Tupper Lake, November 6, 2012 by Jeff Boucher

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Pizza Sessions-Jack and Annmarie's.....

We had another epic pizza night last night, hosted by Jack and Annemarie.
It was an incredible pie night.

So in a sort of chronological order, here's how it went.

Jeff and Di arrive!

The girls discussing????????

Ted and Annemarie. In the foreground, you'll see a selection of Jack's home smoked cheese and a chunk of balsamic asiago that Diana brought. Incredible cheese!

Di grating Bel Gioso Mozz she brought. As far as Mozz goes, this is rich, creamy and very tasty.

Check out the counter space!

Meat Lover's!

Cheese, uh huh, uh huh.

Ready for toppings.

3 bowls with cheese? How cool.


Jeff explaining why he married Diana. It all boiled to down to her mad pizza making skills!

Who you calling chicken?

Arrrrr, ugala!

Arrrrrrr, mateys!

Ms. Pac Man?

 Jeff and yours truly. He was saying something about Fab Melo and what might have happened if he only had a brain.....

Stacy, Tiff and the usual suspects in the background.

Jack's reachin' in the back, and Tiff has a piece of Ted's homemade chocolate cheesecake.

Rockin' in the kitchen.

So Jack says, "Anybody want a Nut Licker?"
Somebody said yes! Not sure who, may have been multiple yes's.

Ted's famous homemade Chocolate cheesecake!
Well, what was left of it......

What a way to cap off the night.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blog Surfing.............

Part of the fun for me in blogging is surfing for new blogs, in most cases food related and checking out new recipes, or takes on old ones and tuning them up.

Today, I ran across a blog called The Bite House: Cooking in the Maritimes.

What pulled me in, like a mouse to cheese, was the title of a post: 
Roast Beef Grilled Cheese and this pic.

Like, Want!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pizza Dough Recipes....

David Tomberlin, owner of Well Dressed Foods here in Tupper Lake , asked me if I'd share my pizza dough recipe after reading the post about my travails with the pizza peel.

Started out round. I call it my Texas pie!

I said, "Sure, I can give you a bunch."

Now, full disclosure #1. 
I don't have any original, I made 'em myself recipes.
Why reinvent the wheel, if there are shitloads of great recipes out there.
Typically, what I do when making dough is go online and find something I've never done.

Full disclosure #2. I like it easy.
No 3 day cold ferments or Double Zero flour that hasn't found it's way into the great wilderness of the Adirondacks yet.

If I'm making pizza and making my own dough, that means I want it today. I'm simply way too ADD to think about it 2 or 3 days ahead of time.

That said, I thought I'd pick the brain of my good friend DM Cavanaugh.
He came up to Tupper in February and brought his homemade dough, along with sauce and toppings.

DM is the good looking guy in the middle, I'm the fat guy to his left.
Aya to my left, Adam and Diana to the right of DM.
He's a mistro of dough. He makes incredible pies.

So, when I posed the question, here was his response, (in a loving father to son type of manner).

Oh man Tup, pizza dough recipes are like aholes, everybodies got one. I'm a minimalist, flour, water, salt and yeast. Sounds simple doesn't it? But why do so many people have so many problems with it. What kind of flour, what temperature water, what kind of salt, how much salt. Yeast, some people don't know what you mean if you tell them instant yeast or active dry yeast. And we haven't even discussed hydration percentage (the amount of water needed for the amount of flour), mixing methods, mixing times, to autolyze or not to autolyze, to bulk ferment before forming dough balls or to form dough balls immediately after mixing. To bulk ferment at all? How about fermentation? Room temp, how long? Cold ferment, how long? Why? Why not? If I told you how I do it, someone else will comment and tell you that my way is all wrong. And then I'll comment and tell them they're full of $#iT. So, I'll pass on this one and tell the next person that they're full of $#iT!!! Unless it's @dhorst. :-)

OK- flour, water, salt and yeast!

Here's one of DM's pies he submitted to Slice, for My Pie Monday, where folks send in pics and descriptions of pizza they make at home. 
It's unbelievable how home pizza has evolved.
There's some serious craft here.

