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Artisan Truffle Pizza

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The show stealer at our gourmet Superbowl party yesterday was this truffled pizza.  Chef Zach used Bobby Flay’s pizza dough recipe, which we’ve reproduced for you below.

Makes 2 medium pizzas

• For the dough:

3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (Chef’s Note: Using bread flour will give you a much crisper crust.  If you can’t find bread flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour which will give you a chewier crust.) Chef Zach used bread flour.

1 tsp. sugar

1 envelope instant dry yeast

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F

2 tbs. olive oil, plus 2 tsp.

Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

(end of Bobby Flay’s recipe; below are Chef Zach’s ideas for toppings)

• For the toppings:

16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup of diced pancetta

1/4 cup of olive oil

10 roasted garlic cloves

Shredded BelGioioso Parmesan cheese to sprinkle as garnish

Chopped fresh parsley as garnish

Black Perigord truffle slices as garnish

50 year old Fattoria Estense balsamic vinegar as a finisher

 

Heat a pizza stone in the oven as you preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Cook the diced pancetta for about 5 minutes in a saute pan over medium heat, until lightly browned; this is to render some of the excess fat so that you don’t consume so much in your pizza.  On a floured surface, press or roll out one of the dough balls to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness (although it’s best to work the dough on a cutting board with a handle).  Brush half of the olive oil onto the flattened dough surface, evenly smear 5 of the roasted garlic cloves over the olive oil, and then sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese and pancetta.  You can add the truffles now or after baking, depending on if you want them cooked or fresh; Chef Zach chose to add them after.  Transfer to the preheated pizza stone, and bake for 10-15 minutes depending on your desired crispiness.  Once removed from the oven, cut the pizza before adding truffles (if you haven’t already), Parmesan cheese, parsley, and balsamic vinegar.

Repeat the steps for topping and baking the second pizza.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Comparison: Dryer’s vs. Safeway

Cookie dough ice cream is one of August’s favorite flavors.  She loves cookie dough raw, so in an ice cream she wants an abundance of dough.  We went to our local Safeway planning on comparing the amount of dough in Ben & Jerry’s vs. Häagen-Dazs, but there was a 2 oz. difference so it wouldn’t have been a fair comparison.  We looked up and down the ice cream aisle to find the same flavor, same quantity, and two brands – Dryer’s and Safeway – both make “slow-churned, half the fat” chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in 1.5 quart containers.

Taste/Texture Test

Dryer’s vanilla ice cream base had a stronger vanilla flavor compared to Safeway, and the Dryer’s was more natural while Safeway tasted like artificial vanilla.  The Safeway ice cream was lighter and fluffier in texture, but not as creamy and dense as the Dryer’s.  Final verdict on taste/texture: the balance of Dryer’s was good between the vanilla and sweet cream flavors, and the creaminess resembles a gelato consistency.

Cookie Dough and Chocolate Test

To see how much actual cookie dough was in each ice cream, Zach used a strainer and a sifter to drain the ice cream and reveal the chunks.  The picture demonstrates not only the difference in quantity, but also the ratio of dough to chocolate.

chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, dough and chocolate quantity results

chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, dough and chocolate quantity results

We were surprised to find out that no chocolate is actually in the dough; rather, there are chunks of dough and chunks of chocolate.  Safeway had a lot more chocolate in their mix, but the chocolate was bloomed.  The total amount of dough and chocolate in 1.5 quarts of Safeway’s version was 78.4 grams, but Dryer’s had 34.9 grams more of dough and chocolate, coming in at 113.3 grams.  Final verdict on dough and chocolate: If you like lots of cookie dough, definitely go for Dryer’s, but if you like more chocolate, pick Safeway.