Food & Ingredients

Extending Mozzarella's Shelf Life

QUESTION: Can you offer any suggestions for prolonging the shelf life of fresh mozzarella cheese? ANSWER: In an earlier column, we explored several different options for storing fresh mozzarella, but there are some tricks for making it last longer, too. For starters, you should not reach into the liquid packing … More

Food & Ingredients

Making the Most of Mozzarella

QUESTION: What’s the best way to store mozzarella, and how long will it last before it goes bad? ANSWER: Fresh mozzarella comes in a variety of ball- and loaf-shape sizes and is typically packaged in brine, whey or water/liquid packing solution, which helps retain its shape, moisture and soft, creamy, … More

Dough Information Center

To Cook or Not to Cook?

QUESTION: In your opinion, is it better to cold-mix or slow-cook a pizza sauce? ANSWER: “To cook or not to cook? That is the question.” There seems to be a great deal of controversy over this subject; arguments can be made for and against producing a cooked and uncooked sauce. … More

Dough Information Center

Reducing Salt Levels in Dough

QUESTION: How important is salt to the texture and taste of dough? ANSWER: Salt is very important to the texture, taste and performance of the dough and the finished crust. Without salt, the finished crust will have a bland flavor. Also, the dough will rise quickly and might even “blow,” … More

Zeak's Tweaks

Grit, par-baking and bread loaves

QUESTION: I use cornmeal to keep my dough from sticking to the peel, but some of my customers have complained about its grit. What other meal or flour could I use as a similar substitute? ANSWER: The nice thing about cornmeal and other gritty dusting-flour mediums is their ability to act like a lot of little … More

Food & Ingredients

Flavorful focaccia

QUESTION: I’m interested in serving focaccia bread as a starter; do you have a recipe you can share? ANSWER: Focaccia is similar to pizza in that both are topped with various ingredients. As compared to pizza, focaccia is sparsely topped or accented with olive oil, herbs, coarse sea salt, and thinly sliced onions, tomatoes or olives. … More

Zeak's Tweaks

Time to ferment

Yeast is a single-cell microorganism that has been serving mankind for millennia. Alcohol is probably the most widely recognized by-product of fermentation, but that which is most near and dear to our hearts is the role that yeast plays in fermentation of wheat-based dough. Working in combination with various bacteria, yeast, in one form or … More

Food & Ingredients

On a roll

QUESTION: How can I make fresh dough or rolls last longer? It seems wasteful to throw them away at the end of the day. ANSWER: I’m going to assume that when you say “rolls,” you mean breadsticks, and that you are using a typical pizza dough formula to make them. Sometimes when we speak about preservation … More

Zeak's Tweaks

Changing of the crust

Pizza is an ancient food, born of the need to find a simple way of enriching bread to make it more substantial and tastier. Pizza dough and the resulting baked crust is a member of the flatbread family. However, the most interesting aspect of pizza is its variety. The universal success of pizza is contained within a fairly … More

Zeak's Tweaks

Garlic knots, recipe testing and dough to go

QUESTION: I’d like to add garlic knots to my menu, but I’ve tasted ones that are either too greasy or don’t have enough garlic flavor. Do you have a good recipe? ANSWER: You can very easily use your current dough for the production of garlic knots. Cut your dough into 2-ounce pieces, roll them into 4” to … More

Zeak's Tweaks

Zeak's tweaks: biscuit crust

QUESTION: Have you ever heard of someone using biscuit mix for a breakfast pizza? ANSWER: Using a biscuit dough as a crust base is another option you can consider when building a breakfast pizza. The recipe below has worked for me in several applications. In a mixing bowl, blend together flour, … More