And here's his description:
"New house, new oven, slightly new dough. Had to ditch all my sourdough starters to accommodate a move, so this is a 60% hydrated dough, Hecker's UAP flour, 1/4 tsp IDY, 3/4 tsp sea salt, 400 gr dough ball. Baked 8 minutes at 525° on stone, extra cheese (standard whole milk dry mozz), sauce made from Cento Italian (not San Marzano) tomatoes, basil fresh from my garden.

 Well, not as simple as flour, salt water and yeast, but, I totally get it and DM's message to me.
The message being, you've got to find out what works for you.
The evolution of pizza at the home level has taken off.
You can make pizza at home that's as good or better than what you'd get from 90% of the pizzarias out there.

 So, back to the original query about dough recipes.
Here's a few I've tried and work very well.

We'll start with one I found last night.


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
 Add the yeast to the warm water, let it sit until it bubbles, then combine with the other ingredients. I do all the mixing in the Kitchen Aid. Too lazy to do by hand.
You've got to develop an eye as to whether or not the dough is to dry or moist. Sometimes you add a little flour, sometimes a little water. 
Trial and error.

Let it double in size in a bowl with a light coating of olive oil (maybe an hour, maybe less, maybe more), punch it down, spread it out, top and cook. 

I cook my pies in a pre-heated gas oven at 550 degrees on a stone.

Here is another solid recipe from Kenji at Serious Eats for NY Style Pizza!


yield: 4 to 6 (makes 3 pies), active time 30 minutes, total time 24 hours
  • 22 1/2 ounces (about 4 1/2 cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • .35 ounces kosher salt (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 ounces lukewarm water
  • 1 batch New York Style Pizza Sauce
  • 1 pound grated full-fat dry mozzarella cheese (about 4 cups), placed in freezer for at least 15 minutes


  1. 1
    Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in bowl of food processor. Pulse 3 to 4 times until incorporated. Add olive oil and water. Run food processor until mixture forms ball that rides around the bowl above the blade, about 15 seconds. Continue processing 15 seconds longer.
  2. 2
    Transfer dough ball to lightly floured surface and knead once or twice by hand until smooth ball is formed. It should pass the windowpane test. Divide dough into three even parts and place each in a covered quart-sized deli container or in a zipper-lock freezer bag. Place in refrigerator and allow to rise at least one day, and up to 5.
  3. 3
    At least two hours before baking, remove dough from refrigerator and shape into balls by gathering dough towards bottom and pinching shut. Flour well and place each one in a separate medium mixing bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at warm room temperature until roughly doubled in volume.
  4. 4
    1 hour before baking, adjust oven rack with pizza stone to middle position and preheat oven to 500°F. Turn single dough ball out onto lightly flour surface. Gently press out dough into rough 8-inch circle, leaving outer 1-inch higher than the rest. Gently stretch dough by draping over knuckles into a 12 to 14-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to pizza peel.
  5. 5
    Spread approximately 2/3 cup of sauce evenly over surface of crust, leaving 1/2 to 1-inch border along edge. Evenly spread 1/3 of cheese over sauce. Slide pizza onto baking stone and bake until cheese is melted with some browned spots and crust is golden brown and puffed, 12 to 15 minutes total. Transfer to cutting board, slice, and serve immediately. Repeat with remaining two dough balls, remaining sauce, and remaining cheese.

    (Pic by Kenji)
A bit more complex, but works great. And his pizza sauce is great too!

And while we're on it, here's another Kenji recipe that will make a Sicilian Type pie.
If you're into into bread at all, you've heard of Jim Lahey and his No-Knead bread.
Kenji came up with a No-Knead Pizza Dough, that I've done many times and have been very happy with.
Note: To make without a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, yeast, sugar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl along with the cooled riced potato along with 11.25 ounces water and stir together vigorously with a wooden spoon until homogeneous, about 3 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 15. Continue with step 3 as directed.
Special equipment: rimmed 12 by 18-inch baking sheet


