Our friends over at my favorite pizza blog, SliceNY.com have raised a challenge to all pizza aficionados to test your knowledge of our favorite food. The Pizza Quiz is full of tough and tasty questions like “What year did the world’s first pizzeria opens its doors?” and “The Margherita Pizza was first created in what Italian city?”. If you consider yourself to be a pizzamaniac, it’s time to put your number 2 pencil where your mouth is…
This summer some friends and I have been enjoying a pizza tour of Carlisle, PA. With over 20 different pizza establishments (including chains) it’s been pretty interesting. We visit one restaurant each week. Here’s a map in case you would like to take your own pizza tour of the area. If I find any interesting pizza, I’ll be sure to report back.
Well, after spending more on mail order flour than I have on pizzeria pizza this year, I finally had three wonderful dough balls ready to be stretched, topped and baked after a 24 hour rise in the refrigerator. It was time to bake pizzas using the dough made from King Aurthur Sir Lancelot flour rather than the hi-gluten Pillsbury flour that I have been using for almost three years.
The dough blanks looked great out of the containers and still felt like they had a very high water content. In fact, when I began stretching them, it was apparent that they were quite soft. I carefully avoided the crust ring and stretched by hand from the center. When they had reached 16 inches, I placed them on pizza screens.
The oven was pre-heated to 485 degrees. I had placed two pizza stones on the bottom two racks, forming a heat chamber between them. I topped the first pie with sauce and cheese only. The bake took around 10 minutes, which I think was longer than normal because of the two stones. It baked quite well and looked great when it came out. The tiny crust blisters that I love were present and the aroma was wonderful.
The second pizza was topped with extra pepperoni and allowed to bake for the same amount of time.
Both pizzas were cut and served to my hungry family. I have to say that I could tell the flavor difference with the first bite. The crust had a wonderfully soft texture with a crisp outer edge and slightly charred bottom. A friend who was visiting said that it tasted more authentic than other pizzas I’d made for him. I have to agree – the flour brings it’s own unique flavor which adds a great deal to the overall experience.
Now that I know that King Aurthur Sir Lancelot flour has lived up to the hype, it’s time to find a cheaper way to get it. I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve for that, so stay tuned and enjoy the pics…
After much hype from my friends at PizzaMaking.com, I’d decided to bite the bullet and order King Aurthur Sir Lancelot flour directly from their web site and pay what amounts to $5 per bag in order to do a test. Among other home pizza bakers, this is by far one of the most popular flour brands being used. Despite King Aurthur flour being common in my local supermarkets, I had never seen this particular high gluten mix on the shelves. My only choice was to order from the King Aurthur online store.
The flour arrived today with plenty of fanfare. I unpacked the box and noticed all of the auxillary junk mail that they send along (it appears from the marketing that they think I am a retiring woman who bakes constantly when not buying country furniture). The flour bags are small, containing about 7 cups of flour per bag and costing $3.50 each (plus lots of shipping) online.
I couldn’t wait to give this flour a try, so I tore open a bag and got to making a double batch of Bill’s Traditional dough. The aroma of the flour was immediately apparent. It has a very rich smell which made me quite hungry. The mixing process went well. The mix seemed overly wet which I blamed on my use of measuring cups rather than weight measuring the flour. Once it had mixed for 4 minutes I removed the dough and made two 20 and one 13 ounce ball. I placed the balls into the refrigerator for the 24 hour rise. The dough had a great smell while working with it as well.
I have high hopes for this flour based on the opinions of so many of my friends. It will be hard to justify the cost of this flour if we like it though. I am used to getting 50 pounds of the Pillsbury flour for $14 at the local bakery supply store. Stay tuned for the resulting taste test!
UPDATE: Results can be found here
Imagine this… you come to work at the pizza shop you deliver pizza for, only to find a note asking you to run the shop for a day! Can you handle it? Ok, so I’m not talking about real life, but rather a great new online flash game called Papa’s Pizzeria. The goal is to see how well you can take orders, make pizzas to spec, bake them just right and serve them to your customers. Multitasking quickly becomes the name of the game as you are required to flip between the various stations to get your orders completed.
It’s great fun and has the potential to waste lots of productive time, so be careful! Check out the game here: Papa’s Pizzeria Game
Here’s a tip – pay attention to where the customer wants the toppings on the pie! It’s not just half and half, they actually tell you top, bottom, left or right. Keep you eyes on your oder slip! Enjoy…