What's New in Pizza World    
How Would You Like $500 Worth of Pizza from Domino's?1-17-2008

Along with its new BFD promotion, Domino's has a challenge for its customers--create a new combination for the most creative BFD pizza. They have a BFD Builder on their website, allowing you to build your pizza right online. You choose the crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings. Once you've made your perfect pizza, give it a creative name and submit it to Domino's database.

A group of Domino's Pizza LLC employees will choose which combination and pizza name are most creative. The winner gets $500 in Domino's gift certificates. Second and third places will each receive $50 in Domino's gift certificates.


Picking On the Pizza Guys11-29-2007

So, it seems that there is a problem with rowdiness and public drunkenness in the Broadway strip of San Francisco. People are leaving the clubs on the North Beach strip early in the morning, and, instead of heading home, they are lingering in the area, stopping for a late night snack and causing a ruckus. So what does the city do to fix the problem...send in more patrols or make more arrests? No, they pick on the pizza guys. Incredibly, the city's Planning Commissioners are requesting an order to shut down the two pizza parlors in the area at 2:00 a.m. Nevermind that they are just running a business here and there are other restaurants in the area open at that time. This order targets just the pizza guys (Broadway Express Pizza and Cable Car Pizza).

Now granted, there may be problems with these people who are itching for a fight and have had too much to drink. But how about shutting the clubs down earlier? Is there no benefit to having these partiers sober up a bit while having a slice instead of heading off in their full drunken state? And there is the question of allowing these small business owners to conduct their business in a normal fashion, without being singled out. I say, arrest the drunks, and quit picking on the pizza guys.

Can Pizza Be Health Food?10-25-2007

It is an age-old dilemma every pizza lover faces. Pizza is, in fact, not the healthiest food in the world. In fact, if you eat it often, you could start seeing some bad repercussions, including weight gain, high cholesterol, and increased blood pressure, all leading to a higher risk of heart disease. But there are some chemists at the University of Maryland that have your back. They have been working on a way to make healthier pizza.

What they've discovered is good news for pizza aficionados. There are naturally occurring antioxidants in pizza dough, especially those made from whole wheat flour. Depending on the way you make and cook your pizza, you can actually boost the amount of those antioxidants. What the researchers found was that antioxidant levels can be dramatically boosted when the dough is left to ferment for a longer period of time. The yeast is able to release the dough's antioxidants, so the longer the yeast has time to work, the more are released.

They also found that longer baking times and higher temperatures resulted in higher antioxidant levels. To achieve this, you'd have to watch your pizza carefully as it baked, but this is good news for pizza lovers, since a pizza baked in a hot, hot oven is always more tasty than one in a warm oven. In order to pull this off, you may need to roll your pizza dough out a bit thicker than you are used to. This will allow you to cook your pizza longer without burning it.

One negative to report--it is really the toppings that can get you. High fat toppings, including meats and cheeses, can offset the benefits of changes in your cooking method. And if you do burn your pizza, carcinogens are produced, greatly offsetting the antioxidant benefits.

But all in all, this represents a simple way to make your pizza more healthy:

Use more whole wheat flour in your dough recipe.

  • Let your dough rise slowly in your refrigerator for a longer period of time.
  • Bake your pizza in a hotter oven for a longer period of time (with a slightly thicker crust).
  • Reduce the amount of high-fat cheeses and meats you use to top your pizza.

  • Review: Building a Wood-Fired Oven for Bread and Pizza10-21-2007


    Tom Jaine's Building a Wood-Fired Oven for Bread and Pizza is a short, but detailed, look at the construction of a wood-fired oven. This type of cooking is a traditional, age-old method of cooking. It is steeped in history and is tied to the culture of all civilizations. Jaine takes advantage of this by using the history of these types of ovens, along with numerous illustrations of baking in wood-burning ovens, to give you a sense of the richness and practicality of this method of cooking.   He then delves into the nitty-gritty of oven construction. Everything, from an admonition to the reader to ensure whether you are meeting local building codes to a list of supplies is included to help you prepare for your project. There are detailed drawings, measurements, and instructions to guide you.   Then, Jaine gives detailed descriptions of how to use the oven. This is interlaced with historical accounts and descriptions of recipes and techniques from past times that help you understand the nuances of using such an oven.   If you already have a wood-burning oven in your home or garden, but it is in disrepair, this book is also helpful for you. Jaine goes over several considerations when dealing with the restoration of an older oven.   Finally, there are several recipes for bread, all very simple, and a some instructions for baking pizzas in your oven.   This is a wonderful book and a lively introduction to the concept of having and using your own wood-fired oven. Although it is full of great information, it does leave you hoping for more. One thing I was expecting were pictures of ovens, which would give you a good idea of what is possible in your own home or garden. The book is full of historical drawings, but a more contemporary look at these ovens would have been nice. It is also writing with a decidedly British tone, with several words seeming rather foreign to this speaker of American English. But all in all, it is a good introduction to the idea of building a wood-fired oven and should be required reading for anyone interested in doing this himself.


    Roy Williams Doesn't Tip the Pizza Delivery Guy10-5-2007

    Ok, so I have the utmost respect for those living a frugal lifestyle. After all, that is what we try to do in our own home, and I know that every penny counts. But Lions wide receiver Roy Williams is going to make $1,515,000 this year. I guess in the NFL world, this is not eye popping, but in my neck of the woods, WOW! So, when you hear that Roy is bragging that he doesn't tip the "pizza man," as he calls him, what can you think about him except that he is kind of a jerk.

    Now I am frugal, but definitely a good tipper. Gotta have some solidarity with the pizza delivery guys. But here is what is worse. Roy goes onto describe his tipping strategy:

    There’s no such thing as a tip. But I am really polite and I say ‘Thank you sir.’ … The pizza man knows, when he comes to my address, he’s coming for free.

    And he further describes his dating philosophy:

    I am cheap, I’m a cheap date. Get you some McDonalds, with some cheese on it and I’m just really cheap, man. I’m very low key, I like to stay home. I like to go bowling on Monday nights and I go to the casino every once and awhile. Other than that, you won’t see Mr. Williams out at all.

    I might just take her to the casino and get her a free buffet. If I did take a date out to a nice place, I’d take her to a nice place, like a Red Lobster or something. It wouldn’t be Morton’s or nothing like that.

    So, here's what I don't get…I understand that a million and a half bucks a year sure can get a guy a date. But what kind of woman stays with this guy if all she gets out of that million and a half bucks is a McDonald's burger and some pizza that the pizza guy probably spat on.

    And then, he brags about it. Hmmm…..