The Signature Challenge Pizza
Peter Reinhart

When Kelly Whitaker and Al Henkin, of Boulder's wonderful brick oven restaurant, Basta, collaborated with me and our Pizza Quest team to create two pizzas, one red and one white, to challenge Patrick Rue and his Bruery team, we came up with a couple of very strong contenders. You can hear, as they explain the rationale and sourcing they put into each of their ingredients, how much thought went into these pizzas.  You'll see guanciale (specially cured but not smoked bacon), squash blossoms, local pistachios, white anchovies, lemon preserve, fresh pollen dust, great cheeses, Bianco-DiNaoli tomato sauce (and notice how bright that sauce is -- awesome stuff!), and our special, signature dough made with Central Milling -00- flour, bumped up a notch with a nice shot of crystal malt. (Note, we are currently in discussions with the folks at Central Milling to package up a blended dry mix for this dough that you can buy -- stay tuned, we'll announce it here when it's ready to ship).

More importantly, as we've tried to do in many of our webisodes, our goal is to bring you with us into the creative process and, hopefully, stimulate your own creative juices. This segment takes us up to the moment when we let Patrick and his brewers taste the pizzas and choose which one they will use as the inspiration for a totally new and original beer, to be paired with the pizza at the Great American Beer Festival a few months later. In other words, things are heating up as we get closer to the moment of truth. Stay tuned....




The Bruery Tour
Peter Reinhart

The story unfolds (and if you are just joining us, you can see all the segments leading up to this one by going to the Webisodes section -- see the button above -- and catch up):

So, here we are, the Basta team, our Pizza Quest team, and Patrick Rue, the owner and beermeister visionary of The Bruery, in Placentia, CA (Orange County). We threw down the gauntlet in our previous webisode and are leading up to Kelly, Al, and I making some pizzas for the Bruery team -- but that's coming up in a later segment. Before we get to that, though, we asked Patrick to take us through the brewing process, those transformational steps that draw out flavor from various grains, malts, hops, spices, and even fruits and vegetables to make a wort (like making tea or soup) that eventually ferments and carbonates. Many of you may already be home brewers or have seen the inside of a micro-brewery, but for the sake of those who haven't this should be a treat.  As noted in the discussion you are about to see, beer making is very similar to bread baking (scholars have argued that beer existed before leavened bread, back in the days of the Pharaohs, and I tend to agree) and, because of all the exciting breweries popping up everywhere, it's probably safe to say that we are now living in the golden age of beer. This site could easily morph into Beer Quest instead of Pizza Quest (hmmnnn, Brad, is it too late to change the logo?).

Oh well, we're going to bring these two worlds together as we journey on, ultimately headed to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver where all this pizza and beer talk manifests into some amazing brewski and 'za. Onward....



Bruery-Basta Dinner Pairing and Pizza Throw-Down
Peter Reinhart

After all the prelude webisodes you've been watching, things are starting to heat up as we now head into the main story. This segment contains the moment when we threw down the gauntlet and asked Patrick Rue, world famous brewmeister and owner of The Bruery, not knowing if he'd go for it, if he would be willing to create a beer inspired by a pizza that we would make.  But there's a terrific discussion that happened first, as you will see, in which Kelly Whitaker and Al Henkin, of Basta, share their thoughts on pairings for the big Beer Dinner they were hosting, featuring six different Bruery beers. You'll hear terms like "unfiltered bottle conditioned beer," "Orchard White with Lavender," and such. I have to say, it was exciting just being in the middle of it all.

We'll have more webisodes to follow that continue the unfolding story, and you'll see little teases in this one of our subsequent trip to the Bruery in Southern California, so sit back and enjoy the throw-down!





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Vision Statement

Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

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

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