The Great Plotnik

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Iguodala and Lorenzo

Warriors Win!! And one homemade pizza per quarter!! This is how we do it out here, when Lorenzo and Lisa come to town, and we can eat while we watch Steph, Iggy and Klay bring home the championship.

Lorenzo is a trained pizzaiolo from Rome. We met him and his wife Lisa and little boy Gabrielle in Taormina, Sicily a year and a half ago. They are both violinists and live in Santa Fe during the Opera season there, so they decided to take a trip to the Bay.

The above pizza was the butternut squash, bacon and parsley, with smoked mozzarella cheese. When I tell you it's the best pizza I've ever eaten, even without tomato sauce or pepperoni, you can believe me, even though it was baked at home on my Lodge Pizza Pan. Below is the next best: caramelized onions, cooked with balsamic vinegar, then hunks of goat cheese, pieces of fresh rosemary and a few shakes of hot red pepper flakes.

By the time the last one was ready we could barely eat another bite -- mozzarella, arugula and sausage. Still, no tomato sauce on any of Lorenzo's pizzas.

Best of all, I now know how to do it. It takes several days but the difference in crust is night-and-day. Everything I was doing was wrong. Now the maestro has put me right.

I should have known better, but I was following directions from American and Italian cookbooks, written by chefs, not by pizza makers. You can't over-handle pizza dough, any more than you can when you're making biscuits or pie crust. Lorenzo uses EXTRA gluten, that's right, my dears, and never uses a rolling pin to flatten the dough -- he stretches it gently by hand, basically the same thing the Neapolitans do when they toss the dough in the air. My old pizza dough (never doing it that way again) came out flat and crunchy, my new pizza dough will be light and filled with texture, the way pizza ought to be. But you do need to prepare the dough a minimum of 48 hours in advance.

Too bad basketball season is over. What a joy it was to watch the Warriors this year.


At 8:37 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

Extra gluten??? Is that even allowed in California? Do others in your neighborhood know about this? (Wow those look great though. 48 hours is a rough wait, but great dough might be worth it.)

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Brother Two Names said...

And you're going to share the recipe/secrets with the rest of us?

At 6:37 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Oh, yum! These sound like the BEST house guests ever, and you do get an assortment of fine ones...

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Cousin Seattle said...

I can't wait to try your new pizza method! Care to share the recipe? :)

At 11:35 AM, Blogger DAK said...

Brother Two and Cousin Seattle, of course I'll share the pizza dough recipe, but ... I may have to show you in person. It's simple but kind of complicated at the same time. Also, I haven't done it by myself yet to prove it works when Lorenzo isn't here.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Cousin Seattle said...

You've got yourself a deal!


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