"What, another pizza blog? Haven't we had enough of these already?"
The answer to this is yes ... and you deserve more. Blogging about different styles of pizzas and their combination of toppings is as old as, well, the Internet itself. Here in Milwaukee there are endless debates about which pizza joint is the best and not even a majority can agree on one restaurant. All of them bring their own game ... crust, sauce, toppings, location, bartender and even nostalgia all have a bearing on our taste buds and emotions. I went to a certain pizza joint after the Brewers clinched the ALCS in '82 to advance to the World Series. To this day this place makes my favorite pizza. Is it high quality? Sure. But I'm certain that the memory of the Brewers in '82 burned into my young brain is a large reason for this opinion. This blog will be different. It will be centered on making pizza at home.
We all love homemade stuff. Whether it be a knit baby hat from Mom for our newest addition or Grandma's cookies, homemade always feels better and just plain right. It's authentic and produced with love. I believe you'll feel the same nostalgia once you make your first pizza from scratch. That's not to say that the local pizza joint should be abandoned; far from it. They are the ones who got us interested in the creation process and our salivating glands going. They are there for us everyday when, in winter, we need a glass of red wine to warm up or, in summer, we need a frosty beer to cool down. And their pizza is always exceptional. But if you're a creative person you may feel the need to take a different route. Maybe you've got a family and are strapped for cash but want to feed your children well with an eye on keeping it healthy at the same time. Maybe you're stuck with nothing but greasy, bland pizza because you live at an outpost in central Siberia ... for all of these people and beyond, I hope this blog will be for you.
Farmer's market season is nearing (sorry, Siberia, you're left to fend for whatever grows regionally near you) and this is the best time of the year for fruits and vegetables here in 'Sconnie land. I can't wait to ditch the canned tomato sauces and purchase the perfectly ripe tomatoes for what the cost of one canned tomato product would cost. A bevy of ingredients suitable for pizza making awaits us in just a couple of short months.
With a simple pizza crust you are the artist of the night at your house. Virtually anything goes, and it nearly always works as long as you keep in mind the basics and aim to please. Aiming to please is of greatest importance. Don't bother going through the rote motions if, in the end, you really don't care how it turns out. Lack of passion is the surest reason for defeat. But you love pizza so you will be passionate, no doubt!
My hope with this blog is that it will start a conversation with those who have passion for fresh food, and more pointedly, pizza. The dough provides a wonderful canvas for us to paint on and express ourselves. I'd like to learn about which butcher shop is your favorite for sausage or which market has the best heirloom tomatoes. I certainly have my own feelings on which local purveyor has the best goods but that doesn't mean I am right ... maybe I'm stuck in that "nostalgic rut" and need a little help getting out. Let's take this ball of dough and run with it! To be continued ...
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Recent Articles & Blogs by Karl Herschede
Published April 28, 2012
Mozzarella is the standard cheese found on nearly every pizza, fresh and frozen. Provolone pops its head up every once in a while, but other than these two cheeses, nobody seems to give any of the others their day in the oven. This is a shame, especially here in Wisconsin. Mozzarella is a wonderful cheese, but it needn't be the only one.
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Pizza sauce, tomato sauce, marinara, canned, jarred, fresh ... spaghetti sauce? You could spend the better part of a day wondering around Milwaukee looking for the ideal sauce to blanket your pizza with.
Published April 14, 2012
I think it is important to make your own pizza dough. I know you can purchase dough at various local grocery stores and bread shops, but if you're going to make homemade pizza you might as well try to keep everything you can "in house." It's even more personal this way.