Sabtu, 29 November 2008

Pizza Making Tips and Tricks


A lot of factors influence will influence the results of your pizza making efforts. Primary among these factors are the pizza ingredients and pizza equipment used. The following are some pizza making tips and tricks that you can apply for the best homemade pizza.

Pizza Ingredients

The pizza ingredients that you use depend on the type of pizza that you wish to make. Moreover, you usually have to prepare three sets of ingredients: one for your pizza crust, another for your pizza toppings and another set for your pizza sauce,

" Pizza crust recipes: usual ingredients and tips

Flour is a definite necessity when making pizza crust. The usual ingredient in making the basic pizza dough is wheat flour, although whole wheat flour is also used by some. For a firm, elastic pizza dough, you'll want to use flour with moderately high gluten content (this is also known as hard flour).

The gluten is formed when water is added to the flour and it is a crucial part of the pizza's structure. Thus, when you make pizza crust, it is best to use bread flour or flour with especially high gluten content (check the label) which has enough gluten content for pizza making purposes. However, people who have celiac disease or those who prefer a low carb pizza crust usually opt for flour with low gluten content. Some even make gluten-free pizza in the belief that it is healthier. In any case, it is advisable to use premium-grade flour milled from first-grade wheat; the flour, moreover, should have quality protein (the flour and water mixture should be very easy to handle) and should be able to absorb a lot of water without becoming soggy and limp.

Yeast is another requirement in making the pizza base. The yeast is the leavening agent and it helps the pizza dough rise as well as helps the dough achieve elasticity (so you can stretch it into pizza rounds without breaking). Yeast and its fermentation, furthermore, give the pizza crust its distinct flavor. Unless you are using the instant dry yeast variety, you should mix yeast with warm water then let the mixture stand for around ten minutes before you use it in your pizza dough mixture. Furthermore, the best, yeasty flavor is achieved by leaving the pizza dough to rise for several hours after kneading.

The other dry ingredients that basic pizza dough has are salt, sugar, baking powder (if you need more leavening than what the yeast can provide), and dry milk. The salt is necessary to create the slightly salty taste of pizza crust which provides a great contrast to the pizza sauce flavor. Sugar, on the other hand, is added to add a slightly sweet taste to the crust as well as to facilitate yeast activity and to yield a browner pizza crust. Do not add a lot of sugar. Powdered milk or milk solids, on the other hand, adds to the dough's bulk, adds flavor and nutrients to the pizza dough as well as gives strength to the pizza dough's structure even if such is over-fermented. Use the non-fat variety especially if you are making low fat pizza.

The liquid ingredients include water and oil. Water is necessary for gluten generation and for activating yeast. Use slightly acidic as well as slightly hard water for best results. To ensure standard water pH, you can use distilled water (which has neutral pH) or tap water (which is usually slightly acidic, especially in cities). Oil, on the other hand, serves well to lubricate the dough for easier handling. Use extra virgin olive oil if you want it to serve more than just lubricating purposes; extra virgin olive oil also has a distinctive flavor. Olive oil, moreover, is healthy for it has lower saturation than other types of oil.

If you prefer, you can use egg white or egg yolk in your pizza dough. The egg white helps strengthen pizza dough whereas egg yolk helps soften dough. As such, you can use either depending on the type of crust you want to make. Add egg yolk, for instance, if you need to make your pizza dough softer. If you will use eggs, don't forget to reduce the amount of water in your pizza crust recipe.

You can also add flavorings like garlic powder to your pizza dough. You can even use herbs on your dough to give it a distinct flavor. Use sourdough starter, on the other hand, if you want to make sourdough pizza.

" Pizza toppings: usual ingredients and tips

There's not much you should know about pizza toppings. The ingredients are pretty much up to you and should depend on the type of pizza you are making. However, there are certain techniques to preparing your pizza toppings. For one, you should use fresh Mozzarella cheese when making your pizza. Moreover, you should not put the cheese on top if you need to bake the pizza for a long time; you'll end up with burnt cheese this way.

