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Pizza Two Ways

I make a lot of pizza. In an attempt to keep things interesting, I do a fair bit of experimenting. I’m often inspired by an ingredient I got my hands on at Whole Foods, or another local market.

I'm pretty excited about these pizza peels - two ways! We're hoping to start offering these soon in the Forno Bravo store. Made for us by TheBakersBoard.com.

I’m pretty excited about these pizza peels – two ways! We’re hoping to start offering these soon in the Forno Bravo store. Made for us by TheBakersBoard.com.

I was lucky enough to bring home some beautiful Prosciutto and Nduja provided by La Quercia for the Forno Bravo Wood Fired Expo back in September. With a product like this in my hot little hands, I’m not going to sit around doing nothing! It was pizza time. As I was thinking about possible pizzas I could make using my prosciutto, I decided to keep it simple to feature my prize. You know how I love salted pork and this is some of the best!

 

I made Peter’s hand crushed tomato sauce and made my first pizza. The pizza had sauce, fresh mozzarella and prosciutto. You can handle the prosciutto two ways. The first is to put it on the pizza and bake it. The second is to add it after. Cooking it can make it more salty and intense. The longer it’s cooked it dries out and gets crispy. In the right balance, this can be used to season your pizza rather than adding actual salt.

Just add fire!

Just add fire!

You can add the uncooked prosciutto onto the pizza after the bake. This is nice also because it’s cool, but then it starts to warm up as the heat of the pizza transfers into it. The flavor is less intensely salty, but the balance within the prosciutto flavor is what shines. One of my favorite pizzas is a prosciutto with arugula, with both the prosciutto and arugula being added after the bake. The salt of the prosciutto and peppery flavor of arugula go so well together.

My first pizza came out of the oven looking beautiful! The prosciutto was just a little crispy and therefore balanced. There was a nice bit of char on the pizza. I drizzled it with olive oil and shredded a little Parmigiano-Reggiano on it. Looking back, a little chili oil would have been a nice finish as well.

Nicely charred with some crispy prosciutto. Looks pretty good!

Nicely charred with some crispy prosciutto. Looks pretty good!

A great pizza, if I may say so myself!

I was thinking about the next pizza while I was eating my first slice of this one. I often will put some cool,fresh mozzarella on a finished pizza, which gives a interesting temperature and texture feeling as you bite into a warm/hot pizza with a cool topping. The melted mozzarella and the cool mozzarella actually taste a bit different — like the baked prosciutto versus the fresh prosciutto. The temperature brings forward different aspects of each.

 

 

The next baby went in with sauce only. Looks good enough to eat as is.

The next baby went in with sauce only. Looks good enough to eat as is.

For this second pizza, I thought I would play with that. I spread the dough and covered it with some of the tomato sauce and put it into the oven. This is a delicious pizza in and of itself. Add a little oregano and some garlic for a true Marinara Pizza. My plan was to cover the pizza with some fresh mozzarella and prosciutto after it came out of the oven. The same pizza — two ways! I thought it would be interesting to see how the ingredients changed by how they were prepared and served. How did the flavor differ between the two?

 

As the warmth from the pizza comes up it slowly melts the bottom of the mozzarella, but the top remains cool.

As the warmth from the pizza comes up it slowly melts the bottom of the mozzarella, but the top remains cool.

What stands out? What I find interesting about this is how the cool, fresh mozzarella tastes more creamy, or really more milky. The baked prosciutto is a little more concentrated and salty. The cool prosciutto more balanced. They are both balanced pizzas with a nice flavor profile. This combination allows the crust, the sauce, the mozzarella and the prosciutto to each participate and contribute to the overall experience. Is one better than the other? I can’t say and think that if one is better one day, the other would be better on another day.

 

 

Simple Recipe:

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Two halves together – same pizza – two ways. Cooking is fun. Play around!

– Pizza Dough
– Peter’s Crushed Tomato Sauce
– Fresh Mozzarella
– Prosciutto
– Parmigiano-Reggiano
*Maybe a little chili oil, or crushed chilis or Brad’s Fire Roasted Chilis.

Option #1: Dough, sauce, mozzarella and prosciutto – FIRE – Serve

Option #2: Dough, sauce – FIRE – mozzarella and prosciutto – Serve
Enjoy! Dough is cheap – though a good dough is darn valuable in my house!

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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
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

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