.  They can even be thrown on a sandwich as a topping to add a little spice and flavor.

Check back here, as I'll update this post with more details on my vegetables pepperoni quest!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 
DiNapoli Fire Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce
Brad English

The hardest part of making a great pizza at home is making and baking a great pizza dough.  I found Peter Reinhart because this otherwise simple task eluded me in my home pizza making endeavors for so long.  I now make what I consider to be a decent dough, or doughs as I keep trying to chase that perfect pizza experience here at home with my family.

The next thing you have to master after you have a good dough is your tomato sauce.  Once again, I credit Peter with my favorite sauce.  His Crushed Tomato Sauce recipe is simple and delicious.  It's perfectly balanced.  You make it cold and let it cook up right on the pizza.   Check out the recipe *HERE if you haven't tried it.  I make it so often, I don't look at the recipe anymore.  I simply add the ingredients by feel - a pinch of this and a couple pinches of that.

 

I met Rob Dinapoli for the first time at the Pizza Expo last year before he became one of our sponsors. I was talking to a friend of his and noticed a can of their Fire-Roasted Tomatoes.  The artwork on the can caught my eye.  I said to him that those would make an interesting pizza sauce.  His friend went on about how he uses it all the time for pastas and I wish I had taken some notes.  When the show was over, Rob gave me his last #10 can to take home and try.

 

I finally got around to trying these out and my hunch was right!  Here's what I came up with for my version of a Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce.  I give credit to Peter's original Crushed Tomato Sauce that inspired where I wanted to go with this.  I think you will love the results.

 

 

DiNapoli Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce:

 

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