The usual pizza toppings include pepperoni, sausages, ground beef, ham, canned tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, bacon, ham, various types of cheese, and olive oil. Other toppings include shrimp, salmon, chicken meat, anchovies, fruits, artichokes, etc.

" Pizza sauce: usual ingredients and tips

The usual pizza sauce recipes have tomato sauce. Flavor is enhanced by adding garlic and onions (whether powder or sautéed) then ground meat, salt, pepper and other usual pizza spices such as basil and oregano. Typically, tomato-based sauces are thick. On the other hand, you can make a thin pizza sauce by mixing oregano and basil with olive oil. The fastest way of making pizza sauce is by using canned pizza sauce.

You must remember to apply pizza sauce with a light hand. Thick sauce must be carefully added on top of the pizza toppings. Thin sauce must be gently rubbed over the pizza. Excessive use of pizza sauce can lead to excess moisture and thus a limp pizza.

Pizza Equipment

You can cook your pizza using a pizza pan or bake it directly on a pizza stone. If you are going to use a standard oven without a pizza stone, then stretch your pizza dough into the desired thickness on your pan, add your toppings and pizza sauce, preheat your oven and bake according to your pizza recipe. If you are using a pizza stone, cut your pizza dough, use one of the portions and stretch it into a pizza round of your desired thickness. Add your desired toppings and your homemade pizza sauce, load the pizza on your wooden peel (pizza paddle) then place said pizza round on top of the pizza stone. The pizza stone, at this point, should have been kept hot in the oven for at least an hour.

It is best to use a pizza stone for baking pizza. This leads to a crispier pizza crust for two reasons. First, it absorbs run-off and excess moisture. Second, it distributes heat from the oven evenly; thus, the pizza crust is uniformly cooked all over.

Naturally, if you want to make deep dish pizza, you have to use a pizza pan. On the other hand, you can pre-bake your deep dish pizza crust, add toppings and sauce then finish baking your pizza on a pizza stone.

A good oven with a timing device and a temperature monitor is also necessary for precise pizza baking. A wooden spoon, on the other hand, should be used for mixing the pizza dough to prevent sticking. Use a marble countertop when kneading dough for the same purpose.

After using your pizza equipment, clean each piece carefully according to the manufacturer's instructions.
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4 Easy Steps to Wine Tasting
by: Jennifer de Jong

Legend has it that Cleopatra once promised Marc Anthony she would "drink the value of a province" in one cup of wine, after which she drank an expensive pearl with a cup of wine. Marilyn Monroe is rumored to have bathed in a bathtub of champagne. The lure of wine is cross-cultural and going strong. Enjoying wine, once surrounded by pomp and circumstance, is now something that many of us do on a daily basis to enjoy food, friends, and family. There is no reason each experience shouldn't be as exceptional as taking a bath in Champagne. Knowing a few simple tips about tasting wine can enhance your wine experience by leaps and bounds and easily transition you from a wine lover to a wine expert.

STEP 1 - LOOKING

Fill the glass about one-third full, never more than half-full. Pick it up by the stem. This may feel awkward at first, but there are good reasons: Holding the glass by its bowl hides the liquid from view; fingerprints blur its color; the heat of your hand alters the wine's temperature. Wine experts can usually tell right away how much a person knows about wine by looking at the way they hold their glass.

Focus on the hue, intensity and clarity of the wine color. The true color, or hue, of the wine is best judged by tilting the glass and looking at the wine through the rim, to see the variation from the deepest part of the liquid to its edges. Intensity can best be gauged looking straight down through the wine from above. Clarity-whether the wine is brilliant, or cloudy with particles-is most evident when light is shining sideways through the glass.

STEP 2 - SWIRLING

Next comes the swirling. This too can feel unnatural, even dangerous if your glass it too full and your carpet or clothing is new. But besides stirring up the full range of colors, it lets the wine breathe a little and releases some of the aroma for examination. The easiest way to swirl is to rest the base of the glass on a table, hold the stem between thumb and forefinger, and gently rotate the wrist. Right-handers will find a counter-clockwise motion easiest, left-handers the reverse.