yield: 4 to 6, active time 1 hour, total time 3 hours with stand mixer, at least 9 hours without
  • For the Dough
  • 1 medium russet potato, about 7 ounces
  • 15 ounces (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 ounce (about 2 teaspoons) kosher salt
  • 1/4 ounce (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/2 ounce (about 3 teaspoons) sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the Sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes packed in tomato juice, drained (such as Muir Glen)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 sprigs basil, leaves and stems reserved separately
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound (about 2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. 1
    For the Dough: Place the potato in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until cake tester inserted into center meets no resistance, about 15 minutes. Pass through potato ricer into small bowl and allow to cool at room temperature for ten minutes. You should have 6 ounces of riced potato.
  2. 2
    Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, yeast, sugar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in bowl of stand mixer (see note for mixer-free version). Add 11.25 ounces (about 1 1/3 cup) water to mixer and mix on medium speed until it comes together and no dry flour remains. Add cooled riced potato, increase speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is stretchy and smooth, about 6 minutes. The dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but pull away from the sides.
  3. 3
    Pour remaining olive oil into rimmed baking sheet and spread over entire inner surface with hands. Transfer dough to baking sheet and rub top surface with oil until thoroughly coated. Cover with baking sheet with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until dough has spread out to touch nearly each rim of baking sheet, about 2 hours.
  4. 4
    For the Sauce: While dough is rising, heat olive oil and garlic cloves in 8-inch skillet over medium heat until lightly bubbling. Reduce heat to low and cook until garlic is light brown and tender, about 10 minutes, flipping garlic cloves once during cooking. Transfer garlic cloves to bowl of food processor or blender (without the oil). Add drained tomatoes. Process or blend until roughly pureed, and set aside.
  5. 5
    Transfer garlic-scented olive oil to large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add oregano and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato mixture, sugar, and basil stems. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
  6. 6
    To Finish the Pizza: 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 550°F. Carefully remove plastic wrap from pizza dough. Using oiled hands and being as gentle as possible to maintain air bubbles, push and stretch the dough into the corners of the pan by pressing out from the center and lifting each corner and stretching it beyond the edge of the pan. It should pull back until the pan is just filled with dough.
  7. 7
    Spread approximately 2/3 cup of sauce over top surface of pizza with back of spoon, leaving 1-inch border all the way around the edge. Sprinkle with half of Parmesan, focusing on edges of crust. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven, and spread mozzarella evenly over surface. Dot more tomato sauce in irregular spots on surface (you may have extra sauce). Top with basil leaves and remaining Parmesan.
  8. 8
    Return to oven and bake until crust is well browned and cheese is melted and lightly browned in spots, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Allow to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large cutting board (pizza may stick to pan at some point—use a spatula to carefully pry it off), cut into 8 or 12 rectangular slices, and serve.
Good stuff!

So, back to the beginning and David's question. Will I share my recipe?
Well yes, but I've Hijacked all of them from people who know a hell of a lot more than I do, but I'm learning!
It's what's available, how much time you have, and how much do you really care.
 Making pizza dough is as easy or complicated as you want!
Just Google Pizza Dough  recipes, you'll have your hands full.

Oh, if all else fails, you can do what I did today.
Went to Price Chopper with the better half and Lo and Behold, they had frozen pizza dough on sale, buy 1, get 2 free.
3 doughs for $1.99.
Great for a weeknight, and cooked on the stone at 550 tastes pretty damn good.
Saves a lot of time and there's no flour all over the kitchen!

You know what I did!

SpecialThanks to Kenji and DM Cav for sharing.

P.S. I didn't mention my Dill Dough once!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pav's Steaks......

Just had to share the pic of my blogging bro's Wagyu steaks.

Pav did a post a little while ago on Wagyu and the  farming involved.

These look incredible!

Good reading, he'll make you laugh!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Working The Peel......

Made a couple of pies to consume while watching 'Cuse eek out another close one over Wisconsin last night.

I'm getting better with the pizza peel, but still have a ways to go!

Pies, even if uneven in shape, were excellent, cooked in my stove at 550 degrees on the stone.

Been mixing cheddar in with the mozzarella, probably 3-1 mozz-cheddar ratio.
Very tasty.

Not bad. Cheese with tomato and onion.

The next one, stuck on the peel.
Seriously it was round, before I tried to slide it on the stone!
Kind of looks like Texas if you rotate it.

All's well that ends well!
I've never  mixed the cheddar with mozz, but man I love it.
It works!

And the obligatory puppy pic.
Ellie at 7 months. She's a big girl, still chewing everything!

So tomorrow, 'Cuse gets Ohio State in the Elite 8-Go Cuse!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


My blogging buddy Pav recently did a great post about Wagyu beef on a farm in Vermont.
Great read and information for the Meateaters out there!

Pic courtesy of Pav.

I seriously want to check this out!