Move the glass until the wine is dancing, climbing nearly to the rim. Then stop. As the liquid settles back into the bottom of the glass, a transparent film will appear on the inside of the bowl, known as the wine's "tears" or "legs." You will often hear people pondering about the legs or showing them off, "Hey look at the legs on this wine!", but in truth they're simply an indication of the amount of alcohol in the wine: the more alcohol, the more tears or legs.

STEP 3 - SMELLING

When you stop swirling, and the legs are falling, it's time to take the next step: smelling. Swirling the wine vaporizes it, and the thin sheet of liquid on the sides of the glass evaporates rapidly; the result is an intensification of the aromas. I'm sure you've seen wine snobs do this and you have laughed at them, but stick your nose right into the bowl and inhale.

There's no consensus about the proper sniffing technique. Some advocate two or three quick inhalations; others prefer one deep, sharp sniff. I've seen tasters close one nostril, sniff, then close the other and sniff again. It really doesn't matter how you do it as long as you get a good sniff in. With practice, and keen attention, you'll learn how to maximize your perception of aromas, and then how to decipher them.

The world of smell is vast and bewildering. First of all, our olfactory equipment is incredibly sensitive; we can distinguish aromas in quantities so small that laboratory equipment can scarcely measure them. Second, our analytic capacity is extraordinary; estimates of the number of different smells humans can identify range up to 10,000!

As with color, wine's aromas offer insights into character, origin and history. Because our actual sense of taste is limited to four simple categories (the well-known sweet, sour, bitter and salt), aroma is the most revealing aspect of our examination. But don't simply sniff for clues. Revel in the sensation. Scientists say smells have direct access to the brain, connecting immediately to memory and emotion. Like a lover's perfume, or the scent of cookies from childhood, wine's aromas can evoke a specific place and time with uncanny power.

STEP 4 - TASTING

With the aromas still reverberating through your senses, put the glass to your lips and take some liquid in. How much? You need to have enough volume to work it all around your tasting apparatus, but not so much that you're forced to swallow right away.

Because you don't want to swallow, not just yet. It takes time and effort to force the wine to divulge its secrets. I keep a pleasant wine in my mouth for 10 to 15 seconds, sometimes more.

Roll the wine all around your mouth, bringing it into contact with every part, because each decodes a different aspect of the liquid. Wine provokes sensations, too: The astringency of tannins is most perceptible on the inner cheeks; the heat of the alcohol burns in the back of the throat.

First, as you hold the wine in your mouth, purse your lips and inhale gently through them. This creates a bubbling noise children find immensely amusing. It also accelerates vaporization, intensifying the aromas. Second, chew the wine vigorously, sloshing it around in your mouth, to draw every last nuance of flavor from the wine.

Don't forget the finish. After you swallow, exhale gently and slowly through both your nose and mouth. The retro-nasal passage, which connects the throat and the nose, is another avenue for aromas, which can linger long after the wine is finally swallowed. You'll find that the better the wine, the more complex, profound and long-lasting these residual aromas can be. With great wines, sensitive tasters and minimal distractions, the finish can last a minute or more. It's a moment of meditation and communion that no other beverage can create.
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3 komentar:

Indra Pandes 1 mengatakan...

Oke oke aku wes komentar dadine aq ora stress too ?? add aku Mblasok in www.caraindra.blogspot.com n www.indrapandes1.blogspot.com kapan 2 mlebu nggon blog ku yoo reti boso ku ra koe soale aku wong jowo gitu looh kalau gak tau add gue di As_Bertrayer@rocketmail.com (e-mail

M.Sasuke_uchiha@yahoo.co.id (FS)

Tommy.genhead@gmail.com (g-mail)

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raja mengatakan...

This is a great tutorial …one of the best I’ve seen from you yet. I really appreciate you sharing your inside tips and tricks…

Pizza Equipment

prolix mengatakan...

This is a great tutorial …one of the best I’ve seen from you yet. I really appreciate you sharing your inside tips and tricks…

Pizza Equipment